Calm in My Chaos

FOOD

I’m sure you’d believe me when I tell you I can’t remember what I’ve eaten the past few days! ¬†The reason is mostly due to a lack of a picture history ūüôā

I can tell you that today I had a green smoothie for breakfast, tofu and veggie stewp for lunch, and a simple green salad for dinner.

spinach, coconut water, mixed frozen fruit, and a banana.
spinach, coconut water, mixed frozen fruit, and a banana.
not soupy enough to be a soup, but it's quinoa, tofu, green beans, carrots, onion, garlic, and tomatoes in a spicy veggie broth.
not soupy enough to be a soup, but it’s quinoa, tofu, green beans, carrots, onion, garlic, and tomatoes in a spicy veggie broth.

I’m excited to do 3 days of juicing starting mid-week this coming week. ¬†I can tell you true, that I need the reset, and am very much looking forward to it. ¬†Too much command center crap and store bought salads lately! ¬†I have a week before traveling for work ramps up again for a month, so it’s definitely good timing!

Additionally, I’m excited to say that my entire family is going to do the 13 day Happy Herbivore 3 day cleanse + 10 day reboot! ¬†We’re starting Mother’s Day – which happens to be the day after I get home from my work trip and A gets home from her Freshman year in college! ¬†Here’s a link to it if interested.

FITNESS

I finally got some yoga in today! ¬†I haven’t used my YogaGlo account in a few weeks, so it was a nice way to get it in while staying at home! ¬†I’ve gone on two runs and to two kickboxing sessions the past few days, and my upper body is SORE. ¬†The last 9 Round workout involved lots of punching, burpees, and push ups. ¬†Ouch. ¬†In a good way, of course.

LIFE

Well, I’m excited to say that I had an entire weekend OFF! ¬†No kidding, I did no work whatsoever! ¬†It was quite nice.

And…I got a new phone! ¬†After 7 years, I have left the iPhone family and jumped ship to a Window’s phone. ¬†I guess it’s jumping back because that’s what I had before iPhone’s came out! ¬†D has had one for a while now, and I was due for something new. ¬†I honestly love it, and D has been having some phone envy ūüôā

D went to DC for a photography weekend. ¬†He left around lunch on Friday and is due home tonight around 1030 or so. ¬†I’m excited to see what’s he come up with – our walls are in desperate need of some art! ¬†Most importantly, he had a really great time, so I’m happy for that. ¬†And he gets to see our eldest for dinner on his way home!

one of the pics D sent me this weekend.  He spent a lot of time at Arlington National Cemetery yesterday, and I thought this pic was kind of funny.  Seeing the two old men, clearly here to visit someone important to them - take a break to check their phones...cracks me up.
one of the pics D sent me this weekend. He spent a lot of time at Arlington National Cemetery yesterday, and I thought this pic was kind of funny. Seeing the two old men, clearly here to visit someone important to them – take a break to check their phones…cracks me up.

Friday night was pretty quiet, which was nice. ¬†Saturday morning R’s friend came over, and I took the girls to Busch Garden’s for the day! ¬†Her friend had only been once before, and she was 3 or so, so it was quite a treat. ¬†Plenty of rides, sunshine, and fun. ¬†They both fell asleep on the drive home. ¬†N spent the night, and the girls played and goofed off all of last night and half of today.

My day today was spent mostly doing wash and getting things ready for the week. ¬†I did some writing and binge watching of my new favorite show, Lost Girl. ¬†First three seasons on Netflix if you’re interested! ¬†It’s right up my alley, werewolves, vampires, and fae private detectives in a snarky crime/comedy thing. ¬†Don’t judge…it’s a fun show, and I love finding something new.

This week looks to be a relatively stable one.  Only one planned late night, lots of catching up at work for it not being a go-live week, but still Рshould be pretty routine, which is nice!  So still, it was a busy weekend, but in the chaotic way that makes me feel relaxed.  That makes sense, right?

Tonks' new favorite nap spot is the window in my bathroom...
Tonks’ new favorite nap spot is the window in my bathroom…

Winner, Workouts, Work, and Wacky Fuzzballs

We have a winner! Using a Random Number Generator program, One Curvy Blogger will be receiving a free copy of The Jazzy Vegetarian. Congratulations!!!

FOOD

Oh dear heavens, where to begin? I've been working long and strange hours, so food has had to be simple. I realized yesterday that I hadn't been to a grocery store in nearly 3 weeks – which is so unusual for me! I have had many salads, too few green smoothies, baked oatmeal, and vegan pizza! Nothing outrageously unhealthy, but I will be looking forward to next week and being back to relatively normal hours for a few days!

FITNESS

The past two weeks have definitely been all about the runs and kickboxing! A relatively new chain opened up 3 studios in my region, and I've been going at least twice a week. It's called 9Round, and there are essentially 9 stations, with a 3 minute workout at each station. It can be anything from punches, kicks, squats, lunges, burpees (yuck), and between each station, there's a 30 second transition exercise. Planks, jumping jacks, jump rope – those seem to be some of the standards. The last station is core, and it's killer. According to my HR monitor, I get 400-500 calories burned in that short workout. And I am sore for days after!

On days I'm not getting some gratification of punching and kicking the crap out of something, I run. Our weather has been a mixed bag lately (warm one day, cold and wet the next), but hopefully we're on the upswing with warmer and consistent weather.

I haven't had much time for yoga, and I can definitely tell. My muscles are a little tight, so hopefully I'll have time soon. I truly have had 10-18 hr days most of the last 3 weeks, which hasn't left me much time for family, cooking, friends, nor yoga.

LIFE

It's been a good few weeks. Hectic, but good. When you spend 18 months building a new computer system and all the stuff that goes with it (designing, building, testing, training, etc), the most gratifying thing is seeing your customers use it. It's nerve wracking – is it going to work, did I forget something, etc….but they have all gone very well so far (knock on wood), so I'm hopeful that the rest will go well too. We've brought 4 sites up so far – hence the crazy hours.

On a totally unrelated side note, spring sucks. I have the most awful allergies in the spring, and I've had very little relief in the past month or so. I can't wait to start whining about the crazy heat, because at least that will just be sweat – but I will be able to breathe!

It's otherwise been quiet. Trying to spend as much time with my family as possible – which has been far too infrequent, taking too many pictures of the families fuzzier members, and taking one day at a time.

 

A Jazzy Gift Giveaway!

It’s present time!!!

Okay, so the food highlighted in this post all come from a new cookbook – The Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites.

And one lucky reader will get their very own copy to make fun and awesome (and healthy!) vegan eats!

The book is by Laura Theodore who is much more than a cookbook author. ¬†She’s the host of the Jazzy Vegetarian TV show on Public Television, hosts a weekly podcast called “Jazzy Vegetarian Radio”, and has been featured on several major networks and publications. ¬†Oh, and on top of all this, she’s an award winning jazz singer!

complete with my sticky notes as I figure out what I'm going to make!
complete with my sticky notes as I figure out what I’m going to make!

This book is certainly jam packed with awesome recipes and tips, but there are two things that set it apart for me. ¬†The first is that she has an entire chapter dedicated to menus. ¬†Most people don’t eat a single thing at a meal, and when you’re having guests, a full menu from beverages to dessert are important. It’s also nice to take some of the planning out of making a meal! ¬†Laura put together 10 sample menus (all with recipes from her book, naturally),¬†that can inspire different gatherings. ¬†The Lunch Brunch, Portable Picnic, and A Taste of Italy have been my favorites. ¬†The second thing she does is pair each menu with a jazzy playlist! ¬†I think that’s a fun a whimsical addition to a “simple” cookbook!

Okay, so on to the grub!  I made several recipes from this book including Red Quinoa, Avocado, and Chickpea salad, Coconut-Encrusted Tofu Cutlets, Paprika Roasted Cauliflower, Easy Vegan Paella, and Cinnamon-Maple Mini Muffins.  Everything turned out great and the family enjoyed.

Reprinted here (with permission) is the recipe for the muffins. ¬†They were a big hit with my kids, and didn’t last long!

Cinnamon-Maple Mini-Muffins

Makes 12; Nut Free

Ingredients

*1 cup whole-wheat flour

*1 tsp baking powder

*1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

*1/8 tsp sea salt

*1/2 cup raisins

*1/3 cup + 1 tsp nondairy milk

*1/3 cup maple syrup

*1 tbsp exta-virgin olive oil

Directions

*preheat oven to 375 F.  Oil a 12 cup mini-muffin tin.

*combine dry ingredients, then fold in the raisins.

*stir in the wet ingredients, and mix until just incorporated. ¬†The batter will be quite thick. ¬†Don’t over mix or the muffins will be tough.

*divide the batter into the prepared tins.  Bake 25-30 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

*let cool for 15 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temp.

these were simple and tasty, and an easy additions to our lunches for the week!
these were simple and tasty, and an easy additions to our lunches for the week!
the Easy Vegan Paella was one of my favorites. I'd always been intimidated by paella, but this was very yummy - and easy - with the perfect crusty bottom.
the Easy Vegan Paella was one of my favorites. I’d always been intimidated by paella, but this was very yummy – and easy – with the perfect crusty bottom.
these paprika roasted cauliflower bites never made it to the dinner table....D and I ate them all in the kitchen.
these paprika roasted cauliflower bites never made it to the dinner table….D and I ate them all in the kitchen.

these paprika roasted cauliflower bites never made it to the dinner table....D and I ate them all in the kitchen

So, if you’re interested in this musically inspired cookbook, please just leave a comment on this post indicating you would like to be entered into the drawing. ¬†A winner will be picked and announced in one week (4/20/14).

I Lack the Hoarder Gene

so that big project that went live last weekend? Totally awesome. I'm going to have those for months now, but I couldn't be much happier with how things went. I hope this means more time for blogging!!

FOOD

One of the challenging things about go-lives is eating well. You're working in a command center for 10-15 hrs per day, and unless you bring food with you, it's take out or the bulk junk food everyone brings as treats.

To alleviate some of that, I bought a ton of bulk foods to share at the command center – things like apples, granola bars, animal crackers, and pretzels. Not totally “clean” food, but better than bags of chips, cases of soda, and crate of cookies (which is what's usually there).

I made a double batch of one of my favorite soups, and brought that, a green smoothie, and fruit with me to get by every day.

This weekend was almost no food, but that was due to a fun case of food poisoning on Saturday evening. A totally different story, but I can say it fully sucked!

FITNESS

I managed a few runs and even a yoga class this week, despite the crazy hours. I think it helped keep me even.

A friend told me about a new studio that opened here called 9 Rounds (it's a chain) that I want to check out next weekend. It's boxing/kickboxing/circuit training, but all done in 30 minutes. Sounds fun, and it's just down the road.

I was supposed to run in the Cherry Blossom in DC yesterday. It was the entire reason I went out of town. I can say I was genuinely pissed off when I got food poisoning from dinner Saturday night. I spent the entire night throwing up (feel sorry for AC – she and I shared a hotel room, and there's no hiding that kind of sound!). I ended up being awake for about 30 hrs before the pain passed enough to sleep. However – I will be up there for work in early May and plan to run the course.

LIFE

Well, the primary things this past week has been work, broken snow globe, and then DC. Here's a quick summary (or as quick as I can be!)

Went to work Saturday evening around 830 pm for go-live night! It went well, and while there are always hiccups along the way, the entire week was good. Busy – but good. Talk about being proud to work with the smartest people I've even known! They make what we do look easy! We have 3 more months of these, but to have that first one done – and to prove that you did it right – means a ton.

I have never been in danger of being a hoarder. I've always known that – if I don't look at something for 6 months, I clearly don't need it and throw it away. I don't attach emotional ties to objects. I did, however, have a fleeting sad moment earlier this week, and have found (and lost) that one object that actually held sentimental value. For mine and D's first Valentine's day, he bought me a snow globe with a little boy holding roses. He said it's so the first flowers he bought me would never die, and I've loved that snow globe for a very long time. The destruct o-cats broke it this week, and I really was sad to have to pick up all the broken pieces and throw it away. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but still. Kinda sad anyway.

Saturday morning I picked up AC and headed to DC. On the way we stopped to see A and take her to brunch, which was really nice. AC and I got to DC, checked into our hotel (which was not ready), so chilled in the hotel bar for a bit to wind down. Once our room was ready, we freshened up, then headed out to the National Museum Building for the expo and packet pick up. Talk about disappointed. They ran out of t-shirts, so I got my bib and nothing else.

From there we grabbed dinner, then it was off to the DC United game and to meet up with LS. I got sick 20 minutes into the game – and a few times during it. We held out and got to see them win, which was awesome. Sadly I was sick the rest of the trip. I did try to go exploring with AC during the day, but when I fell asleep on a park bench behind the Smithsonian Castle, we both knew I was toast.

Thankfully, once LS was able to meet up with us at the American Art Museum, I took the metro back to the hotel where I dozed off and on until 7, when AC got back. We watched Superman, Game of Thrones, then went to sleep. I feel much better today, but still can't really eat.

On the way home, we picked A up again and then met up for lunch with CT and HF too! These are the girls from the Seattle and Vegas trips, and it was fun to all be in the same town (CT lives in Seattle now), then I got home, and cleaning, catching up on blogging (yay!), and planning to hit the hay early for work in the morning!