Flight Club

FOOD

Mixed bag of home and road eats this past week. I was home for four days, and then back to Chicago for a few.

I made a butternut squash sauce for pasta.

I swear, there’s a baker under that mound of green beans and chickpeas!

Brunch Sunday with the boyfriend – my typical wrap.

Lunch on Monday was with a co-worker and I had a veggie burger

Tuesday late lunch/early dinner was with my sister and mom. My sister and I split an Impossible burger. She had never had one before, and hadn’t had a hamburger in 30 years, so it was a fun treat! They’re very filling, so splitting that an an app was just fine.

Chicago eats were a mixed bag this time. I was “captive” and the vegan eats were slim pickings, at least until the last day. So I picked up stuff at Starbucks or had oatmeal in my room. No lunch for 2 days, and I think I can’t look at another Clif Bar for awhile…

FITNESS

Spin class, runs, and yoga while I was home.

LIFE

Well, been busy for sure. Last weekend was fairly low key. Spent most of it at home with the kids and doing all the home front fun stuff like cleaning and grocery shopping.

Sunday was brunch with my boyfriend and hanging out at his place a bit.

Love the fire pits at our fav brunch spot

Monday was work and then shopping the veteran’s day sales! Then packing for a morning flight to Chicago.

Tuesday morning I hopped a flight to Chicago and then headed up to Milwaukee, where I picked my sister up from work. We then went to her house and then to pick up our mom for lunch. All told it was nice.

Though – on Monday Wisconsin got a ton of snow and I may have been a bit worried about the roads. Texted C from the airport to validate the roads were ok. She then went to social media to publicly shame me. Brat sister.

Picked up C, after some directionally challenged moments, and were on our way!

After lunch, spent some time at her house visiting my niece, nephew, and brother in law. Then it was back to Chicago.

View from my room did not suck

By the way, if you don’t have WTForecast, you’re missing out. It makes crap weather at least funny.

Lots of very informative meetings and presentations for 3 days I have been in Chicago. Got to meet up with several people I’ve met over the years in the innovation space, and met a few cool new ones. One of the new people I met actually used to work with one of my girlfriends back in DC. We took a selfie and sent it to her. Small world.

Wednesday night I couldn’t join the party because I had class, but that was ok. I joined it last night at a place called Flight Club. NOT Fight Club, which made me completely reevaluate my expectations of the night! It’s a nightclub with darts. I played. I largely sucked. But had a great time.

And now, I’m airport bound and ready to be home with NO work travels for about a month! I’m quite excited 🙂

Until then, random pics for your enjoyment.

M and I made Vesper’s to celebrate watching Casino Royale. They were WAY too boozy, so basically turned them into Cosmos

Totally forgot about this building in Milwaukee that has ladybugs on the side.

My munchkins went out to dinner together last night.

Fireplace Season Has Begun!

FOOD

I was only home for a few days before another brief work trip.

While home had tofu green curry, a breakfast salad from Whole Foods, baked a loaf of bread, and made a rice and broccoli casserole.

Then it was off to Chicago for a quick overnight trip. Stopped for java at Stumptown Coffee before my meetings, and then had lunch at Sunda after, which consisted of sake, spicy edamame and vegan ramen.

Dinner that night was a group affair at the Little Goat Diner. They did make me vegan eats – I just wish they were good. I feel badly, because I could tell they really tried, but I just didn’t enjoy the meal. The company, however, was amazing, so that more than made up for it. And I was still full enough from lunch that it wasn’t a big deal to largely skip dinner.

Just shredded Brussels with lime juice. And a bit too much lime juice unfortunately. One bite, and I was done
Chickpea fritter was okay, but the red cabbage it sat on was amazing!
Mushroom pasta. Didn’t like the flavor combinations that included raisins and cinnamon.
Again with the raisins? Roasted Brussels with raisins and almonds. Didn’t take more than a bite.
Chocolate sorbet paired well with the red wine 😉🍷

The event had no vegan breakfast mains, which isn’t surprising. I had fruit and cashews, which was totally fine. Munched part of a Clif Bar too.

Lunch was a taco bar, which I really liked. Easy enough to make up something tasty.

Then it was back home! I grabbed Thai, but not at my usual place and got Tom ka and pad Thai, both with tofu. And since R and I were the only one’s home for dinner last night, so we went to YNot for some Italian yumminess.

FITNESS

Nothing in Chicago, but runs and a trip to the gym while home.

LIFE

I got home from Atlanta fairly late last Sunday night. Monday I spent some time with my guy before taking Luna to the vet. We’re trying probiotics, thinking the antibiotics killed off all the good bacteria in her belly, causing her poop issues. Fortunately, she’s still eating, drinking, playing, and stealing my spot in bed!

I worked from home on Tuesday. R didn’t have school, so it was nice to spend the day, even though most of mine was at my desk, with the exception of going to vote! Then it was cooking, martini’s, packing and heading to bed for a morning flight.

Chicago was cold. Like grossly cold, and for that reason, I’m not looking forward to heading back in a few days! Ugh. Otherwise the trip was great. Was part of an Innovation “bootcamp” with several other organizations for a day of sharing what we’re each going through in building innovation programs as well as sharing best practices. I really enjoyed it and met some very groovy people.

Walked past 2 of these. Can’t help but wonder how long they’ll actually be around considering the massive $ loss and issues they’re having

Getting as bundled as I could before heading to morning meetings!

Got home late on Thursday night, and then to the office for meetings on Friday. This weekend will be all about school and cleaning and kids before I had to Chicago again on Tuesday! At least this time I’ll get a chance to see family.

Kuma and me hanging by the fireplace this morning! Cold has come to VA. Ugh.

Gift from my boyfriend for my bday. I’m a big fan of this album
Drinking tea for the first time from the cup, and it did cool stuff when it got hot!
Just a silly exchange with my guy when I was coming home from Atlanta

Still a Whiskey Conspiracy and Doctoral Fun

FOOD

Still been on the road since my last post. I had another day in Vegas and the highlight for sure was dinner at the speakeasy Beauty & Essex.

My last morning I found a açaí bowl that I ate just before my last meeting of the conference! Though it was with DB, who is one of my favorites.

Then it was off to Atlanta until today (I’m sitting in the airport killing time and waiting to go home!). It was my doctoral residency so most food was in the hotel. Breakfast was oatmeal, lunch was whatever they had – typically a salad, though one day was much more dynamic. Dinner one day was with K and I had the vegan grit bowl. Second day was with K and our advisor Dr. J, and I had the red and white quinoa bowl with tofu.

Saturday I got out of the hotel and hit up ATL with my girlfriend E. Stopped at the Wrecking Bar first for some flights of in house brews, then The Porter for a Beyond burger and their signature salt and vinegar popcorn (which is totally worth the hype!).

FITNESS

In Vegas I walked. In ATL, I did yoga and my daily burn app. Nothing fancy, but hell, 10 days on the road and I’m thrilled with what I managed!

LIFE

Oh hell, where to start? Left the HLTH conference in Vegas energized and excited, but nervous too. Excited about all that’s going on in the space to truly disrupt my industry. Nervous because the disrupters are the outsiders – and that can be a problem for those entities that aren’t willing to adapt. The next 5-10 years will be really fun to watch.

I got to my Atlanta hotel around midnight on Wednesday night/Thursday morning. The trip is for my very final residency in my doctoral program. I will admit, the experienced was mixed. There are only 2 of us left from our initial cohort (me and K), and while we all keep in touch with the original crew, we are a bit on our own.

This trip was supposed to focus on specific skills to aid in the research process. K and I are both done with all coursework, etc, so what we really have coming up is IRB approval, research, writing, and (hopefully) graduate. So this trip was to focus on tactical skills to get to graduation – like interviewing, site permissions, and going over all the detailed elements we need to know. And while we got some of that, our professor (and there were only 5 of us in total, K and I in the lead cohort with Strategy & Innovation, and 3 others who are behind us in various areas of Leadership and HR), liked way too much to pontificate on things that were entirely irrelevant. All told, it was valuable, but not nearly as much as it could/should have been. I mean really….making us work on creating a mission statement on how we are the “leaders of our own dissertation project”? UGH. All that aside, I got enough to where I’m super jazzed to get going. I submit to IRB at the end of this month, which is totally insane. There is a distinct chance that I start my research before Christmas. It moves up my timetable somewhat, but I’m still so very excited!

Thursday night after class K and I grabbed drinks (SHE DRINKS WHISKEY AND I SWEAR IT’S A CONSPIRACY) and dinner, and it was to bed pretty early.

Friday night after class we had dinner (and a fair amount of very good wine) with our current mentor.

Saturday night after class was all about time with E (WHO ALSO LIKES WHISKEY). Also my youngest R did a cybersecurity scavenger hunt thing at a local community college and got second place!

And today was class and then off to the airport to wait relatively patiently for my flight. And people watch. And I desperately wanna give this woman a makeover…

And while this entire trip has been very productive, I am beyond ready to get home to the ones I love!

Other fun stuff for your viewing pleasure.

Getting prepped to hand out candy on halloween!

Am I the Only Non-Whiskey Drinker?

FOOD

Well hell, it’s been a hot minute since I wrote. I’ve been in Vegas for the past 4 days. I wish I could say I’ve gone to a bunch of cool spots, but most days I’m not eating a whole lot. I did hit up Hell’s Kitchen and SushiSamba though before the conference started tho.

Monday I stopped at Plaza Azteca for a late lunch. Vegan bowl as always and a margarita.

Made a big batch of tofu stir fry one night, and also ate the rest of the spicy tofu soup leftovers. And of course smoothies because that’s my jam.

Friday I ate at Hell’s Kitchen in Vegas. My girls and I love that show, so it was super cool. Also super cool is there’s a fully separate vegan menu. I remember reading an article ages ago where Gordon Ramsey was bitching up a storm about vegetarians and vegans. My, how times have changed!

Saturday was SushiSamba! Totally love this place. It’s a Japanese/Latin fusion spot at the Venetian. Much sake was had, along with edamame, coconut rice, cucumber rolls, and a spicy tomato/cucumber salad. Couldn’t finish it all (well not true, I finished the sake!), but still – SO good.

I did pack my portable blender, so at least I’ve been having quick smoothies every day. I grab fruit when I get coffee in the mornings. And sadly, been relying too much on my Clif bars the rest of this week. They’re filling though, so I’ll find myself eating half of one, and then the other half later in the day.

FITNESS

Last week I ran and did yoga. This week it’s mainly be a metric ton of walking and yoga. I have the Yoga Collective and Daily Burn apps, so try to get in at least 20-30 minutes of something in my room before hitting the conference.

LIFE

BUSY AS HELL. Though that’s nothing new and I likely wouldn’t know what the heck to do with myself if I weren’t busy.

I got to Vegas on Friday. My hotel wasn’t ready yet, so I checked my bags and went walking. Stopped at Paris – had great sushi and Korean food last time I was here, but just ended up with a drink (French 75) and then sat to do emails. Didn’t want to ruin my appetite for Hell’s Kitchen!

After my late lunch (3:15), I went wandering around and ended up at the forum shoppes at Caesar’s. They used to have this one spot where I could stand and literally see almost all my fav shoe shops. Unfortunately, they’ve rearranged, and my happy place is no longer there. Alas.

Later that evening I met up with my girlfriend D at Caesar’s. We hit up Vanderpump’s Cocktail Garden where I had two of the English Garden.

Then off to the Neon Museum! D is a member, so she was able to get tix for us. They have a Tim Burton exhibit, and I’m a big fan – but admit there’s no way that man is all right in the head. First exhibit though was the Boneyard for something called Brilliant. And it was amaze balls. The boneyard is where old Vegas signs go to die. And while they don’t work, they do have this light show that makes it look like they work, and it tells the story of Vegas through music and movie clips. Sinatra, Elvis, Liberace… it was seriously incredible.

Saturday was more walking for hours and then went to see Mystere with a colleague friend of mine, M. We walked to Treasure Island, had a cocktail, and then saw the show. Walked back to the hotel, met up with D for more drinks. They both drink whiskey and I’m jelly. I’ve wanted to like bourbon and whiskey and stuff for YEARS. Just can’t seem to do it.

Sunday conference stuff started, and I also spent many hours finishing my lit review! Got that submitted around 630pm and then off to the opening party at Top Golf. Saw several people I know, and then met up with D and one of his colleagues. We wandered back to the hotel and stopped for more cocktails. Vodka for me. And I think everyone else on the planet had whiskey.

Disembodied hands giving out drinks….

Yesterday was a really good day, despite about 3 hrs of sleep. The conference itself is fun. High energy and I’m talking with dozens of early stage companies trying to make a difference in healthcare. Love it. Afternoon meeting that ended up with me drinking vodka and everyone else (literally) drinking whiskey. I swear it’s a damned conspiracy. More meetings, more drinks (gin this time because, you know, I like to shake it up), then bed relatively early.

Today is a lot more meetings, watching people I know give a talk, and then a vendor dinner. Where I’m sure everyone but me will drink whiskey…

Sour Beers and Birthday Fun!

FOOD

I made a big batch of my spicy tofu soup that I ate several times during the week. My eldest loves it too, so I was forced to share.

Other eats included Thai green curry on a lunch date. I’m wondering if the quality of our normal spot is going down, or just a new chef maybe. It was honestly too thick and a bit too sweet for my liking, and his wasn’t as awesome as usual either.

I still had leftover Ethiopian stew, so I had that a few times too. Breakfasts were often oatmeal.

Friday was Indian lunch date and then an after work cocktail (lemon basil-tini for me) and for dinner was vegan pizza on a cauliflower crust.

Saturday was the most fun (of course) because it was birthday brunch at our fav spot with all but one of our munchkins (he had to work). The Bee and Biscuit is awesome not just for it’s food, but for the outdoor oasis you wait in before your table is ready. Jay is the best bartender, and we had some delicious drinks. Vegan Bloody Mary to start, a manmosa, and their summer solstice. That meant more coffee with my hippie wrap and fruit meal.

For dinner we checked a new spot off the list – Oiishi Burger in Virginia Beach. It was only ok, and not likely we’ll go back. Miso soup was bland, edamame was good, and the veggie curry was only ok. His meal was only mediocre too.

FITNESS

Started the week at the gym for some strength training and treadmill/dreadmill fun. Rest of the week was workouts at home, namely runs, walks, spin, and yoga.

LIFE

Sunday started with what should have been a quick drive to the gym. Alas, major car fire had the highway near me completely shut down for about an hour. Good news is it doesn’t appear anyone was hurt and that’s all that matters. Me sitting in traffic just means I’m lucky that I wasn’t the cause of it.

Always that guy who has to get out of his car to try and see the scene 🙄

After the gym, it was grocery shopping, meal prep, cooking, laundry, and homework. Typical Sunday!

It was a pretty busy week on the work and school front. Couple of coffee and lunch dates with my boyfriend as we could squeeze them in, but otherwise a really normal week (meaning I was actually at home!).

Thursday night R (who is a junior in HS this year) had a 2 hr event at one of the primary schools in our city called STEM&M (which I think that name is totally adorable). Her robotics team went to the event with last years bot and talked to the 3-5th graders about robotics. She had a blast. And I had 2 hrs to kill. I was going to hit up a Starbucks or something and study, but one really wasn’t close. BUT, a newly opened brewery was – so of course I had to hit that up! Texted a girlfriend of mine, and she met me there briefly. Really love their sour beers!

Saturday was my birthday and it was really awesome. It began with brunch with my 3, my boyfriend, and his oldest. That was several hours. After brunch, the kids and I headed to Ikea because R needed a new desk and M also got a new shelf. We had some fun karaoke on the way. After getting home, I packed up a bag and headed to my guys house. We hung out there for a bit until his youngest got home and got ready for a night out. Then we also headed out to our fav Cape Charles for some cider. Then off for dinner and back to his place. This morning was a lot of snuggling and then going grocery shopping on my way home. All told, about 70 people – friends and family all around the world – wished my a happy birthday and my heart is warmed knowing I have so many wonderful people in my life.

Necklace from my sister. When I thanked her (because it’s awesome!), she wrote that “the message is so you. You’re one of the strongest people I know and can do anything.” I cannot express what that means to me coming from my older sister – someone I’ve always admired and wanted to be like!

And of course, other random pics of the week, mainly of the floofs!

This week should fly by. I’m in the office only Monday, with offsite meetings and responsibilities Tues-Thurs and then a flight to Vegas Friday morning which kicks off a marathon trip of conference and residency!

Weather Whiplash, History Hike, and Day Date Fun

FOOD

Thursday morning I had an eye dr appt before work. I left early enough to stop at Yorgos for a vegan “bacon, egg, and cheese” on a sourdough bagel and an orange and beet juice. SO yummy. Hadn’t been here since NS and I went when he wasn’t visiting from Kenya.

Lunch was leftover Ethiopian stew and dinner was leftover feijoada with cauliflower rice. Popcorn snack!

I had a great date-day with my guy that started with breakfast – mimosas and hummus plate for me! Then we stopped for coffee, did some shopping, and then headed to our fav place for some cider and beer flights. We tried to stop at the distillery, but they were only doing tastings. Since whiskey isn’t either of our jams, we passed. At the brewery, we shared a big pretzel and I got the Beyond Meat burger and fries.

I was too full for dinner! Though I met up with a girlfriend at a local spot for half a glass of wine in the evening.

Today was oatmeal with banana and pumpkin pie spice and another Beyond Meat burger at the same brewery (too full for the fries), but this time with my daughter. No beer tho.

FITNESS

I went for a 5 mile run on Thursday and R and I went on a 3 mile hike today! The hike was awesome. It was pretty, but mainly just walking and talking with R was the best part. She went over everything she’s currently learning in history, which much of it I’d forgotten over the years. The terrain was very flat, which was a bummer, but lots of beautiful butterflies. I picked up a year-long state park parking pass, so we plan to hit up as many as possible (and VA has a LOT of them!).

LIFE

Thursday was working and school fun and my eye dr appt. No changes, which is nice. The weather definitely dipped though. Crazy that a week prior it was 100 degrees! Getting whiplash with the weather. Today was lovely and near 80.

Friday I had off and made the best of it! Truly a great day. R was in the homecoming parade, A was at work, and M has been sick, so it was nice to get a text from S at the last minute asking to hang out. Since I had time to kill before picking R up, it was perfect.

Today started off with school fun, then R and I getting our flu shots, heading to the park for the hike, to the brewery for lunch, then the drive home where she promptly passed out. Stopped to pick up my dry cleaning on the way home, took a shower, and plan to just ready, study, and chill!