Tag Archives: Yoga

Oh Spring, How I Love/Hate You


So last week Wednesday was national empanada day!  I wasn’t able to celebrate properly, so we had a delayed feast this weekend.  I made empanadas, rice and beans, a cabbage salad, and a spicy green sauce.  Not a hungry belly left!

Crissie’s Attempt to Recreate the Epcot Mexican Slaw


  • 1/4 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 head red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 roma tomato, diced small
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar (or sweetener of choice – I used raw sugar)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt


  • mix everything together!
  • let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes to meld flavors
rolled out and cut dough circles, ready to go!

rolled out and cut dough circles, ready to go!

ready to bake

ready to bake

ingredients ready for the beans

ingredients ready for the beans

spicy green sauce ingredients before....

spicy green sauce ingredients before….

...and after!

…and after!

DINNER!  As a side note, D fell in love with the slaw at Epcot, and while I didn't recreate it exactly, I think it was pretty close...and was well received!

DINNER! As a side note, D fell in love with the slaw at Epcot, and while I didn’t recreate it exactly, I think it was pretty close…and was well received!

For breakfast yesterday, I may have gone a bit overboard on my smoothie, and ended up with two to-go cups!  Lasted me half the day, so that was totally awesome.


Last night D and I went to run errands (IE – buying chaise lounges for the pool!) and we went out for Japanese food.  After miso, yakisoba, edamame, and a veggie roll, I was beyond stuffed.

D thinks miso looks like brains....

D thinks miso looks like brains….

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Perhaps because I had such a big dinner, I haven’t had much of an appetite today.  A simple stir fry of tofu, red onion, garlic, bell pepper, and coconut aminos has been enough so far.


I actually went to yoga on Sunday.  I haven’t gone to a physical class since LC and I went in January to her studio.  It’s not that I don’t love it and miss it – because both are true – but I think I’ve been a bit depressed about it.  Here’s what I mean…

I really want to be a yoga teacher.  Like, a lot.  I’ve had this goal for years, and had finally committed to doing it.  I spent the year socking money away, and was going to start my 9 month teacher training this past December.  I was all set and excited and ready to go!

And then life got in the way.  I had to take a serious look at if I could actually fit it into my life at this point, and the sad (but honest) answer was no.  I went into a soft of yoga funk after that, and couldn’t bring myself to hit the studio.  And then we bought a house, moved, and had all sorts of other things come up, so it started to be easy to not go.  I’d log into Yogaglo and do some classes at home (or in the hotel), or do some simple sequences on my own, but hadn’t actually hit the studio.

It was time.

Unfortunately, I didn’t go to my normal studio and went to one I used to go to.  I did that because 1 – they had a class at a time that suited my schedule better, and 2 – I think I have some trepidation of going to the studio where I failed to start yoga teacher training.

Bad move.  I really disliked the class.  A lot.  It didn’t feel balanced, and the instructor yelled out quite loudly.  And talked about herself a lot.  Basically, the class was not my speed, and I’m actually sorry I went.  I didn’t want my first day back on the mat in a studio to be a bad experience.  One the plus side, I think I’m ready to head back to my home studio.

Today was a muggy run between the storms.  Thankfully it felt better than my run on Saturday, though my pace was a bit slower.  Funny how that works :)


Spring has sprung, the air is green, and I am sneezing at EVERYTHING.

I always get excited for Spring.  It marks the end of Winter (and I HATE winter….I hate being cold more than almost anything else) and is a signal that days are going to get longer and warmer.

And then I start to see the pollen, and everything gets a thick covering of green.  I throw open the windows to welcome in the warm air and light and revel in the day – and then spend the evening scrubbing the table tops and floors to make the green sheen go away.

And I sneeze.  All the time.

I can’t wear contacts because my eyes burn and occasionally swell shut.  Forget mascara!

And I am reminded that the only season I really need is summer.  Things bloom without trying to kill me, the days are really warm and sunny, and there are no coating of green hell powder over everything.

So come on Spring, you’ve outlived your welcome.  Bring on summer.

In the mean time, some random extra pics from the past week!

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this one followed M around

this one followed M around

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the #morningpictures are back!!

the #morningpictures are back!!

a girl and her lazy cat (that would be me and Bumble)

a girl and her lazy cat (that would be me and Bumble)





Manicure or Tattoo?? Oh The Choices a Girl Must Make…


Normally when I travel, D calls ahead to all the restaurants I’m going to (since it’s usually not my choice where we go!) to make sure I have some yummy vegan eats.  Well, last night I was lucky to have a colleague do that!  It was very nice, and VK called ahead to a few restaurants to be sure my veganism could be accommodated.

I was definitely not disappointed with my meal at JSIX.  They’re a farm to table restaurant (my fav kind), and the food was wonderful.  First was an appetizer of lemon hummus, marinated veggies (I want to eat those cucumbers ALL the time) and really dense pita.  I also had a pasta dish with mushroom ragu and eggplant, and a side of brussel sprouts because lets face it, I’m a total sucker for a good brussel sprout!

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I also had two different Bloody Mary’s since my last post.  One was very non-traditional and looked more like an entrée, and one was a standard spicy one.  Always my favorite!

made with pureed yellow tomatoes and horseradish, it was also topped with half a garden and toast.

made with pureed yellow tomatoes and horseradish, it was also topped with half a garden and toast.

normal, spicy, and delicious

normal, spicy, and delicious


I woke earlier than planned this morning when I was texted by a co-worker back in Virginia – who either forgot or ignored that he’s 3 hours ahead of me, and 7am for him is NOT an acceptable texting hour for me, but alas – it was too late and I was up.

I opted for an hour of gentle yoga this morning rather than anything grueling.  I’ve gotten some good workouts this weekend, and a whole ton of walking, so there was no guilt there!


The conference is now over and it went well.  Some of the conversations I had were much more productive than others, and a few were downright disappointing, but overall, I did get what I needed from it.

Last night I went to dinner with one of my hosts, and aside from getting sidetracked (read….lost) on the way through a less than stellar part of town, had a great time.  Lot’s of talk of work, soccer, food, and family.

After doing all my required activities today, I decided to try and check out some of the city outside of the conference center and area where my hotel is.  I went to Ocean Beach and Mission Beach, went back to my hotel, and then walked up to Little Italy.

some crazy van full of stickers in Ocean Beach

some crazy van full of stickers in Ocean Beach

watching surfers

watching surfers

chillin out and enjoying the sun!

chillin out and enjoying the sun!

At some point during the day today, I decided I really want a new tattoo.  And in that though processes, started thinking that doing it today would be a good idea.  Thankfully I called D and we chatted a bit, and I decided a tattoo can wait until I get home, and got a pedicure instead.

So I have a few soon to be parting thoughts about San Diego.  It’s been an interesting trip for me for a few reasons.  Many, many years ago – I actually lived here.  In fact A, my oldest daughter, was born here.  I haven’t been here in 18 years, and to be honest – I was a dirt poor enlisted military girl, so I didn’t really know or see much of San Diego proper, even when I did live here.

And I noticed that I recognized nothing.  No familiarity, no sense of returning to a place I once called home.  That on it’s own made me a little sad

Okay, so first, a list of the things I like..

  • the weather.  I want to bottle up the 90 degree sunny days and take them home with me for all times.
  • walking everywhere!  One of my dreams is to be somewhere where I can walk or bike everywhere I want to go.  I’ve done a lot of walking and exploring, and I love that.
  • lots of runners!  Everywhere I looked, I saw runners and for some reason, that makes me really happy.
  • sunsets are pretty
  • people have been friendly to me everywhere I’ve gone
  • very diverse city and I find that a lot of fun

So now here’s what I don’t like…

  • its dirty, and in a lot of areas – smells horribly.
  • an incredibly large population of homeless.  And please let me explain – people being homeless don’t bother me.  I know many people who think that all homeless choose to be on the streets because their too lazy to work, etc.  That’s simply a bunch of BS.  Mental illness (and no infrastructure in our country to care for them), hard times, veterans, and sure – plenty of addicts.  But still…no one grows up wanting to be homeless.  What has bothered me since I got to San Diego is how people walk right over them like they’re not there.  That people in their expensive clothes and fancy handbags and fast cars, spare nothing for their fellow man and woman.  That I can be in a city where so many people have so much – and so many people have absolutely nothing.  It just seems….heartless.
  • while I’ve had good food, the veg scene just doesn’t exist.

So my verdict?  Okay to visit, but wouldn’t want to live here.  And tomorrow, I go home, and I’m SO happy about that.



Moving and Not Moving


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

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

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

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

I had this every morning on my way to work

I had this every morning on my way to work

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

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

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

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

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

a BAS topped with a black bean chipotle veggie burger

a BAS topped with a black bean chipotle veggie burger

Lentil soup from Whole Foods

Lentil soup from Whole Foods

a HH soup of white beans, kale, and quino

a HH soup of white beans, kale, and quino

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

M and his teacher (and the trophy!)

M and his teacher (and the trophy!)

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

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



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


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

Would You Like a New House With That Flu?


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.


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 :)


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.


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!


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 ;)


Candles & Cats Don’t Mix


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.


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.


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!



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!



See Ya Later, Alligator


The past few days have been great on the food front. It's been nice being off, and the daily juicing has felt very luxurious! It's also something I hope to do more of in the new year.

a juice of Romaine, spinach, chard, kale, beet, and pineapple. And totally amazing! The book is interesting too ;)
Romaine, Swiss chard, cucumber, lemon, and ginger green juice.
a busy Sunday cookday! Polenta with a mushroom ragout (took 2 hours, but OH so worth it!), another pumpkin pie, mustard salad dressing, roasted beets, and a BAS of epic yumminess


baked veg risotto (which was a minor fail…had to drain off excess liquid), and topped with green beans. Not fancy, but still hit the spot.
green smoothie at the hospital waiting room with D (he was there for a procedure). Water, pineapple, banana, mixed frozen fruit, and mixed greens!
post yoga BAS from the Whole Foods salad bar
Moe's burrito with tofu, rice, beans, and veggies. On the road (and no, I wasn't driving….I was parked and snarfing my dinner!)
today's dual drinks! On the right was my juice of the day – romaine, kale, spinach, pineapple, cucumber, and beet. On the left, a late morning smoothie of water, banana, frozen blueberries, and mixed greens. Funny to me how they look almost identical (I can honestly only tell the difference because of the straws….)
NYE dinner at Mannino's and it was amazing! All vegan – zucchini appetizer (best I've ever had), pasta with EVOO, fresh garlic, and parsley, and the second best brussel sprouts I've ever had (still like mine the most!)



The past couple days – since my last post – have been one run and two yoga sessions.

I hurt my foot the other morning. It was dumb – it was 4am and Bumble was scratching at a box in my room leftover from Christmas. She was keeping me up, and I was ushering her out of the room and tripped. I twisted my left foot and scraped my right shin. Really stupid, and it hurt for two bloody days.

Oh, and my golf adventure on Saturday left me hurting by Sunday. How crazy is that?? Part of my lower back and neck were so sore. I seriously need to practice…

However, a hot yoga class on Monday eve definitely hit the spot! It felt so good and my back and neck stopped hurting.

Yesterday was raining mostly during the day, and since we hiked around the theme park in the evening (and I was letting my foot rest), I stayed in.

Today it was feeling good, so I went for a 3 miler through the neighborhood. Felt good to end 2014 with a quick run!


It's hard to believe what's been jammed into the past three days!

Christmas clean up doesn't take me long. I'll be honest – not my favorite holiday – and once it's past (like, the 26th), I start to remove all traces. So yes, decorations are packed up and the tree is down. And if I hear one more Christmas song now that the holiday is over, I'll probably scream (I can only handle Christmas music on Christmas Day….and then only in small doses). Some day I'll get to the psycological root of my dislike of Christmas (may have something to do with watching Holiday movies in July during my youth), but for now, I'll just cope.

D was playing with his new lighting equipment and captured a couple fun pics! I love M in his Chelsea gear!

Yesterday we finally hit up Christmas Town. We go every year, but couldn't make it before the actual holiday. Between D's flare-up, A's work schedule, and the rain – last night was really the only day we could make it. It was cold, but still fun.

And today is New Year's Eve! D and I went out to dinner – alone – and had an amazing time. We went to a local Italian place in Portsmouth and had not only great food, but a fun time together (and chatting about scary movies with the staff!).

And now, 2014 is almost over (only 30 min left on the East Coast), and in reflection….I'm glad to see it go. It wasn't a “bad” year, but one that was more hectic than I want my life to ultimately be. There were some great moments to be sure, but I felt like much of my life was living me rather than my living my own life. Most of that was due to a crazy work schedule, but ultimately, all of it was my own doing. I have a tendency to take on too much, convince myself I thrive on chaos, and rarely take a breather. In the end, I spent 3/4ths of the year covered in hives and running from place to place. 2015, I hope, will be much different. But for now, I will take these lessons learned and combine them with some new plans and outlooks for 2015!


So Happy New Year my friends!



Pigeon, Pictures, & a Pretty Day


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 :)


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.



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.



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!


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


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


  • 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)


  • 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.



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.



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!


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


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


  • 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


  • 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!)


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….


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!


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!

6tag_171214-092345 6tag_151214-082904

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….


Shopping, Shakespeare, and Food


The past few days have been a combination of dining out and cooking up fun stuff.

A work lunch was Thai food (green curry, go figure), and then I took the kids out for dinner on Thursday.  My phone was actually completely full, so I didn’t get pics of those meals (crazy, I know!).

Saturday I had lunch out and about while Christmas shopping.  People are crazy, and I was happy to escape with a book for a quick and quiet meal.  Thai for me again – but not green curry this time!  I know it must seem like I eat Thai all the time…and I suppose it’s at least once a week.  Thing is, it’s never something I can enjoy with my family because it’s too nut heavy, so I do go solo (or with friends) often.

fresh veggie rolls

fresh veggie rolls

Tom Kha Tofu soup hot pot!

Tom Kha Tofu soup hot pot!

For dinner last night I made mac no cheese and salads!


Breakfast this morning was a green smoothie in my Sammie cup, lunch was a salad from the grocery, and dinner was an awesome mushroom lasagna and fresh French bread.  By the way, the secret to awesome French bread is to have a pan of water in the oven while the bread is cooking – keeps it nice and moist!

water, 1/2 banana, pineapple, Vega vanilla smoothie protein powder (it was a post-workout drink), baby kale, and spinach.

water, 1/2 banana, pineapple, Vega vanilla smoothie protein powder (it was a post-workout drink), baby kale, and spinach.




I cannot get over the places I have muscles that I never realized were there!  Needless to say, kickboxing is going well and I really do like it.  Repeated a DVD today and didn’t get annoyed (yet), so that’s got to be a good sign!

I woke up this morning just before 7, had a cup of coffee, and then did my kickboxing workout before anyone else was up and about!  It was quite cool, actually.

I also went to a hot yoga class today.  The only complaint I could have about my yoga studio is that they never seem to have fun.  The instructors are very serene and I have never ever been to a class that I would consider playful.  Truth be told, sometimes I like playful classes (like those that play modern music or even funky stuff like Mustang Sally!).  Today’s instructor is someone I’ve never had before, and I could tell that her energy levels were well about the standard “zen” most of them exude.  I made a point of mentioning to her after the class that I appreciated the energy she brought to the class.  It was a nice (and butt kicking) class.


This has been a good week.  I know I’ve mentioned a few times that my husband has Crohn’s disease, and while the past few weeks have been rough (and nerve wracking wondering if this was the flare that would require surgery…it thankfully isn’t!), I’m happy that he appears to be on the upswing!  He has a few more procedures to be sure they have him on the right treatment plan, but otherwise it’s looking up.  Unfortunately, he has lost a ton of weight (about 20 lbs, and he’s a skinny and tall guy to begin with!), so now our focus is on healthy weight gain.  The caveat is that he can have no fiber, so I’ve been spending a lot of time planning meals for him to get his weight and energy levels back on track as he heals.  I just wish his doctor took more interest in eating habits and the impact they have on disease.

I went to Newport News and Williamsburg yesterday to do some Christmas shopping.  As much as I like (and do) shop online, I also want to support my local businesses, and do try to do that as well.  Other than people who get all dumb, rude, and incapable of parking, I did pick up a few things for friends and family.  I’m pretty much just down to finishing shopping for my kids, and we’ll be good to go!

One cool thing about Williamsburg and the Colonial Williamsburg area on the holidays is their Shakespeare performances they do in the streets.  I stopped and enjoyed a quick scene during my outing yesterday!


Today was working out, grocery shopping, cleaning, and cooking.  A typically, but very nice Sunday.  Saturday’s used to be my favorite day of the week, but now I think I love Sunday’s more :)

Hope you’ve had a great weekend too!


As a side note, don’t forget to enter my cookbook giveaway from Dec 12th!!