Tag Archives: Wacky Pets

Knowing The Season Based on How Hot or Cold Your Workout Clothes Are

FOOD

I finally made a batch of homemade vanilla soy  milk.  It’s been on my to do list for a few months, but I’ve been lazy.  Seriously, I have no good excuses…I have a soy milk maker for crying out loud!

I have honestly gotten complacent about making my own dairy-free milks and was mainly subsisting on Silk Soy Milks (their Very Vanilla is amazing) for quite awhile.  Unfortunately, now that they’re making Almond Milk, I can’t buy their brand for risk of cross contamination (with R’s allergies, I just won’t take the risk – and if you read their food label, they can’t guarantee nut-allergy safety).  I haven’t found another soy milk brand I like, so have really just been using So Delicious Coconut Milk (which I like for most things).  But I really wanted a very vanilla-type milk, so decided it was time to make my own.

I used to buy my soybeans in bulk because of my milk making, but since it’s been so long, I didn’t want to use beans that are too old and sitting in my garage!  This last Sunday, I picked up some fresher beans, and went to town.  No real recipe to post because I followed ideas from others.  Soak the beans, peel them (easiest to as they’re submerged, and just rub the skins off – it reduces the beany-taste), put them in the Soy Milk maker with 2 tbsp of gluten-free oats (it makes it nice and creamy!), strain, then add a small amount of salt and any other ingredients you want.  I used some raw sugar, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean (to make it VERY vanilla).

it really is an amazing feeling to make your own food from scratch!   Ease of mind too, when you're dealing with food allergies.

it really is an amazing feeling to make your own food from scratch! Ease of mind too, when you’re dealing with food allergies.

Most my other eats this week were typical.  Green smoothie breakfasts, leftover Sunday bulk cooking lunches (hello Cream of Broccoli Soup!), and a holiday party lunch at the Yardhouse where they have a Gardein menu!

soy milk, pineapple, banana, mango, and spinach.  I LOVED that I took this to a meeting this week, and not only was there another green smoothie drinker in the house, but one of my co-workers took a swig (and loved it!)

soy milk, pineapple, banana, mango, and spinach. I LOVED that I took this to a meeting this week, and not only was there another green smoothie drinker in the house, but one of my co-workers took a swig (and loved it!)

green smoothie to-go!

green smoothie to-go!

Gardein orange chick'n with brown jasmin rice.  Seriously...I can get this out and about now!  And with a White Ale, it was awesome.

Gardein orange chick’n with brown jasmin rice. Seriously…I can get this out and about now! And with a White Ale, it was awesome.

For dinner tonight, I really wanted something light.  I love cooking my rice with a tea bag thrown in.  It imparts a different flavor profile, and can really change a dish.  Tonight was green tea, but I’ve done chai or spicy teas for a more Indian feel.  Green tea for an Asian feel.  You get the idea…just play with the teas and make what sounds good!

Green Tea Rice

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 green tea bag (and play with flavors for different meals…I’ve used Pumpkin Spice tea to flavor rice I was serving with maple and cinnamon roasted squash!)
  • pinch salt

Directions

  • I use my fuzzy logic rice cooker (everyone should have one…it does everything), but you can cook the rice based on the package directions – just throw the tea bag in at the beginning).
  • Add your choice of veggies and toppings.  Tonight I did steamed carrots, Mirin (a sweet Japanese vinegar) and Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce).  If I wanted a heartier meal, I’d throw in Chickpeas and black sesame seeds too.

The bottom line is to play with it.  Earth balance + brown sugar = a sweeter dish.  In these dishes, I let the tea drive the flavors.  There’s no need for your food to be boring (it’s sort of my life’s motto….life is too short for boring food!)

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And lastly…my friends at the FoodDuo have posted one of my favorite recipes in their 12 Days and 8 Nights of holiday dishes for compassion!  It’s an easy Balsamic Brussel Sprout recipe that’s sure to sway the ardent brussel-sprout hater!  I made them for my family in WI at Thanksgiving, and am pleased to report they were a hit.  They’re doing an amazing series of vegan food bloggers, their favorite holiday recipes, their holiday wishes, and their charities of choice, so definitely check them out.  I’m so honored to be part of their blog series, and there are some incredible recipes to be had….like jello pie.  Really?!  I’m making that….

FITNESS

You want to know the difference between winter and summer in Virginia?  It’s the workout bag….

Seriously, if you keep a workout bag in your car, you can definitely tell the season.  In the summer, my clothes are hot when I show up at the gym (or yoga studio) in the winter…they’re freezing.  This is how I know that winter has begun…

I threw my yoga clothes into my car on the way to the office on Wednesday.  My hot yoga studio has four locations (two in the area), and knew I could hit one up at the end of the day.  I always keep my Manduka yoga mat in my vehicle, so it was just a matter of shorts, a tank, and some shoes/flip flops (that aren’t work heels) to wear home.

Yeah…I forgot this isn’t summer and it’s not that easy….

I got to the yoga studio…wearing my work skirt, tights, high heels, and sweater…but no jacket because it was a little warmer than the previous weeks.

So not only did I have to put on clothes that were chilly….I had to leave in shorts, a tank, and sweaty as hell after an hour in a 100+ degree room…with no coat.  I go back to that sweatsicle blog post….let’s just say the drive home was uncomfortable…

Oh well, it was nice going into the hotter-than-hell room after putting on freezing clothes.

I’ve mentioned before that I hate winter, right??  Ugh…hard to believe I’m from a cold weather state!

LIFE

The past few days have been busy, but not in an “I-wanna-pull-my-hair-out” way.  I’m used to early mornings and late nights, but in the end…I completely love what I do.  I realize that I’m in the lucky minority who gets to say they love what they do every single day.  And sometimes it’s more challenging than others, but I’d not change it for anything!

My eldest, A, is home from University, and that’s been a trip.  She has a tendency to spread out where the rest of us don’t (her pillow and blanket are on the couch, her food and cups are left lying around), and while I’m glad she’s home, it’s making me nuts.  I keep walking around the house and finding her crap everywhere.  She must be making her roommate crazy….

D is still doing his daily #morningpicture with R!  I can’t believe it’s been almost 5 years of him taking a daily selfie with the young one!

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Other than that, not much to report.  D is feeling much better, and we’re still focus on healthy (no fiber) weight gain.  He has a few more procedures to make sure we’re on the right treatment path, but the fact that he’s feeling better and doesn’t need surgery is enough for me.  We can work the rest out!

So for now, I will leave you with a few pics…..

Halloween is my favorite holiday...the rest are sort of unimportant!  A had the brilliant idea of putting a Santa hat on Jack to make it work.  Brilliant....

Halloween is my favorite holiday…the rest are sort of unimportant! A had the great idea of putting a Santa hat on Jack to make it work. Brilliant….

totally my cats.....

totally my cats…..

Bumble, the Tree Killer....

Bumble, the Tree Killer….

 

I Like To Kick & Punch Stuff

FOOD

Sunday I went out for Thai food with NS!!  We both had the Tom Kha soup (mushroom-less for me, mushroom-full for her!), and I opted for my typical tofu green curry dish.  It was a yummy lunch.

I could eat this soup every day.  I suppose that means I should learn how to make it!

I could eat this soup every day. I suppose that means I should learn how to make it!

Dinner was mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, green beans, and baked tofu.

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I love being back home and in the kitchen.  Seriously…it’s awesome.  Green smoothies everyday?  Check.  Plenty of quick leftovers for tasty and healthy vegan meals.  Of course.  Some fun junk food?  Naturally.  So yeah…I do love to travel…but love being home more!

so you totally can't see it in my stylish pink mason jar, but I enjoyed an awesome green smoothie on the trip into work yesterday!

so you totally can’t see it in my stylish pink mason jar, but I enjoyed an awesome green smoothie on the trip into work yesterday!

coconut water, pineapple, vega vanilla smoothie powder (needed an extra oomph), banana, baby kale, and spinach.

coconut water, pineapple, Vega vanilla smoothie powder (needed an extra oomph), banana, baby kale, and spinach.

Lunch yesterday was leftover Indian food, and dinner was a quick Boca vegan chickn patty and leftover mashers and gravy.

Breakfast today was another green smoothie – blueberries, oatmeal, water, banana, cinnamon, kale, spinach.

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And lunch was roasted brussel sprouts and my current favorite spicy butternut squash soup!

big batch made Sunday eve.

big batch made Sunday eve.

lunch today!

lunch today!

Dinner was the last of the mushroom gravy served over rice with a Tofurky kielbasa.

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FITNESS

So I get bored easily.  Have I mentioned that?  And while I’m not exactly bored with running or yoga, I have been feeling the desire to do something else too.  To be honest, I don’t have a ton of free time to be a gym rat, so it had to be something fun at home.  So…kickboxing it is!

I have always loved kickboxing, but unfortunately my local Y doesn’t have a good schedule of classes I can attend.  It seems to be geared towards the stay-at-home mom, and the once a week kickboxing class is in the middle of a normal workday.  I’m not about to pay for a separate studio just to do kickboxing, so I’ve opted for the Les Mills home workouts.  So far, so good.  I’m always worried about my tendency to get bored easily impacting my ability to work out at home, but I’m hoping this is enough fun to get me past that!  The fact that I like to kick and punch stuff should help.

LIFE

It was nice on Sunday to get out and about with NS.  I was hoping to do some shopping after lunch, but between the cold and wind (and we ALL know how I feel about being out in the cold and wind!) and a typical Sunday where local shops are closed, it just didn’t work out.  Aside from that though, lunch was awesome and it was fun planning her upcoming birthday party!

The first day back in the office is usually pretty crazy, and yesterday wasn’t much of an exception.  Fortunately, I was able to be all caught up before I went out of town, and between the holiday weekend and staying on top of work emails after conference fun, I wasn’t all that behind.

Last night was a chill night at home for the most part, and today was more work and a lot of working from home on a report and presentation.  All good stuff, but lots of research.

D’s Crohn’s is still a pain, and I hate that I can’t just make it go away.  He has another procedure on Friday and we’re awaiting results from some tests from last week.  He did say he was feeling better today than he has in the past few weeks, but definitely not back to normal yet.

Until then…snugly cat and morning pictures!

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Oh Green Smoothies, How I Have Missed Thee!

FOOD

So happy to be eating at home.  First smoothie in over a week!  Only down side is I made it too frozen, and was then cold until I made tea to warm me up.  Damn winter.

First I had to core and slice up a pineapple!  I actually did this last night, but used a contraption my Aunt J got me last year.  $2 for a pineapple at Costco that I sliced up myself vs buying pre-cut pineapple for MUCH more at the grocery.

First I had to core and slice up a pineapple! I actually did this last night, but used a contraption my Aunt J got me last year. $2 for a pineapple at Costco that I sliced up myself vs buying pre-cut pineapple for MUCH more at the grocery.

coconut water, banana, pineapple, baby kale, and spinach.

coconut water, banana, pineapple, baby kale, and spinach.

yum!

yum!

Lunch was an attempt at a wrap, but the whole grain tortillas I bought yesterday kept tearing…so it was more like a salad on top of parts of a tortilla and mostly eaten with a fork.

romaine, black beans, corn, and BBQ sauce.  Recipe courtesy of Happy Herbivore...it's amazing and a simple lunch.

romaine, black beans, corn, and BBQ sauce. Recipe courtesy of Happy Herbivore…it’s amazing and a simple lunch.

I was feeling the need to bake some goodness for my family (mainly because my husband went out and bought…gasp…PACKAGED COOKIES).  Yikes.  Oatmeal-Raisin it is!

recipe from the Vegan Cookie Connoisseur

recipe from the Vegan Cookie Connoisseur

And dinner was Indian!

can't make Indian without some homemade garlic naan!

can’t make Indian without some homemade garlic naan!

the key to perfect saffron rice is to pinch and soak the threads in hot water (or non-dairy milk) for about an hour before making.  Use this time to soak your basmati, and you get plump and fluffy rice every time

the key to perfect saffron rice is to pinch and soak the threads in hot water (or non-dairy milk) for about an hour before making. Use this time to soak your basmati, and you get plump and fluffy rice every time

whipped up a base in the Vitamix of soy yogurt, green chilies, garam masala, salt, lime juice, Earth Balance, and a splash of coconut milk.  Simmer, and add veggies.

whipped up a base in the Vitamix of soy yogurt, green chilies, garam masala, salt, lime juice, Earth Balance, and a splash of coconut milk. Simmer, and add veggies.

after cooking completely, add about 1/2 cup of tomato.  Salt and pepper to taste!

after cooking completely, add about 1/2 cup of tomato. Salt and pepper to taste!

speaking of veggies (see what I did there?!?)...5 cups of assorted carrots, potato, and cauliflower

speaking of veggies (see what I did there?!?)…5 cups of assorted carrots, potato, and cauliflower

and enjoy a spicy, warm, and wonderfully filling dinner

and enjoy a spicy, warm, and wonderfully filling dinner

FITNESS

For today’s workout, I went to Hot Yoga down in Norfolk at my favorite studio, Hot House.  It was a 60 minute stability class, and was perfect for many reasons.  One, I’m a bit stiff from the traveling, and doing this class in the intense heat always loosens my muscles up well.  Also my brain has been a bit scattered the past few days – between traveling, catching up on work emails, and worrying about D – I needed the mental break that yoga always give me.  I’ve been lax on meditating the past few weeks, and it’s starting to show in my frayed nerves.

LIFE

Last night was M’s last performance for The Little Mermaid.  He was Sebastian, and it was an awesome show.  What cracked me up was the line of kids after the show that wanted his autograph or to pose for pics of him.

Sebastian (M) and Chef Louis posing before the show!

Sebastian (M) and Chef Louis posing before the show!

Then it was a night of trying, but failing, to go to bed early.  It was 930 when I tried…and 1230 am when I finally succeeded.  Then up early this morning (630 am) to get M off to his SAT’s!  Hard to believe that University is just around the corner for him.  And he wants to be an English teacher, which is pretty cool.

I had the house pretty much to myself all morning.  D slept in late – part of the Crohn’s is he gets no nutrients and lacks energy and is super tired – and R always sleeps in on the weekends.  I did dishes, some Christmas shopping on Amazon, finished laundry, and managed to watch an episode of Sleepy Hollow (I needed a new show, and Hulu has the entire series!).

After yoga, I came home, made lunch, showered, and have been mostly puttering around the kitchen.  I’m having lunch with NS tomorrow, so I’m doing some of my bulk cooking today.

Ginny "flops".  It's what we call it because she completely becomes boneless cat, lies upside down, and wants her belly scratched...

Ginny “flops”. It’s what we call it because she completely becomes boneless cat, lies upside down, and wants her belly scratched…

when I play in the kitchen, these two pester me for a coffee cup full of fresh water from the fridge.  So spoiled....

when I play in the kitchen, these two pester me for a coffee cup full of fresh water from the fridge. So spoiled….

me putting away dishes really just made a bed for Ginny

me putting away dishes really just made a bed for Ginny

she likes to hang out above the shower and freak me out

she likes to hang out above the shower and freak me out

Happy Saturday!!!

 

 

Cooking and Movie-Thon Weekend

FOOD

Most meals have been from the bulk cooking of last Sunday.  I can’t seem to get enough butternut squash soup lately, and I had that three different days this week.  The rice/beans/green chili dish also went very far, and I enjoyed it plain and in taco shells as well.

butternut squash soup at work!

butternut squash soup at work!

this version of rice and beans involved a LOT of hot sauce

this version of rice and beans involved a LOT of hot sauce

I am admittedly still shying away from most raw foods since all the allergy issues hit, but I’m back on morning smoothies as a way to ease back in.  Can you believe it’s been since September since I had a salad?!?  It’s kind of depressing, actually.

orange, cranberry, coconut water, kale, and spinach smoothie.  Quite tasty (if not too pretty!)

orange, cranberry, coconut water, kale, and spinach smoothie. Quite tasty (if not too pretty!)

Today was another bulk cooking day!  I made a huge batch of quinoa, several new cookbook recipes (details to follow in the coming weeks!), and one of my favorites – tofu pot pie!!

BIG vat of quinoa....

BIG vat of quinoa….

tofu pot pie!  I needed to make it again before I head to WI for Thanksgiving and make it for my parents and my sister and her family :)

tofu pot pie! I needed to make it again before I head to WI for Thanksgiving and make it for my parents and my sister and her family :)

tonight's dinner of socca, stuffing, and tofu pot pie

tonight’s dinner of socca, stuffing, and tofu pot pie

FITNESS

I had a difficult time feeling inspired to work out the past few days.  It was cold and my schedule was really crappy.

However, that was rectified today by one of the best runs I’ve had in awhile.  Not only was the weather perfect (in the 60’s), but I seemed to have everlasting energy.  I ran a different route than normal, and that helped too.  I have a tendency to get bored easily (character flaw most of the time), so it was fun running through a different neighborhood than usual.

LIFE

I had a day off this past week, but not for run things.  I had a procedure on Wednesday and took the day off for it.  No big deal – just checking my esophagus and surrounding areas for allergy issues.  I could only do part of the procedure because I was allergic to one of the things I was supposed to drink, but otherwise it went off fine.  Results are back, and all is looking good and healthy!

Otherwise, it’s been mostly quiet.  With D’s flare-up, we’re keeping things low key.  I went to a movie on Friday (Gone Girl – crazy flick), took R to a movie on Saturday (Guardians of the Galaxy, which was awesome), and then we watched two more movies last night (Underworld and Edge of Tomorrow).  I think my brain felt like it was melting by the time I went to bed, but it was still kind of fun to do as little as possible.

One fun thing this weekend was watching Ginny figure out that on hardwood floors, she should stop and slide to her destination rather than run full tilt into walls, etc.  She was a nut last night, and we were all laughing for hours.

Bumble figured out that lying across a heat vent was the best way to stay warm.  Smart girl….

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Today was some work and bulk cooking.  I’m totally excited because I’ll be reviewing three new cookbooks on the blog in the coming weeks.  I spent a TON of time cooking (and eating) some fantastic stuff.  Again, more to come, but stay tuned because all of them involve giveaways and recipes.

I’m heading out of town on Wednesday!  I have a conference in Chicago the first week of December, so it seemed like a good opportunity to go home and spend my first Thanksgiving in 11 years with my family (parents, sister, and her hubby and kids).  I’m looking forward to seeing them and doing some of the cooking, though I’m not looking forward to the weather!  (see last post about hating the cold).

AC will be meeting up with me in Chicago, so that should be a ton of fun too.  I am sad about missing Thanksgiving with D and our kids, but I know they’ll have a great weekend.

 

Sweat Icicles Suck

FOOD

I love bulk cooking.  I mean, I like normal cooking too – especially on the weekends – but during the week, I’m infinitely grateful for my Sunday bulk days (and Thai food, if I’m going to be honest!).

A was home for the weekend, so I just had to make her fav meal.  Tofurky, mac no cheese, and roasted veggies (did carrots this time).  Holy yum.  D was out running errands, so he didn’t have any until his lunch at work on Monday.  And then he proceeded to tell me how excited he was to have it for leftovers.  Yeah…I Tweeted that….my omni husband loved the vegan leftovers!

a big vat of mac no cheese!

a big vat of mac no cheese!

BEST LUNCH EVER.  Tofurky, mac no cheese, and roasted carrots.

BEST LUNCH EVER. Tofurky, mac no cheese, and roasted carrots.

I also went a little batty on Sunday in the cooking dept.  I don’t have pics for everything (planning to take pics as I’m actually eating stuff), but made butternut squash soup, cinnamon-maple muffins, pinto beans & rice with green chilies, quinoa salad, quinoa & veggie curry, chili-lime tofu, tacos, and a few salad dressings.  And despite all this, I STILL had Thai food one day.  And Italian (eggplant sammich with Daiya mozz!).

rice, beans, green chilies, and cumin. Simple.  Tasty.

rice, beans, green chilies, and cumin. Simple. Tasty.

chili-lime tofu triangles.  For salads, tacos, etc.

chili-lime tofu triangles. For salads, tacos, etc.

a really horrible veggie flat-bread at Uno's this weekend.  Bland, boring, and sad.

a really horrible veggie flat-bread at Uno’s this weekend. Bland, boring, and sad.

vegan eggplant "parm" sammich.  Yummy, but so huge, it fed me for days!

vegan eggplant “parm” sammich. Yummy, but so huge, it fed me for days!

Oatmeal with cinnamon because winter sucks.

Oatmeal with cinnamon because winter sucks.

Thai food goodness!  Tom Kha tofu soup on top, and tofu/eggplant green curry on the bottom.

Thai food goodness! Tom Kha tofu soup on top, and tofu/eggplant green curry on the bottom.

cinnamon-maple-raisin mini-muffins

cinnamon-maple-raisin mini-muffins

FITNESS

Well I totally forgot that running in the cold = wheezing for an hour afterwards.  I tend to remember to warm up in the house before going out – or at least walking for 5 minutes or so….but NOOOOOO…..not me.  I get amnesia every freaking winter.  And let me be frank here.  I don’t have asthma, but for some reason, I wheeze and cough after running in the cold if I don’t warm up indoors first.  Another reason why I’m not meant to be in cold weather.  Ever.

No yoga at home this week.  Mainly because we have this rule about turning on the heat at home – or letting it be set above 68 degrees (don’t get me started…I’m married to an Eskimo), so the thought of stripping down to a tank and shorts to do yoga in my own home is horrifying.  And it’s been cold, like 62 in the house cold, so there’s no way I could do yoga here.  Good thing my yoga of choice is normally hot yoga, so walking into a 100 degree or so room in a tank and shorts is pure bliss right now.

Until I go back outside and all my lovely warmth and sweat turns to icicles.  Sweat icicles suck.  Winter sucks.  And people, I won’t lie….I’m in Virginia.  Where winter is like 50.  But that still sucks.

LIFE

If you didn’t get the hint it’s cold.  Not like Buffalo, NY cold (and I feel for them…I mean, everyone wants to break records, but not because of things like cold and snow!).

But really – it was in the mid-70’s on Wednesday last week, and 30’s by the weekend.  My allergies are a mess, my young one got sick, and I am forced to remember how sporadic Virginia weather can be.  But I’m not complaining.  Nothing against the good residents of Buffalo, NY, but I’m glad it’s not me!

I mentioned that A was home.  It was awesome.  I took her and R to the salon to get haircuts on Saturday.  Then we met up with M and D at the movies.  Big Hero 6 is totally amazing, and everyone should see it!

R hanging on the back deck on Monday.

R hanging on the back deck on Monday.

M and D got haircuts last week!  Such handsome boys.

M and D got haircuts last week! Such handsome boys.

I took A back to university on Sunday and then hung out with AC that night.  Which I totally can’t complain about.

Sadly, after nearly 3 years in remission, D is in the middle of a Crohn’s flare-up.  It sucks on so many levels.  He’s in pain, he’s tired, and there’s nothing I can do.  The meds to make him better temporarily make him feel worse, and in all, he’s a sad little lump that I can’t help.  He really thinks it was working nights, bad diet while working nights, and stress.  I definitely agree.

my sweet sick ones.  The young one with a head cold/allergy hell, and my hunny with a flare-up.

my sweet sick ones. The young one with a head cold/allergy hell, and my hunny with a flare-up.

One last thing.  While I was out with AC last night, R (who’s 11, by the way), sent this picture to all of us (me, D, M, and A).  And proceeded to say that it was meant for me.  In which I promptly grounded her for being a brat child…

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And I will leave you with a few random pics from the past few days!

morning picture!!!

morning picture!!!

Ginny being snuggly

Ginny being snuggly

I have this addiction to solitaire.  Especially while watching TV.  And while I was catching up on last season's Bone's, I got my highest completion time.  Don't judge...

I have this addiction to solitaire. Especially while watching TV. And while I was catching up on last season’s Bone’s, I got my highest completion time.  I was proud. Don’t judge…

I sent this to A - she met some guys at a part who were wearing Man U shirts, and she walked up to them and asked them how it felt to suck.  THAT'S MY GIRL!!!!

I sent this to A – she met some guys at a party who were wearing Man U shirts, and she walked up to them and asked them how it felt to suck. THAT’S MY GIRL!!!!  Go Chelsea!!!

because cats are cool...

because cats are cool…

 

Happiness & Heartache

FOOD

For R’s 11th birthday on Saturday we had a bit of a change of plans.  Crazy storms meant staying home, and she elected Italian for dinner!

the vegan portion of the birthday meal!  Meatless balls from Happy Herbivore (FANTASTIC) over pasta with sauteed onions, veggies, Italian seasoning, and Gremolata Olive Oil.

the vegan portion of the birthday meal! Meatless balls from Happy Herbivore (FANTASTIC) over pasta with sauteed onions, veggies, Italian seasoning, and Gremolata Olive Oil.

And cake (of course).  We always do homemade cakes, and this years was her very favorite strawberry cake!

CAKE!!!

CAKE!!!

cut funny because the birthday girl really wanted to eat the B....

cut funny because the birthday girl really wanted to eat the B….

FITNESS

I was able to get a run in on Saturday before the storms hit.  It was a very sticky and muggy run, but still a good one!

LIFE

Saturday was my little one’s birthday!  Hard to believe she’s 11.  It was a great day, though quite low key (we’re low key kinda people).  We went out to breakfast and then did presents.  The original plan was to hit up Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens, but the storms waylaid that idea.  So we stayed home, played games, and watched Divergent (which I enjoyed very much!).

D did all the shopping this year.  He didn't go overboard or anything...

D did all the shopping this year. He didn’t go overboard or anything…

Ginny turning one of the boxes into a nest!

Ginny turning one of the boxes into a nest!

R loving her brand new gaming laptop!  I think A and M are a little jealous :)

R loving her brand new gaming laptop! I think A and M are a little jealous :)

Yesterday D drove A back to college, and after getting some work done, I took R up to Busch Gardens!  It was a beautiful day, so we thought we’d spent some time at one of our favorite places.  D met up with us there, and while we didn’t stay too long – it was a school night – still managed to get in two roller coasters and one VERY scary haunted house!

waiting in line for a roller coaster

waiting in line for a roller coaster

D and R :)

D and R :)

me and R being very scared inside a haunted house

me and R being very scared inside a haunted house

R getting a photo op with the headless woman

R getting a photo op with the headless woman

However, I do have some sad news too.  My 12 year old Sammie is no longer with us.  She was diagnosed with a massive liver tumor about two weeks ago, and due to it’s placement and her age, there was nothing they could do.  We decided that when her quality of life began to suffer, that we would let her go.  Last night she threw up violently, and has since not eaten nor had any water and couldn’t stand or walk with ease.  She also had a fever.  Her normally perky behavior and wagging tail were gone.  We took her to the vet this morning at 830 am, where we were told that there was nothing we could do, that she had taken a sudden turn, and as a family, we decided it was time to let her rest.

D stayed with her through it all, and said she just went to sleep – unafraid and in no pain.  So goodbye and goodnight sweet Sammie.  While our hearts ache for losing you, I’m happy that you picked my family to love and care for these past 12 years.  I love you.

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It Turns Out I Take a Lot of Pictures….

FOOD

Okay, another two week blogging break, so it will be a ton of pics of some of the things I ate!

Clearly it’s no surprise to see smoothies and juices!

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And non smoothie things too!

the Berkeley Pizza at Z Pizza

the Berkeley Pizza at Z Pizza

Whole Foods salad bar (can never go wrong here)

Whole Foods salad bar (can never go wrong here)

our for Mexican food with D - sangria, big ass beer, and fun times!

our for Mexican food with D – sangria, big ass beer, and fun times!

lentil cake on tabbouleh with roasted veggies and tahini sauce

lentil cake on tabbouleh with roasted veggies and tahini sauce

Tofu PHO!!!  One of my fav things ever

Tofu PHO!!! One of my fav things ever

spring rolls - with A photoboming the shot

spring rolls – with A photoboming the shot

HALAWA!!  Currently my very fav dessert.  Happens to be vegan and gluten free too, but holy cow.  I want this all the time.

HALAWA!! Currently my very fav dessert. Happens to be vegan and gluten free too, but holy cow. I want this all the time.

grilled dinner fun with LC and family!  Tofurky beer brats, mac no cheese, spicy black bean and rice salad, and grilled veg!

grilled dinner fun with LC and family! Tofurky beer brats, mac no cheese, spicy black bean and rice salad, and grilled veg!

more grilled fun from earlier in the week.  Mushrooms, broccoli, and corn.

more grilled fun from earlier in the week. Mushrooms, broccoli, and corn.

had to share - available at Total Wine at least.  cheap $10 bottle of wine, but incredibly tasty!

had to share – available at Total Wine at least. cheap $10 bottle of wine, but incredibly tasty!

FITNESS

Well, I finally did it.  I went ahead and bought a new GPS watch.  After much research, I decided on the Garmin 220.  So far, I love it.  It connects to the HR monitor and the satellites super quick, it’s not bulky on my little wrists, and the data transfer process is quick.  I’m not the biggest fan of Garmin Connect’s website, but it’s not bad.  I’ve heard there are some 3rd party sites that are really good, and when I find the time, I may check those out.

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Aside from enjoying several runs in the past two weeks, I’ve also hit up several hot yoga classes.

LIFE

Well, it’s been, as always, busy in our family.  Between school starting up again, work, and swim team practice, we’re all running around like crazy.  None of us has much in the way of downtime, but that’s OK.

Last weekend, LC (and her husband LC, sons L and N) came over for an evening of games, movies, grilling, and hanging out.  It was a great night.

Yesterday I went to pick A up from college and spent the morning visiting with my friend HF and her little man D.  We only had a couple hours, but it was awesome.

Today is R’s birthday!!!  More about that later, but needless to say, this weekend is all about her :)

D & A at breakfast this morning

D & A at breakfast this morning

Bumble always holds D's hand at night before bed

Bumble always holds D’s hand at night before bed

she can jump over a wall and into the shower....but has no way out.

she can jump over a wall and into the shower….but has no way out.

Bumble's fav place to relax when I'm reading

Bumble’s fav place to relax when I’m reading

Laundry prison!

Laundry prison!

morningpicture!

morningpicture!

another morning picture

another morning picture

brat cat deciding I can't fold the laundry because she wants to sleep there

brat cat deciding I can’t fold the laundry because she wants to sleep there

(pay no mind to the laundry that needs to be put away) - but it's one of the rare moments where Ginny not only sits still, but actually snuggles too.

(pay no mind to the laundry that needs to be put away) – but it’s one of the rare moments where Ginny not only sits still, but actually snuggles too.

Food, Pets, and Theme Parks. My Fav Kind of Week

FOOD

Well, a full week home and I’m back to my obsession with Indian flavors.  And tacos.  Next step?  Blending those obsessions…curry tacos?  Yeah…I’m down for that.  Stay tuned.

I made a big batch of a ginger/carrot soup on Sunday and had that for most lunches this week, along with granola bar leftovers, and fruits and veggies and salads.  Thai too during a working lunch that made me grateful to have a co-worker who also loves Thai food.  And perhaps it’s because I really want Fall to hurry up and get here, lots of oatmeal….which is weird because I don’t typically love oatmeal.

AC and I went out Tuesday night for tacos and drinks.

AC and I went out Tuesday night for tacos and drinks.

oatmeal made with flax milk, blueberries, and generous sprinkling of cinnamon!

oatmeal made with flax milk, blueberries, and generous sprinkling of cinnamon!

a very bad picture of a very good soup....

a very bad picture of a very good soup….

my spices came!  More Indian flavors....and a super spicy Sriracha powder!

my spices came! More Indian flavors….and a super spicy Sriracha powder!

just because it smelled SO good....dried Arbol peppers, sliced garlic, cardamom pods, cumin seeds, and ajiwan seeds sauteing before adding the chickpeas, tofu, and rice!

just because it smelled SO good….dried Arbol peppers, cinnamon stick, sliced garlic, cardamom pods, cumin seeds, and ajiwan seeds sauteing before adding the chickpeas, tofu, and rice!

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final dinner!  A nice kick of spice, but not too overpowering.

final dinner! A nice kick of spice, but not too overpowering.

FITNESS

Yoga…running…the usual.  Despite the hectic week, I did get in a few good workouts.  Two longer runs and two hot yoga classes and one yogaglo class here at home.  In my travels earlier this month, I had the opportunity to introduce two people to yogaglo.com, and hopefully have some new converts!  Seriously, for the price of a single drop-in class, you have unlimited classes for a month.  That’s just cool.

I’m still fretting for my lack of daily data though.  I admit, that when I got my first FitBit (the Force….of which I was one of the lucky ones who got skin burns from wearing it….and then the One, which was nice and tiny…but now somewhere lost in Charlottesville), I became addicted even more so than normal to my physical activity.  How many steps did I accomplish?  How do I rate among my friends who have them?  And if I’m lacking, how many more walks around the block before I’m back in the lead?

On top of this, my GPS sports watch sucks.  I have the Nike+ and while I loved it at first (it’s not bulky on my little wrists), Nike has totally stopped supporting it.  The bloody thing takes forever to connect to satellites before I start running (often leaving me pacing in my drive for a good 10 minutes), and the website…once a fun and interactive game…is now basic and rarely works.  I’ve been asking around on Facebook, and I think it’s time I switch back to a Garmin.

LIFE

It’s more or less been a good week.   Busy, yes, and glad to be back in the office, but also stressful for the early morning and long nights.  Also someone I care about suffered a medical emergency yesterday, and that’s been a concern for sure.  Not for me, but for her and her family.

AC and I were originally planning to hit up a hot yoga class together on Tuesday, but ended up going for tacos and drinks (beer for me, bourbon for her!).

I took R to Busch Garden’s last night for a kick off to the holiday weekend!  Just the two of us, and we did two loops through the park, rode a ton of rides, and enjoyed an incredibly beautiful evening.

in line for our first coaster of the evening!

in line for our first coaster of the evening!

looking WAY too comfortable on a motorcycle (granted, this is an arcade, but still....born in Milwaukee...Haley in her veins....I'm in trouble)

looking WAY too comfortable on a motorcycle (granted, this is an arcade, but still….born in Milwaukee…Haley in her veins….I’m in trouble)

Today I woke up early, did some reading, watched a movie, and finished up all the massive amounts of laundry a big family piles up during a week….most of this before the rest of my family stirred!

Ginny interrupting my reading.  Nothing new.

Ginny interrupting my reading. Nothing new.

Sammie at the vet, passed out on the floor from exhaustion after barking at everyone and every fur baby in the joint.

Sammie at the vet, passed out on the floor from exhaustion after barking at everyone and every fur baby in the joint.

Ginny napping on top of a shoe box on D's dresser.  I just couldn't NOT take this when I saw her paw on her cheek...

Ginny napping on top of a shoe box on D’s dresser. I just couldn’t NOT take this when I saw her paw on her cheek…

Tonight my son is having a LAN party (Local Area Network…an IT-geeky way of saying everyone brings their own computer, we hook them up to our network, and they play games like crazy all night long and eat junk food).

D is out at the Oceanfront taking sunset and star pics, and R and I are relaxing and having a quiet evening!

So yeah.  Really nice to be home, be with my family and friends, eat good food, and sleep in my own bed!

 

There’s No Place Like Home!

FOOD

I’m not even going to go into the rest of the travel foods.  Most were simple – oatmeal and fruit breakfasts at the hotels, salad lunch and dinners, and one disastrous Thai food meal where I got violently sick 10 minutes afterwards.

The fun part is coming home and being back in my very own kitchen!  Below are the highlights since I got home!

spinach, mint, banana, and raw cacao smoothie

spinach, mint, banana, and raw cacao smoothie

homemade granola bars that have been a huge hit with the family

homemade granola bars that have been a huge hit with the family

salad cup tacos!  Simple romaine leaves with refried beans, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, and hot sauce

salad cup tacos! Simple romaine leaves with refried beans, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, and hot sauce

my fave quick-pickled spicy cucs.  Sesame oil, crushed red pepper, rice vinegar, and a small amount of sugar.

my fave quick-pickled spicy cucs. Sesame oil, crushed red pepper, rice vinegar, and a small amount of sugar.

Happy Herbivore's cabbage soup.

Happy Herbivore’s cabbage soup.

oatmeal with a boat load of cinnamon!

oatmeal with a boat load of cinnamon!

Pan roasted cauliflower with Indian spices (mustard seed, garlic, ginger, cayenne, and turmeric) with some chickpeas over basmati rice.

Pan roasted cauliflower with Indian spices (mustard seed, garlic, ginger, cayenne, and turmeric) with some chickpeas over basmati rice.

FITNESS

Since getting home, I’ve gone to one hot vinyasa class (which was one of the most challenging classes I’ve had in a long time….) and also went for a very steamy run.  Crazy, but I found the long run in the hot and humid weather with sweat stinging my eyes easier than the 60 minute flow class.  I guess it’s not that crazy – yoga is not as easy as people often think!

LIFE

I am incredibly happy to be home.  The work travels were good, don’t get me wrong, but two weeks in hotels and away from my family is just too much.  I have no idea how traveling consultants do it – would completely drive me nuts.  The only up side was I went to bed ridiculously early most nights and read about 4-5 novels.  Oh, I also got my nails done and had a massage one night.  That was cool.

D and the kids did a great job of keeping down the fort while I was away.  Summer is winding to a close, A is back at university, and R and M are trying to do as little as possible while they still can before their school starts up!

For me, it’s been grocery shopping and laundry, reading and relaxing at home.  We were supposed to get together with friends tonight for some grilling and fun at our place, but LC isn’t feeling well, and early this afternoon I got socked with a nasty sudden-onset head cold.  It’s a bummer, but we’ve rescheduled and the fun will commence then!

A local yoga studio has been hosting an Ayurveda workshop and consultations this weekend.  Here’s a definition if you don’t know what it is! I went last night, and it was wonderful.  I’ve always been interested in ancient medicine (especially over conventional drugs when it can be effective), and this was not disappointing at all.  I’ve done a lot of reading about Ayurveda over the years, but meeting and talking with a practitioner surpassed all my ideas of what it would be like.  She gave me some recommendations that I plan to take very much to heart (especially in areas of insomnia, hives/stress, etc).

D went out to our local Pride Fest last night and today to support the LGBT community as well as take pictures, so I’ve barely seen him so far this weekend.  M is spending time with friends since being gone all summer as a counselor, and R and I have been lazing about.  Life gets back to normal next week (work, swim team, school stuff) and I really am looking forward to it!

while trying to read a magazine, Ginny jumped right on top of it.  She has absolutely no sense of when NOT to crawl in your lap...and especially loves sitting on any reading materials.  Just ask my Dad - when he was here and would read the morning paper, that's exactly when Ginny decided his lap was where she needed to be....

while trying to read a magazine, Ginny jumped right on top of it. She has absolutely no sense of when NOT to crawl in your lap…and especially loves sitting on any reading materials. Just ask my Dad – when he was here and would read the morning paper, that’s exactly when Ginny decided his lap was where she needed to be….

The Green Goblet, Simple Food, and Fevers

FOOD

It’s been a week marked by simple food.  My hours at work haven’t been conducive to cooking, and coming down with a nasty infection on Friday has left me with very little appetite.

My favorites this week have been simple veggie soups, salads, smoothies, juice, and toast.

arugula, asparagu, and quinoa salad at California Pizza Kitchen.

arugula, asparagus, and quinoa salad at California Pizza Kitchen.

pea and barley soup

pea and barley soup

toast with vegan cream cheese, tomato,avocado, and fresh pepper

toast with vegan cream cheese, tomato,avocado, and fresh pepper

green juice!  Kale, spinach, apple, and lemon - in a beautiful goblet that D got me for our anniversary from the Luray Caverns

green juice! Kale, spinach, apple, and lemon – in a beautiful goblet that D got me for our anniversary from the Luray Caverns

The NS special (and my current fav), toast with vegan cream cheese and sliced tomatoes

The NS special (and my current fav), toast with vegan cream cheese and sliced tomatoes

FITNESS

Well, there was that one day of yoga!  Other than that, nothing.  And it’s definitely upsetting.  The long hours and lack of sleep have finally caught up to me, and my body has just shut down.  I have been spending the few forcible hours in bed making new training plans though, so that’s always exciting.

LIFE

Despite ending up in urgent care on Friday, it’s actually been a good week for the most part.  There were definitely some emotional moments (people working their butts off with little gratitude expressed for what they do), but overall, a very good week.  It feels great to have this week behind me though, won’t lie about that.

Mine and D’s anniversary was Wednesday!  We usually take the day off to go to Busch Garden’s, but with my go-live this week and his next (yes, we work in the same field), neither of us could take a weekday off.  We did go out to dinner with the girls, and then A took R home and D and I hung out solo for awhile.  It was a really nice night.

This weekend has definitely not turned out as planned!  D and I intended to have our BG day yesterday – as it’s the last weekend of the Food and Wine festival.  Sadly, my getting sick has completely derailed that idea.  I spent a big part of Friday night sitting in my car with the heater blasting because I was freezing.  D was quite dismayed by that, but it was too cold to be in the AC’d house for me.  My fever broke by Saturday morning, but the body aches, headaches, and general feeling of crappiness was just too much to get over.  I even napped – and I never do that!

I am on my feet this morning, and even baked some blueberry/lemon muffins.  I still don’t feel 100%, but I’m light years ahead of how I felt on Friday.

Bumble keeping my company as I waste the day away lying in bed, waiting to feel better.

Bumble keeping me company as I waste the day away lying in bed, waiting to feel better.

I was feeling dizzy and nauseous, so I decided to look up the side effects of the antibiotics I’m on.  The list scared the crap out of me (and the two I’m feeling are on it), so I stopped reading it.  Reinforces that I’m glad I’m putting so much of my lifestyle into disease prevention and hopefully avoiding ever becoming a walking chemical cocktail.  Don’t get me wrong – medications are necessary and I don’t advocate NOT taking them when needed.  But I also believe that much of the illnesses that plague society today are preventable with a healthy lifestyle, and if it’s possible to avoid the meds by taking responsibility for one’s health, that that seems the smartest avenue.

M has had his first full week as a junior camp counselor!  He’s having a great time, and here are a few pics of his adventures with the boys from last week.  He has the youngest campers, and this week he apparently has some older boys.  He loves camp, and is definitely in his element.  He won Employee of the Week last week too!  I knew this was right up his alley.

mateo mateo 6 mateo 4 mateo 3 mateo 2