Staying Juicy!

“FOOD”

I put food in quotes because I’ve been on a juice cleanse for the past three days!

It’s been a very easy going 3 days, to be honest.  It’s been way too long since I’ve done one, and since going back to school my eating and drinking habits have gone to hell and I managed to find a few pounds I thought I lost a decade ago.

I decided that a reset was in order, and planned this fast for mid-week.  I like weekdays vs weekends since you’re so busy at work and there are fewer food distractions.  I had plenty of energy and, aside from the various juices, also had tons of water.  I averaged 220 ounces of water per day.

I did a blend of juices I made myself and some I had shipped from Jus.  All told, yummy and I feel wonderful!  A friend in Kenya did it with me too!  It was nice to have another soul doing this at the same time.

green juices are always my favs

green juices are always my favs

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called booster shots - straight up (which is crazy) or dilute in water, which is what I did

called booster shots – straight up (which is crazy) or dilute in water, which is what I did

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my last juice - while flipping through a cookbook.

my last juice – while flipping through a cookbook.

I’m considering migrating to a smoothie fast for 3 days to get a deeper reset.  Well see, but will keep ya posted.

Speaking of smoothies, the whole fam is joining the #smoothieselfie movement!

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even R joined in!  I made her an Apple Jack smoothie (coconut milk, banana, apple, date, cinnamon) and she loved it!

even R joined in! I made her an Apple Jack smoothie (coconut milk, banana, apple, date, cinnamon) and she loved it!

 

FITNESS

Strenuous fitness while on a cleanse is a pretty poor idea.  I hit up a lovely gentle/restorative class Wednesday night.  Thursday was a bad day (not the cleanse – work), so I pretty much got through the day until I could go to bed!  Today I went hiking at the state park with my youngest daughter and the pups.  I physically feel fine, and by today I felt mentally better to.

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LIFE

Not going into too much here.  Been a rough week, but you know what.  They happen.  And what matters is how you move forward, and that’s what I’m going to do.  I will focus on the loves in my life (my husband and kids, friends, and school) and the rest is what it is.

Speaking of my studies.  She’s back!  Ginny, my #fluffystudybuddy

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Of course we need other fun pics to wrap up the post!

D & M

D & M

D & R

D & R

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Doofus

That’s me.  Blogging doofus.  I appreciate the understanding that life is just so hectic that I’m struggling with the blog regularly.  It’s not that I don’t think about it.  But when I do, it usually means I’d have to skip studying (which, sorry, but hell no) or sleeping (oh HELL no).  So – I’ll keep trying, but until I finish this whole grad school thing, I may continue to be a doofus.

FOOD

Happy to say that eats have been more at home and bringing to work from home than dining out.  D and I get into a pretty regular (and terrible) habit of eating out too much.  This is largely thanks to summer, because D can satisfy his urge to cook outdoors – and ends up doing most of the cooking!

first time ever actually having a veggie hot dog. Pretty darn good!

first time ever actually having a veggie hot dog. Pretty darn good!

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grilled tofu, asparagus, and corn!

grilled tofu, asparagus, and corn!

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And aside from that, lots of smoothies (current fav is vanilla, mixed berry, and fresh basil!), salads, and simple and quick meals like baked potato tacos (baked potatoes topped with beans and hot sauce), tofu stir fries, and pasta dishes.  Also – D and I are making #smoothieselfies a thing.  And yes – we actually text each other these.  He almost never reads my blog, so he has no idea you now know this:)

the morning of our anniversary on 6/25 as we were heading out of town

the morning of our anniversary on 6/25 as we were heading out of town

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made too thick so it became almost an ice cream breakfast!

made too thick so it became almost an ice cream breakfast!

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Of course I eat more than smoothies!  I made some pistou (similar to pesto, but no cheese or nuts and much heavier on the basil).  I used that pistou in a few dishes – my fav was just blending up about 1/2 a cup with a box of silken tofu and some nutritional yeast.  Made a creamy basil-flavored alfredo I mixed into veggies and pasta.

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I even made homemade tofu green curry for the first time!   It came out great!  Not as good as my fav Thai places, but definitely better than some I’ve had!

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notice - only pic of a meal out! Lentil soup and a vegan falafel wrap.

notice – only pic of a meal out! Lentil soup and a vegan falafel wrap.

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FITNESS

Typical mixture of running, workout DVD’s, the gym, and yoga.  To be honest, the RA is has been flaring a bit since China so the running has been less than I’d like, but I’m feeling much better and lacing up more!

I will say – I should start running in my bathing suit (or at least, having that as a base layer.  It’s been HOT and on Sunday afternoon – no kidding – I jumped into the pool in my running clothes.

just before hitting the pool in all this glory. At least I took my shoes off!

just before hitting the pool in all this glory. At least I took my shoes off!

And because I’m on a group that does post-working “prove-it” selfies, here are a couple more.  Because I know you always want to see me sweaty.

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And my little yoga spot in my bedroom.

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LIFE

Well, when you last left your heroine (okay, I’m not likely anyone’s heroine, but roll with me on this!)…

D and I celebrated our anniversary with a weekend in Williamsburg.  We had a blast and it was nice to get away (even though that was the weekend exams opened, which means I did NO studying at all).  It was worth it.

on our way home after a very good weekend

on our way home after a very good weekend

I then had 2 weeks to finish all my end of term exams, papers, and other deliverables, so I was literally in the office until 9-10 pm every day and all day all weekend after that.  Term wrapped on 7/9 and the new term immediately started.  Our school has no breaks – it’s 21 months of full time crazy!  But don’t let me fool you – I absolutely love it.  Hardest thing I’ve ever done, but everything I’m doing is exciting in some way.  And my family is so amazing that they understand why I go MIA for hours every day just to study.  Here’s the end of a chapter after a particular crazy chapter.  The first two sentences in the summary section made it all worth it though!

I went with a vodka cranberry only because I didn't have tonic water. Otherwise I'd have been all over that gin and tonic!

I went with a vodka cranberry only because I didn’t have tonic water. Otherwise I’d have been all over that gin and tonic!

R went to camp for a week and had (as usual) a total blast.  We took Kuma with us to drop her off and she promptly became the camp puppy.  D picked her up (I had class so couldn’t go), and the two of them passed out on the way home.  R and the dog.  Not D.  He was driving.

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pulling into camp!

pulling into camp!

the day before she left was just me and her having a great day together!

the day before she left was just me and her having a great day together!

And I always have to end with gratuitous pics of Bumble, Ginny, and Kuma.

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all 3. in the same space. at the same time. Ginny captivated by the ceiling, Bumble ignoring Kuma, and Kuma realizing she's being completely ignored by the two she wants to play with the most

all 3. in the same space. at the same time. Ginny captivated by the ceiling, Bumble ignoring Kuma, and Kuma realizing she’s being completely ignored by the two she wants to play with the most

rough life of a puppy.

rough life of a puppy.

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outside away from the other beasties, asleep on the porch sofa

outside away from the other beasties, asleep on the porch sofa

puppy kisses!

puppy kisses!

it was hot. I can relate.

it was hot. I can relate.

first beach trip! We couldn't walk 5 feel without people swarming her.

first beach trip! We couldn’t walk 5 feel without people swarming her.

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#fluffystudybuddy

#fluffystudybuddy

waiting for me to finally come to bed!

waiting for me to finally come to bed!

Making Eats for a Week at Once Increases Sanity

FOOD

Bulk cooking on Sunday’s really comes in handy!  I had salads and soups most days for lunch.  Lot’s of smoothies too.

I have a fridge in my office, so these are big containers.  The soup lasted 2 lunches, and the smoothie and salad in a jar were my bfast and lunch one day.

I have a fridge in my office, so these are big containers. The soup lasted 2 lunches, and the smoothie and salad in a jar were my bfast and lunch one day.

at the office and ready to start my day!

at the office and ready to start my day!

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BAS!  Romaine, tofu, lotsa veggies, and my balsamic dressing.

BAS! Romaine, tofu, lotsa veggies, and my balsamic dressing.

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Silk soy vanilla yogurt and fresh blueberries

Silk soy vanilla yogurt and fresh blueberries

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there's oatmeal buried under this dish.

there’s oatmeal buried under this dish.

I also made a home made black bean burger that was really good and has also been lasting me for days!  It was pretty simple – 1 can refried black beans, 1/2 cup cooked oats, 1/2 cup (ish) salsa, fresh chopped cilantro from my garden (about a cup), 1/4 chopped red onion, 1-2 tsp cumin, and enough coconut flour to bind it all without falling apart.  It certainly wasn’t an exact science, but I put the mixture in the fridge and have whipped up a yummy burger on demand!

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pre-cooked burger

pre-cooked burger

as a lettuce wrap topped with simple slaw (Just Mayo & rice vinegar) and a baked spud with plain soy yogurt and hot sauce.

as a lettuce wrap topped with simple slaw (Just Mayo & rice vinegar) and a baked spud with plain soy yogurt and hot sauce.

just the burger topped with more slaw and red onion.  Side dish is whole grain pasta with a green sauce of tofu, cilantro, garlic, and lemon juice, tossed with spinach, green onion, and red bell pepper.  Recipe courtesy of China Study Quick & Easy.

just the burger topped with more slaw and red onion. Side dish is whole grain pasta with a tofu-based creamy sauce, tossed with spinach, green onion, and red bell pepper. Recipe courtesy of China Study Quick & Easy.

FITNESS

This week was mostly DVD workouts because it’s been hectic.  I did get to the gym one day, just one run, and twice daily walks with Kuma.

post gym & run sweat bomb

post gym & run sweat bomb

LIFE

After my last post on Sunday, D went to the restaurant where both A and M work and hung out with them a bit.  So cool.

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and a quick one with R after he got home!

and a quick one with R after he got home!

Since it summer break right now, there’s no morning pics with D and R😦

However, most days in the summer I’m up and gone before anyone else wakes up.  And D and I are total nerds so we send each other good morning selfie:)

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On Tuesday we went out to see the USA v Argentina game (we don’t have cable).  It wasn’t as painful as I feared it would be, but still sad we lost.  M and I got in our Chelsea gear to get in the soccer spirit!

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I got to see AC and E yesterday for a quick visit!  First time since AC moved to NOLA about 5 months ago.

The rest of the week was work and studies, cats and dog and general Clan mayhem!  It’s the end of the term for me at school and exams are starting through the next two weeks.  Wish me luck!

laying claim to the dog's toy

laying claim to the dog’s toy

puppy love!

puppy love!

enjoying my global economic research documents

enjoying my global economic research documents

a shot of Kuma last night to send to BF - a classmate of mine who's a major pup lover...and wanted me to name her Donut.

a shot of Kuma last night to send to BF – a classmate of mine who’s a major pup lover…and wanted me to name her Donut.

Mine and D’s anniversary is tomorrow, so we’ll be out of town most of the weekend having a good time – which I may or may not blog about😉

Happy weekend everyone!

 

Kitchen Krazies & Celebrating D on Father’s Day!

FOOD

Well it seems that the only motivation I needed to spend a bunch of time in the kitchen was to openly admit that I haven’t been spending any time in the kitchen!

Both yesterday and today were cooking heavy days for me.  D was out an about all day yesterday and a portion of today, and since I’m feeling better, figured it would be a good use of time (couldn’t handle being in bed anymore!).

So – some meals and meal prep fun!

coconut water, hemp heart, strawberry, banana, spinach green smoothie to start my Saturday

coconut water, hemp heart, strawberry, banana, spinach green smoothie to start my Saturday

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stovetop popcorn snack (though R ate almost all of it!)

stovetop popcorn snack (though R ate almost all of it!)

this week's salad dressing - a creamy and slightly sweet balsamic

this week’s salad dressing – a creamy and slightly sweet balsamic

Dinner was a lemon-thyme rice (using thyme from my herb garden!), smoky tofu, mushrooms, and curried cabbage.  To be honest – the picture looks terrible (I was outside with Kuma), but it was really good.  The cabbage was a touch too spicy (I guess I shouldn’t have used 2 tablespoons of Hot Curry powder!), but otherwise wonderful.

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I spent a lot of time outside on Saturday, and part of that was my typical weekly meal planning.  To make things simple, I grabbed just one cookbook off the shelf and went with that.  I was given a copy of the China Study Quick & Easy book, and I’ve honestly barely cracked it open.  I felt it was due some love, so all of this week will feature recipes from that book.  Most of Sunday’s cooking was either for eats today or for lunches during the week.

this morning's green smoothie was coconut water, banana, blueberries, vanilla, and spinach.

this morning’s green smoothie was coconut water, banana, blueberries, vanilla, and spinach.

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since I picked up a HUGE thing of blueberries from a local farm, made some blueberry lemon muffins to give A.  I'm sure her roommates will appreciate it!

since I picked up a HUGE thing of blueberries from a local farm, made some blueberry lemon muffins to give A. I’m sure her roommates will appreciate it!

Basil Pesto Hummus

Basil Pesto Hummus

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chickpea, artichoke, red onion salad with sundried tomato dressing

chickpea, artichoke, red onion salad with sundried tomato dressing

tomato, corn, and basil soup

tomato, corn, and basil soup

oatmeal-raisin cookies!

oatmeal-raisin cookies!

FITNESS

While I am feeling tons better, still not gym/running better.  I did take two long walks with Kuma yesterday and (so far) one today.

On a side note, we did a school project where we had to track some data point for about 2 1/2 months.  Many of us have fitness wearables and did that.  After actually creating process behavior charts with that data, a whole new realization that the entire point of having a wearable is to use the information.

I’ve noticed that I have not reached my step goal about 60% of the time, and had to realize that non-run days doesn’t mean non-walk days.  Since we did the project, the only time I’ve fallen below my goal was due to being sick.  I even spun the data this morning to check on things (creating charts, process limits, etc.).  Kind of fun and addictive, actually.

Kuma on our walk last night!

Kuma on our walk last night!

LIFE

I went to bed stupid early on Friday night.  Slept 11 hours – which I apparently really needed.  I started to feel human again yesterday.  I was up early, walking the dog, and studying before we had class at 10.  After class, I did the meal and grocery planning and then went back to school stuff.

We were supposed to have friends over, but with me not feeling well, we just couldn’t.  There would have been 5 kids (several pretty young) and a pregnant woman, and no way would I want to gift this to them!

So, instead I went about making arrangements for D to have a good weekend.  After a trip to get his hair cut and beard trimmed, he went to work on his book and then hit up a Tides baseball game.  He’s a huge baseball fan.  The Tides won, and he was home around 10.

And because I had slept so much, I wasn’t in a hurry to get to bed, so we stayed up until about 1am to watch a movie.

Obviously today is Father’s Day!  Since M & A both work today, they made special arrangements to spend some quality time 1:1 with D.  M surprised D by taking him out to brunch today – just the two of them.  M drove, so it really was a surprise until they arrived at the restaurant.  While they were gone, I went grocery shopping!

my boys!

my boys!

Before this though, just D and I were awake, and we enjoyed some quiet time.  We took Kuma for a walk (where she was an obstinate pup who kept stopping and refusing to move forward) while drinking coffee, and just chatting with each other and people who were out and about in the neighborhood.

D has spent the afternoon with R and me and relaxing.  Pretty soon he’ll be taking off to see A and have Father’s Day drinks!

To be honest – we don’t tend to make a really big deal out of things like this.  Truth is, we do a really good job of showing appreciation to each other every day, and while it’s nice to have a special day, we’re always really chill.  He’s a great Dad all of the time.  He knows how much the kids love him (and me too, of course) because they always say so.  So today is really about D not having to do anything he doesn’t want to.  It’s the “get out of jail free” day:)

I’ve been bouncing between studies, kitchen fun, and laundry.  Pretty much a near-perfect Sunday.

Compatibility

So I have to say that I’ve been increasingly concerned that blogging is incompatible with my life!  Which – frankly sucks because I’ve always loved it so.  So – I’m not willing to give up on it, but I do apologize it’s been so scarce!  Between a full-time demanding job, a full-time demanding grad school program, a busy family, and life in general – it get’s tough sometimes.  But…I’ll keep blogging when I can and hope it gets more frequent than it has been!

FOOD

To be honest, I have not spent nearly enough time in the kitchen of late.  Another things I feel has been sacrificed to the grad-school gods!  That doesn’t mean there aren’t good eats though :)  Life is too short for icky food!

Here’s a few things I’ve noshed on in the past couple weeks.

Smoothies…always!

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D and I occasionally do “smoothie selfies”!

his are always from Tropical Smoothie Cafe.  He gets an Island Green almost every morning!

his are always from Tropical Smoothie Café. He gets an Island Green almost every morning!

once in awhile, I go there too (though I usually make mine).  Apparently I found buying my smoothie unamusing this day...

once in awhile, I go there too (though I usually make mine). Apparently I found buying my smoothie unamusing this day…

Other eats!

the BAS has made a huge re-entry.  Fast, easy, healthy, yummy, and filling.

the BAS has made a huge re-entry. Fast, easy, healthy, yummy, and filling.

BAS topped with a Boca Burger

BAS topped with a Boca Burger

baked spud w/ refried beans, cabbage, and hot sauce

baked spud w/ refried beans, cabbage, and hot sauce

baked spud w/ lentils, kale, and BBQ sauce

baked spud w/ lentils, kale, and BBQ sauce

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tofu scramble!

tofu scramble!

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FITNESS

Re-joining the Y has been a really good thing.  While I still prefer to run outside, it’s a nice alternative when I can’t.  I’ve started going 3 days per week to weight lift and either run there or at home.  It’s not as consistent as I’d like yet, but so far, so good!  I’ve taken a few classes too, but group exercise classes are rarely my favorites!

LIFE

Well you know.  Work.  School.  Family.  Puppy.  Those all take up most of my time:)

Can’t complain about any of them though.  My current term at school is wrapping up and we head into exams next weekend.  Lot’s of projects, papers, and cases to fill my evenings.

Work has been steady, but not overly crazy – which is nice.  Had one quick work trip since I’ve gotten back from China, but it was just an overnighter.

Family has been very great.  M and A are both moving up in responsibilities at work, which is great for them.  A is also doing great in her very own apartment and balancing that, work, and school.  R finished up 7th grade just yesterday!  D is always pretty awesome, and everyone has been healthy.

Kuma is a total sweetie.  She potty trained quickly to the bells on the back door, and she’s wicked smart.  Stubborn too, but that’s why she’s in puppy school!

Ending with pics!

Kuma!

floating in the pool!

floating in the pool!

my classmate M and his wife R came over for an evening of grilling and hanging out.  They have two Shiba's...brought Kuma this toy and she passed out with it!

my classmate M and his wife R came over for an evening of grilling and hanging out. They have two Shiba’s…brought Kuma this toy and she passed out with it!

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on her way to the first day of puppy school!

on her way to the first day of puppy school!

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pooped after puppy school!

pooped after puppy school!

smelling the catnip...

smelling the catnip…

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Bumble and Ginny!

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Morning pics!

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Other fun stuff!

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E from school bought me a scarf in China!  I couldn't figure out how to wear it around my neck, so I wrapped it around my hair.

E from school bought me a scarf in China! I couldn’t figure out how to wear it around my neck, so I wrapped it around my hair.

me, a glass of wine, and the Wall Street Journal on my Nook!

me, a glass of wine, and the Wall Street Journal on my Nook!

school influencing work!  The beginnings of my Kanban board (it's gotten more stickies since I took this pic a week ago)

school influencing work! The beginnings of my Kanban board (it’s gotten more stickies since I took this pic a week ago)

 

 

 

Home!! Best. Place. Ever.

Okay, so I’ve been away for the better part of a month.  Between over a week away working nights to two and a half weeks in China, I apologize for the lack of blog.  Didn’t have access in China, and was too bloody tired after working 12 hour night shifts the week+ before that!

FOOD

Let’s just say I’ve had a lot of meal’s out!  I fell in love with a little place in Harrisonburg called Clementine’s, and went there most days while I was on my work trip.

China was a mixed bag.  The concept of vegan is totally foreign, so I struggled some on the food front.  In the hotel in Shanghai, things were fine.  Beijing was a different story.  Breakfast and lunch were pretty good, but dinner usually was watermelon and pickled veggies (hey – it was in the lounge with the free drinks….don’t judge).

last meal I made before my crazy trips!  Vegan lasagna!

last meal I made before my crazy trips! Vegan lasagna!

My Harrisonburg meals…

the Harrisonburger - totally amazeballs

the Harrisonburger – totally amazeballs

cold soba noodle and tofu salad bowl

cold soba noodle and tofu salad bowl

Various eats in China!

my school made this for me - which was a lifesaver, despite the panic it caused everyone I showed it to...

my school made this for me – which was a lifesaver, despite the panic it caused everyone I showed it to…

my most typical breakfast.  A salad and rice congee.

my most typical breakfast. A salad and rice congee.

baked potato and asparagus at a western-style steakhouse one of my last nights in Beijing.

baked potato and asparagus at a western-style steakhouse one of my last nights in Beijing.

green tea soy frap.  This better be  thing in the US, because I loved it!

green tea soy frap. This better be thing in the US, because I loved it!

salad and grilled veggies

salad and grilled veggies

typical dinner - wafer cracker, watermelon, and pickled veggies.

typical dinner – wafer cracker, watermelon, and pickled veggies.

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fresh noodle bowl.  This was a regular as my lunch.

fresh noodle bowl. This was a regular as my lunch.

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veggie packed dumpling

veggie packed dumpling

more congee

more congee

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the purple thing is a steamed purple sweet potato dumpling. Kind of plain, but loved them.

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watermelon juice and coffee.  Had this every morning in Shanghai!

watermelon juice and coffee. Had this every morning in Shanghai!

FITNESS

Mostly hotel workouts – runs and yoga.  I did go for a few outside runs in Shanghai in the early mornings – which were pretty good.

I did go for one in the afternoon on the last Friday in Shanghai.  Upon which I was accosted by a man while at a stop-light (this was an area that would remind most of Times Square in NY).  He walked up, grabbed my boobs, and squeezed.  Not wanting to go to jail, I refrained from hitting him…but I did lose it epically.  I mean yelling, cursing, and cursing some more.  As one friend put it, I went “full Irish sailor” on him.  By the end of my tirade, I had about 60 expressionless Chinese nationals staring at me.

It took a few days for me to realize that this mans actions is not typical for anyone in China.  Thinking back on it, he may have been mentally disabled, etc.  In the heat of the moment though, it was hard to see rationally.  I imagine all those gawkers though that I was the one accosting him!

LIFE

Let’s see if I can explain the past month without getting too wordy.  Okay – work trip on night-shift to support a go-live.  It was great, and honestly put me on “china time” way in advance (China is 12 hrs ahead of my time zone)- to the point where I had no jet lag at all!

Then 2.5 weeks in China for my grad school residency.  Aside from classes, we had company tours, touristy tours (Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, The Great Wall), speakers (Frank Langfitt from NPR, the current chairman of the Chinese central bank, and many others), and general fun and mayhem (and hard work).

selfie in an alley market!

selfie in an alley market!

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a memory wall at The Great WAll!

a memory wall at The Great WAll!

The Great Wall!   I did yoga in a watch tower!

The Great Wall! I did yoga in a watch tower!

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mimosa's on the Great Wall because they threw up a cocktail party.  On the Great Wall.  How surreal is that??

mimosa’s on the Great Wall because they threw up a cocktail party. On the Great Wall. How surreal is that??

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me and JG in the gondola up to mountain at the Great Wall

me and JG in the gondola up to mountain at the Great Wall

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Tiananmen Square.  We were supposed to go inside, but it was shut down just prior to our arrival.  I was old enough (16 or so) to remember the massacre.  It was a heck of an emotional experience to be there.

Tiananmen Square. We were supposed to go inside, but it was shut down just prior to our arrival. I was old enough (16 or so) to remember the massacre. It was a heck of an emotional experience to be there.

marching soldiers.

marching soldiers.

Chairman Mao

Chairman Mao

The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City

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The Great Leap brew put after the Forbidden City!

The Great Leap brew put after the Forbidden City!

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Shanghai skyline through the rain and smog

Shanghai skyline through the rain and smog

Went to the Jade Buddha Temple with JG and OPR.  It was amazing.  Got to see monk’s celebrating some rite with their faithful.

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Other random pics

N's 40th bday celebration!

N’s 40th bday celebration!

Shanghai skyline through the rain and smog

Shanghai skyline through the rain and smog

the urban planning museum

the urban planning museum

a scale rendering of Shanghai

a scale rendering of Shanghai

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the marriage market where parents go to display the info of their marriageable children.  Posted on umbrellas are vital stats like height, weight, education, annual salary, and home/car ownership status.

the marriage market where parents go to display the info of their marriageable children. Posted on umbrellas are vital stats like height, weight, education, annual salary, and home/car ownership status.

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the national liquor that MM picked up.  Highly potent!

the national liquor that MM picked up. Highly potent!

it's a red Wi-Fi tardis

it’s a red Wi-Fi tardis

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train station - bigger than my airport!

train station – bigger than my airport!

me and JG on the bullet train from Shanghai to Berlin

me and JG on the bullet train from Shanghai to Berlin

D sent flowers to my hotel in Shanghai for Mother’s Day!  I took a selfie with them:)

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I got my morning picture every day too!  This became a highlight of a couple classmates and professors too!

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I missed my big girl’s birthday!  21!  D took her and the kids out to dinner where A ordered her first drink.  Vodka lemonade :)  She also moved into an apartment with 3 other people while I was away.  Not sad that I missed having to help on moving day though:)

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And…we got a puppy!  They brought her to the airport when I landed last night.  Her name is Kuma!  We batted many around (Rio, Coco, Freya, Shiro, Tsuki, and a few others).  Ultimately, my friend and classmate (and little brother if I ever had one) JN’s wife CN came up with the name!

as soon as D picked her up!

as soon as D picked her up!

trip home

trip home

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nap time!

nap time!

hi, I'm Kuma!

hi, I’m Kuma!

afraid of the dishwasher

afraid of the dishwasher

chilling on the bed

chilling on the bed

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And cats….

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And I’m going to stop you before I post any more pictures, and go to bed because I have to work tomorrow.  So far, no jet lag, but here’s hoping it doesn’t flatten my tomorrow!

 

 

 

Clams Are Not Inherently Joyful

FOOD

Not to bore you with 2 1/2 weeks of eats, it’s been typical fare for me.  Lot’s of smoothies, salads, soups, stir-fry’s, and bowls!

As the weeks have gone by, the 21 Day Fix method has really been great.  It keeps me focused on the whole foods, which, with my busy schedule, often get forgotten!

Here’s a few shots of some fav meals.  (You’ll see a Shakeology blender ball -> as an FYI, I don’t use the product, I’m allergic.  I do know many who do though, and are very happy with it).

R's first zoodle!  Tossed with roasted tomato, onion, and garlic.

R’s first zoodle! Tossed with roasted tomato, onion, and garlic.

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tofu stir fry

tofu stir fry

yeah.  I like chickpeas.  Don't judge.  Tons of veggies underneath!

yeah. I like chickpeas. Don’t judge. Tons of veggies underneath!

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hummus and cucs

hummus and cucs

red lentil soup!

red lentil soup!

spaghetti squash with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and more chickpeas!

spaghetti squash with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and more chickpeas!

not for me, but if my family is gonna eat junk, I'm gonna make it!

not for me, but if my family is gonna eat junk, I’m gonna make it!

mushroom stroganoff

mushroom stroganoff

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and my fav.  Build-a-bowl!  Tofu, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spicy/savory broth, and brown rice noodles!

and my fav. Build-a-bowl! Tofu, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spicy/savory broth, and brown rice noodles!

FITNESS

Good thing is I’ve kept very busy the past few weeks!  Between runs, yoga, DVD’s, and streaming workouts, I’ve been trying to keep at it 5-6 days per week.

And since I’m sure you’re dying to see sweaty pics of me….

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LIFE

After work on Wednesday, D and I were hanging out on the couch and catching up.  Bumble was smushed between us, purring loudly.  I then declared that she was “happy as a clam”, and then “that’s a stupid phrase…it should be happy as a cat”.  Upon which time D informed me that clams aren’t inherently happy, it’s just an expression because it looks like they’re smiling.  To which I realized I had no idea that was the origin of the saying.  So there you have it.  These poor clams are NOT, in fact, inherently joyful.

Clearly, it’s been nuts.  Our Term 2 grades came out, and I’m quite happy with mine, so that’s a big relief.  Of course Term 3 started right away, and so I’m buried there.  Much more reading this term than the past two.

Work has also been wild.  We have a major project go-live in one week, so it’s been a full court press in the office.  I also have several other projects going on, so there’s never a dull moment.  Which is good – informed my boss 11 years ago that I hate to be bored and she’s made damned sure I haven’t been!

Exciting news!  R got her braces off this week!  She has her retainers that she has to wear all the time for 8 weeks (other than eating), and then at night for as long as she wants straight teeth.  Truth is – she’s gorgeous.  And looks WAY too grown up.

last morning picture with braces!

last morning picture with braces!

getting ready...

getting ready…

and gone!!!

and gone!!!

Since I study when I’m not working, I’ve had my fluffy study buddy to keep me “company” (aka, get in the way)…

REALLY into accounting here - especially amortizing long-term debt....

REALLY into accounting here – especially amortizing long-term debt….

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not MY homework this time...

not MY homework this time…

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where she managed to sleep on two computers and my readings at the same time....

where she managed to sleep on two computers and my readings at the same time….

when I just give up and work around her fluffiness...

when I just give up and work around her fluffiness…

And other random fun pics and morning pictures!

R using my Nook to read the latest Financial Times.  I LOVE that about her.  We spent 20 minutes talking about the BP Exec's 20% raise, despite the epic losses that company suffered....and corporate greed in general.

R using my Nook to read the latest Financial Times. I LOVE that about her. We spent 20 minutes talking about the BP Exec’s 20% raise, despite the epic losses that company suffered….and corporate greed in general.

a sticky note D put on my car window yesterday after we had lunch together :)

a sticky note D put on my car window yesterday after we had lunch together:)

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interrupting meal-planning day!

interrupting meal-planning day!

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Ginny arguing with D over show ownership...

Ginny arguing with D over show ownership…

I can't articulate her strange shoe fettish....

I can’t articulate her strange shoe fettish….

one of those days where it looked like it should be nice outside...

one of those days where it looked like it should be nice outside…

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end

Prescribed Eats, But Still Yummy & Fun!

FOOD

I alluded during my last post to participating in a healthy eating program.  I swear I looked at it for months before deciding to jump in and try it out – and did so mainly due to two friends (AD and C) and seeing how balanced they’ve been.  Truth be told – since going back to school my dinners of Wheat Thins, hummus, and wine have reached epic proportions, and I could use some resetting of what constitutes a balanced meal.  With less wine.

So, I’m doing a portion control program called 21 Day Fix that basically dumbs down eating into categories – and you just fill the little tubs and eat the number of tubs based on your weight.  I have to say – makes it easy- though I realize I often don’t eat enough – especially when I take out the daily wine!

Here’s some pics of the plenty of eats over the last week!  I did have some wine (and a beer) this weekend, though they were accounted for.  Also – my OneNote document of eating plans!

planning ahead

planning ahead

tempeh taco salad

tempeh taco salad

stir fry veggies

stir fry veggies

the containers full of good foods!

the containers full of good foods!

soup

soup

my daily smoothie - water, vanilla extract, strawberries, and brown rice powder

my daily smoothie – water, vanilla extract, strawberries, and brown rice powder

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toast with hummus, tomato, cucumbers, and dill

toast with hummus, tomato, cucumbers, and dill

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yes...I actually like plain oats

yes…I actually like plain oats

make-at-work stuffed bells!  Steam a whole pepper, and fill with pre-cooked brown rice and pinto beans!

make-at-work stuffed bells! Steam a whole pepper, and fill with pre-cooked brown rice and pinto beans!

tofu sammich!

tofu sammich!

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dinner out - roasted shrooms, zucc noodles, spinach, asparagus, and spicy tomato sauce.

dinner out – roasted shrooms, zucc noodles, spinach, asparagus, and spicy tomato sauce.

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yes...D and I still send each other smoothie selfies....

yes…D and I still send each other smoothie selfies….

 

FITNESS

Oh wow – all the workouts, all the time!  Lot’s of workout videos, runs, and yoga.

Apologize for the sweaty selfies – it’s part of the group that motivates each other!

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so, it's the 3 of us taking a long walk around the neighborhood!

so, it’s the 3 of us taking a long walk around the neighborhood!

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LIFE

Well, 9 days of travels, time spent (more than I would have liked) at the Chinese embassy in DC, a great party for a friend having a baby, and a night out with some great friends too.

M, me, and J!  Such a great night and so glad I know these guys.

M, me, and J! Such a great night and so glad I know these guys.

Add to that the first roller coasters of the year (me and R!)

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we won SO many tickets!

we won SO many tickets!

 

Morning pics and cats!

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warm day outside, snuggled up and reading

warm day outside, snuggled up and reading

not sure that's comfy, but she was purring....

not sure that’s comfy, but she was purring….

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So – Ginny clearly decided I’m done studying for the night, so I’m totally OK with going to bed now…..’night all!

 

 

Irish in Chinatown! And Cats, Travels, and the Usual Chaos…

FOOD

Well, I was home for nearly a full week before hitting the road again!  One planned trip, one unplanned.  Fear not though, food was always awesome.

Rather than go into 10 days of detailed recipes and stuff, I’ll just do pictures.  I joined a challenge group that I’ll be blogging and instagraming and tweeting about starting Tuesday when I’m back home!

one of those "I don't feel like doing anything complicated" nights....

one of those “I don’t feel like doing anything complicated” nights….

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quinoa stuffed bell peppers!

quinoa stuffed bell peppers!

which...pre slow cooker looked great...post slow cooker became stuffed bell pepper soup!  Still good though.

which…pre slow cooker looked great…post slow cooker became stuffed bell pepper soup! Still good though.

the results of beet chopping....

the results of beet chopping….

my fav beet recipe in the pressure cooker!

my fav beet recipe in the pressure cooker!

Pho

Pho

got the carrot cake one!

got the carrot cake one!

of course, a sample of the BAS with romaine, tofu, beets, tomato, and onion - with a white balsamic dressing

of course, a sample of the BAS with romaine, tofu, beets, tomato, and onion – with a white balsamic dressing

pressure cooker split pea soup

pressure cooker split pea soup

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and the beginning of 3 days of just smoothies!  This was 1 cup water, 1/2 banana, 4 tbsp. brown rice protein powder, 1/2 tsp vanilla, and ice.

and the beginning of 3 days of just smoothies! This was 1 cup water, 1/2 banana, 4 tbsp. brown rice protein powder, 1/2 tsp vanilla, and ice.

FITNESS

Blisters be gone!  And bruises.  I still have some remnants of blister hell, but feets are good to go, and they’ve been running up a storm!

Any other runners find it funny when family mentions that you “may need a run” in reaction to your stress levels?  Yeah…trying not to take that too personally….

LIFE

Well, it’s been a couple weeks of studying, exam taking, work, and travels (one planned, one unplanned).

I’m wrapping up my Term 2 exams this week and getting knee deep in Term 3, which kicks off next Tuesday.  No rest for the wicked!  This term is 3 classes per week (vs the standard 2 of the past couple terms), so it’ll be busy.  R has spring break coming up in a week, and I’m hoping to find a couple days we can escape together either to DC or to go hiking in Shenandoah (depending on the weather).

D has been amazing, as always, as I gallivant around the country.  I have no idea how he does it!

While I was away, D had the pool opened last week!  Way to cold to go swimming (while it was near 90 last week, it got to the 40’s today), it’s looking good and we can’t wait for summer.

So that’s it!  I get to go home tomorrow, and hope to say for at least a few weeks!

my hotel in Capital Hill.  Quite cute, actually.

my hotel in Capital Hill. Quite cute, actually.

me and D during a (rare) relaxing movie night!

me and D during a (rare) relaxing movie night!

laundry "helpers"

laundry “helpers”

I bought a basket for blankets in the living room.  Became a Ginny basket instead.

I bought a basket for blankets in the living room. Became a Ginny basket instead.

didn't buy it...but can relate...our "lost" socks, I'm convinced, are vacationing in Mexico on a beach somewhere drinking margaritas.

didn’t buy it…but can relate…our “lost” socks, I’m convinced, are vacationing in Mexico on a beach somewhere drinking margaritas.

Chinatown!  My fav Irish bar is here....

Chinatown! My fav Irish bar is here….

Nene killing it for the Wizards!  Great game...beat the Bulls.

Nene killing it for the Wizards! Great game…beat the Bulls.

random Metro picture in DC

random Metro picture in DC

D sending me his #smoothieselfies while I'm away to prove he's eating/drinking heatlhy!

D sending me his #smoothieselfies while I’m away to prove he’s eating/drinking heatlhy!

Ginny's playgound...the tubs have to be on the spinny toy or she gets confused....

Ginny’s playgound…the tubs have to be on the spinny toy or she gets confused….

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because....Ginny and shoes...

because….Ginny and shoes…

 

my fluffy study budy...

my fluffy study budy…

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what is it with cats and suitcases??

what is it with cats and suitcases??

hot day, Bumble is happy out on the porch!

hot day, Bumble is happy out on the porch!

proof of a hot day.  Ginny in a sun spot on a hoard of flip flops!

proof of a hot day. Ginny in a sun spot on a hoard of flip flops!

Finally…some morning pictures!

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Wish me luck on my last exam (that I’m going to sit Wed night), and Happy Spring/Vernal Equinox to you all!

 

Blisters and Bruises

FOOD

Just being back in my kitchen makes me so happy!  Soups, salads, tofu, smoothies….all the grub that makes me so happy:)

While I was away, D was a cooking fool.  It was awesome, because he’s always insisted that he can’t cook.  He made up a tofu/potato taco dish that was such a hit, he made it again my first night home.  Which was awesome because I was pretty much an exhausted zombie all day, and it was nice to have him cook for me!

topped with romaine, tomato, soy yogurt, and hot sauce!

topped with romaine, tomato, soy yogurt, and hot sauce!

After a good night’s sleep on Sunday, I was finally feeling my normal groove on Monday.  Forgot to snap a pic, but had a mango, banana, strawberry, chia, and spinach smoothie for breakfast (and a bagel I picked up for a work meeting – won’t lie!).  Lunch was some veggie pho, and dinner was a pressure cooker split pea soup loaded with veggies, thyme, and liquid smoke for some fun flavor.

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I also did one of my fav things – banana freezing.  Apparently no one else in my fam eats bananas with the voracity that I do, and when I got home there were several that were too brown for regular eats.  So – peel, chunk up freeze, and then bag up for banana soft serve or smoothies!

key here is to freeze them like this BEFORE putting in a bag...otherwise they stick together and are a pain.  I speak from very personal experience on this one.

key here is to freeze them like this BEFORE putting in a bag…otherwise they stick together and are a pain. I speak from very personal experience on this one.

I started feeling not so hot on Tuesday so managed a BAS of romaine, onion, cauliflower, and chickpeas, and little else.

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Today was VERY not feeling okay, so I was happy for leftover soup…

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FITNESS

Full disclosure – I have about 342 blisters from last week.  Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration, but the bottom of my feet are shredded.  I was averaging about 20 mi per day last week between morning runs and walking – and sadly most of my walking was either old flip flops or work shoes.  It’s literally hurt to stand!

Though yesterday morning was beautiful and I felt that since I didn’t run on Saturday (travels) or Sunday (zombie and foot pain day), that I definitely needed to run Tuesday morning.  Blisters were mostly feeling better and I figured it’d be fine.  About 1/2 mile in, I was annoyed, but insistent on ignoring them (I’m good at ignoring things – ask most of my family).  About 2 miles in I decided to turn around and head home.  I limped up to my front door and then left for work in flats (screw heels on blister day!).

chillin on the back porch after my "run" and before work!

chillin on the back porch after my “run” and before work!

I did yoga Monday and some light stretching today.  Some of the blisters have turned to bruises.  I think that’s a good sign.

LIFE

It’s so good to be back home!  The good thing is that so many of us were at the conference in Vegas last week, that I really wasn’t behind on anything.  That’s a good thing too, because it’s exam time for school, and all my free time is spent studying and getting prepped to knock those out.  2 this weekend, and 2 the weekend after!  5th class doesn’t have an exam, woo hoo!

I got home from the airport around 130am on Sunday, slept like crap, and was up super early.  So…zombie day.  I literally read all day and then curled up on the sofa with the family and watched the last Harry Potter movie.  It was kind of awesome to veg out though.

I also noticed that a whole bunch of people who traveled last week are in various stages of sick as hell this week.  Ugh.  Fortunately my job is pretty wicked, and as long as I have a computer and a phone, I’m good to go.  I have an empty inbox, multiple projects wrapping, and budgets reconciled!

One fun thing being at home during the day is the cats.  They certainly spend most of it sleeping, but they wander around until they find the perfect sleepy spots…

for Gin, it's seriously about sleeping in shoes.  The more recently worn, the better....

for Gin, it’s seriously about sleeping in shoes. The more recently worn, the better….

Bumble is a sunshine kitty when the stairs are lit up!

Bumble is a sunshine kitty when the stairs are lit up!

and an undercover kitty when they're not

and an undercover kitty when they’re not

And finally, morning pics!

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yes it's me.  Yes I'm sick so look like hell!

yes it’s me. Yes I’m sick so look like hell!