Weekend Fun, Bday Parties, Father’s Day, and Self-Gifting!


I will say I varied more from green curry the past few days.  But reluctantly so 🙂

Friday night was a build-your-own taco/nacho bar for M and his friends.  I grossly underestimated how much teenagers eat.  6 lbs of tacos was barely enough!  Thankfully, we had enough food!

spread out over the counter…easier to feed the masses buffet style
My tacos! One corn tostada shell, one soft corn shell, both with beans, rice, and yummy toppings.

We did the bday cake last Friday, so this time it was bday cupcakes.  Simple…and meant far less dirty dishes for me.

chocolate and vanilla bday cupcakes

Saturday morning I made a spicy tofu soup.  My basic recipe, but this time I spiralized some zucchini for my “noodles”.

This morning for breakfast I made a spicy TVP and Chana Dal chili.  It was SO yummy – and really very simple too.  Stir fried some onions and garlic, added hot chili powder, half a can of fire roasted tomatoes, 2 tbsp chana dahl, and 1/4 cup of water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 (covered), then added 1/2 cup of TVP.  Yum yum!

Dinner tonight consisted of probably the best vegan mac and cheese I’ve ever made.  I wish I could say it was some uber-inspired dish.  Really, I made a package of gluten-free elbow noodles (Ancient Grains Quinoa brand), and then mimicked the white sauce in the Betty Crocker book, but used Earth Balance and Chickpea flour, a can of lite coconut milk, and a 10 oz package of vegan cheddar cheese.  Add some sea salt and fresh ground pepper – then bake for 20 and done.  Miracle vegan comfort food.


Today was most definitely a run day.  We’ve been fortunate to have unseasonably cool weather for VA this time of year.  We’re normally in the high 80’s to low 90’s by now (with high humidity), but have been in the lower 70’s for days.

I was planning on going for a run from home today, when I had this great conversation with D:

Me – I’m going to go for a run

D – where?

Me – um.  I don’t know.

D – you should run at the gardens!

Me – but it’s fathers day.  I should be here.

D – I am going to spend time with my kids, and it makes me happy when I know you’re running someplace that makes you happy!  Go run.

So I did!  I don’t know if it’s him being magnanimous, or if I’m just difficult to live with if I don’t run regularly.  Either way, I went out to the Botanical Gardens for a nice run in a beautiful setting.  I took a different route and didn’t care that I totally got lost.  In just a week, I’m amazed at the difference between what was there last weekend and what was there this weekend.  The butterfly house opened, and they built a pirate ship!  I also ran by this…which is apparently there all the time for whomever wants to play….

rustic checkers, anyone?


It’s been another nice weekend.  M’s party Friday night was a hit (and I have to say…SO much easier than little kids….teenagers just want to “hang out”…no need to have planned activities and games!).  At the end of the evening, we did our outdoor movie night and projected John Carter in the yard while everyone watched.

Saturday D went on his first big hike of the year.  He’s prepping for an overnight backpacking/camping trip.  While he did that, A spent the day with her boyfriend and his family, building a go-kart and having dinner.  M was recovering, and I took R to Busch Gardens where we had a great Mommy and Me time.

and…winning more stuffed animals at the midway…

Today was the farmer’s market, a run, and chilling at home.  For Father’s Day, I bought D (and me really) couples golf lessons and some clubs.  We’ve been talking about playing for a LONG time, but since he’s really tall and left-handed, it’s not like it’s easy to pick up a good set of used clubs.  I have the ones that were my Mom’s when I was a kid, so I’m set.  After much research and discussions, I ordered D a set!  I was so excited…a good beginners set, and designed for his height.  But I’m an idiot because I forgot the whole left-handed thing, so I have to try to return them for a lefty set.  Ugh.  Good thing it’s a combined gift for our anniversary next Monday, so I have time to get the right clubs in!

I’m also finally investing in a really nice camera.  I’ve been interested in photography since I was in high school, and at one point had an amazing camera that my parents gave me (that got stolen when I was in the Navy).  My Aunt even took me on outings with her camera club (she’s an amateur photographer for many, many years), and I actually wanted to be a photo-journalist at one point.  Anyway, I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and after I realized my iPad takes much better pictures than my little Samsung point-and-shoot, I’ve decided it’s time to bite the bullet and do it.  And since I didn’t get a Mother’s Day gift, it’s my little present to myself!  Today seemed like an appropriate day for it!

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I am a 45 yo busy career single mom and doctoral student attempting to find her inner athlete, be a gluten-free(ish) vegan, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, box, do yoga, dance, travel, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

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