A Very Merry Time Indeed

FOOD

Friday I had a smoothie in my office for breakfast and a solo Thai lunch. Dinner was awesome though – the wine bar my guy and I go to now has a plant based menu section! Several months ago, the chef decided to be vegan for a month, just to see what it was like for me (which is epically cool). First, I hear he loves eating vegan – which is awesome. But even more so is the new menu, and I had the vegan po boy for dinner Saturday night (as did my meat eating friend I was there with), and it was delicious!

Other eats include brunch with my boyfriend, salads, beans and rice, and of course Christmas dinner of Tofurkey, mashers, corn, stuffing, mushroom gravy, and a bunch of other dishes I just didn’t get to.

FITNESS

Gym on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday for the HIIT class. And yesterday was my traditional Christmas run. I’ve done it 11 out of 12 years – missed last year because I was in WI and it was snowy and cold and ewww.

I rolled my ankle Saturday night – nothing fun, literally just stepping off a curb. But it was too sore on Sunday to do anything. It was swollen and I was worried I sprained it, but by Monday it was still sore, but I felt comfortable hitting the gym. I just modified any moves that required jumping. To be honest, it is still slightly sore, but it was fine for my run yesterday and I’m heading to the gym in a few where I expect it’ll be fine also.

LIFE

It was nice to be in the office on Friday and Monday. After work Friday, I went out with friends to celebrate the end of another term and that I am officially ABD! That means “all but dissertation”. Essentially, I’m done with classes and my focus shifts to research, analysis, publication, and graduation! My girlfriend I went out with is also in my program and knows just how hard I’ve worked to get to this point faster than anyone has before. So she and her husband treated me to a wonderful night of wine, food, and fun.

I was there about 30 min before S and A arrived. So Alex the bartender – who knows what we love to drink – kept giving me short pours of new things to try

This – was disgusting. Couldn’t even finish the sample, it was so bad.

A turmeric whiskey sour. Was quite good, though I let A finish it because I can’t really mix wine and booze

Saturday I spent the afternoon and night with my boyfriend. We ran some errands and then went to our fav Cape Charles’ spots for cider and cocktails (see now why I stumbled off the curb 🤦🏻‍♀️?).

The next morning was brunch at one of our 2 regular spots and then it was off to run errands on my way home.

Monday was in the office again, then the gym and more errands. I had to pick up some groceries and went to the store near my house. It was a madhouse, and the line looked more like a theme park rollercoaster line than a grocery store!

So Christmas. Normally one of my least favorite holidays – ever since I was a kid. This year was actually really nice. On Christmas Eve, the tradition in my family is to open pajamas and a game, and whoever wins the game gets to choose breakfast in the morning (which means I shop for what 5 people like for breakfast because you never know who the winner will be!).

My son in law spent it with us, and he ended up winning the game. I didn’t play because I was cooking – but it was fun to watch them.

Christmas morning was also nice. Coffee first, then gifts, breakfast, and my run. After cleaning up from breakfast, I put out appetizers and a Bloody Mary bar to snack on until dinner.

We spent the day at home. My boyfriend came over for a few hours and we did his gifts too. I got a Google WiFi mesh that he installed and it’s amazing!

I love maps and globes. Several weeks ago my youngest asked me where I’ve always wanted to go. Without hesitation – Morocco. She got me a framed 1800’s era map of Morocco – in French! I love love love it. I also got a book and a travel cord organizer from my sister, another framed print from my son, flavored vinegar and olive oil and a bottle of Bulleit from my daughter and son-in-law, and an Amazon gift card from my mom. Though honestly – it was less about the what (which was all lovely), and more about the who. I got to be with the people closest to me and have a great day.

What my travel cord “bag” looks like now – so what C got me really is perfect!

Only downside yesterday was the holiday light plan. We went to the Merry Mile, which is at the Virginia Beach oceanfront – you drive on the boardwalk of the beach and see the lights that are there, usually driving under them. It’s about 30 minutes away, and we wait in the long line of cars….to find out its cash only. THE WEBSITE DIDN’T SAY THAT. The kids didn’t want to hunt down an atm and then get back in line, so we went home instead.

Okay, Star Wars. To be honest, I have always been more of a Star Trek fan, but with the series concluding, I want to brush up on the series, so I’ve been working on watching them all in a lead up to going to see the finale on Saturday with my son, boyfriend, and his eldest. I never even saw them all, so it has been a fun education. Thus far, I have watched 5 of them.

And other miscellaneous shots of the week!

Please Don’t Make It Weird

FOOD

I’ll be honest, for the past week and a half or so, I haven’t had much of an appetite, so most of my eats have been boring, or I’ll have something and only eat a little bit of it. Oh well. Not like I’m going to starve or anything!

The past few days have been smoothies, tea, spicy tofu soup, popcorn, tofu eggless salad, Thai one day, and stir fry on a lunch date.

FITNESS

Went to the gym every day this week – more of that HIIT class I’m digging. It always starts out on the rower and then the weighted ropes – though what you do with them changes from day to day. Some days it’s alternating arms, some it’s both arms, some there’s a squat or jumping jack in between. Basically there are 15 stations, and you spend 3 minutes at each. Depending on the focus (like today was shoulders and back), the exercises vary, though there’s always some rowing and elliptical/glider thingy. The time flies, and I really like that about it. And it torches a ton – 400-600 calories each workout. Can’t complain about that!

Also got a long run in. Been stressed a lot lately – this is helping tremendously!

LIFE

Relatively quiet week. I didn’t go to NY, but still did those meetings, just remotely. R was out of school half the week. Her fever finally broke, and while she’s still coughing and feeling a bit run down, she’s light years better than she was. She missed her orchestra concert on Tuesday – which really crushed her – but she couldn’t go. Not only because of school policy, but she honestly just wouldn’t have had the stamina.

I was on my way home from the gym and sent the kids a text to walk the dog. The following ensued. M was playing a league of legends match, and A, well, apparently she had no pants…

I got a new sign for the front door. We did have one of those stickers from Home Depot, but it blew away (to be fair, I never stuck it on anything – just taped it).

Today was a productive and lazy day. Had to exchange something at the store, I worked out and showered, wrapped presents, baked a loaf of bread, washed the “pneumonia blankets” (aka, the ones R snuggled up under while she was sick), meditated, read, worked, but mostly feel like I did very little. Strange.

Tomorrow is back to the office though! Not sad about that, actually.

For my fellow French speakers. I try to watch something on Netflix or read something in French fairly regularly (though not regularly enough) just to keep the skill up. Saw this and about fell over laughing.

Floof snuggling while I read this evening.

Sneaky Pneumonia Sucks

FOOD

Not a whole lot to report here. Yesterday I had a piece of toast with sunbutter before going to the gym.

Lunch was some leftover spicy tofu soup (this one with lots of riced cauliflower).

Dinner was at my guys house – I brought a big ass salad from Whole Foods. I took a picture, but it was blurry. Bummer too, because it was awesome. Lettuce, tabbouleh, tofu eggless salad, tons of veggies, and dolmades. Couldn’t finish it, but damn, it was good!

Haven’t eaten much today. Too sleepy. Think I had some crackers and a smoothie that I didn’t snap a pic of.

FITNESS

Went to the gym yesterday for another HIIT workout. This is me in my car after.

Nothing today – I’m pretty much a walking zombie. I did meditate though.

LIFE

Been quite the weekend. Went to the gym yesterday and then to run some errands. Had a quiet night planned with my boyfriend, and went over there in the latter part of the afternoon. We watched two movies – Just Cause – and older flick with Sean Connery, and Takers – about 9-10 years old with Idris Elba. Both decent movies. Had dinner, and just a lazy evening. He’s feeling a bit under the weather, so we went to bed early.

A couple hours later my phone lights up – it’s the young one. She was not feeling well, so I went home. She had been sick earlier in the week – but so was her brother and he was fine after 2 days. I think we were masking her symptoms by rotating Motrin and Tylenol to keep her fever down (which was working very well). Ended up in the Emergency the rest of the night/morning where she was diagnosed with pneumonia. Honestly – I feel absolutely guilty for not realizing she was that sick. She was eating and reading, and clearly not feeling awesome, but no way I’d have guessed she had freaking pneumonia! But still, guilty mom time. Sneaky pneumonia…

Sweatshirt over her head to block the light so she could try to sleep. Never quite worked…

Good news is her older sister was working, so of course we went to her hospital and were well cared for. SO many people would come into our room, see the three of us (A, R, and I) interacting, and shake their heads about how we all act and look alike. The mops of curly hair certainly gave it away. It was funny, and apparently quite the topic of conversation after R and I left around 5am.

I was supposed to head to NY in the morning, but no way I’m doing that. So I’ll be working from home while she gets better.

Hanging out trying to stay awake today with Luna and some books. Brain was toast and couldn’t really focus on reading.

Got caught in some sudden rain while out on a walk

HIIT Me Baby, One More Time

FOOD

Good week on the food front with a fair amount of cooking.

Sunday I made a batch of spicy tofu soup and butternut squash soup.

I also made two loaves of bread this week – I have a bread machine and my youngest says it looks like I 3D print them. So they’ve become the 3D printed breads.

Lots of tofu eggless salad this week too. Some on sammiches and some mixed into big ass salads.

Tofu eggless salad AND a Beyond Meat patty for a super filling salad

Monday was a ramen date with my guy, which was really nice. Had Thai one day and smoothies, of course.

Actually had this for dinner one night

And another big batch of spicy tofu soup today!

Coffee date yesterday

FITNESS

HIIT me baby, one more time! Lots of activity this week. Several runs (we had a couple really nice days), and HIIT workouts at my gym. They have this thing that, during certain hours, you can walk in and a trainer puts you through a HIIT workout. I did that a few times this week. Lots of rowing, those crazy rope things, box jumps, deadlifts, squats, ab work, etc. I wear a heart rate monitor, and these 45 minute or so sessions are burning around 500 calories or so each. Can’t complain!

Also, you can tell the holidays are upon us because the crazy wreath people are back! If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know I tend to comment on people during the holidays who feel the need to put a wreath on every window, door, garage, etc. I think because I grew up in the north where it actually snows, most houses decorate with lights and maybe one wreath. Here it almost never snows, and people show their festivity in a very different way – which includes LOTS AND LOTS of wreaths. I’ve certainly gotten more used to it, but it still makes me smile when I see it.

As spotted on my block during this morning’s run

LIFE

It has definitely been a busy week. Monday and Tuesday in the office. Lots going on and it was nice to be there.

Tuesday night was spirit night for R’s orchestra class at a local pizza place, so we all went there.

Wednesday I was working from home because a contractor was coming by. Almost a year ago, I had them come in to finish work in my downstairs bathroom. We had just finished the new floors in my house, but noticed water damage in the downstairs bathroom. Anyway, hired someone to come in and fix the subfloor, fix the leak (it was a bad wax seal around the toilet), and put in the floors. Well a couple weeks ago the city was doing smoke tests looking for leads in piping. We got a notice that seeing smoke outside is no cause for alarm, but smoke inside is. Well I’m working at home, my eldest is home studying and suddenly smoke comes pouring out of the bathroom. I’m not so low-key freaking out starting to wonder where the heck my house is on fire from. A is cool as can be, calls the city, and sure enough it’s the smoke test. So long story – contractors came out. There’s no leak and everything is fine.

Thursday was at work for half the day, then went home. R was home sick, but when I talked to her, sounded like she had a fever, so I went to go check on her. 102.8. Today she woke with a 102, so I worked from home with the exception of one late meeting I had to do downtown. Cycling Motrin and Tylenol is keeping the fever down and she’s actually eating and acting relatively normally.

R bundled up in front of the fireplace trying to stay warm

So last night my sister texts me to tell me about Keanu Reeve’s day. The following commenced where she fully shamed me. When I told her that, her reply was “Then my job is done”. Guess siblings never change 🙂

My old insomnia has raised its ugly head lately. The past week or so, I haven’t slept well. Thankfully last night was a good night, so I hope the no sleep silliness has passed.

Tonight will be tons of school work. Tomorrow I’ll HIIT the gym again and then come home and do school work. If all the stars align, will head to my guys house for dinner, movies, and to stay the night.

Wednesday morning Kuma really didn’t want to get out of bed

Is That a Chardonnay in Your Pocket, Or Are You Just Happy to See Me

FOOD

One morning last week (Wednesday, I think) I made oatmeal and put a scoop of protein powder in it. I’ve done this before and it was fine, but this was just nasty. I choked it down but wish I hadn’t!

I had Ezekiel toast with sunbutter two days. No other breakfasts in the past few days.

I haven’t had much of an appetite since Friday morning, and honestly – haven’t eaten much. W was not happy with that, so we went out to Fancy Radish in DC and shared a few plate. Still couldn’t eat much, but did have a bite or two of everything.

FITNESS

Worked out every day last week, either a run, a spin, or a strength training session. Saturday I was in DC and did a ton of walking. I do wish I had packed workout clothes. A run in the city would’ve been perfect. Today we’ll see. Could probably use a run or a hot yoga class honestly, but I just got home from a weekend away and am not sure yet.

LIFE

Been a fairly rough week, but it is what it is. Friday I headed up to DC for a weekend and holiday party with friends. It was a much needed weekend.

Friday I wandered around Old Town Alexandria for a couple hours. I was planning to stop at this one wine shop, but it was closed. Stopped at the Majestic for a glass of wine and reading before heading over to W’s house.

W and I hung out at his place for a bit, then walked the couple blocks to Fancy Radish for dinner. Then back to his place for a few hours, then back to my hotel.

Saturday morning was a little rough, but then I met up with A to grab coffee and watch the Scottish Day parade. It was awesome, I can’t believe I didn’t get any shots of the tons of dogs in tartan in the parade! But it was a really great time.

My girl A taking pics!

After the parade, I walked to the metro and went to the Natural History museum for a bit. Then back to my hotel. I was supposed to meet up with friends for the parade of boats with Christmas lights, but I dozed off. Did make it in plenty of time for the party though, which was really nice. There were about 15 or so of us. Grad school buds and their other halves mostly.

For the past several years, my friend D and I pick on Chardonnay drinkers. It goes back to an experience with an ex-girlfriend of his, and has turned into a bit of a running joke. So he got to the party, came over to give me a hug, and pulled out a bottle of Chardonnay! It was hilarious. Obviously left for other party guests if anyone wanted it.

Just the Darden classmates!

This morning I woke up and drove home! Got home about an hour and a half ago. Not sure what the rest of my day will look like, though likely cleaning, some cooking, school work, and maybe a movie.

Trying to see if I can like bourbon. A and K happened to pour a class of Pappy van Winkle – a $700 bottle – and I only had a tiny sip, but it wasn’t bad!

Picking the wee one up from robotics

Death to Death Lettuce

FOOD

So I may actually be done with any romaine lettuce bought at a regular grocery store. May have to stick to any I grow myself or get from a local farm. My daughter has called it “death lettuce” since last years outbreak, and with another one again, it is apparent that it is simply too easy for animal waste to contaminate on a commercial farm.

So Sunday I made salads with spring mix. I’m just going to say it – I don’t like it as much. I like crunchy lettuce damnit! I also made tortilla soup. These two were my lunch.

I also made a homemade BBQ sauce and then decided to mix it with some pasta, corn, and black beans. It was good. A little odd, but good.

Yesterday morning was a quick smoothie (though saying “smoothie” is a stretch – it was just Garden of Life powder in water in my blender ball after a workout). Lunch was a Thai food lunch date with my guy. Dinner I skipped.

This morning was sunflower butter and banana on toasted Ezekiel bread. Lunch was a Moe’s salad on the way to my Dr appt. Dinner has yet to happen (this is a bad trend this week).

Nutritionally devoid iceberg lettuce, but hey, at least it is not trying to kill me

FITNESS

It was raining yesterday morning, so I was bummed I couldn’t go for a run. I did an upper body workout in the garage instead.

Today it was NOT raining, so after a 25 minute core workout, I went for that run!

Runs are definitely my fav workouts, but even more so when I’m feeling stressed or worried or worked up about something. So – glad to lace up and get out there this morning.

LIFE

Pretty typical early work week. Working from home, though this will be the last week of that. The bruising on my face is at a tolerable level, and I’m cleared to wear makeup, so I can largely cover it. My idea of makeup is usually tinted moisturizer, so it doesn’t fully cover it, but it dulls it enough. The scar will take much longer to heal, but even that is looking good. Hard to believe that 2 weeks ago my face was sliced into. I do believe I have magical healing powers! (Or a damned good plastic surgeon….my money is on that one).

I had a fair number of meetings yesterday and today. Not so many that I couldn’t get anything else done, but enough to keep me busy. I made a bit of a dent in my to do list this week. Not as much as I’d like – I’d really like it clear before the end of Thursday.

Today I also had my yearly mammogram. I normally do that in October (birthday month – old habit from military days where we did all our health screenings in our birth month). I had it scheduled in October, but ended up having a personal conflict and needing to reschedule it.

On my way there, I went shopping for the holiday gift exchange for the party my boyfriend and I are heading to this weekend. We’re DC bound for the yearly party with friends, and we do a white elephant gift exchange. I stopped at the ABC store, and while the pickings were slim gift-wise, I did find one thing. It was a little sad – the man in front of me was checking out with just the little airplane bottle of vodka.

So the Nextdoor app – basically Facebook for neighborhoods. Typically it’s posts about lost pets, people complaining about those “darned kids”, and other annoying things (like my neighborhood wanting to have our city declared a 2nd Amendment sanctuary city…ffs. That’s just crazy). I do appreciate some of the recommendations for things when I’m looking for home services, like a lawn service and pressure washing. But today – today warranted sharing the stupidity of others. You see, this coming Saturday – the 7th – is the Christmas parade where I live. To be honest – I’ve never actually been because I dislike crowds, but that’s not the point. The point is this man left came chairs….monogrammed camp chairs….out on the public street….15 FULL DAYS BEFORE THE PARADE to “hold their spot”. And then is outraged that the chairs have thusly been stolen! Seriously? What happened to just showing up a few hours early to snag your spot? It’s not like I live if NYC or Chicago or something. Yikes. People are dumb.

The rest of the day has been working and school work. I got feedback from one of the 2 primary reviewers/approvers of my research, and I have a lot of work to do to incorporate that.

Celebrating that I’m doing qualitative research and not quantitative!

I’m really looking forward to that weekend getaway. It is much needed.

Kumaventure this eve to pick the wee one up from robotics