Leftovers, Road Trip, and I am NO Amateur

FOOD

Well there have been LOTS of leftovers! Nothing wrong with Tofurkey for breakfast! (Along with mashers, butternut squash, etc…).

Saturday was a day trip to Richmond. Had a couple apps (black bean hummus and creole chips) while out with friends, and then a veggie stir fry at a Chinese place called Fat Dragon that was totally amazing.

Today I made a big batch of ramen that was just okay. I was in a hurry, and skimped on the broth – which made it decent enough, but not worth leftovers. Shame too.

Dinner was a simple stir-fry tofu BAS. And yes, I found lettuce not trying to off me. Still find it funny that this is my daughter’s fav way for me to make it – pan fried until starting to brown and then add Tamar (gf soy sauce).

FITNESS

Oddly enough, I think my ankle is totally fine. It was still a little sore Saturday, but by Saturday night, I took off the Ace bandage and all was well.

Wanted to run today, but it started pouring. Did some spin in my garage instead! Hope to run tomorrow – should be dry!

LIFE

Been a great couple of days, other than my epic day of school procrastination hell, I really can’t complain. Saturday was up early (yay for the morning person thing!), got a few things done, and then headed over to my guy’s house. I left my car there and he drove to Richmond, with a shopping pit stop in Williamsburg along the way.

Spotted this in a WB shop. Thought it was funny.

We spent the afternoon with my girlfriend HF and her husband and two little ones. She picked this hipster bowling alley, and it was a ton of fun. The idea was the boys bowl so the adults to could hang out. It largely worked. Then we went furniture shopping (we were all on the lookout for something).

We also had a Governor sighting! We didn’t bother him, BUT I did surreptitiously snap a pick and tag him on Twitter. (Psst….not a skilled bowler).

So – it was a totally crap day weather wise. Pouring all day. Between the bowling alley and furniture shopping, we stopped at Target and I saw this car. Dude really needs to re-evaluate his transportation options. The tarp was full of rain water.

After we went to Buskey’s – our fav cidery, and then dinner and home. I was up early Sunday and headed home. I took a nap and then got cracking on laundry and school stuff. Let’s just say I had to finish 4 papers and 4 major spreadsheets with varying approaches towards demand forecasting. Fun. Times. I went to bed about 130am….

Needless to say, I did not set a 530 am alarm today. 7 was early enough, thank you.

Today R finished putting together the bookshelves. I’m so excited – everything is coming together nicely. I still need a side table for the new accent chair and about 2 nice sized area rugs – one for the study and one for the family room.

The no-show/no-reply contractor finally did contact me and ended up coming over on Sunday. He’s the only one who went into the crawl space to see if there was any water damage from the bathroom. But, now I have my three quotes. I’m already discounting the first guy, so it’s down to the other two. My preference is the 2nd group that came out, but will depend on timing. Those quotes were literally $10 different. Hopefully that’ll be completed in the next two weeks, and then the floors will really be done!

Slow morning this morning with sleeping in a bit

So A braided her little sister’s hair over the weekend. Promises to teach her how to do it

So the morning thing is going well. Other than this morning getting up at 7, I’ve been up at 530 every day. Earlier on Sunday – woke closer to 430. It still takes me some time for my brain to wind down – which is why it took me over 90 minutes to fall asleep last night. After being hyper focused on school stuff for over 12 hours, that was bound to happen. Overall though, the insomnia is light years better.

MY YEAR OF LESS

Again, been pretty tame. I’m nearly done Christmas shopping – which NEVER happens this early! All my kids are done, my sister, her husband, her daughter, my guy, and his oldest. I have left my mom, my nephew, and my guy’s youngest – though I know what I’m getting him – just need to get it. Very proud in how I shopped and planned this year.

That’s been the only expenditure other than the weekend adventure. Haven’t needed to pick up groceries, so it’s been the gifts and bills.

Thankful for Everything Except the Ankle Injury

FOOD

Let’s get the non-Thanksgiving pics out of the way first!

On Wednesday, I had ramen and my very first bubble tea with my guy! Mine was coconut milk with Oreos.

Wednesday night was one of my fav chili recipes – Chili Con “Carne”. It’s from one of my older cookbooks – Vegan Lunch Box from 2008. I don’t dust it off very often, but I can’t seem to part with it either when I do my book donation purges every few years. This particular recipe is practically worth the price of admission, so I keep it around.

Today I had lunch with my guy and his youngest – a BAS (no Romaine, thank you!). Dinner was leftovers.

So what did we do for Thanksgiving? Other than have a really nice evening, there was ten tons of food too.

Breakfast was toast with sunflower seed butter. And a mimosa!

Will prep now – this was an Omni gathering. I only cooked vegan eats, though my guy made 3 dishes (1 vegan, 2 not) and my son’s girlfriend brought 3 dishes (2 vegan, 1 not).

On Wednesday I baked ten tons of cookies. Choc chip that actually weren’t that good (won’t use that recipe again) and my normal oatmeal raisin cookies that do rock.

On Thursday, the marathon began! But first – snacks. No meals other than the “big feast”, so snacks are put out for everyone to munch on, and get put up about 2 hrs before meal time.

Son 2 made me realize I forgot the dessert hummus this year!

Started with a pumpkin pie (which we still haven’t eaten!). Then green bean casserole, butternut squash au “gratin”, 2 tofurkey’s (one in a crock pot, one baked), sweet corn bread, sweet carrots, two gravies (one that came with the tofurkey’s and a homemade mushroom one) and stuffing with wild rice.

My guy made the mashers (vegan) and also made corn pudding and brought smoked turkey.

My son’s girlfriend made two types of croissant dishes – the dessert one was vegan – and a big batch of sangria!

And because I’m really paranoid about dishes coming out at the same time, I employ the sticky note method! R mocked me for it a little, but hey – it worked. Everything came out at the same time!

There were 9 of us in all. Me and my three kids, my guy and his two, my son’s girlfriend, and his best friend – who’ve I called Son 2 for years. And we had MORE than enough food.

And by the end of the night, my heart and belly were very full! And how could it not be? I was surrounded by many of the people I love most in the world, so yeah – it was a perfect day.

FITNESS

So, inspired by the run that didn’t suck on Monday, I wanted to run on Wednesday too. BUT, it was too cold for me (31 degrees), so this happened…

And I typically hate dreadmills, but I really wanted to run, so here I found myself. I was 19 minutes in, and my right calf cramped so badly I actually had to stop. That sucked. But I hopped on a recumbent bike for 20 so I still got a workout in. The upright spin bike put too much pressure on my calf, but was fine on the recumbent. Guess that’s one benefit of going to the gym…

Yesterday before cooking I did a walk/run – only about 20 minutes because I didn’t want to press my luck. Was fine though.

Today I went for a hike! REI has their #OptOutside campaign again this year, and I do like the idea and there just so happened to be a meetup group going to First Landing State Park for a 3 mile trail hike that sounded perfect. So, I signed R and I up, and my guy had thought to go too – though that fell through. And frankly, at 7am, R didn’t want to go anymore either (freakishly cold, and she hadn’t had a great night’s sleep), so decided to go anyway! There were 6 of us (though 21 originally committed), and while it was wicked cold, after a half mile or so, was warmed up enough to really enjoy it. Everyone was chatty, so the time really flew.

After, I met up with my guy and his son for lunch, and then went home. I took off my shoes and sat by the fire before going over to my desk to get studying. My ankle started to feel a little sore, and after 20-30 minutes, was agonizing. Now, I did trip during my hike over a root – didn’t fall, but it was less than graceful. But I felt fine all the rest of the hike and after, so I can’t be sure that was it, but I have no other explanation.

So RICE it is! Rest – Ice – Compression – Elevate. It’s largely feeling better, just can’t rotate it without pain. For awhile there, it wasn’t weight bearing at all. Ugh – finally get my running mojo back and I get this. ARGH.

LIFE

Can’t complain! (Other than the ankle drama).

Wednesday was some work and errand running. Including finishing grocery shopping. Behold – my list…

My accent chair arrived, and I’m fairly pleased. Kids love it. It’s not a long term chair, but definitely wanted something in the study other than the desk and the book shelves. It’s a place to read, etc. Need to pick up a side table, hopefully this weekend.

Thursday was Thanksgiving, and a really wonderful day. My oldest works night, and was working, but came home, slept until 2, and then got up to spend the day with everyone before going back to work. My guy came over fairly early (his boys started their day with the other side of the family and then came over by my place). We took a run to Starbucks to get java and see M, who had to work. We spent the rest of the afternoon cooking together, which was a lot of fun, while the kids all watched the Lego movie. Watching them watch it and laugh and sing was really fun. Good thing I have a HUGE sofa – all of them sprawled out on it.

Then it was dinner and everyone in food comas. Let’s just say that things were much more tame after the eating ended. Then it was cleaning and dishes for me while everyone just relaxed and slowly dispersed.

Kids in food comas

And today was up early, hike, lunch, and school work. One of the contractors came to assess my half bath, and I should have that estimate tomorrow. The guy my coworker hooked me up with was a no-reply and no-show, so that sucks. Still have two tho, so hopefully those will balance out.

All told, awesome couple days!

And Kuma!

They were both cold!

Kuma snuggling the cooler my guy brought over on thanksgiving…

MY YEAR OF LESS

Not a lot of updates on here. I picked up things needed for the big feast of family. Got A’s Christmas gift, and had lunch out twice.

Contemplative Kick in the A$$

FOOD

Yesterday I had Ezekiel toast with Daiya cream cheeze and sliced tomatoes for breakfast. It was a few hours after I woke up, so having something a little hearty was fine. I really can’t handle meals well in the morning. Smoothies are fine, but that’s as heavy as I like to eat for at least a few hours.

Lunch was a catered thing at work. And bless my admin who always insists on vegan eats for me. We are restricted to ordering from in house catering services, so my selections are non existent. Last time, they seriously thought feta cheese would be fine in my wrap, so needless to say, I brought my own eats just in case. I stopped at the grocery on the way in and picked up a container of berries and a DIY salad.

And as you can see – the vegan option was about a pound of hummus with a couple cucumber chunks on a soggy wrap. I do appreciate the effort, but after a single bite, I was just glad I had backup eats.

Didn’t end up having dinner – wasn’t hungry.

This morning was a smoothie for breakfast on the way into the office for an early meeting. Water, Vega vanilla, frozen blueberries, & spinach.

Lunch was soup and salad from Whole Foods, and dinner was a simple salad at home.

FITNESS

Went for a run yesterday before work. It was chilly so I had to bundle up. And of course it started raining just as I hit my halfway point, so I was a bit cold and wet by the time I got home, but that’s okay. Still felt really good. My right calf is still sore, and I honestly don’t know why. Started hurting about 5 weeks ago or so. And while it’s not painful, it’s not normal either. I don’t recall pulling anything, so it’s baffling. First few minutes of the run yesterday were really tender, but it got a bit better as I went. Will keep an eye on it and see how it does over the next few weeks.

Getting warm and caffeinated before my run

LIFE

How much can happen in 2 days since we last chatted, right? And truth is, not a whole lot. They’ve been good days so I can’t complain. All fine on the work front, and with it being a short week, that’s always nice. Got to see my guy briefly each day, which always makes me happy. Kids are doing well, though R’s wrist is still really hurting. She has an evaluation for physical therapy next Tuesday. Hope it helps.

I have 3 contractors lined up this week to give me estimates on my downstairs powder room. Hopefully it’s not horrible news!

Also the #becomingamorningperson is trucking along. Been getting up at 530. Start with meditation, then coffee and some reading and chatting with my guy. Yesterday was a run, then work. Today was straight to work. So far, so good!

If I have to title the past two days it would be ‘contemplative’. I mentioned a few posts ago about being in a bit of a funk. And that’s totally gone, but what is left is some analysis about why I was in the funk in the first place. I’ve thought a lot about that, and I have some theories. But, need to give a bit of background first.

I’ve lived a lot of my adult life by the 5 year rule. Meaning, I make a 5 year plan, execute it, and then make another one. It’s how I work towards goals. My last 5 year plan got interrupted about 6 months early. In 2017 I was to finish my MBA, start a new job, and then create a new 5 year plan. Well, I finished the MBA. Had a bunch of job offers. And then got divorced. In the end, the divorce has been a very good thing for both of us, but it has left me without something to work towards, and that makes me feel really lost. I had this conversation with my friend M when we met for coffee a week and a half ago, and he’s very much in the same place. Don’t get me wrong, there are certain things about my future of which I am very certain and excited, but those are personal and academic goals. I spend way too much time trying to think of what my “next” is career wise, and I can’t see a path, and that both annoys and frightens me. It has also infected my attitude about certain things, and I can’t abide by that anymore. I am an overall happy and optimistic person who very much loves my life, and so to feel this sense of negativity for any length of time just, frankly, pisses me off. So once the funk faded and I spend some time analyzing it’s real origins, I have come to a couple conclusions. (You’re excited, I can tell).

1 – I don’t HAVE to know today what I want my career to look like in 5 years. It’s okay to take the time to figure it out. I’ve decided to give myself a year because a lot can happen in that time.

2 – if I want to change anything about my life, then it’s up to me to do it.

3 – I’m honestly very happy with where I am. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but it’s also not all horrible either. And I am fully capable of reframing my damned attitude about it.

4 – all of the good in my life FAR exceeds anything that’s frustrating or less than perfect. I lost sight of that perspective for a few weeks to a degree, and after a swift kick in my own ass (hey, I do yoga, it can happen), I’ve decided to readjust said attitude.

So there ya go. Crissie’s Guide to Attitude Readjustment!

And look – lazy Kuma pics just for fun 🙂

MY YEAR OF LESS

I’m excited – I was able to get bookshelves and a chair for my study and got wicked deals on them. The chair should arrive tomorrow and the bookshelves next Tuesday! WOO.

Otherwise, just groceries. $33 at Lidl for the majority of what I needed, and another $30 at Whole Foods. All set for the holiday weekend!

Awesome Weekend and NO MORE CARPET

FOOD

All yummy on the food front! Managed only one smoothie since my last blog post! You know it’s getting chilly out when smoothie intake tanks.

Did have lots of other fun stuff tho – and a mixture of eating in, eating out, and travel meals.

The fickn quesadilla from Hell’s Kitchen in Norfolk.
General Tso’s Tofu out w my guy

Whole wheat roti

One of foods I really liked growing up was egg salad. Thankfully, it’s easy to make a vegan version, and I literally seen dozens. My stand by is so simple, but I make it all the time. The firm silken tofu from Mori-Nu is perfect. I cube it, put it thru an egg slicer, and mix with vegan mayo and mustard. Sometimes I add things, like onion, celery, relish, etc, but not this time!

Also made a vegan mac that’s an oldie but goodie from the very first vegan blogger I ever followed – and have been lucky enough to meet several times now. Her food is amazing and very much in line with how I like to cook (low or no fat/oil).

This time of year I really go for the kale-based BAS (Big Ass Salad for new readers) always with a tahini dressing and loaded with whatever I have.

So simple! Equal parts water, lemon juice, tahini, and nutritional yeast. Plus salt.
Love my Tribest personal blender for dressings. My vitamix is just too big for that.

My guy spent the weekend and we had a couple really yummy meals. Friday night was Italian and listening to A tell funny work stories (she works in the emergency department).

Last night was him on the grill and me on the baked mac no cheese! So excited to finally have the Beyond Meat brats! Rounded out with salad and rosemary/garlic grilled potatoes, it was awesome.

Made the mac gluten free for my son’s gf who can’t have gluten

FITNESS

Embarrassing to say – not a whole lot! Had about 2 runs and some yoga at home. That’s it. The good news is that as of today, I officially have my garage back to normal – and that means the home gym!

LIFE

THE FLOORS ARE DONE! Finished them on the 10th, and the rest of the trim this past Friday. We all signed the back of the last board that went in. I do have to get a professional in to do the downstairs half bath, but otherwise, they are finished – and totally beautiful! The house is largely put back together – just a few things I need to pick up yet, but I seriously couldn’t be happier.

Veteran’s Day I went to lunch with my guy, one of my really good friends, her husband, their son, and his brother and his wife. All but two of us are either active duty or vets, so it was a free lunch and a chance to see J and K who moved to MD this past summer – so it was awesome they were in town.

I had a quick work trip in Chicago last week that went really well. It was ridiculously cold – but otherwise had a great time.

I always stay at the Palmer House when I’m in Chicago. They have this amazing old world apothecary called Merz’s that I just love. I definitely picked up a few things, including fun bath stuff for while I was there.

The conference was about consumerism – and this was probably one of my favorite sessions about DIY care.

I mentioned my guy spent the weekend. Friday after the trim was done and dinner eaten, we watched a movie. I had been wanting to see the new Blade Runner 2049 since it came out, and we were going to rent it. Did some reading and found we really should watch the original 1982 one. I had seen it once, but I think I was 17 or so and didn’t remember it. I’ll be honest – I REALLY wanted to love it. But it was just strange. We were both not thrilled, so decided to not watch the new one after all. I probably will someday – when I don’t have to pay for it 😏.

My great friend NS from Nairobi sent a care package to me of coffee! His friend is in Virginia Beach for a dental conference, and brought this for me. Definitely had the one on the right this morning! It was so good.

Saturday we did a bunch of errands – took carpet to the dump, got his tools back to his house, and returned all the extra boxes of wood I ended up not needing. Then it was dinner, and he and I and my son and his girlfriend went out. Starting at Birch, then Torch, a brief stop at Grain (was WAY too busy), and then ended at Hell’s Kitchen. And of course we used Lyft the entire night.

Today was naps, school work, and laundry and not much else ☺️.

All told, it was a really perfect weekend, and I am one lucky girl.

Good progress on the becoming a morning person thing. I finished the Miracle Morning and have been using it as a blueprint for my own mornings. So yay!

MY YEAR OF LESS

Other than home improvement stuff, this is going quite well. I’ve started Christmas shopping and have a very set budget for it – so here’s hoping I stick within it! I use the Christmas Club account through the credit union at work, so that makes a big difference. R, Kuma, and I are going to WI for the holidays, so there will be more expense than planned, but it’ll be fine.

I do need to buy a bookshelf for my study. The one I had was broken, so this is a replacement. I also need to pick up a couple area rugs as well and I’d like a wingback chair and table for the sitting area in my study. I’m looking at Wayfair and Birch Lane and will see about Black Friday furniture sales. The rugs can wait – will be in the DC area in a couple weekends and will hit up IKEA since ours doesn’t open in Norfolk until Spring.

Crissie’s Mojo Reclamation Project!

FOOD

Been a fairly typical week or so of eats. Not as many smoothies – as the weather gets colder, I tend to lose my feel for them. Though if I feel I haven’t eaten balanced in a day, I’ll have one anyway.

BUT – I’m always down for soups and salads for any meal – including breakfast.

Slow cooker corn chowder! Ate this for days
Part of a Whole Foods soup and salad breakfast. This is their carrot ginger soup

My guy and I had Chinese takeout on my back porch
And he made tofu/potato tacos!

We went out to lunch, and I had the spicy eggplant – which was delicious

Tofu stir fry

Lentil snobby joe’s in the slow cooker

FITNESS

I’ll be honest, I had a couple runs and a couple weight lifting videos, but it felt more like I was going through the motions that really loving the workouts. They’re feeling stale and when that happens, I’m more likely to not workout, and that’s just not cool. Probably doesn’t help that my home gym has been largely covered in wood dust for a few months, though honestly, that’s just an excuse.

So what’s an uninspired girl to do to rediscover her mojo? Well, for me – I read. It can be blogs or magazine articles for inspiration (I mean, when someone with physical disabilities still gets off their ass to run, there is literally NO excuse for me to stay on the sofa when I’m fully abled). And I can say I just have no time – that I’m either working, studying, taking care of my family, and trying to have a social life. But again – that’s just excuses to justify being lazy.

But what I did dust off was an old book I read years ago that really inspired me in the first place. And it’s not a hippie self-help you-can-do-it kinda book (though there is nothing wrong with it). It’s a snarky, hilarious, and still manages to be inspiring book. So – here’s hoping it helps with my running mojo.

LIFE

Life trucks on as usual, and it’s mostly been awesome, though I’m in a bit of a funk at the moment. Something I was really hoping to have happen didn’t, and while it’s not entirely unexpected, it’s still a downer. So, time to dust off and figure what to d next I suppose.

Halloween came and went, and that’s my very favorite holiday. My neighborhood does a good job of making it fun, and seeing all the kids was adorable.

Got to spend some time with my guy, but never enough. That’s okay though, we manage and I’m grateful for all the time I DO get.

Last weekend and this coming weekend are all about finishing the floors! I’ll be so stoked to have them done, and they’re looking really, really gorgeous.

School is fine. Only one class this term (though it’s 6 credits vs the two 4 credit classes I’ve been taking). The workload is high, but not unmanageable, which is good.

This is a book written by one of my Darden MBA professors. Using it as a reference in a doctoral paper I wrote!
My guy’s son and I are wicked procrastinators, so couldn’t help sending him these

Kuma is as cute and odd as ever. I took her to run errands the other day, and we stopped at the vet so I could get a copy of her shot records – girl is in need of a spa day and the place I used to take her closed. It took us a half hour to get out of there because all the staff kept passing her around. What can I say – she’s a charmer!

On an early morning Kumaventure to get breakfast before floor fun started!
There was a spot of sunlight, but when it moved…she didn’t

On November 2nd, Starbucks was giving away their free reusable cup, and I was there early enough to get one! And I got another one too…oops. Impulse buy. Bad Crissie.

And of course yesterday meant voting! While it didn’t go all the way I wanted it to (hello Beto and Gillum and Abrams), all was not hopeless. Having so many women in congress is historic, and I hope that will bring something great to the legislative process. And Walker is out in my home state, and I am not sad to see his toxic ass go.

The evening ended with a working happy hour, so that’s never a bad thing 🙂

So on the whole “becoming a morning person” thing, I clearly fell off THAT wagon! But, I’m back on it and it’s going pretty well. In my Morning Sidekick Journal (that I’ve ignored for a while now), there was a recommendation for a book called the Miracle Morning. I have Kindle Unlimited for Amazon, and it was on there – including the audio book, so there was no reason to not get it. I started listening to it weeks ago, but stopped. Mainly it was about an accident that almost killed him and his perseverance, blah blah blah. BUT – the other day I put it back on, and once it got into the science of why mornings are amazing, it started to peak my interest. I’m still not done with it, but it certainly inspired me enough to give it another go. One thing I did was move my phone/apple watch docking station to my dresser and not on my bed. So, I have to get up to turn it off, and since I’m up – well. I’m up! Don’t get TOO excited – it’s only been 2 days – but I’m appreciating the tips, tricks, and guidance of the book, so hopefully this can become a good habit.

MY YEAR OF LESS

Okay, pretty much fell off this too! While I haven’t gone on some crazy shopping spree or anything, I haven’t really been tracking either. I know I’ve gone out to eat/drink more than the monthly $200 allotment, for example. I haven’t tabulated my October spend yet, though between a weekend away and birthday fun, I know it’ll not be what I was hoping for. I’m sure all is not lost (I did stick to most of the plan), but certainly need to be more accountable to my goals. Guess I have a lot of mojo to reclaim, huh? That’s cool though. I know I can.