Tag Archives: Wacky Pets

Too Young to Drive a Buick, Why my Left Butt Cheek Hurts, and Other Random Updates

FOOD

A girl can eat a lot in a week.  And as seem to be par for the course, I have a week’s worth of food to update you on!

 

lunch with a co-worker at the Yardhouse last Wed resulted in a vegan Gardein and brown rice delight!

lunch with a co-worker at the Yardhouse last Wed resulted in a vegan Gardein and brown rice delight!

too tired for actual food on Thursday resulted in olives, bread, and wine as my meal of the day.

too tired for actual food on Thursday resulted in olives, bread, and wine as my meal of the day.

simple dinner of tofu, potatoes, green beans, and corn baked in a sage gravy and a side of sweet carrots

simple dinner of tofu, potatoes, green beans, and corn baked in a sage gravy and a side of sweet carrots

it's a green smoothie, but berries overpower kale in color!

it’s a green smoothie, but berries overpower kale in color!

tofu green curry out with D on Friday night!

tofu green curry out with D on Friday night!

my brother in law tailored their taco dinner on Saturday for my dietary habits.  Whole grain tortilla, black beans, rice, and veggies

my brother in law tailored their taco dinner on Saturday for my dietary habits. Whole grain tortilla, black beans, rice, and veggies

welcome to Wisconsin!!!  Pretzel rolls with root beer mustard.

welcome to Wisconsin!!! Pretzel rolls with root beer mustard.

FITNESS

Okay, so my new fitness band arrived!  After losing my FitBit, I’ve had my sights on the Microsoft Band for several months.  It’s back in stock, and I’m the proud new owner of one.  I love it.  It not only tracks all my fitness stats and constant heart rate, I also get text messages, emails, and can see when phone calls come in.  Yow.  I’m in love.

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

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

LIFE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go Chelsea!!!

Go Chelsea!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

I leave you with miscellaneous pictures for the week!

First, the morning pictures!

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

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

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

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a ride able banana made of bottle caps.

a ride able banana made of bottle caps.

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YESSSSSS

YESSSSSS

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

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

a happy place

a happy place

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

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

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And finally, “others”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Board Game Victory! Savoring It While I Can….

FOOD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

veggie pizza

veggie pizza

veggie pho.  Also only "ok".

veggie pho. Also only “ok”.

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

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

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

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

FITNESS

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

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

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

Otherwise I did runs and circuits.

LIFE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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a girl and her kitty!

a girl and her kitty!

 

Beware the Flamethrower

FOOD

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

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

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

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

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

mushroom rice over romaine

mushroom rice over romaine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

spaghetti squash stir fry!

spaghetti squash stir fry!

FITNESS

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

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

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

LIFE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bumble all snuggled in a blanket on the couch

Bumble all snuggled in a blanket on the couch

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

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

 

 

New House, New Rules

FOOD

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

my typical breakfast drink!

my typical breakfast drink!

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

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

broccoli soup

broccoli soup

tofu and potato taco salad

tofu and potato taco salad

curry with lettuce and yogurt

curry with lettuce and yogurt

another taco salad

another taco salad

red lentil soup and quinoa salad

red lentil soup and quinoa salad

leftover soup

leftover soup

leftover taco salad

leftover taco salad.  I love tacos in all forms!

my sister's black bean soup and some cornbread

my sister’s black bean soup and some cornbread

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

FITNESS

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

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

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

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

LIFE

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other than that, work work work!

Morning Picture Time!

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Other picture time!

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

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

Ginny

Ginny

sunshine kitty

sunshine kitty

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

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

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

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

GOAL CHECK-IN

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

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

FOOD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

all my ingredients, ready to go!

all my ingredients, ready to go!

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

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

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

FITNESS

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

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

LIFE

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

D getting quite serious about his scores

D getting quite serious about his scores

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

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

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

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

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

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

some chai tea

some chai tea

and me hanging by the fire

and me hanging by the fire

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

Monday #morningpicture

Monday #morningpicture

Tuesday #morningpicture!

Tuesday #morningpicture!

GOAL CHECK-IN

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

 

 

 

Would You Like a New House With That Flu?

FOOD

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

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

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

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

blueberry and banana oats.

blueberry and banana oats

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

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

FITNESS

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

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

LIFE

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

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

vegan foodie packing....

vegan foodie packing….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

just because she's ridiculously cute

just because she’s ridiculously cute

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

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

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

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

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

 

A Week of Bulk Eats Makes Life Easy

FOOD

For the most part, all of my meals this week have been the one’s I prepared last weekend.  There were two exceptions.  D, R, and I went out for dinner on Tuesday evening because we were out and about, and would have gotten too late if we ate at home.  The second was when I spent the night at HF’s house, and we went for Thai.  Otherwise, it was all bulk cooking eats!

simple breakfast to take to work.  1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/2 sliced banana, and 1/2 cup blueberries

simple breakfast to take to work. 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/2 sliced banana, and 1/2 cup blueberries

put it all into a bowl, add hot water from the break room coffee pot, microwave for an extra minutes, and eat!

put it all into a bowl, add hot water from the break room coffee pot, microwave for an extra minutes, and eat!

Spinach and Artichoke Soup

Spinach and Artichoke Soup

Stuffed Bell Pepper

Stuffed Bell Pepper

baked potato with refried beans and salsa

baked potato with refried beans and salsa

rice noodles with broccoli, cabbage, kale, and teriyaki

rice noodles with broccoli, cabbage, kale, and teriyaki

baked potato with butternut squash and black bean chili

baked potato with butternut squash and black bean chili

creamy garlic pasta w/brown rice noodles

creamy garlic pasta w/brown rice noodles

smoothie!

smoothie!

I have to say, that bulk cooking really made everything easy on the eats front this week.  I still would make meals for the family, but since my food just needed to be warmed up, I wasn’t skipping or missing meals.  The down side is when I feel like getting creative in the kitchen, I would think, “but no, I already have my meal planned”, and sometimes that made me a little sad.

FITNESS

This week was more runs than yoga.  R’s swim team practice started up again, so I would take her and then hit the treadmill while she was in the pool.  I did that three days this week plus an outdoor run today!

LIFE

This was a really good week.  The kids all went back to school.  R and M started school on Monday, and Friday afternoon I drove A back to university as her classes start tomorrow.  She’s going through that moment we all do where she’s questioning if she’s in the right major, etc., and it’s been a tough few weeks for her.  I think she’s excited to have a new semester ahead of her though.

Work was pretty low key still this week.  I was covering for my boss while she was on vacation in Mexico, so that was some fun change to my day.

M left Friday morning for a trip to a university in Northern Virginia for a state theater competition.  He’ll be home sometime late tonight.  He said it was a blast and they got a trophy.

I visited Friday night with my friend HF.  We went shopping (she helped me pick out new dishes!), had dinner, and just hung out.  Her little boy is so cute, and on Saturday morning, I crawled back into bed so he could pretend to wake me up by tickling me.

the mall we went to is an outdoor mall.  Which is crazy in the winter!  This was the water fountain.

the mall we went to is an outdoor mall. Which is crazy in the winter! This was the water fountain.

Last night was AC’s yearly post-holiday party, and D, R, and I went to that.  Also a lot of fun and nice Saturday evening.

bedtime selfie!

bedtime selfie!

Today I’ve been cleaning, organizing, and getting ahead on some work coming this week.  D is in the Outer Banks taking pictures, A is away at school, and M is on his way home, so it’s mostly be me and R hanging out.  A nice and peaceful end to the week.

a week's worth of morning pictures, including R apparently falling asleep on the way to school!

a week’s worth of morning pictures, including R apparently falling asleep on the way to school!

Bumble keeping warm between fuzzy blankets.

Bumble keeping warm between fuzzy blankets.

GOAL CHECK IN

  • felt I did great on the consistency of my workouts, even though they were pretty much all runs (with the exception of some home yoga).
  • didn’t manage fully gluten free, as I had gluten when I went out to dinner on Wednesday.
  • meal planning – nailed it, thank you!
  • wine – enjoyed some wine at dinner with HF and at the party last night.  This is in line with my plan.  Also had one glass at dinner Tuesday, which I didn’t need, but was likely habit.  I’ll have to keep a better eye on going out.
  • meditation – haven’t figured out the best way to work that into my work days now that vacation is over.  I only got in one day, and that was today.  Though at 10 minutes, it’s my longest one yet.
  • blog regularly – not so good.  I was hoping to get in 2-3 this week, and didn’t.  Will keep trying though!

 

Candles & Cats Don’t Mix

FOOD

I start every morning with a cup of black coffee. And despite many people's claims that to truly get healthy one must kick the habit…not going to happen. One cup of coffee isn't going to suck my body into acidic hell. So it stays. And that will make me and everyone around me (especially in the morning!) very happy!

That said….

Breakfast yesterday was a green smoothie, lunch was a quick spicy tofu soup, I had a post-run snack of a baked potato with refried pinto beans and hot sauce, and dinner was a soup and salad.

my standard recipe of onion, garlic, tomatoes, and sriracha. This version was also cabbage and asparagus.

Breakfast today was a green juice (used up the last of my kale and cucumber!), morning snack was a green smoothie (and used the last of the pineapple), lunch was spicy hummus and gluten-free seed crackers (not pleased with this choice…truth be told…but found myself hungry after yoga, really sweaty, and no easy meal in site), a PM snack of Allegro hot chocolate in unsweetened coconut milk, and dinner was a butternut squash and black bean soup served over quinoa.

I've been loving making juices almost every day the past two weeks. I hope to get these in at least 3 days per week once I go back to work. It's also a great way to use up produce that's not going to last much longer!
threw in a scoop of Vega Vanilla Smoothie powder for some extra staying power
holy crap, this was good. Whole family loved it. D and M each had two servings.

FITNESS

Yesterday – shortly after writing my “come clean” post – I went for a run. I am on W2D2 (week 2, day 2) of the 10K app, and the run was just under 2.5 miles. I will be honest – it's a bit frustrating. The app includes walk breaks – and the goal is to build up the endurance – and I really just want to blow through them sometimes, especially when I'm feeling strong, but I also know that overduing it is dumb.

Today I went to a hot yoga class, and I have a new favorite instructor! I took his class earlier in the week, and he's just awesome. Great instruction, walks through the class to be sure everyone is in the right alignment, and has a great and playful energy. I have a feeling I'll be specifically seeking out his classes in the future.

LIFE

The past two days have been blissfully simple. Today was my last day off, and this time away from work has been quite lovely. We're gearing up for a busy year, so I'm glad to come into it after a week and a half off!

D is feeling great and is allowed to have fiber again. No raw broccoli or anything, but he's back to his green smoothies, is putting weight back on, and looks awesome. Kids have mostly been big lumps and enjoying their vacations too!

In this morning's meditation session, Ginny joined me…like she always does. This time, she decided to check out my candle a little too closely and ended up with a singed whisker! She was fine, but the room smelled awful, so I cut my meditation short (only 4 minutes in!).

I have a confession to make. I totally love the Biggest Loser. While I disagree with some of what they do (losing 15 lbs in a week…no matter how big you are…can't possibly be good for the long term), I do still find the show fun and inspiring. I can relate to people who want to change their lives, regain their health, and need help doing it. Thing is, I haven't watched it much the past few years and completely forgot about it. Until this week. And in between reading, cleaning, relaxing, and hanging out with my family….I've been binge watching the heck out of Season 16 on Hulu.

my Biggest Loser companion…though she clearly fails to see the value of the show!

 

GOAL CHECK IN

I know it's only been two days, but here's how I stand with it:

  • 100% gluten free
  • worked out both days
  • no wine
  • the crackers today – while GF, were still a processed food. I was really disappointed in that. I haven't bulk cooked, and when I got home from yoga, the kids were in the kitchen making lunches for themselves (tofurky sammiches!), and so I didn't have the room to make something. Truth is…I could have picked something better. Even a banana to get me through a half hour until I could reclaim the kitchen.
  • meditated yesterday for 8 minutes and today for 4. Yesterday's was bad…mind kept wandering…but that's part of the process. Today was great until the smell…
  • my goal is to be around 1200 calories per day. Nailed it today….was under yesterday (which is NOT good). I think it was partially because I slept in yesterday and also went to bed fairly early last night, so there really weren't enough hours in the day. And while I've been tracking my calories for years…there's a shift when I'm not drinking any!

 

 

Pigeon, Pictures, & a Pretty Day

FOOD

Well, two days in a row of dusting off my juicer!  I love it, but I tend to go in fits and spurts when it comes to using it.  I will admit, that it’s mostly a time commitment thing.  I went to a slow juicer last year – which I’m glad I did – but it takes longer and I have to cut up the pieces first.  So, from beginning to end, it takes me about 20 minutes (picking and prepping the produce, juicing, and cleaning up after).  I don’t always allow myself that extra time in the morning!  And with my Vitamix, a smoothie takes about a minute.

cucumbers, kale, spinach, romaine, ginger, celery, and lotsa lemon!

cucumbers, kale, spinach, romaine, ginger, celery, and lotsa lemon!

Well, ramble aside, I juiced a HECK of a lot this morning, ending with a full quart of green goodness!

For lunch, I ate all the leftover veggies from Christmas.  M ate the rest of the Tofurky this morning!

carrots and sweet potatoes roasted with olive oil and maple syrup.  Just a smidgen of the stuffing still in there from the Tofurky still!

carrots and sweet potatoes roasted with olive oil and maple syrup. Just a smidgen of the stuffing still in there from the Tofurky still!

Late afternoon I whipped up a green smoothie (though it always cracks me up when it doesn’t turn green!), and dinner was leftover red curry soup from Christmas eve.

water, cranberries, banana, strawberries, clementine, and mixed greens (Swiss chard, kale, and spinach mix from Costco)

water, cranberries, banana, strawberries, clementine, and mixed greens (Swiss chard, kale, and spinach mix from Costco)

Yesterday, I met AC out for lunch (silly girl went to work!).  Thai food, of course.  Green curry tofu, naturally :)

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I also picked up some vegan dark chocolate mix at Whole Foods, and whipped up a massive cup with the rest of my homemade vanilla soy milk!  I was SO yummy.

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FITNESS

I was planning to hit up the hot yoga studio yesterday, but ran out of time.  I did do the Evening Simmer Down 45 minute yoga class on Yogaglo though.  It was a pretty good class – legs up the wall is one of my all time favorite poses.  It was a very gentle class, and I found myself able to do pigeon without my normal modifications for my knees at the end!  That was encouraging, as it’s been a bit painful on one knee to do it – so I’ve been doing the modified version on my back for the past 6-7 months.

what it normally looks like!  My RA affects my knees (though it hurts when I don't move for too long - not when I'm active).  But this pose would be sore on my bent leg.  Not last night though!

what it normally looks like! My RA affects my knees (though it hurts when I don’t move for too long – not when I’m active). But this pose would be sore on my bent leg’s knee. Not last night though!

this is the modification I typically do.  Same stretch without the pressure on the knees.   I definitely listen to my body when doing yoga, and it's been screaming "pigeon modifications" for most of the past year.

this is the modification I typically do. Same stretch without the pressure on the knees. I definitely listen to my body when doing yoga, and it’s been screaming “pigeon modifications” for most of the past year.

Running makes my hips tight, and pigeon is my favorite way to open them back up again!

This afternoon I went for a run, and then hit up the golf course to try out my new clubs!  I definitely need to practice.  It would have been nice to actually hit the ball each time I tried ;)

To be honest, I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day.  Hovering around 60 and very sunny, it was the perfect day for running and smacking balls around.

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LIFE

After lunch with AC yesterday, I hit up Whole Foods and Costco.  I was expecting the day after Christmas to be hectic, but both stores were relatively empty.

D played with his new camera lighting equipment he got from my parents, and made the kids pose for him.  Pay no heed to the overly dramatic pose of the eldest and the crazy bed head of the young one….

M & A.  Reminder...M is in theater and A is an artist.  Need I say more?

M & A. Reminder…M is in theater and A is an artist. Need I say more?

R and Ginny.  Who's looking highly unamused by the adventure.

R and Ginny. Who’s looking highly unamused by the whole thing.

Here, I think R is having MUCH more fun than Ginny.

Here, I think R is having MUCH more fun than Ginny.  Is it me, or does she look like she’s pleading for rescue?

M had two friends spend the night, A had to work, and R has spent the past several days building and programming a robot.  So far it has moved blocks, rolls around the house, and served as an attack cobra….

Today D went into work for most of the day.  He’s had time off to deal with his Crohn’s and wanted to be sure he’s all caught up on year end stuff!  Other than running and (trying) to hit golf balls, I did some morning meditation, read, did some laundry, and lazed about.  All told…lovely couple of days!

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my morning meditation partner! She also stays with me when I do yoga at home. And I admit to moving to the carpet so I don’t have to move her when she’s lying in the middle!

as a quick note, a big congrats to Jessi for winning the Happy Herbivore Holiday & Gatherings cookbook giveaway!

 

Christmas Contemplation

FOOD

Lots of tasty eats this last week. Happy hour with AC, lunch with D, plus whipping up dishes at home means plent of food and leftovers!

 

a simple baked potato topped with black beans and vegan sour cream

made some homemade pinto beans in the pressure cooker, and had meals for days! Corn tortilla tacos with beans, rice, and all the toppings.

taco salad!

happy hour with AC last week Friday. Sparkling wine, edamame, and roasted garlic and peppers!

cucumber, carrot, ginger juice

steamed cauliflower over pasta with a “cheezy” sauce and ground black pepper

stopped at Colley Cantina with D for some blackened tofu tacos

Of course we did have a holiday stuffed into the last week, and that always means special foods. Christmas Eve was homemade soups and sammiches! The soups I made were Tomato Tortilla and Red Curry Kale (my personal favorite!). Sammiches were a marinated tofu with a veganaise/mustard/nooch blend and sliced onions. Seriously I think it’s the best sammich I ever made (and mostly courtesy of Vegan Sammiches Save the Day). Oh, and Snickerdoodle cookies too!

 

Christmas dinner was Tofurky roast, cornbread, maple roasted carrots and sweet potatoes, herbed rice (recipe below), and balsamic brussel sprouts. And pumpkin pie!

 

Holiday Herbed Rice

Ingredients

  • 2 cups basmati rice – rinsed
  • 1 tbsp either Earth Balance or Olive Oil
  • 2 whole cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp Poultry Spice
  • 2 cups water or broth (I used broth)

Directions

  • put Earth Balance or Olive Oil in a pan and heat. (I use my rice cooker, but if you don’t have one, you can do this over medium heat in a sauce pan on the stove.
  • add rinsed rice and stir to coat for 1-2 minutes
  • add poultry spice and mix well
  • add water/broth. stir, then pop in the garlic cloves (doing it whole gives a hint of flavor rather than full frontal!). If you’re using a rice cooker, just close the lid and select the appropriate setting (for me, it’s White Rice). If cooking stove top, bring to a boil, then cover, reduce to simmer, and cook until all liquid is absorbed, approximately 20 minutes.

I liked going the herbed rice route this year rather than the heavy mashed potatoes. This meal was heavy enough!

my day-after-Christmas green juice! It was SO good too. Romaine, kale, celery, fennel, ginger, lemon.

 

FITNESS

My Christmas morning run was absolutely awesome. It was a beautiful day – about 60 and sunny – and it was great to take off in a t-shirt and fly thorugh the neighborhood.

Aside from yesterday’s run, I’ve had a few other runs, kickboxing, and yoga.

 

LIFE

The past week has been a whirlwind of activities. Most of my collegues takes at least some time off this time of year (myself included!). That meant this past week was focused on being fully caught up at work so it’s not a struggle when I go back on Jan 5.

It was also the last mad dash to get Christmas finished. Shopping, wrapping, shipping, etc.

she was SO over wrapping! Which I completely understand.

Christmas Eve was our traditional pj and family game night. We all get new jammies, put them on, and then play our new game! The winner picks breakfast the next day. This year’s adventure was Headbanz Act Up. It was SO much fun. I played it with my sister, niece, and nephew last month when I was visiting, and knew I had to get it for my family. A and I tied, and breakfast was biscuits and gravy, potatoes, and smoothies!

Christmas Day itself was very low-key, as most of our holiday’s tend to be. We slept in, did the gift and breakfast thing, then relaxed all day – doing our own things – until it was time to make dinner.

R playing with her Lego Mindstorm. Ginny deciding if she’s going to attack it!

new golf clubs for me!!!

But now that the day has come and gone, the rest of the week off can just ease on by, and that’s an awesome feeling.

Most people get contemplative at some time in their lives. For many it’s New Year’s or their birthday’s. For me, it always seems to be around Christmas. I take stock of my life, and look more at things I want to change. Don’t get me wrong, I think of the great things too, but it’s around now that I focus on things I want to do. It’s my time of renewal, so to speak. And because I’m a planner, I guess it makes sense that this happens for me just before the new year kicks in.

This is a time for raw honesty, but at the same time, to be non judgemental. More to come on these thoughts in the coming days as they become more solidified in my mind.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and continue to enjoy some fun and peace through what’s left of 2014!