Family, Food, Fun, and Calling Two Places Home


As usual, it’s really nice to be home.  I miss my kitchen and my food, and even though I was pretty set while I was away all week (thank goodness for travel blenders!), it’s always different to be in my own space.

Dinner last night was actually out.  It was R’s choice since it was her birthday, and she could either have any home cooked meal or restaurant she wanted.  She picked Carrabba’s, which was absolutely no surprise.  It was a nice dinner.

This morning I slept in (830!).  After my coffee, I decided I didn’t want a smoothie.  I whipped up a heartier meal, and it was awesome!  I still had part of a box of brown minute rice in the back of the pantry, and while that was going, I sautéed some onion, roasted red bell peppers, mixed frozen veggies, and fire roasted canned tomatoes, added half of a can of black-eyed peas, and voila!  Breakfast!!!  It made two servings, so I packed one up for a lunch at work this week.

have I ever missed having something filling for breakfast! Don’t get me wrong…grateful for my ability to have green smoothies while traveling…but sometimes a girl just needs to chew….

Lunch was Subway while out and about running errands (I took today off).

For dinner, I made a roasted Portobello mushroom burger and braised cabbage.  The mushroom was on a bun with avocado, tomato, onion, and dijon mustard, and I braised the cabbage real quick (hello, only 2 minutes) with cumin seed in the pressure cooker.  It was fantastic.

people who don’t eat like this just don’t know what they’re missing


Today was supposed to be a family run, but my teenagers sadly had plans.  M went to his high school football game, and A took her friend out for dinner to celebrate his birthday.  So instead of a family run, it was just me and the little one!  We did two miles, and I swear she smoked me.  I was giggling the whole time as she sprinted ahead of me over and over again.

after our run, looking very pleased (if not a little crazy-haired) in her new running outfit

Earlier in the day, I did two workout videos.  I knew the family run would be shorter as they’re building up (doing the couch-to-5K program), so it was either workout twice, or do the 2 miler, and then go out again for another run.  I’m glad I did the videos since it would have impeded my ability to make dinner if I’d gone out again.


I met my first celebrity yesterday!  I was boarding my flight from La Guardia to home, and Tamara Tunie was on my flight.  Better known as the ME from Law and Order SVU.  She was really sweet, and much prettier in real life!  I should have asked her for a picture….

D met me at the airport, we ran some errands, and then picked up the birthday girl at school.  She had swimming and didn’t want to skip, so we all went out to dinner, then did presents and cake, then bed.

I took today off to catch up on housework, laundry, meal planning, grocery shopping, etc.  It was very needed, and a nice chill day.  It’s going to be a jam-packed weekend, so having today to catch up was wonderful.

I didn’t get to talk much about my trip, and since it was predominantly work related, that’s no big loss for any of my readers.  However, a few cool things DID happen….

I got to visit my sister and her family.  We took the kids swimming at the Y and had a great time.  C (my sister) swam some laps while I played with M and G.  My parents surprised us all by popping in at her house around noon.  We hung out, and then C and I left in one car and her hubby and the kids in another as we went to our cousin’s house for the GB Packer game and taco bar!

S (our cousin) made sure there was plenty of vegan black beans for me, which was sweet.  There were 4 cousins there plus their kids and spouses.  It was absolutely amazing and did give me that pang of wishing I lived closer.  I love VA and it’s my home, but WI is my home too, and I miss it.

I even got to talk to my Uncle B.  He lives in FL, and happened to call his daughter P (my cousin), and when he found out I was there, wanted to talk to me.  We have a very silly relationship.  I post pictures of my food on FB, and he comments on how awful everything look and how he’d die if he had to eat my food.  And I tell him his food is killing him, and we continue the banter.  It amuses all the rest of the family too.  Then I threaten to unfriend him for being rude, and he tells me he loves me.  See….silly.

The other cool thing was going to a conference with 14000 attendees and finding someone who reads my blog!  It’s a long and convoluted story, but I tweeted something about being at the conference, she saw it, works for the company that was hosting the conference, and told me she’s a reader!  She emailed me a ton of veg-friendly restaurants in the area, and when I’m back in October, we’re going to have dinner together.  Crazy but totally cool.

So here…pictures!!!!  (sorry the post is so long!)

M opening a package from my Dad. GOLF CLUBS! He’s very excited…not only does he really want to play, but he got my Dad’s old clubs, which is just neat.
R playing with her legos…with her Minecraft Steve box head she got from M
me and my cousin S. You know how your first best friends are your cousins? Yeah….she’s still that cool.
my folks, sister, niece, and nephew. LUNCH TIME!!!!
S and a gaggle of children. 3 of them are her’s and one is my cousin P’s little one. All decked out in their Packer gear!



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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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