Spring? What Spring?

FOOD

Even though this has been a short week, the eats were definitely on point!

Lots of smoothies, salads, and really nutrient dense meals. I’m trying to focus more on that lately – not just vegan (which is still of the most paramount import for me) – but also less vegan junk.

Also had a trip to the food & wine fest that was a lot of fun too!

Sunflower butter and sliced bananas on Ezekiel toast
The vegan bowl from Cobalt Grille. I’m a fan.

Fun color changing cups M got from Starbucks!

My Lidl haul for ~$30!
Digging on the Morningstar Farms vegan chickn strips!

BEST SUMMER FRUIT

I like a little lettuce with my chickpeas
Made a big batch of chili using Beyond Meat crumbles, Ate it for lunches at work.

Chili with cauliflower rice

PF Chang’s Mandarin Crunch Salad. Good, but too much dressing and could only eat about 1/3 of it.

The Impossible Fajita Bowl from Cowboy Neil’s. Made with Impossible burger (obviously!)

Sangria flight!
Tofu lettuce wrap

Tofu scramble with vegan sausage

Memorial Day we did a cookout at my guys house and he grilled the BEST tofu 🙂

Watermelon, slaw, grilled mushrooms and tofu, corn, and potatoes!

FITNESS

Been a busy week! Lots of runs and various video workouts. I swear though, the lower body workout on Sunday about killed me. Walking was a struggle until nearly Wednesday!

LIFE

Saturday morning I did school work and took Kuma to the pet store.

In the afternoon it was an Eastern Shore adventure. Took a nice drive and stopped for some cider, then back to Virginia Beach for a late dinner before turning in for the night. Was a really nice day.

Sunday was all school work, cleaning, grocery shopping, and cooking.

Monday was the cookout and relaxing.

And then Tuesday it was back to work! But – it was only a 3 day week since I had Friday planned off.

Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday

Each day reached over 100 until Friday, and it was insane. Seriously – it’s like we didn’t have spring at all. I typically don’t mind crazy hot weather, but damn. A girl could use a bit of a warning!

Thursday night I had a 1:1 with my professor/advisor. I basically have 2 weeks to get my research topic approved. Good news is that he’s told me it IS approved. I’ve met all the requirements. But it does give me 2 weeks to take my work and make it even better and more polished. I’m so excited!!

Miscellaneous pics of the week

On a solemn note, there was a shooting here in Virginia Beach yesterday. I, for one, am so sick and tired of these headlines and mourning people who should not have died. Frankly, it pisses me off and the madness needs to end – but no one has the political balls to do anything about it. Ugh.

Dancing in a Car Makes Everyone Happy

FOOD

Can’t believe it’s been another week. Had some of the usual suspects – smoothies, salads, Indian, Thai. And a few new things, like a meal at Veggie Galaxy in Boston that consisted of massive fried pickles and an Alfredo with chickn, grilling, and pho.

Quick pho lunch

IBM made sure to have vegan eats for me at the meetings I was at earlier this week – which I highly appreciate

FITNESS

Monday and Tuesday I was traveling. Wednesday I was a zombie. Went for a run Thursday and some spin today. I’m going to have to resign to checking luggage so I can bring workout gear. So much travel lately!

LIFE

Sunday was all about finishing up Game of Thrones. And while this season (and somewhat last season) caught ten tons of crap for being short or not meeting expectations, overall, I can’t complain. Now if everyone on social media would stop whining, that’d be awesome. Seriously people – IT’S JUST A TV SHOW.

Monday afternoon I hopped a flight to Boston. It was strange – since it was only an overnighter, I brought just a backpack and my iPad. No luggage and no laptop. Felt almost naked!

After landing I headed into Cambridge to meet AF for dinner. Had a great time catching up (as always). Then it was to my hotel, read for a bit, then bed.

Up early on Tuesday to head to all day meetings at IBM Watson headquarters there. Meetings ended, then back to the airport for the trek home!

The hustle never stops! My doctoral research at the airport bar!

Got home around 1215am Wednesday, but typically me, took me forever to wind down to fall asleep. It was sometime after 2 when I finally did. And up at 6. I was a hot mess that day! Worked from home, which was great. Also met my girlfriend AJ for drinks at a local spot since she also worked from home on Wednesday.

Thursday was a fairly normal day, but included some happy hour on the ocean. Seriously, can’t complain.

Today I moved my office (short move, but to one that’s less noisy), worked, and then headed out for the long weekend, woo hoo!

I drove up to Williamsburg – was supposed to meet up with a classmate of mine, but fate got in the way. So after grabbing a bite to eat, I headed home. Of course, so was every freaking tourist on the East Cost on their way to the beach. As a result, traffic SUCKED. Anyway, I’m stuck in this nasty backup, music blaring, and just dancing in my seat. A couple next to me roll down their windows and indicate for me to do the same, so I do. They proceed to ask me how I could be so happy stuck in traffic. I explain that since I’m not the CAUSE of the bad traffic, I’m not injured, my car isn’t wrecked, and I’m still going to get where I’m headed, there’s no reason to be mad. They smiled, cranked their music, and started car dancing too!

This weekend is going to be about house and yard work (finally getting around to the whole mulch thing), school work, time with my kids, and time alone with my guy. Can’t complain!

Unhappy Kuma hoping for some grilled eats too

Just love all the attitude this cat conveys
My girlfriend SW who works for a consulting firm sent me this – she knows how much I love to read, especially professional development books

She Devil

FOOD

Lunch on Monday I went out and had tofu green curry! Shocker, I know. Dinner was beer and popcorn 🙂

Met my guy after work for a couple beers since we hadn’t seen each other much lately

Tuesday I had a day road trip for work. I stopped at Wegman’s in Woodbridge, VA for a breakfast salad. On the way home I admit – I stopped at Taco Bell. Traffic was a nightmare and I just wanted to get home! (It was 8 hrs of driving + 2 hrs of meetings). I generally dislike anything fast food quite a lot since there’s literally no nutritional value at all and helps contribute to the widening waistlines of the world, I do admit sometimes (tho rarely) it’s the only option. Had I used my normal purse, I’d have had granola bars in it that I would’ve had instead.

Wednesday I had a salad for brunch from our new Wegman’s. I have to say – I may not need to go to Whole Foods ever again! One of my big complaints about the Virginia Beach Whole Foods is that their salad bar rarely has any vegan proteins on it, like tofu or tempeh. Wegman’s does. It was awesome. While I didn’t snap a pick, I had a breakfast salad there on my way home this morning also.

Other meals this week were grilled fun, smoothies, pizza, and about half of this awesome burrito made with Impossible meat! Also baked some banana bread for the kidlets.

Never had this one before, but I really liked it

Quick lunch at Brixx pizza! Love they have vegan cheese options

FITNESS

Managed to squeeze in two runs and one bedroom yoga session (and no, that’s not a euphemism – I really did a yoga class in my bedroom).

LIFE

When I got home from my residency Monday morning (about 1am), I discovered that my boyfriend came over and installed my new dishwasher as a surprise! Mine died a bit ago, and I frankly got tired of hand washing them. It was an amazing surprise.

On the school front, it was a bit chaotic, but lower intensity than normal. My guess is our professors were giving our brains a chance to relax after residency last week.

On the work front, it was really busy, but good. Tuesday I had a day trip to DC to speak about blockchain in healthcare to a Federal Services advisory group. It was a really excellent discussion and a lot of fun.

Though, as I’m stuck on 395 trying to get out of the city, I check Facebook. And what do I see? This post from my sister. FYI, she lives in Wisconsin…

So I text her. And SHE WAS IN DC AT THE SAME TIME AS ME. Most disconnected sibling award goes to….? US. Ugh. Good thing I’ll be in Chicago in a couple weeks and will drive up to see her. Because I’m a good sister 😏. All kidding though, I live 3 1/2 hrs from DC and there’s no way she’d think I’d be there mid-week when she’s only there overnight. But still. Crazy.

Busy week otherwise. Work and a plumber to install a new kitchen sink. All good things though. Oh, and I also figured out how to use my pressure washer on Wednesday! Been sitting in my shed for 2 years unused. Last year I just hired someone, but its silly to have one and not use it. And I was sick of the pollen, so M and I figured it out (YouTube helped). Which means I was able to enjoy my coffee on the back porch this week!

Friday night my guy and I went out to one of our fav spots. Saturday morning I went home and worked on school stuff for most of the day. My girls went to some curiosity fair together in the morning and also picked up some plants for the garden. After they got home, we went out to get the remainder of the plants and then A finished all the planting!

Late that afternoon went back, we went out to dinner, and then up to the Eastern Shore to our fav cider place. It’s actually in Richmond, but they have a tasting room on the bay too, and that’s closer. Not as much selection since it’s not where the ciders are brewed, but still awesome.

And funny enough – we ran into one of my girlfriends and her husband! My guys son always says I have friends everywhere (I’m a lucky girl), but even this was funny. So they joined us and then we went to a distillery for a couple drinks before going back home. Awesome night.

My fav! The Resolution
The She Devil. Also good, and VERY spicy

I hit up the grocery on my way home this morning and have otherwise had a really peaceful Sunday and lovely Mother’s Day with my kids! I got a spa gift card for a Mother’s Day package (massage, facial, hair appt), and a beautiful crystal lotus. I have a love of them – after all I have a tattoo of one on my inner arm. It has a very personal meaning for me, so I’m totally thrilled with it.

Spotted on my drive to DC. I admit – I don’t get the appeal of trucks like this unless you have a business that requires hauling heavy stuff!

My morning java on my guys porch yesterday!

Lazy bear staring at us upstairs but not wanting to put in the effort to join us

BS made a playlist he shared – so I was jamming to it while making banana bread today!
I feel like I should make business cards with this and just hand them out to people when they learn I’m vegan

Will be another busy week. I fly out tomorrow morning for another blockchain panel discussion, but this time for a healthcare audience. I’m excited to see one of my girlfriends who lives where I’m heading – she’ll be my date on Tuesday night at an event at the Botanical Gardens!

Busy Busy Busy!!!

I have been admonished, so here I am with a long overdue blog post.

FOOD

Fairly typical eats the past couple weeks. One cool thing I was introduced to by my boyfriend’s mom is a local produce delivery service. They grow everything hydroponically and deliver every Friday. Due to travels it took me a couple weeks to finally order, but it was amazing! I got bibb, Romaine, and red leaf lettuces, arugula, wasabi sprouts, pea shoots, cherry tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and a huge back of juicing greens. It was an excellent haul. You just leave a cooler on your porch and come home to it filled with goodies!

I certainly used it all up too! Juicing, of course, and lots of salads. I took the bib, romaine, and wasabi sprouts to my guys house one night where he grilled and made everything else, I made the salad, and the 3 of us (BS – my admonisher) watched the season premier of Game of Thrones!

The next morning we went out to breakfast at a new place in VB. It’s a chain I’ve been to in the DC area, but it just opened a location here. It’s called First Watch, and to be honest, it wasn’t as wonderful as I had hoped. Wasn’t terrible, but not a spot we’d probably frequent too often. That said, I had the coconut chia pudding with granola and fruit and a side of multi-grain toast. It was good, but also the only thing on the menu for breakfast I could eat. Though the fresh juice (beet, orange, and turmeric) was awesome.

Other miscellaneous eats…

My girlfriend H made this slow cooker vegan chili with Daiya shreds for R and I when we spent
the night at their place
Mish mash meal of quinoa, Morningstar Farms chick’n strips, cabbage, and BBQ sauce

Simple coleslaw from the 1st China Study cookbook
Slaw on a baker with those Morningstar farms strips again

Vegan fried rice with tofu at Fat Dragon in Richmond!
No Bull burger at a tap house outside Richmond
My relatively boring mono-meal of steamed sweet potato and carrots

Homemade hummus from the Forks Over Knives cookbook

Monday night I went to an event with my girlfriend LC. I can’t believe I didn’t get a pic of us – but I DID get a pic of the food, so that’s what matters! It was held at a local place called Taste, and it was a food demo and dinner event called Vegan Food for Non-Vegans. L eats a lot of veg based meals, and knew I’d love it, so we went. Food was amazing. Wine was eh. I had to skip the first course due to that damned avocado allergy, but I couldn’t finish all I had anyway, so no loss there.

FITNESS

It’s funny how I went months without running, and lately it’s been the only workout! But I’ve gotten a bunch in since my last post, which is nice.

LIFE

It’s been ridiculously busy the past couple weeks. I know that’s a common theme, but still. Yikes.

On the school front, I’m now officially done with all didactic work. That ended with my last term. Starting with this term, it’s all about the research. First – this 10 weeks is about getting approval to even pursue my topic – which has been much more challenging than I would have thought. In a good way – and it’s really forcing me to narrow things down and consider what I would find valuable with a more critical eye, but it’s freaking exhausting. But also exciting. And hive & insomnia inducing (not an exaggeration), but also rewarding.

My son M went to a GoT watch party dressed as Jon Snow. It was awesome.

My youngest flew to CA so visit her Dad for spring break week. Her flight was out of Richmond, so after school that last day, we drove up and spent the night at a friend’s house. Unfortunately, her little one was really sick – so much so that they needed to take him to the ER. R and I stayed and hung out with their other son D, and while I missed seeing H, I’m glad we could be there to make it at least a bit easier for them to take care of J.

This only R’s second flight (since she was 2 anyway), and the first time not flying with an adult. We did the unaccompanied minor thing with Delta, and it was a great experience. They take her safety very seriously, which I appreciate. All went off without a hitch!

I had all these plans for spring break. I was going to take most of the week off, do all the yard work, prep the garden, and study. Let’s just say that life got in the way of most of those goals, and study was the only thing I planned that I actually did! It was still a good week though.

Friday we went to Richmond to spend the night. R was flying home the next evening, and my guy and I love spending time up there – especially in the Scott’s Addition area that has our fav cidery and Chinese restaurant.

Our first stop was Fat Dragon. And then we went to Blue Bee Cider. We went a year or so ago, and weren’t fans. But people he and I know or meet keep saying how much they love it, so figured we’d go see if our first impression was wrong. It wasn’t. There wasn’t a single cider we really liked. At best, 1-2 were “ok”. The rest were just not our style. Should always trust my cider instincts!

Thankfully Buskey’s is just around the corner and that very much IS our jam. Had a great time too.

And tomorrow is back to the regular routine of school and work. And that’s okay!

Making sprouts! They’re almost ready too!!
R at her Dad’s, about to go surfing

When There are Nine

FOOD

This week has been a combo of at home and on the road eats!

This was from By CHLOE in Boston – someplace I’ve wanted to go for a LONG time…taco salad!

Amuse bouche. Polenta with pea purée and balsamic bubbles

A vegan potato and leek soup that was AMAZING

FITNESS

Runs appear to be back on the menu lately. Not sad – I’ve usually liked running. Though when I get tired of it, I’m ok walking away to do something else too.

LIFE

Well, been busy, which is seriously nothing new.

Friday my guy and I went to a new wine place – Yianni’s. One of our fav people started working there, so we wanted to show our support. Ultimately – a nice wine bar. Amazing prices in that respect. On the food front – nothing really for me. And he’s pretty particular about not eating someplace I can’t easily – so we’ll probably be back for drinks, but not meals. I will say the place is cute and has a huge selection – and really wholesale prices on wines by the bottle. So totally worth it.

On Saturday R and I went to Busch Gardens. It was our first trip of the year, and we had a blast. Rode all the rides before heading home to do wash and pack.

I left for Boston early on Sunday. I spent the late afternoon and evening with friends walking around the Seaport area. AF and I went to grad school together and his wife L is totally amazing too. It was awesome to spend time together.

One of our stops was at the contemporary art museum, which was thought provoking…and strange. Perhaps more on the strange side…

I went with the cucumber mint – which was surprisingly yummy

I’ve been at a conference that focuses on artificial intelligence in healthcare. It’s been exhilarating and exhausting and I really need a nap from it!

OH – and last night my grad school alma mater WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP!!! Wahoowa!

Today I had a break and went to Salem – which was the coolest little witchy town ever! Went to the art museum (Peabody Essex) and then wandered around, but it was too cold to appreciate much.

Then it was to the Sam Adams brewery for a tour and tasting. Totally fun!

This is called the “When there are 9” experimental beer.  Brewed in conjunction with the Pink Boots society which promotes women in the beer brewing industry.  The name is an answer to the question “when will there be enough women on the Supreme Court?”

Tomorrow I go home, and I’m very ready. So many people there that I miss.

A Slave to the Data

FOOD

This morning started with a green smoothie. Spinach, banana, blueberries, cilantro, and Vega vanilla protein powder. While the Ripple is okay – I picked it up because I really like it’s nutritional profile – it’s not the tastiest protein out there. The couple extra calories on Vega is worth it.

A couple hours later it was another breakfast salad! This one had Morning Star vegan chicken strips in it since I didn’t have any pressed tofu. It’s good and super easy. Way easier than Beyond Meat’s version. Lighter too, which I tend to prefer.

My afternoon was a lunch date that included edamame and a totally yummy mandarin salad. It was huge though – only ate about 1/3 of it.

The goofball decided to stick his finger in the picture.

But dinner friends. Dinner was an adventure! During Amazon Prime days last summer I got a wicked sale on a KitchenAid attachment that turned veggies into strips of pasta! It looked freakishly complicated, so I just never used it. But tonight I was motivated, so I busted it out. It actually wasn’t complicated at all, and now I’m annoyed with myself I haven’t been doing this for the past 8 months that I’ve had it!

Crissie’s Vegan Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini – peeled and made into sheets of pasta (you can use thin rounds in that’s what you have available)
  • Any other veggies you have and want to use. I tossed in thinly sliced red onion and kale
  • 1 jar your fav marinara or batch of one homemade
  • 1 pkg of Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles (or meatless crumbles of choice)
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa

Directions

  • Cook the Beyond Meat per package instructions.
  • Stir in the marinara and quinoa
  • Layer, starting with veggies, top with marinara mixture, repeat until it’s all gone!
  • Bake covered for 30 min in a 400 degree oven

It was really good and made 4 servings.

FITNESS

So I did go for that run last night. Wasn’t the greatest, but I managed.

Decided on another run today. This one was awesome and is the type of run that reminds me why I like it to begin with. I don’t know I’ll be back on running like I have in the past, but it’s definitely in the rotation – especially now that it’s getting nicer.

Okay, so people who know me, know I like data. Which is funny because I hate math, but I digress. Data tells a story. And if you don’t have the data, it didn’t happen.

SO – imagine my horror when I realized at 10am that I hadn’t inputted my passcode on my Apple Watch and had not gotten credit for anything I did from 530am until 10! So my hours standing will be off. My total calories burned for the day. I keep trying to think it’s no big deal. But I’m seriously a slave to the data and get all flummoxed when I don’t have it!

LIFE

Well it’s only been a day 😉

Last night’s web development class was really interesting. The focus was on defining the user profile, or persona while designing the app. It seems so common sense, but the way it was laid out was really awesome. We focused on the elevator pitch, user experience, app features, and context. Hard to believe that next week we start coding! Yikes – I haven’t coded in a long, long time…

MAD = Mobile App Design

Now, I don’t know that I’ll ever be good enough to really build commercial apps, but since I am involved in the whole start up world, I want to have at least a position of knowledge when working with app developers – so I know what’s realistic, etc.

My youngest wants to build an app related to her robotics scouting component, so I think that’ll be my class project!

Today ended up being a bit different than planned. The course I was supposed to teach got moved to the fall term. He realized he gave me zero time – even though I was mostly ready and could wing it, I did appreciate it.

That meant a work from home day, which was productive. At one point I hear Kuma zooming around. As she is wont to do. I don’t really pay much attention since I’m at my desk. I decided to look up – and she her tearing through the downstairs with some toilet paper in her mouth. I’ve been picking up bits all day….

Otherwise it was meetings, lunch, and kitchen fun.

And….bike shopping!

My eldest is excited by the nicer weather and mentioned a week or so ago about wanting to bike more. Thing is, her bike was stolen back in college and has really just been borrowing everyone else’s. And while her bday isn’t until May, I asked her if she would like a new bike (she did!), so we grabbed Kuma and went bike shopping! We’re fortunate to have a great local bike shop literally blocks from our house.

Meet Evangeline….(the bike)

The day has ended with a walk for the little bear and a nice evening with my kids.

I realize I’ve become my father in this regard…but I admit I miss him and his ridiculously long stories
Another beautiful day = sunshine fluffs!