Loving My Chaotic Life!

FOOD

The best thing about being home is making my own food!  Friday morning for me started out with a beet, avocado, onion, and tofu BAS for breakfast.  I miss my various BAS’s and this one is definitely a keeper.

nothing wrong with a BAS for breakfast!

I made a batch of beets in the pressure cooker that ended up being fantastic.  Pressure cook for 5 minutes with apple cider vinegar and orange slices, then made a dressing from the beet juice by adding dijon mustard and brown sugar.  The tofu was a simple bake in a marinade of tomato sauce, garlic, tamari, and spices (I think I used oregano, cumin, and cayenne, but I don’t remember!).  Anyway, best salad ever.

I was out and about for lunch, so I picked up a vegan eggless salad wrap from my favorite deli, Yorgo’s Bageldashery.

topped with sprouts, spicy pickle and pepper relish, onion, tomato, hot sauce, and spinach.

For dinner I made a vegan shepard’s pie.  Diced and mashed potatoes, onion, corn, peas, and broccoli in a veg gravy in a pie crust and topped with bread crumbs.  I ate this for two days.  I’m surprised it lasted that long!

Sunday morning was a green smoothie and a quinoa and rice hot cereal ala cream of wheat – but better.  Nothing fancy, just wholesome and exactly what I wanted.  Lunch was packed and eaten at the pool.  For me it was just some flax crackers with homemade hummus and a coconut milk yogurt.

Dinner was a simple rice cooker dish of brown rice, onion, and brussel sprouts.  Topped with siracha, it was spicy but still very basic.

FITNESS

Of course being at the pool for 5 1/2 hrs made me really want to go for a swim, but alas, it was a swim meet and the only ones in the pool were the kids!

After getting home around 6, I did go for a run though.  It’s so weird how dark it is by then.  I had on my reflective belt, but still didn’t feel lit up enough.  M lent me his flashlight (it’s small but sturdy from camp), and I held that while running.  I was sure to keep it pointed down so I didn’t blind drivers, but was still clearly visible to them.  Running while keeping my arm straight was very awkward and was getting uncomfortable by the end of it all.  I seriously need some head and tail lights!  I will say, it made me feel much safer both in visibility to others and it my being able to see the ground (still littered in many places with fallen tree branches from Sandy).

But all that said, the run itself was awesome.  I had a boat load of energy, the weather was perfect (high 50’s), and it was just one of those runs that you kept going a little bit farther because it just felt so great.

LIFE

Life is getting back to normal!  Friday I spent running errands mostly.  After I woke, I made a meal plan and grocery list for the week, and then went to see D at the office.  Even though I was technically home, we didn’t see each other since I didn’t get to bed until 2am, and he and the kids didn’t wake me when they got up for work and school.  He works near a park, so we spent his lunch break walking around the lake.  It was awesome.

Then it was off to get a manicure and hit up Whole Foods!  It’s my second visit to our new one, and while still very busy, I was actually able to park in the lot and take my time in the store.  Love it.

Yesterday R had her 2nd swim meet!  It was absolutely chaotic, but she loved it.  We were at the pool for almost 6 hrs, and were all exhausted by the end.  She did great though, especially having just been moved up in the group.

she’s in the middle
butterfly!

Today is cleaning, batch cooking, yoga, taking R for a haircut, James Bond, and party prep (I’m having a vegan meet up dinner party next Saturday).  I love weekends!!!

I’m Not Licensed to Drive a Tank

I’m sitting on a plane on the way home. After nearly 3 1/2 months of trips (some for fun like FL and Vegas, but most for work), I’m happy to say I have no where to go for at least 4 more months! I can’t express how excited I am about that. I love that a few of my work trips were also combined with visits with family, but I’m ready to stay put in VA for a while.

While I was galavanting around, D has had to deal with a hurricane, a nor’easter (and we were very fortunate compared with New England), managing 3 kids and all they have going on (swim 4-5 days per week for one and a new job for another), feeding them on a fairly consistent manner, keeping the house from falling apart, plus work full time! So while I whine that I’ve had it rough with flight delays and too much dining out – it’s nothing compared to what he’s had to do!

So a quick recap since my last post. I made it to and from WI in just over 3 days with minimal flight issues. I made every plane and didn’t get stuck anywhere I didn’t need to be, so I count my blessings there.

I landed in Madison on Monday afternoon – just after President Obama left a rally. Since there were a ton of grounded flights all getting off at the same time, there was a run on rental cars. Enterprise upgraded me once again….but this time the vehicle I got was just too much. They gave me a Suburban (full on Secret Service/FBI looking thing!), and it was more of a rental tank than rental car. I hated driving it and hated parking it even more.

I hit up a Zumba class and a hot yoga class while I was there, but mostly either worked or stayed in my hotel room. Tuesday night I was on pins and needles watching the news and constantly flipping around to different news sites, that I finally decided to go to bed and find out who our president was going to be when I woke up.

I will preface this next bit by saying a few things. Even though I wasn’t in VA on election night, I did cast an early/absentee ballot at the polls in mid-October. I believe that people are entitled to their own opinions (and this is on anything, not just politics). I have respect for anyone who’s convictions are their own (and not just because of who they’re married to or if they’re “told” to have a certain opinion), and for those who choose to educate themselves on issues before making their choice.

I will also say (in case it wasn’t obvious) that I am a Democrat and happy with how the election turned out. I don’t “hate” Mitt Romney or anyone who really is trying to do what they think is best. I think there’s something to be said about the concept that governments be looked at a little more like a business. He’s certainly not the first to suggest that (remember Ross Perot?) and won’t be the last. But that said – people are not debits and credits on a balance sheet. I just hope that the politicians elected will work together – the percentage of who was voted for was neck in neck, and that should send a clear message to them ALL that we are a country divided and polarized, and if they can’t work together for the good of us all, then none of them have any business in the jobs they are in.

I’m done on that topic now!

This is going to be a busy weekend – swim meets, runs, grocery shopping and cooking (my favorite), plus a pot luck and catching up on house work! Next week is just as crazy. I have three nights with late meetings, a girls Winesday outing, plus hosting a Vegan meet-up dinner and movie Saturday night. I think I’ll sleep sometime after Thanksgiving 🙂

My tank:

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Baggies On My Feet

Well, I’ve been traveling so much lately, that this is more of a catch up post than anything.  Sadly, that seems to be my theme lately, doesn’t it!?

I flew to WI last week for work, but got to sneak in some time with my sister and her monkeys.  Not as much as I’d have liked, but it was still wonderful.  I got to see my parent’s for a few hours too, which is always nice.

C and I were supposed to see Natalie Merchant sing with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Saturday night, but between flight delays and Badger traffic, it was a bust.  I did get to see my niece and nephew trick or treat, which was my biggest goal (Halloween is my fav holiday).

G and M! Gotta love M’s pose here…. 🙂
how cute are they?!?!

Work was good, but long.  I’m in software training classes and I don’t do well sitting in one place for 8+ hrs a day for days on end.  Thankfully I only have one more week of it.

I did spend one evening getting a manicure though!  I forgot how cold WI can be in the fall, and it certainly wasn’t appropriate for my typical flip-flop wearing when I get my pedicures back here in VA.  Anyway, after getting my pedicure and letting my feet dry under the heaters for 10 minutes, the nail tech sprayed cuticle oil in baggies and had me put them on my feet before my socks and shoes!  It was so weird…but I was told it would keep my nails from smudging.  And now that it’s not open toed shoe season anymore, I can go back to fun colors.  This time is a dark blue/teal color.

I had a mixed bag of meals in WI.  My sister made a killer black bean soup on Sunday, and I brought leftovers to my hotel when I left, which was really cool.  I found an awesome breakfast place when in Madison called Monty’s Blue Plate Diner.  I went and had an amazing breakfast of scrambled tofu and vegan hash.  10 of us went out to The Weary Traveler’s Free House on Thursday, and I ordered way more than I could handle.  I ended up eating the roasted veggie salad (which had this incredible Serrano chili dressing I have to figure out how to make), and took the vegan chili and cornbread back to my room for breakfast Friday.  I also went to a Korean place called K Peppers that was simply awesome.  The only bad experience I had was at a local Italian restaurant called Vin Santo.  I was by myself like I usually am when I travel, and looking forward to yummy food, a glass of wine, and reading.  I was totally ignored the entire evening – at one point getting up to refill my own water glass.  On my way out I mentioned to the owners how much I didn’t appreciate being ignored, and even though I was dining solo, there are a lot of business professionals who come through there who don’t always have the luxury of dining with family or friends.  Then I walked out and won’t be back (food was only mediocre anyway).

a big ‘ol breakfast
K Peppers
Weary Traveler – bad iPad pic.  And it’s upside down!  Weird…

The rest of my team stayed in Madison for the week, but I really wanted to come home.  It was worth it – I was even greeted with flowers from D (that’s a big deal, by the way…it’s only the 4th time ever he’s gotten me flowers).

Today has been busy (running, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, unpacking, laundry…), and I’m getting ready for some girl fun tonight!  Tomorrow we have planned massages for D and I, a family movie, a quiet dinner at home, and then packing so I can do this all over again on Monday….

my bfast this morning! Pumpkin pie oatmeal. Cooked old-fashioned oats with some unsweetened coconut milk on the stove, then added 1/4 cup pumpkin puree and 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice and a squirt of agave. So yummy!