Tag Archives: Wacky Pets

My Life (mostly) in Pictures!

FOOD

It’s been a good few weeks on the food front.  D and I have pledged to go out to eat less, so that means more fun food at home!  And…since I do most of the cooking, they more or less eat what I eat!

Not that they’re complaining – heck, even D decided one evening to make dinner and whipped up an amazing tofu stir fry!  Other yumminess includes tacos, smoothies, salads, wraps, falafel burgers, squash, pasta, homemade breads and soymilk, and Indian food, just to name the highlights of the past weeks!

last night's multicultural dinner!  Homemade baked falafel patties with tzatziki sauce, served as a burger with lettuce, tomato, and onion, and a side of Italian garlic, spice, and oil pasta.  Don't judge...

last night’s multicultural dinner! Homemade baked falafel patties with tzatziki sauce, served as a burger with lettuce, tomato, and onion, and a side of Italian garlic, spice, and oil pasta. Don’t judge…

Taco Tuesday!

Taco Tuesday!

leftover taco filling makes it a taco BAS Wednesday

leftover taco filling makes it a taco BAS Wednesday

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kale, quinoa, butternut squash soup

kale, quinoa, butternut squash soup

D's delicious stir fry

D’s delicious stir fry

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roasted acorn...

roasted acorn…

to make a yummy sauce...

to make a yummy sauce…

for mac no cheese!

for mac no cheese!

salad dressing

salad dressing

Indian feast!  Garlic naan, tofu korma, Chana dal, and curry veggies

Indian feast! Garlic naan, tofu korma, Chana dal, and curry veggies

fresh bread and rolls for the week

fresh bread and rolls for the week

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rice pudding breakfast!  Leftover brown and wild rice simmered with soymilk, cinnamon, and a little maple syrup

rice pudding breakfast! Leftover brown and wild rice simmered with soymilk, cinnamon, and a little maple syrup

fresh soymilk

fresh soymilk

dual appliance cooking (rice cooker and slow cooker).  Secrets of a busy household!

dual appliance cooking (rice cooker and slow cooker). Secrets of a busy household!

FITNESS

Running and yoga – as usual!  Can’t complain though, they’re what’s most readily available to me.

D and I are talking about building a home gym over the course of the next few months.  We both want to workout, but finding the time (or the desire) to go to the gym just isn’t there.  All 3 kids really want this to, so for now we’re doing research and pricing and will go from there!

LIFE

Well 3 weeks of life is a LOT of life!  With that said, no major complaints or anything.  There have been a couple illnesses, but nothing tragic (thankfully).  Between work, school, and family, I’m pretty much never bored!

I got to see several classmates last week, which was just amazing.

(from left) AF, JN, me, SH, & JC

(from left) AF, JN, me, SH, & JC

My fluffy study buddy, always willing to “help” (aka…get in the way)…

VERY intent on that equation...

VERY intent on that equation…

at least it's R's homework this time

at least it’s R’s homework this time

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Random shots

LBM using his leaf blower to remove snow from his car

LBM using his leaf blower to remove snow from his car

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at a restaurant where we said goodbye to AC as she takes on a new job and adventure in another state!

at a restaurant where we said goodbye to AC as she takes on a new job and adventure in another state!

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she loves shoes....

she loves shoes….

one stray piece of paper on the floor, and she makes it a pillow...

one stray piece of paper on the floor, and she makes it a pillow…

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And finally, the morningpictures!

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Finally a Grown Up Because I Have Curtains

FOOD

When I went vegan a little over 9 years ago, I had no problem giving up some foods.  Desserts were a big one for awhile – at least until I found my vegan baking mojo (and to be honest – I hate to bake and have more of a salt-tooth vs sweet tooth, so it never really bugged me).  My mom’s egg salad sammiches and tuna noodle salad were two of my favorites growing up, and even though I’ve tried multiple recipes over the years, this one still stands as my fav egg-less salad.  I don’t make it as often as I probably should, but it’s so yummy as a sammich or with crackers.  It’s mostly adapted from my mom and other recipes collected through the years, and I think is one of those stand by recipes.

Crissie’s Tofu Eggless Salad

Ingredients

  • firm silken tofu – best is the cardboard box Mori-Nu brand found in the Asian food aisle vs where regular tofu is found.  Sliced small (I still use an egg slicer for it)
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayo (I use Just Mayo)
  • 4 tbsp yellow mayo
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup pickle relish (I like the sweet kind)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  • mix and eat!

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I prefer toasted Ezekiel bread or whole wheat pitas and with added veggies like lettuce, tomato, and onion.

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Other eats  were an Amy’s bean burrito (hey, even I eat food from a freezer now and then!), green smoothie, salad from Moe’s (Welcome to Moe’s!), veggie soup with toast, and a yummy dinner with roasted portabello mushrooms, butternut squash risotto, and a vegan chorizo sausage.

topped with my tart homemade soy yogurt and some hot sauce

topped with my tart homemade soy yogurt and some hot sauce

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FITNESS

Runs every day (but today – yucky rain and snowy weather), yoga, and meditation.  I had my 2nd meditation class yesterday and I very much enjoyed it.

So I started this meditation class for a few reasons.  The first is that I’ve gone down this road before – gung ho to figure out how to stop the constant chatter in my brain – but gave up.  I kept thinking of all the other stuff I could get done if I didn’t just sit still.  The second is because I suck at sleeping.  Seriously – if you look up “insomnia” in the dictionary, it’s quite possible you’ll see my face.  I honestly want to learn how to turn the noise down enough to sleep like a normal person.  And finally, on the advice of a speaker we heard in Brazil last month.  He talked about meditation being a huge key to his balance (he works for a very prestigious global consulting firm), and goodness knows I could use some balance.  So…it was pretty awesome to find that the yoga studio closest to my house actually was starting a 5-week meditation course.  Naturally, I signed up!

I know it’ll take me a long time to get it, but I was heartened when a girl in my class mentioned that she, too, has difficulty sleeping, and that even one week of meditating before bed has helped.  I don’t expect a miracle overnight, but sometime in the next month would be nice!

after a long run on Friday - apparently Ginny loves to snuggle when I smell...

after a long run on Friday – apparently Ginny loves to snuggle when I smell…

60's yesterday and a run around the lake!

60’s yesterday and a run around the lake!

LIFE

The past few days have been pretty great.  I get up so much earlier than my family, so I’ve had a lot of quiet study time.

And while we didn’t win the lotto, my son did play for the first time (he’s 18) and won $4!

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We also – after almost a year in our new house – got curtains.  Only for 2 of the windows, but I’m feeling very grown up all of the sudden!  I fretted over them for a long time.  What looks right?  What fabric?  Ugh.  I’ve stalked Pinterest and finally after a xmas gift card from my parents and a not so subtle “get some damned curtains” nudge, we finally did.  Holy crap, curtains are expensive!  Even on sale, these two windows were nearly $300.  Yikes!  Alas, now I have the “curtain bug” and will not rest until all my windows are appropriately dressed.

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Friday night we all hung out and watched Mission Impossible.  Last night, D and I had plans to check out the new cinema café that opened near us and watch 13 (the Benghazi movie).  We even got there an hour early thinking we’d get great seats and grab a beer or something.  Silly movie was sold out!  So…we went out for dinner/drinks and then went back today to watch the flick!

Bumble snuggling with M on movie night

Bumble snuggling with M on movie night

out on Saturday eve

out on Saturday eve

and finally at the movies today!

and finally at the movies today!

The rest of the evening is doing some studying, laundry, bulk cooking, and prepping for the busy week ahead!

 

 

Have You Seen My Zen? Me Neither…

FOOD

It’s crazy, but (wait for it), I haven’t snapped many food pics lately!  Meals have been pretty standard; green smoothies, salads, and simple eats.  I did make an stew with the leftover seitan that was super awesome and ate for several meals.  See recipe – I used an electric pressure cooker.  Specifically, and Instant Pot.  You can totally do this on the stove top too -just cook longer.

Crissie’s Irish-ish Beefless Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 lb cubed seitan (it was my leftovers!)
  • 3 peeled and cubed potatoes
  • 2 cups peeled and cubed carrots or bagged baby carrots if you’re lazy like me
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cubed onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut oil (you can use any oil you want – or none in a nonstick pot)
  • 6 cups veggie stock

Directions

  • Heat the pot on the sauté setting and melt the coconut oil
  • add the seitan and stir until browned
  • add everything else in
  • close lid, cook on Soup setting for 20 minutes (or low pressure for a regular pressure cooker)

Seriously, that easy!

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would've been perfect with a chunk of crusty bread!

would’ve been perfect with a chunk of crusty bread!

a quart of leftovers!

a quart of leftovers!

Other eats…

typical smoothie for me!  Coconut water, strawberries, banana, pineapple, and spinach

typical smoothie for me! Coconut water, strawberries, banana, pineapple, and spinach

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baked and skinned sweet potato with sliced banana, cinnamon, and a little maple syrup.  Also cook these in the pressure cooker for 15 min before getting in the shower, so the skin falls right off and a hot breakfast is ready

baked and skinned sweet potato with sliced banana, cinnamon, and a little maple syrup. Also cook these in the pressure cooker for 15 min before getting in the shower, so the skin falls right off and a hot breakfast is ready

and of course….Taco Tuesday!

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FITNESS

Running almost every day and yoga several days per week.  Weather has been crazy.  High’s in the 30’s yesterday and near 60 today.  I vacillate between gloves, hat, and many layers or just a long sleeve T.  Whatever – it’s all good.  Even wore my blinky light tonight.

I also started a meditation class at the yoga studio – its a 5 week class, and have been pretty good about meditating at home.  Though sometimes it’s tough when all I can here is Leaf Blower Man, noisy family, or am too tense to slip into a zen-like state.  Who am I kidding?  I don’t think I’ve ever been in a zen-like state!  I’m trying though!

before yesterday's run.  Tank, thermal, turtleneck, sweatshirt!  Knew it was going to be cold...and I think I was mostly frozen the first 1/4 mile or so.

before yesterday’s run. Tank, thermal, turtleneck, sweatshirt! Knew it was going to be cold…and I think I was mostly frozen the first 1/4 mile or so.

LIFE

So in my last post when I mentioned it was time to get back to the routine, I forget how insane that routine can be!

Work has been good, kids have been good, school has been good – so no complaints, just very little free time.  Which is totally fine, but I realize how much time slips by between posts.

I leave you with typical life pics!

Starting with cats – one in particular who hates it when I study (which is pretty much all of the time!)

eating my hoodie tie...

eating my hoodie tie…

and then snatching my pen...

and then snatching my pen…

the cat who never snuggles - crawls in my lap whenever I'm studying!

the cat who never snuggles – crawls in my lap whenever I’m studying!

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Other cat pics because this is the internet and it would be sad and boring without cat pictures.

water thief

water thief

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oh, is that yours?

oh, is that yours?

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get outta my house

get outta my house

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my cold-night study spot.  Where they surround me - not because they love me, but because they want to be by the fire

my cold-night study spot. Where they surround me – not because they love me, but because they want to be by the fire

Morning Pictures!  I promise, R does wear different clothes every day under her hoodie.  Rest assured that you can tell because D changes has different clothes on!

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I got one because it was an ortho appointment day!

I got one because it was an ortho appointment day!

 

 

It’s a Soul II Soul Kind of Day

Bonus points for you if you get the 1989 musical reference!  Here’s a link if you did not…

FOOD

It’s been nice to have enough time at home to spend some of it in the kitchen.  I know I’ve mentioned it before, but as hectic as my life gets, I often give that up.  Hopefully I’ll get to keep the trend up!  I tend to forget that yummy and healthy food can be simple and not every meal needs to be a complicated affair!

Take today’s lunch, for example.  Totally amazing and yummy.  I took a whole grain pita bread topped it with a little BBQ sauce, red onion, crushed pineapple, and leftover citrus seitan from last night, baked for 10 minutes at 350, and had a tropical pizza for lunch!

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Other eats from the past few days…

Smoothies, of course…

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Jerk Tofu with Coconut Rice (which was really, really good – just followed the marinade on the bottle of Jerk Seasoning)

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for the rice

for the rice

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Made my very first batch of homemade seitan!  To be honest, I’ve always been a bit leery about something called “wheat meat” and actually ate it for the first time not too long ago.  Since I had time and the right ingredients on hand, I whipped up a batch.  It’s SOOOO good.

after and before images (before boiling it in broth in my pressure cooker

after and before images (before boiling it in broth in my pressure cooker

Last night for dinner I made brown rice, sweet black beans (also in the pressure cooker), and a citrus marinated seitan.  Totally, totally delicious.  With enough leftovers for wraps and salads for lunches this week.

before baking

before baking

after

after

dinner!  Topped with some homemade tangy soy yogurt

dinner! Topped with some homemade tangy soy yogurt

I also made a batch of homemade yogurt.  Super simple – just plain soymilk, probiotic powder, and a little raw sugar.  I incubate it for 15 hrs because I like mine super tart.

My favorite toast – Ezekiel sprouted bread with sunflower butter, sliced banana, and a little agave.

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I roasted a bunch of root veggies (carrots, sweet potatoes, and beets) with coconut oil and maple syrup.  Topped a baked potato with them – also really good.

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It got cold finally, so this morning I went with Irish oats instead of a smoothie.  With banana, cinnamon, and a very little bit of maple syrup.

made these in the pressure cooker too.  45 min on the stove or 4 in the cooker?  Yeah...I'm not overly patient...

made these in the pressure cooker too. 45 min on the stove or 4 in the cooker? Yeah…I’m not overly patient…

I had one meal out and it was quite a disappointment.  My area has no decent Chinese food.  I grew up with a few really good restaurants, and when I lived in the Seattle area – forget it.  The grocery store’s Asian food was better than anything I’d ever had!  Here in Hampton Roads, all the Chinese restaurants are take-out places with maybe 1 or 2 sit down restaurants.  When I was in Richmond in November and had lunch with JG, we went to Peter Chang’s – a sit down real Chinese restaurant – and my meal was awesome.  I was so excited to find out that one opened in Virginia Beach!  I was out shopping (in vain) for curtains, and stopped for lunch.  I had a clay pot of tofu and veggies, and it wasn’t all that great….

looks cool though...

looks cool though…

FITNESS

I’ve been running every day the past week or so.  Not terribly far (rebuilding some base mileage), but it’s been nice to get out there.

It’s strange going from shorts and a t-shirt to gloves and headbands!  Chilly weather is upon us.

New Year’s day I was up WAY earlier than everyone else, and since there was a gaggle of teenagers sleeping on my living room floor, I immediately left the house to grab coffee, run errands, and take my first run of the year down at the Oceanfront.

King Neptune as a running buddy!

King Neptune as a running buddy!

And this was me today after getting back from a noon run – my face is about as pink as my headband!  I suppose it wouldn’t have killed me to smile – I was in a hurry when I took it :)

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LIFE

It’s been a really nice week.  Quiet at work, fairly quiet at home, no classes, and lots of time to study and relax.  It’s going to be tough getting back to reality tomorrow!

New Year’s Eve is always a quiet affair for D and me.  We stay home, relax, and I tend to go to bed around 1215!  This year was no different.  M had a bunch of friends over, and effectively kicked everyone else out of the living room!  A went to a friends house, so me, D, and R watched movies in my bedroom until just before midnight.  And as usual, I was out cold by 1215!

I meet with my classmate partners in crime tonight, which will be nice.  They’re a great group and it’ll be nice to catch up.

Otherwise it’s meal planning for the week (which is done), cooking, more studying, laundry, and getting ready for everything tomorrow (back to life, back to reality! – it’s the song lyrics if you didn’t watch the video)

I leave you with miscellaneous pictures…as usual…

snuggles

snuggles

her royal Bumble in her gingerbread house

her royal Bumble in her gingerbread house

the New Years Eve drink!  Vodka, Gin, Grenadine, and OJ.

the New Years Eve drink! Vodka, Gin, Grenadine, and OJ.

Thai & Taco Tuesday!

FOOD

I usually make up my morning smoothies as I go, but sometimes I like to follow a recipe to try something new.  And like yesterday, today I made another one from 365 Vegan Smoothies.  This one was called Super Blue Recharge and was loaded with several super nutrients like Acai and hemp seeds.  It was filling, and I only managed to drink half.

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Lunch was a BAS.  Romaine, beets, scallions, cucumber, herbed tofu, cauliflower, and tomatoes tossed with a tahini/maple dressing.

much prettier before tossing in the dressing!

much prettier before tossing in the dressing!

love my little Tribest personal blender for quick things like a single serving salad dressing!  Also - nothing like a fresh dressing too!

love my little Tribest personal blender for quick things like a single serving salad dressing! Also – nothing like a fresh dressing too!

after adding dressing.  It was SO good.  Couldn't finish it, but that's okay...BAS for the win!

after adding dressing. It was SO good. Couldn’t finish it, but that’s okay…BAS for the win!

Dinner was the leftover Thai soup and the rest of the family had tacos (I wasn’t feeling tacos myself).  So our usual Taco Tuesday became Thai & Taco Tuesday!

FITNESS

Another run on a warm day.  It’s going to be a rude awakening when winter actually hits.

changing for my run, and Ginny decided this was the perfect t-shirt to roll around in and pull over her face.  It was so strange...

changing for my run, and Ginny decided this was the perfect t-shirt to roll around in and pull over her face. It was so strange…

On a separate (but fun) note, a classmate of mine has suggested running the Great Wall Marathon when we’re in China in May!  While there’s no way I’d be full marathon ready by then (not between school and work), they have a half and an 8.5k.  I’m actually excited about the idea – though since Virginia Beach has no hills, I’m thinking the 8.5 k (and my training isn’t half-marathon prep right now either).  We’ll see :)

LIFE

Today was a work from home day.  Ironically, it was largely spent doing research and writing a white paper on managing virtual teams and being a virtual leader :) Have I mentioned lately how much I love my job?

A had a great follow-up appointment, and she’s cleared to read and drive again on the 1st!  She has one more appt with the retinal specialist on the 6th, but so far, they’re pleased with her healing.

D also gave me my Christmas present!  It was a bit belated, but don’t care.  I can be really tough on headphones, and I broke my last pair.  I’ve been wearing these totally uncomfortable ones since, so these were perfect!  They also have a Dark Maul thing going on, which I love.

comfy headphones!  The SoundSport model.  Perfect.

comfy headphones! The SoundSport model. Perfect.

This evening it was a meeting with M and a driving instructor.  Yes, my now adult son if FINALLY getting his drivers license.  It’ll be good too since he’s going to be a commuter college student instead of an on-campus one.

And now – blogging, dishes, laundry, and studying!  And with any luck, going to bed fairly early.

Night!

 

Merry Global Warming

FOOD

Christmas Eve dinner was some homemade baked beans, vegan sausage, and a butternut squash risotto.

baked bean ingredients!

baked bean ingredients!

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Of course with this being a holiday morning, it had to start with a Bloody Mary!  It’s more or less a smoothie, but really spicy and with vodka :)

super spicy - tons of horseradish, jalapeno, and tobasco...

super spicy – tons of horseradish, jalapeno, and tobasco…

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Mid morning I had some Ezekiel toast with Diaya cream cheese, sliced tomato, and fresh pepper.

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Lunch was a BAS with romaine, onion, tofu feta, and an agave-mustard dressing.

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Dinner – while not a pretty picture – was awesome.  Tofu pot pie, mashers, mushroom gravy, roasted maple sweet potatoes, corn bread, and a lemon bundt cake for dessert.

not a pretty pic...sorry.

not a pretty pic…sorry.

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FITNESS

It’s hard to not go for a run when it’s 80 degrees in December.  For all the climate change deniers out there – you’re idiots.  I mean – I get the cyclical long-term environmental changes the Earth goes through and the arguments about why we’re not actually causing this crazy weather – but seriously.  Idiots.  The human race has more (negative) impact on the Earth than it could have managed on it’s own.

LIFE

It’s been a nice and quiet couple of days.  Yesterday was spent cleaning and studying for me, and relaxing for everyone else.

During dinner we all watched Olympus Has Fallen and hung out downstairs.

We started wrapping gifts and Ginny decided this was the perfect time to hang out under the tree without trying to destroy it.

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This morning it was time to exchange gifts, play with them half the day, and then cook and relax some more.  I didn’t actually study today (shhh….don’t tell my professors ;) ).

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R alternated between Dr. Who Lego’s and her new drone she flew around the neighborhood while listening to her new stereo, M got VR goggles and was digging on those all day, and A’s boyfriend came over to hang out, watch movies, and spend time with our family.

After dinner, it was some wine and relaxing to a John Lee Hooker double album I got!

Bumble was exhausted from a day of climbing mounds of wrapping paper, chasing catnip balls, and general cat hayhem

Bumble was exhausted from a day of climbing mounds of wrapping paper, chasing catnip balls, and general cat mayhem

Hope you’ve all had a wonderful Christmas if you celebrate, and an amazing day all around.

Discriminatory Airplane Manufacturers & The Joy of Being in My Own Kitchen

FOOD

My last meal in Rio!  Found a cafeteria with some friends and enjoyed a filling lunch.

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One of the best things about getting home after time away is getting into my kitchen!

Sunday night I didn’t cook (had been up for about 40 hrs, so D went to Whole Foods and picked up some essentials and a yummy soup for dinner).

Monday morning was a green smoothie to take to work!  A simple affair of vanilla coconut milk, banana, mango, and spinach.  For lunch, I met up with D for sushi (sweet potato rolls for me), and dinner was a monster BAS!

in the office bright and early on Monday morning!

in the office bright and early on Monday morning!

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Components of the BAS (Big A$$ Salad for the newbie readers) were chopped romaine and spinach, roasted mustard red potatoes, Cajun tofu bites (simple sauté, sprinkle with Cajun season and finished with a bit of soy sauce), red onion, cucumber, and tomato.  The dressing was a simple whipping of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, orange zest, and champagne.

shame on anyone who thinks a salad should be boring!

shame on anyone who thinks a salad should be boring!

Last night, D and I went out to dinner to a little place in Virginia Beach called Eurasia.  They made me a yummy dish of tri color quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, peas, kale, and a balsamic reduction.  With a side salad topped with beets, it was a great meal.

sorry for the bad lighting!

sorry for the bad lighting!

This morning started with another green smoothie.  Coconut water and chia seeds (left to soak about 10 minutes), banana, strawberry, grape, mango, and spinach.

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FITNESS

Today was the perfect day for a nice long run.  Mid 70’s, and while not exactly sunny, it was finally not raining!  I laced up around noon and ran off all the stress, frustration, and exhaustion of the past few weeks.  Best therapy ever.

LIFE

So after my last post, I spent much of the day wandering and shopping in Rio with DW, JG, and her husband K who flew out to spend a few fun post-residency days.

a gift to my classmates from the hotel staff. I drank up the coconut water right away, but gave away the snacks.

a gift to my classmates from the hotel staff. I drank up the coconut water right away, but gave away the snacks.

I went back to the hotel and spent a bit of time on the roof with some classmates as we were all dispersing to either airports or other hotels for those staying on longer.

me an NS up on the roof! My classmate from Kenya - who happens to be a Liverpool fan, but I love him anyway :)

me and NS up on the roof! My classmate from Kenya – who happens to be a Liverpool fan, but I love him anyway :)

At 930pm Rio time, I started my very long journey back home.

a live band rocking out in the airport because...Rio.

a live band rocking out in the airport because…Rio.

for some reason, this made me smile.

for some reason, this made me smile.

My flight from Rio to Miami wasn’t too bad, though I didn’t get any sleep.  First of all, sleeping sitting up just sucks, secondly, the dumb plane has built in pillows (I think I was on an Airbus, but not sure) that stick out from the seat and cannot be removed – and because I’m short, they force me to keep my head at an unnatural angle.  Jerks.  Also, the woman sitting in the window seat (I had the aisle) kept getting up to brush her teeth.  As such, I ended up watching a little over 3 movies before landing in Miami.

There was a long wait in passport control and customs while entering the US, and I managed to at least delete all the junk email from work!  I will say, I was a bit annoyed when the customs guy informed me he liked my hair better in my passport picture than when he saw me at 4 am after being awake for 24 hrs.  Dude.  Not cool.

I had to kill 8 hrs in the Miami airport which was also annoying.  Nothing was open and plugs are hard to find.  I eventually camped out near a wall with a plug to charge my phone and Surface and then wandered back and forth to stay awake.

The flight home to Virginia was on an Embraer plane, which didn’t have those annoying head rests, and I managed to doze for half the flight!

D, M, and R picked me up at the airport (A couldn’t, and I’ll get to that in a bit), and whisked me home.  After some cleaning and a long shower, it was relaxing until going to bed around 8pm.  It was  a long time to be awake (about 40 hrs), but I fell asleep quickly and slept hard.  Next day was Monday morning, so it was back to work and life as it was before Brazil!

While I was away, D had to deal with a few issues, one of which was emergency eye surgery for our eldest.  She noticed something wrong with her peripheral vision, went to our eye doctor (THANK GOODNESS) and was immediately sent to a retinal specialist because apparently her retina had almost completely detached.  So, it was right into surgery for her last Thursday.  It’s been difficult for her and D is absolutely super-dad.  Good news is that A is healing well.  She had to have an additional procedure yesterday which hurt like hell (laser treatment to generate scar tissue to plug the tear), but the retina has reattached.  She has to spend a week bascially lying on her left side so gravity does the rest of the work, but she should be all healed in about a month.

Otherwise it’s been coffee on the back porch, reading, relaxing, and taking care of family!

back porch java!

back porch java!

the first Midori Sour I've had in nearly 20 yrs...

the first Midori Sour I’ve had in nearly 20 yrs…

D and me going out. Alone. It was awesome.

D and me going out. Alone. It was awesome.

One last note about a book I’m reading and the person who suggested it.  FF lives in Sao Paulo and was our guide and honorary classmate for the entire two weeks we were in Brazil.  During tours and discussions he spoke so passionately about the people and his hope for the future – and candid about the issues they’re facing as a nation.  He mentioned a particular book, which I picked up and will be reading throughout the holiday break.

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Food Coma for DAYS

FOOD

While I could take the time to tell you about my green smoothies and pumpkin/lentil sloppy joes, but honestly.  Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and nothing else can really compare to that yearly feast!

smoothie!

smoothie!

we had a few chilly days, so it was time for my first hot cocoa of the season!

we had a few chilly days, so it was time for my first hot cocoa of the season!

pumpkin sloppy joes in a tortilla wrap!

pumpkin sloppy joes in a tortilla wrap!

It’s funny how I can spend hours and hours cooking, to have everything eaten in 10 minutes.  Alas, here was yesterday’s menu:

  • Tofurky (of course!)
  • roasted balsamic brussel sprouts
  • green bean casserole (made with homemade spicy mushroom soup)
  • roasted carrots and onions
  • rolls
  • mashers
  • mushroom gravy
  • risotto with sage
  • corn

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And guess what I had for breakfast today??? ;)

FITNESS

Happy to report that I’ve gone for a run every other day for the past week.  I’ve been incredibly lucky on the weather front, and I’ve been enjoying the runs.

I leave in a week for Brazil, and hope to keep running while I’m gone (in the hotel).

LIFE

It’s been a pretty low-key work.  With it being a holiday week, it’s been pretty tame at the office.  Term 2 for grad school has started, and I’ve been dedicating pretty much all of my free time to my studies.  To the point the other day that I was so punchy, I started tweeting bizarre econ jokes.

I’ll be in Brazil for 2 weeks (for school) and it’s freaking me out that it’s only a week away.  I’m excited, but more than a little nervous after reading the most recent State Department warnings.  D basically wants me to just stay at the hotel :)

M came home on Tuesday for the long holiday weekend!  It’s been nice having everyone home.  Today A is working (Black Friday in retail…I imagine she’s having a rough day!), and both R and M are having friends over for a “leftovers and chill” party.

And me?  I’m going to go for a run soon and then get back to the books!

warm enough for morning java on the back deck!

warm enough for morning java on the back deck!

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groom me!!

groom me!!

 

Why I Haven’t Blogged Lately

You know what’s funny?  It’s really easy to say I haven’t blogged consistently because life is nuts.  And you know what?  That’s not a lie.  It is nuts.  I’m a full time student, more than full time worker, and have a busy family of 5 – plus try to have at least some semblance of a social life.

The demands on my time can often suck and are almost always overwhelming.

But….

Want to know the biggest reason I haven’t blogged?

The title.  RUNCRISSIERUN – sort of indicates that I run, right?  This is a vegan food, fitness, and lifestyle blog.  And I haven’t lived up to any of those well in months.  So I think I’ve been a bit embarrassed to blog, just to leave the “fitness” section blank…so…no blogging.

As I went for my first run yesterday in a shamefully long time, I got to thinking about the origin of this blog.  Without going into the drunken email part of the story (though it’s kind of funny), I started writing this blog to chronicle my adventures as I prepared to run the Chicago Marathon in 2010.  It was a lot of fun, and it kept me honest.

So after this post, I’m hoping you’ll join me as a re-kick-start my running life and healthy habits.   I’m doing the 10K trainer app from zen labs, and have made it through day 1.  Woo hoo!  It’s a start, right?

So with that, here are a few of my normal updates!

FOOD

Too much processed crap and going out to eat, but a few highlights as well – like the big Indian feast on Halloween!  Anyway, not a lot off food pics as I haven’t had anything remarkable to share!

one of my favorite fall soups - butternut squash and green chilies from the Happy Herbivore Holiday's and Gatherings book.  Filling and amazing

one of my favorite fall soups – butternut squash and green chilies from the Happy Herbivore Holiday’s and Gatherings book. Filling and amazing

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an all too rare green smoothie

an all too rare green smoothie

bagel w/coconut butter and sliced tomatoes

bagel w/coconut butter and sliced tomatoes

green smoothie selfie before a very long day

green smoothie selfie before a very long day

one of the yummy potato and cauliflower curry dishes from Indian night

one of the yummy potato and cauliflower curry dishes from Indian night

FITNESS

Well, other than yesterday’s run – none.

LIFE

Well, it’s certainly no fib that the past two weeks have been insanely busy!  There was of course Halloween and R had her last legal go at trick or treating.  Our neighborhood really gets into it, and it was awesome to see the families out and about.

I also had my first round of grad school exams.  We’re given two weeks to take 4 exams, but once you start an exam, you have a time limit to finish them.  I won’t gloss over here – they were hard!  So from 10/30 when they opened until 11/14 when they closed, I spent a lot of time reviewing and studying.  Overall, I feel pretty good about them.  I know I did my best, and that’s all I can do, right?

And with no rest for the wicked, classes picked up again this week with 3x per week now (last term it was 2).  I honestly feel like I wake up, go to work, come home, hit the books, and then (sometimes) eat and sleep.  I’ve lost any sense of balance, an have done an awful job taking care of myself.  Anyway, hope that’s about to change!

Also in the past three weeks I’ve had 2 trips, though one got to include an investment conference, which was interesting!

My cats – especially Ginny – have become incredibly invasive when I try to study!  They’re cute – but definitely get in the way!

So..I leave you with many, many pictures.  Morning pictures, rare outside java pictures (it’s starting to get too cold), and cats.

Will blog again soon with updates on healthy eats, runs, and other relevant things for a blog called RunCrissieRun :)

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going for goofy face here, clearly!

going for goofy face here, clearly!

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my study station on a chilly day!

my study station on a chilly day!

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they're almost touching!

they’re almost touching!

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Bumble watching something on the laptop about cats!

Bumble watching something on the laptop about cats!

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Time Flies When You’re Having Fun, Working Hard, and Ridiculously Busy!

FOOD

This past month has been all over the map!  Thankfully there hasn’t been much travel for me, other than the first week, so it’s been a pretty typical blend of elaborate eats, simple meals, and going out.

I met up with a classmate of mine, KS, up in DC for lunch.  I had this awesome wrap at a place in Georgetown she picked out.

I met up with a classmate of mine, KS, up in DC for lunch. I had this awesome wrap at a place in Georgetown she picked out.

Build a bowl meal of risotto, chickpeas, and roasted squash

Build a bowl meal of risotto, chickpeas, and roasted squash.  Another Zsu Dever genius dish from Vegan Bowls

Leftover lentil, rice, and peas over shredded lettuce

Leftover lentil, rice, and peas over shredded lettuce

Can't have Fall without lotsa pumpkin bread

Can’t have Fall without lotsa pumpkin bread

That moment when you know you have to go grocery shopping because you toss everything you have in a sauce pan to make stewp!  It was quite good though.

That moment when you know you have to go grocery shopping because you toss everything you have in a sauce pan to make stewp! It was quite good though.

Mango/pineapple/tofu stir fry leftovers for lunch

Mango/pineapple/tofu stir fry leftovers for lunch

Preparations for a big Italian dinner night when my friend SC came up to visit!

Preparations for a big Italian dinner night when my friend SC came up to visit!

My big Italian plate!

My big Italian plate!

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Oatmeal with banana and topped with homemade tangy soy yogurt

Oatmeal with banana and topped with homemade tangy soy yogurt

My birthday sushi!

My birthday sushi!

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FITNESS

Once again, sporadic at best.  I’ve gone to a boot camp class a few times that I actually really enjoy.  I’m having a hard time allowing myself the free time to go workout though – which is something I hope to work on.

Truth is, with full time (and very demanding) school, work, and family – the first thing I always sacrifice are the things I do solo – like working out.  It’s lame and I know I’d be a better mom/employee/student if I just invest that time, but I can’t get over the feeling that it’s selfish for me to do so.

LIFE

Well, October has come and gone since we last visited with each other!  It’s been a busy one, that’s for sure.  Not that my life is ever anything else though, right??

So let’s see – I went to DC for a few days for work and managed to get in a nice lunch (despite the pouring rain) in Georgetown with KS.  We go to school together and immediately clicked when we met.  She’s a great person, and it was nice to be able to see her between residencies.

Speaking of classmates, I went up to Richmond to have a study session with JG and SH also.  Exams are starting (actually, started yesterday), so it was nice to get together to review the hardest class of them all.

School in general is going very well.  It’s intense and I spent a lot of time studying, but I really do love it.  It’s challenging and exciting as much as it is exhausting!  About one day a week I will take “off” from class work to do something fun or nothing at all!

One of those "off" nights involved taking R out to learn how to play pool!  She loves it - and is pretty darn good already!

One of those “off” nights involved taking R out to learn how to play pool! She loves it – and is pretty darn good already!

My birthday was this month!  The Saturday before hand, we went to Busch Gardens for Howl-O-Scream fun.  Had a great time!  On my birthday itself (a Monday), M and I went to the movies in the middle of the day, and then we all went out to my favorite b’day place – Geisha – for hibachi, veggie sushi and my “un-cake” which is 1/4 of a pineapple with other fruits on it.

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So a merry go round becomes a horror-go-round with the addition of red lights and spooky music!

So a merry go round becomes a horror-go-round with the addition of red lights and spooky music!

A friend of R’s spent the weekend with us, and we took the girls to Busch Gardens and let them do whatever they wanted.  N (R’s friend) isn’t a big fan of spooky, so we got through one haunted house only.  Didn’t matter though – the girls had plenty of fun on rides and goofing off like 12 yr olds do.

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SC came up from North Carolina for an evening of cooking wine, and relaxing.  We’d been trying to get together since May, but one thing or another kept coming up.  He brought wine and the two of us cooked half the night away.  After dinner, he and I and R took a long walk around the neighborhood and had an overall great night.

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D and I played in the United Way Nerd Golf tournament again this year with ABD and her husband JD.  It was a great time!  Oh, and it’s called Nerd Golf because it’s all our IT department that does it.

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The next two weeks are my exam period for the end of my first term!  I’m budgeting my non-work time to prep and organize for them, with the intent to knock them all out Fri-Sun next weekend.  That will give me a full week to take it easy before Term 2 starts and I head off to Brazil!  My passport was returned this week with my visa, so I’m good to go!

Until then, I leave you with the normal random pictures and morning pictures!

D, R, and I were texting each other goofy pictures where we tried to look bored.  R was in her robotics club meeting, D was in his car waiting for her to come out of school, and I was at the dining room table studying

D, R, and I were texting each other goofy pictures where we tried to look bored. R was in her robotics club meeting, D was in his car waiting for her to come out of school, and I was at the dining room table studying

R and I hit up the pumpkin patch one day after school

R and I hit up the pumpkin patch one day after school

Found this to be a bizarre sign at the restaurant/bar where we were playing pool

Found this to be a bizarre sign at the restaurant/bar where we were playing pool

I love Virginia Beach :)

I love Virginia Beach :)

Starting to get too cold for my favorite room - but I enjoy it when I can

Starting to get too cold for my favorite room – but I enjoy it when I can

Ginny interrupting my studies for a belly rub

Ginny interrupting my studies for a belly rub

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Ginny interrupting R's studies too!

Ginny interrupting R’s studies too!

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Another study session interrupted by the fluffball

Another study session interrupted by the fluffball

Don't bother us.... we're sleeping

Don’t bother us…. we’re sleeping

And the morningpictures and selfie!

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