Trials and Tribulations

FOOD

Honestly, not a whole lot to write home about the past two days. I had salads for lunch the past two days, but didn’t take pics. Yesterday’s was loaded with the Morningstar Farms fake chicken strips. Today’s was just veggies. No breakfast either day and no dinner yesterday. Boring, I know, but just haven’t had much appetite lately. I’m starting to wonder if it is stress related!

FITNESS

HIIT at my gym both yesterday and today. The class is called Zone4 – which is explained in the picture below. I do find myself in the 4th one more than any other, which I suppose is a good thing.

The workout varies each day, which is nice to alleviate boredom (this week ending is shown). Yesterday I burned 736 calories and today 610. Can’t complain about that!

LIFE

Well, it has only been two days, and a weekend at that. No plans other than focusing on my dissertation. I have a new academic advisor and finally got feedback from her late last week. Let’s just say she blew up more than I was anticipating – and I don’t necessarily agree with her on some of it, so now it’s about finding time to meet with her to review. Overall, I do appreciate what she has to say as it will make me a better writer and researcher – but she also seems to believe her volunteering at an AIDS facility in Chicago in the 1990’s gives her more insights into nonprofit healthcare than it actually does. Everything I’ve pushed back on so far she’s caved on. I don’t want to offend her (can’t afford to since she determines my readiness for IRB), but I’m getting frustrated with having to educate her. But on the flip side – I can assume other readers may not understand either, so I need to do a better job of being clear. With her, it’s a combination of lack of knowledge – which is fine – and bad/inaccurate/uninformed perspective – which isn’t. Alas, such are the trials and tribulations of a doctoral student 😉

So yesterday, I went to the gym, stopped at the library, made lunch, and spent the rest of the day reviewing her redlines on my writing and reconciling those I could. Then I had two vodka sodas and went to bed!

Today will be similar. Gym, lunch, and now that I’ve reconciled the redlines, doing actual research and writing. And laundry. And, I assume, some vodka sodas!

Hope your weekend was more fun than mine (though mine has been productive, and I can’t complain about that!). This coming week should be good – light on the meeting schedule and a quick overnight trip to DC for several meetings – including one with my academic advisor!

Horrible shot, I know, but the floofs were really enjoying the fireplace last night

I Solemnly Swear I Am Up To Good…

FOOD

Wednesday dinner was at my boyfriend’s house. He grilled me some delicious Beyond Meat brats! Ate mine with kraut and mustard and a side of potatoes and a salad.

Thursday we met up for lunch – Thai Green Tofu Curry which also became my dinner.

Friday I had lunch at PF Chang’s with IBM. I didn’t take a picture (that’d look strange), but had the steamed Buddha’s Feast, which is tofu, broccoli, asparagus, and carrots.

I haven’t been having breakfast lately. Sometimes a smoothie or some fruit if I’m hungry, but lately I really haven’t been overly hungry. I’m sure it’s just a phase 🤣

FITNESS

HIIT classes, which I totally love. They’ve added a kickboxing station, which is probably my very favorite intense exercise if I had to pick one.

Also did some spin at home. Still need yoga…

LIFE

Meetings on Wednesday and then over to the guys house for some chill time and dinner.

While in my office Wednesday, I get a text from R asking me a question. She’s a junior in HS and has an Econ class. Her teacher isn’t always right – or not right enough – in some of the things he says, so she often asks me as a sort of fact check. I mean come ON, he teaches the Laffer Curve like it’s a legit thing! Anyway….

I feel like I should take over the class sometimes…

So Thursday I did a thing…

To frame it a bit – I’ve always been interested in volunteering, and I have done some minor things here and there (like a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, etc), but nothing very specific. More the past few years, I’ve wanted to focus in my community. So, an opportunity came up and I accepted a nomination to sit on the Human Services Advisory Board in my city! The role of the board is to draft policies and programs that address the most vulnerable – children, those with special needs, and the aging populations – and then advice the city council.

So Thursday morning was my swearing in ceremony. I’m really excited to roll my sleeves up and get busy. Right now, it’s about familiarizing myself with the various laws and programs and doing the necessary training. Then diving into our next board meeting in early March. I sincerely hope that I can do good things for my community.

And to celebrate – I went to a movie! Saw Bad Boys For Life (loved it). Got there early and enjoyed an orange crush and some reading.

Then I went home and eventually took Kuma to get R from robotics.

Today was work and then cocktails with my guy before heading home.

And while earlier in the week was Oreogate. Mid week was Doritogate! Seriously – I got the monster Sam’s Club sized bags on Saturday. Wednesday – gone….no one has fessed up to it, though I’m pretty sure I know the culprit. And it isn’t the dog.

Oreogate

FOOD

Oddly, not many food pics.

Before my flight on Monday, my guy and I went out to lunch at a new to us place. Burger and bourbon joint, but has the Beyond Burger. Was a little hole in the wall near the oceanfront area. Nice to try, but not a place we’re likely to go again. Food was okay, but not awesome. Didn’t even get a pic.

While in Chicago, the catering company did their best, and breakfast was yummy. Lunch was never vegan, but I had two great dinners – one Italian with the work crew and one Italian with my sister and her fam!

Last Friday was a ramen lunch date with my guy.

Saturday afternoon was Pho and dinner was Chinese. My guys fav Chinese restaurant now has a dedicated vegan menu, and I had the pineapple tofu teriyaki and it was amazing! That was also my dinner on Sunday.

Sunday was a family brunch, and I had my sorbet mimosas (with coconut rum of course!) and the hummus lettuce wraps.

Monday I stopped for Thai and got fresh rolls and Tom Kha Tofu soup before a meeting. No dinner.

Lunch today was edamame and veg sushi (broccoli and sweet potato).

FITNESS

Mostly runs, but also the gym yesterday and today for my HIIT class. Yesterday was very intense and I loved it. HR monitor says just over 700 calories burned in an hour. Yes please! Today I was pretty exhausted (only 2 hrs of sleep last night), so I was NOT feeling it. Did it anyway though, so there’s that.

LIFE

Another good and busy week. Chicago meetings were great. They really are my fav group of people. Old Fashions and Manhattans were had!

Wednesday the meetings ended at 1pm, and I went up to Milwaukee to first visit my mom and then see my sister on her 50th birthday! It was great to see them all. It was snowing by the time I got back to my hotel in Chicago, which caused some flight delays on Thursday morning, but nothing major. Still home in plenty of time.

Thursday afternoon I dropped off a library book and picked up R. We were supposed to have a private tour of a new robotics facility in our area – but there were wicked storms and we had to reschedule. So we stopped at Moe’s. Main power was out, but they still had emergency power, so it was kinda fun. She was still hungry after eating, so she went back through the line. Apparently got chatting with people and was offered a job. So – my 16 y/o now has a job and starts next Sunday!

On Friday, I’m back in the office, and this thread happens with my children. See – Monday before my afternoon flight, I went to the grocery store to ensure plenty of food and lunch snacks….Oreogate ensued.

Saturday morning R had a hair appt. I sat in the Starbucks next door with a soy latte and a book!

Saturday evening was at my guys house. We normally stay in on Saturday’s, but the boys had plans, so we went out for Chinese. And then watched the single most intense basketball game I have ever seen (Duke vs UNC). Sunday was fam brunch where, among other things, my eldest daughter and my boyfriend did a breakfast shot. Then I bought many, many Oreos.

Yesterday morning R had a Dr’s appt and then I had meetings at a coffee shop in Norfolk that an acquaintance of mine owns. It was 1pm, so tea for me. But it was a great time. Then gym, then home.

Today I was in the office really early because I had to leave early for a derm appt to make sure the skin cancer scar is healing well – and it is. Did provide an opportunity for coffee with the guy though, so that was nice.

Or any clinical job. I was crazy (ED) and then dead people…

Whiskey and Goats

FOOD

Whew 2 weeks! So crazy how time flies.

Eats have been typical. I made a few soups, definitely some curry happening too. Okay a LOT of Thai food the past two weeks. #notsorry

I had a quick overnight work trip, and dinner out in the downtown Charlottesville area. Delicious brussel sprout salad and a butternut squash farro salad. Apparently this is a table service place where people share – but since I was the only vegan I really wasn’t sharing any of the other dishes, but I did share what I ordered.

This morning I had brunch with my boyfriend – an Acai berry bowl that was delicious.

For lunch, hung out with LC – and it’s been nearly a year since we saw each other. She has been eating vegan for about a month, so we hit up The Bumbling Bee. It’s an all vegan spot in Virginia Beach. I would definitely classify the offerings as comfort food. Burgers, chicken sandwiches, reubens, mac and cheese, etc. I got the Irishman corned beef – turns out it was a sammich and not a stew (which is what I thought I was getting) and a side of mac. L got a bacon chicken ranch burger with fries. We got an order of cauliflower wings.

Unfortunately, my food came out a good 10 minutes before the rest. The cauliflower was supposed to be an appetizer. Oh well. The cauliflower wasn’t bad – but could only really eat one. The mac was not great, so I didn’t eat it. The sammich was pretty good and I had a little more than half. L said her sammich was really great.

All told – I wasn’t really impressed. I appreciate an all vegan spot – I really do – and maybe what I ordered just wasn’t the best (though the server said the Irishman was her second favorite thing and I just can’t see that). The food is also really heavy – so not something I could eat regularly anyway.

FITNESS

More of the same – though more runs than gym just because of time. In some pretty dire need of yoga though.

LIFE

Been a busy two weeks. Last week was short in the office. Off Monday due to MLK day and R and I coming back from Boston. In the office on Tuesday and Wednesday, then in a class Thursday and Friday. The class is a start-up/entrepreneur course for Active Duty, Reservists, and Vets. It was really good and found out about a ton of resources I didn’t even know I had.

Saturday was a benefit for my friend’s nonprofit organization – Military Mobility. M and I went to support that for a few ours, then I stopped at my bf’s house to watch a movie and then go home.

Monday was a normal work day. Tuesday was one meeting and then on the road to Charlottesville. Had a work dinner and then meetings and lunch the next day and home by 4. Thursday was a normal work day, and that night my guy and I went out and I stayed at his place.

Friday I worked from home in the morning before another class, and then cocktails after with my friend AM (who was one of the teachers of the class). As school winds down, I really do want to focus on my start-up or 2 that I have percolating in my brain for the last year or so.

Saturday was the gym, a quick visit to see my guy, then tons of errands. My youngest had plans last night to go ice skating with a boy who is a hockey player. So I took her and picked her up, and in between went to my office to work on my dissertation. Long story, but Grammarly has a file size limit, and mine is too big. The Mac version doesn’t have the Word plugin, but the Windows one does. Had to hit the office for that, but I got it done, so that felt great!

This morning was brunch with bf and then lunch with LC, and now laundry, cooking, cleaning, packing, and writing. I head to Chicago tomorrow for a few days – but I’m excited because I’ll get to spend my sister’s birthday with her Wednesday evening!

Oh – quick update on this year’s “project food” – whiskey. It’s going quite well! So I stared with the Wiki page in how to drink it – which meant neat, possibly with a dropper of water, or on ice. That didn’t work so well for me. What has worked well, though, are mixed drinks! I’m enjoying Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour, New York Sour (which is a whiskey sour with red wine tossed in for fun), and have had a couple others as well. At my work dinner, my dining companion is a big Japanese whiskey drinker, so I got introduced to that, and was quite pleased. So we’ll see!

Other random fun pics

It’s like Luna doesn’t think Kuma should be left alone because she does silly things like sleep in ridiculously awkward positions.

So my eldest makes these exact faces! Especially the one on the bottom right. Which is the exact face she made when she found out about the boy taking R ice skating….

A spot my bf and I like in Charlottesville. Haven’t been in ages though!

Boston Adventures!

FOOD

Well, it was all restaurant and travel eats over the long weekend as R and I were in Boston.

Friday night was a salad I forgot to snap a pic of. Very yummy though – reminiscent of a wedge salad, but a vegan version.

Saturday brunch I had an arugula salad and mint tea before our adventures began.

Dinner was around 315 and was a veggie burger and spring rolls at the museum.

Sunday we went to brunch in Salem at a place called Flying Saucer Pizza. They have a huge vegan menu. I got baked cauliflower and vegan Mac. They were only ok so only had a few bites of each.

For dinner, we went to Lee’s Burgers on the recommendation of my son M. When he as 15 he went to boston with my now ex-husband to go to PAX East. They stopped and he has amazing memories and really wanted us to go. So we did. I had a Beyond burger patty on a salad.

Monday it was time to head home. Only eats was a veggie sub from Subway. Ate half for lunch and the other half for dinner.

Not overly exciting, but wasn’t bad either. Glad to be home to my kitchen though!

FITNESS

None other than the walking R and I did over the weekend. Hitting up the gym today after work though.

LIFE

Well, R and I spent the long weekend in Boston! Our plans (as we thought of anyway) were as follows:

  • Freedom Trail hike – about 2 miles and covers 16 historical sites
  • Deadmou5 concert on Saturday
  • Tim Burton trivia and wandering in Salem on Sunday

We got into town late on Friday, so it was just eating and in the hotel.

Saturday was a ton of fun, though only 1 of the 3 planned things ended up happening!

After brunch in the hotel we went to the Museum of Science, where we stayed for 5 hours. We went into the butterfly exhibit, which was neat. Lots of pretty butterflies roaming around. We hit up all the exhibits in the “blue” wing, including a really cool show on lightening. Towards the end, we did the Explore the Universe presentation in the planetarium, which was really cool. That ended and the place was closing, so we missed all the “green” wing exhibits, but still had a blast.

So. Deadmou5. That show was at the House of Blues on Saturday. I bought tickets several days before we went. Here’s the thing. I didn’t read the fine print – it’s an 18+ show. So, I figure I’ll take my 16 yr old to Sephora and ask them to make her look 18! However – while she was getting ready for the day, I called and there’s a 100% ID check to get in. I said we traveled from VA and she forgot hers – was told too bad. Dang.

So we shifted our plans and went to the Celtics game! It was her first NBA game (honestly, only my 4th – the other 3 were provided by vendors). We had a really good time.

It snowed Saturday night, which was kind of fun.

Sunday we drove up to Salem for the Tim Burton Trivia event – which was a total blast. We came in 6th out of 13th. Not awesome, but pretty respectable. Our final score was 100. The lowest team was 22, and the top was 118. But most important, we had such a fun time. Then we wandered around Salem for a bit, and went back to the hotel where we watched both Alice in Wonderland movies and then largely packed up.

Sunday we had a private tour of the Amazon Robotics facility! Our very dear friend MM (who retired from the Navy last summer), started working for Amazon in November, and he’s in charge of automation of their supply chain. Being hyper supportive of R’s robotics activities and her desire to study engineering, he hooked this up for her. He also happened to be flying in for 2 days of meetings, and got there not long after our tour ended, so we waited so we could see him before hitting the road. She was flying so high after that, it was great.

So the drive up was totally uneventful, and other than one minor 20 minute backup in Connecticut due to an accident, it was smooth sailing. Not so on the way home. Beginning in Connecticut and through NY, traffic was shite. A combo of major sun glare and craptastic traffic, we were delayed nearly 3 hours and didn’t get home until midnight. We chatted a lot about robotics, mythology, space, and a few other topics though, so the drive still flew by. All told, we had an amazing weekend!

She missed me 😊

Time Flies!

FOOD

I swear, I blink and it’s been 10 days since my last post!

So – some normal eats. Pasta out with R.

Quick lunch date where I got a soup and salad.

A ramen lunch date.

My guy making me homemade spaghetti with Gardein crumbles. (With leftovers for a work lunch!)

A yummy salad at drag brunch.

Beyond Burger at a brewery with my son.

Whole Foods soup and salad bar.

Build your own pizza at a local place (they have vegan cheese!) with my kids.

And another salad.

FITNESS

More of the same! HIIT classes and a few runs because we had gorgeous weather.

LIFE

Well hell – been 10 days. My guess is because my school term started and I’ve been quite busy between that and work. The holiday lull is definitely over!

Went out with a friend to catch up and grab cocktails.

Got to spend quite a bit of time with my boyfriend, which was nice. Even if it was just a quick lunch. Spent the night last Saturday. We watched basketball and a movie, and then went to a drag brunch at our wine bar and had a fun time. The bartender knows us and made us fun breakfast drinks. After, we went out for coffee and I headed home.

My son and I went to Cape Charles for a bit so he could do a whiskey tasting at the distillery and then we stopped at the brewery for an early dinner and went home.

On the totally awesome and amazing side – my eldest is graduating from nursing school in a few weeks! She just passed her last major exam and is doing her preceptorship now. The rest of the time is prep for her board exam. I am so incredibly proud of her!

This weekend I’m with the young one in Boston. More to come I’m sure in the next post!