Contemplative Kick in the A$$


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.


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


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 🙂


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


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


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!


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!


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!


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


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 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.


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.

Ocean’s Weekend


Some fairly typical eats!

Took my young one to Brixx after a Dr appt. Love they have vegan pizza!

Lunch date with my guy. Veggie fajitas!

Totally amazing chili with my favorite sweet cornbread. I’m always hunting for new chili recipes used this recipe – added 1 cup of soy curls, skipped the refried beans (I was out), and cooked in my Instant Pot on high pressure for 12 minutes. Seriously amazing.

Went to dinner with my friend NL before she went back home to PA. We shared a mezze platter and I grabbed this beet salad.

This is actually my daughter A making homemade cider

My guy and his youngest came over for dinner on Saturday. Made creamy mushroom pasta, maple roasted sweet potatoes, balsamic & garlic roasted brussel sprouts, and 3 loaves of homemade French bread.

Baked oatmeal with chai spices

Roasted butternut squash and apple soup

Meatless Loaf, mashers, and Tamari mushrooms


A couple runs, but then just really gentle yoga because I think I pulled something in my calf as it was sore for days. Feels much better now though, so think I’m good to run again!


The past week has been fairly busy, but good. Lot’s of time spent on school work, but that’s not new. We had a group project, which is often a pain in the butt, and since I really took control from the beginning, I was fielding calls and messages from my 9 classmates trying to get this project done. It was more complicated than it needed to be, but we got it done and I’m quite proud of it.

I went out to dinner last Wednesday with a girlfriend and had a great time. Did get to see my guy a bit too, so that’s always fun.

While I was out, R tripped while she was stretching her wrist and got hurt. I Aced it when I got home after doing an examination – no deformations, etc. It still hurt 2 days later though, so off to her Dr we went. X-ray shows no break, but if it still hurts by Wednesday – we go to ortho, as not all breaks can be seen, especially of the wrist. So far – my guess is we’ll end up at Ortho…

Friday i went out with SMS – who I probably haven’t really seen in 6 years! We went to a local wine bar and then to grab dinner. Was awesome to catch up. I’ve missed her.

Saturday my guy and his son came over for dinner and we watched Ocean’s 11. I rented Ocean’s 8 to watch the next day and wanted a warm up movie! It was a fun time, as always. A & M both had Halloween parties to go to so we didn’t see them the rest of the night.

Sunday was low key. I was up early and watched Ocean’s 8. So – I love the Ocean’s movies. Though 12 kinda sucked. But anyway – I know 8 got tanked in reviews, so I waited until Redbox. I don’t mind splurging the $1.87, even if it sucked. I actually liked it. No Oscar movie to be sure, but still fun. Good homages to the original, and a totally killer cast. Fun twists, just like the originals. Well, as I’m in the last 5 minutes, A wanders in and wants to see it. I suggest watching Ocean’s 11 first. So she does. And as she’s about to watch Ocean’s 8, R walks in. The two of them watch it while I make dinner and watched it with them. Even more fun the second time! After it was over – and both girls loved it – R watched Ocean’s 11. She liked 8 more. Anyway – definitely an Ocean’s weekend.

Today was a really early morning coffee date, work, and some school stuff (not enough).

The weather has definitely cooled off, so we’ve been using the fireplace! Of which Kuma is a BIG fan…she’s also incredibly lazy. But cute, so that’s ok.

Ignoring me and pretending it’s not time to get up

Giving me major stank eye when I gave her crap for still being in bed when I got out of the shower


A quiet week overall. Trying to make up for the bday weekend splurge! Shopping was a minimum, even in the grocery category – only spent $26 on groceries this last week. I have SO much food in the house, I should really cook more of what I have – so that’s what I did. All my meal plans were based on what I have on hand, though some fresh produce is always necessary.

Fortunately, this has always been my motto. If I haven’t used it in 6 mo, likely don’t need it

Meaty Bananas & Cranberry Juice that’s NOT for Vodka


Not a lot of kitchen inspiration this week. Leftovers, popcorn, soup, and a few outings in the last couple days.

The best meal was Thursday night though. It was an early birthday outing with my guy, where we went to a local winery we like and split a bottle of our fav easy drinking cab, and then went out for Italian. We had a marinated mushroom appetizer that I think was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever had.

Yummy zucchini ribbons and pasta with olive oil, garlic, and bread crumbs

On Friday (my actual birthday) we went out for Indian. Went to a different place than last weekend – one where we know it’s always good. And it was. I had to Goan Vegetable Curry.


No runs this week, but definitely yoga and weight lifting.


Overall, the past several days have been pretty amazing. Lots of school stuff, but that’s nothing new nor unwelcome.

Thursday I had a really important thing happening all day, and after, went to my guys house so we could jet to our romantic evening out. And it really was awesome.

While we were out, A sent me a text asking if we had any bananas, and if she could please have one. Thought it was an incredibly strange question since no one needs permission to eat food in my house (especially healthy food!). Turns out that, as part of her nursing school instruction, she needed to practice injections on the banana. Huh. Okay…

Well, then she asked if she could have the cranberry juice. And I assumed – since I came across all the vodka on the counter the day before – that she was going for a vodka cran before going to sleep…

Yesterday was my birthday, and I’m pretty sure it’s the best one yet! I took off work and spent the entire morning and then lunch with my guy. Then I went to see M at his Starbucks, and then it was off for spooky Howl O Scream fun! It was supposed to me, my girls (M couldn’t get anyone to take his shift 😒), my guy, and his youngest. Shortly after lunch though, my guy got really sick, so he stayed home. But, the rest of us went as planned and had a total blast.

Traffic sucked on the way, but the ride ended up being hilarious. A and I were telling crazy stories about patients we’ve encountered and everyone was cracking up. We then started talking about bananas and A asking me if she could have one of the bananas. I proceeded to tell the kids that I thought it was funny, and then she asked for cranberry juice, presumably to pair with vodka. A started laughing and said that no, the Cranberry juice was actually what she needed to inject INTO the banana in order to determine if she was doing a good job. And that it was important that the banana be really meaty. It probably didn’t help that she had only 2 hours of sleep in about 36, hadn’t eaten, and everything ended up being hilarious. There were many jokes about meaty bananas the rest of the night….

We walked around the park until full dark set in and we could start with the really spooky stuff. I can’t tell you how many times I had to tell really spooky characters that they weren’t allowed to kill be because it was my birthday. One particularly funny/spooky guy commented how cool it was that my birthday would also be my death day…

A posted this on FB. She’s so cute!
Creepy jester DJ spinning some jams

So my guy’s son had never been to Howl O Scream before, but for me and the girls, this is totally our jam. The more spook, the better! Nothing like getting scared out of your mind, chased with chainsaws, and just generally laughing and screaming so much your throat started to hurt. At least that’s MY idea of a fun night 🙂

So yeah. Half a day with my guy, half with my kids (except M), and dozens of messages from friends and family all over the world. Other than M and my guy not being able to come with us for spooky fun, overall the entire day was totally perfect.

Couple other pics

Bday present from my guy. Heart = Melted 😍
Woke this morning to this awesome gift from my sister!
Meet Beverly. She’s been hanging out with us all week. She’s very friendly, actually, and R is really digging her.
My car on the left, A’s on the right. Mama bear and baby bear!


So I will admit I spent a bit more this week than I’m proud of and I do need to refocus on my challenge. I bought a new coffee pot. I had a Ninja Coffee Bar and I noticed some green mold growing in the reservoir, despite cleaning it regularly. So I contacted Ninja, and after some back and forth, said they’d give me a discount on a new one. Well – I did some googling and saw quite a few people comment on the green mold, so I knew I didn’t want another one nor one with a reservoir quite like that. But, most of the time, only a single cup is consumed per day (unless M or A want some, and then it’s a pot), but I refuse to get a Kuerig. Despite the intense wastefulness of those K Cups, I find the coffee pretty crappy. So the hunt began for a coffee maker that can do a pot, or a single cup, and not be those K cup things. Thankfully, Cuisinart pulled through. Could I have just used my French press forevermore? Yes – and it wouldn’t have cost me anything. But – I spent the money and replaced my coffee pot.

My youngest did get me an Amazon gift card – mainly because she doesn’t like that I can’t buy myself books on my shopping ban. I’m pretty excited!

Nope. Brain isn’t Melting. I Hope.


Been a fairly typical week. Smoothies, salads, soups, curries, and stir fries mainly! I’m loving the (mostly) chilly weather.

Lazy meal – beyond meat crumbles + marinara over pasta
Simple Instant Pot dish – 1 c soaked pintos, 1.5 c br rice, 1 jar salsa, 4 c broth 25 min high pressure

Yes, popcorn is a meal!

Out for Indian with my guy!
Enjoying drinks on the water
Special order FAIL. Our admin is amazing – always orders me vegan eats. Kitchen screwed up and added feta 🤨
Thankfully (or sadly) I expect them to screw up, so I always bring back up eats. This time – leftover soup!
Killing time at the Sbux where my son works. Apparently this is my new nick name??


Been another really active week. Runs several days and LIIFT4 on 4 of the days. Good times!


School, work, school, family, school, school, school. Oh, you get the point. Every waking minute when I’m not working, working out, with my family, or my guy – I’m studying. And since I sleep for crap, that leaves a LOT of time for studying! I can’t tell if my brain is melting or expanding. I’m hoping for the latter. It’s all good though. I really do love learning.

Kuma – my study buddy sleeping on the job
Was a really cold saturday, so studies with tea!

Friday night was fun. R and I hung out, played Backgammon, and watched Black Panther.

My guy got some new shades and he sent me a selfie in them. I was already in bed, so sending a reciprocal selfie was met with squinted eyes due to the flash. So I got my old Burberry glasses (that he hates) and did one with those instead!

I was feeling pretty run down on Saturday, and while I took a nap, A took R (and Kuma) to a local farm to get pumpkins!

Also having all 3 kids home – at the same time – for a picture! (Ignore the floors – we’re mid- home improvement project!)

Sunday was studying during the day and then most of the day and evening with my guy. Was tons of fun, as always.

Otherwise- my life in miscellaneous pictures!

R and I were at Sbux waiting on M and saw a rainbow!
My guy’s youngest and I whine about math. So I sent him this 🙂
For my next house?
Showing off my new glasses for my guy (while wearing his fav sweatshirt 🤣🤣)
Quick wine and magazine break from calculating statistical control charts. Can ya blame a girl?

Looking forward to the rest of the week. Have a few really cool/nerve wracking things happening, my birthday, and fun times planned!


Well, I was confronted for the first time for something I didn’t allot for. Eyebrow waxing! Now, thankfully I’m not really hairy or anything, so every 2-3 months is fine. But I will tell you – I will NOT tweeze. Ugh. So, I did pay the $10 to get them waxed last weekend.

The only other unplanned thing was an Uber – which was a necessity after the golf tournament! Otherwise, everything is within expected categories: replacing things that ran out, groceries, and going out, but not going over my monthly limit.

And what am I doing with all this $$ I’m not spending? Paying off bigger ticket item bills, loans, and putting stuff into savings.