Rituals

FOOD

Shockingly, I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as I normally do.  Nothing majorly out of the ordinary either though.  Daily green smoothies, and a variety of typical eats like soups and salads, and some fun things like tofu eggless salad and tofurky sammiches.

yummy fav – silken tofu, Just Mayo, mustard, and sweet relish. With gluten-free crackers, it’s awesome
R’s lunch, not mine (apple allergy), but veg sammie and apples

kale and beet salad
red lentil soup
Whole Foods salad bar

Today was bulk cooking fun!  Gluten-free pasta salad with tofu, pasta e fagioli soup from my fav Susan over at Fat Free Vegan!  She was the first vegan blogger I ever followed, and has always had a special place in my life.  I’ve met her a few times, and she’s as lovely as her blog.

I used pinto beans because it’s what I had – otherwise exactly as written
meals for the week! Pasta salad with gluten-free pasta, basil, and tofu – and then with a bunch of romaine thrown on it too. So – soup and salad for days!
about a third of the basil in my herb garden. Been busy whipping up salad dressings, pesto’s, and other eats with it.

 

FITNESS

Runs and yoga fill my days, and it makes me so happy!  I’ve kicked up both a lot, and it’s been very cathartic for many reasons.  I have a lot more time on my hands and seem to have plenty of energy as a result.

The best were a couple runs with AM, including one with a local running club today!  It was a gorgeous morning, stunning scenery, a good sized group, and yummy (sour) beer at the end.

perfect Sunday!

LIFE

Let’s see.  Been a great week with few complaints.  (and that one was tequila’s fault).

Work was fairly busy, but not horrible.  Had a few highlights though.

Thursday I went to the Hermitage Museum to enjoy the Art of Burning Man with a friend of mine, and also enjoy some local beer and music.  It was a gorgeous night at a really pretty venue.

they had about 7 sculptures from actual Burning Man festivals. Once it was dark, it was amazing!

KG!

pretty night on the river as the sun went down

Friday morning R had her last peanut-flour based updose in her OIT journey to food freedom!  She started this in January (right when I got back from India), and while it’s slow going, she’s been doing great.  Next updose, she moves to actual food!  This whole process will give her freedom from fear of food allergies for the rest of her life, and I am SO proud of her.

waiting to go in
ready to do this
absolutely hating the taste of peanut flour in warm applesauce

Friday night was out at one of my favorite places in the area.  It’s possible I had a little “too much fun”, but I think it’s allowed now and then.

I do want to talk a bit about rituals.  A few months ago, a good friend sent me a book (I Ching) and got me thinking about rituals in general.  I started realizing I have them in my own life, even though I may not realize it.  Let’s take my mornings, for example.  I’m pretty much a wing it and go with the flow kind of person, but I feel all out of whack when my mornings are disrupted.  I get up early, but it’s only so I can be alone with a cup of coffee and some quiet.  I don’t like music, conversation, or noise in general.  I ease into my day, and then I’m right as rain.  Waking up and instantly having to do something throws off my whole rhythm.  And while mornings aren’t my favorite, I do get up early just so I can have this ritual of quiet.  It’s me, a fluff or two, coffee, and reading the news (mostly) or just listening to the wind in the trees.  Texts and news are fine, but I really don’t like talking or music in that part of my life.  Didn’t really realize that before recently, but now that I have, I find it pretty sacred.

My morning java rituals!

Made plans to head to DC twice in a few weeks!  One with a vacation with the cabbages, and one to see Depeche Mode!  I’m beyond excited.  Get to see lots of people I love, have fun, and even get some work done.  Awesome all around.

Now…if I could just get someone to deal with my yardwork, I’d be all set….

M eating my Twizzlers….
watching one of my two fav shows!
Ginny wearing one of my bras. Odd cat.
Ginny helping R read one of her books
Bumble occupying my fav porch spot
lady at Whole Foods violating the “service dogs only” rule
son and son2 heading to Sbux
Sunday morning cuddles with Kuma and the wee one

 

 

 

Kicking Insomnia’s Butt – the Right Way (this time)

FOOD

It’s been pretty quiet on the food front and mostly smoothies, soups, and stir fries as usual!  Still up to my big batch cooking on Sunday’s.  Makes the rest of the week MUCH easier.

busted out the juicer for the first time in ages
threw quinoa, chickpeas, corn, and peas in the rice cooker. For meals, I would put them in a bowl and toss them with various sauces.
roasted corn in the air fryer! 20 min at 425. Totally perfect.
of course there HAD to be a green curry meal!
batch cook on Sunday of beans and rice – basically my lunch for a week!
roasted tomatoes and onions with basil from the garden!
Irish oats with cinnamon

FITNESS

Runs and hot yoga have been my go-to 5-6 days per week.  Trying to keep to one rest day.  Be warned – these are not “cute Crissie” pictures, but “ass kicking Crissie” ones 🙂

LIFE

Life has been wonderfully full of AC since my last post!  But honestly, not a whole ton going on.  Work, workout, spend time with my kids, spend time with my friends.  Rinse and repeat.

Saturday I did have overnight guests though!  One of my closest friends moved out of state a few years ago, but her husband and kids (including my Godson) were back in the area.  They spent the night here on their way back out of state.  JC and I had a really nice time catching up, and the kids got to run around, play, and then pass out.

One of the most fun activities was taking my young one to a start-up pitch competition!  I knew she’d love it, and she did.  My budding entrepreneur 🙂  I’ve been getting more and more involved in our local start up community and have been loving every minute of it.

discussing the pitches we’re seeing!
2/3 of my cabbages! M met us out for dinner at Waterside after the pitch competition

The biggest thing is the my focused effort on my insomnia.  I haven’t really talked about it, but it’s been a big problem for 13 years now, and I haven’t handled it well or in the most healthy ways.  Journaling, meditation before bed, no electronics, no alcohol, lots of exercise.  It can take months, but as long as I keep a positive outlook, it’ll be okay.  Every time I tried to deal with this in the past, the anxiety of “knowing I can’t sleep” overwhelmed me and I gave up.  But not this time.  It’s not been fun, but it’s also not killing me, and working with cognitive behavior techniques, I’ve avoided the anxiety I’ve had about sleep so far.  So – apologies to those who know me if I’m a bit cranky for a few weeks.  It’s not you.  I’m just tired:)

Fluffballs have been fun and busy too!

cats coming together over “sink water”
laundry day – Ginny hanging out in the drawer
new bling for Kuma! With the divorce, I needed to change the contact info, so hellz yeah, UVA!!! #Wahoo

the one thing I needed from Home Depot was a light bulb. But..denied.

was doing some life planning Sunday and she wouldn’t let me get at my planner
kitty stalkers wanting me to get up Sunday when I didn’t want to
seriously!! I could tell someone was watching me.
my meditation buddies! One there when I start, one when I finish.

Celebrating Life, Birthday’s, and Friends

FOOD

Certainly been a busy week!  As usual, smoothies, salads, and soup were the mainstays.  As were all things in the form of tacos!

kale salad with lemon tahini dressing
sweet potato & kale soup
potato taco!

tofu wings at Yard House
of course I had to have at least ONE tofu green curry!
BBQ tofu, mac no cheese, and sweet carrots

Seriously though – hosted a taco bar party on Friday, which is always the easiest for a crowd!  I’m pretty sure no one ended up hungry.

I can’t believe I forgot to take a pic of all the eats, but at least here’s mine.  I went with a taco salad, piled high with all the good stuff.

FITNESS

Runs and yoga ruled the week.  A few swims, and I started making calls for tennis lessons for me an R!  Hoping to start towards the end of next week.

LIFE

This past week has been very reflective and both wonderful and sad at the same time.  My father passed away unexpectedly in October and for various reasons (my mom’s health and my busy MBA travels mainly), the memorial wasn’t scheduled until this past weekend.  Due to my crazy upside down life events, I couldn’t get to WI.  I do honestly believe that if anyone would understand the reasons why, it would be my father.

What I did was spend a lot of time with friends – most who came to town to celebrate the birthday of one of our Darden alum!  First was the taco party at my house on Friday.  Tons of kids in the pool and adults having drinks and catching up.  Saturday was spent first on the beach and boating/tubing, and then having a BBQ back at birthday boy’s house.  Sunday was very quiet as friends scattered back to home (DC and Charlottesville), and while they all went to brunch and to tour a Naval ship, R and I stayed home for her dose (and her post-dose belly ache relaxing).  Rest of the day was grocery shopping and meal prep.

boat fun
classmates at the taco party!
beach girls
Darden classmates at the BBQ bday party!
“morning after” Sunday with A and W on the back deck
boat hair, don’t care
R and AM tubing! Wish I got one of R on her own – M was whipping her all over the place, but she hung on! Until she didn’t and got stung by 2 jellyfish 😦

kids and cornhole! R and my friend’s son W were two peas in a pod all weekend

Of course needing to end with random pics, it’s overall been a good week.  A lot of thinking about my Dad, missing family, and celebrating with friends.

R had her peanut OIT updose on Friday! Went well, though she always uses a damp towl to wipe her lips. This was just her being goofy.
coat hook at the allergist that R called the “drunk octopus”
morning java Sunday morning with my brand new NPR cup from W and his family! (he works there, which is wicked cool)

“someone tell me it’s not time to get up yet”

 

D&D

Oh wow, a whole 3 months have gone by.  I promise, it’s me, not you.  A lot has been going on in my world the past few months, and I am summing them up with D&D.  No, not Dungeons and Dragons.  And no, not a misspelling of my bra’s cup size.

It’s sort of a bad news/good news thing, so I’ll start with the bad so it can end on a high note.

D #1 = Divorce.  Yup, who knew? I hope you understand that I don’t want to get into details because writing them isn’t fun and I’m pretty sure reading them isn’t either.  But, it’s a part of my life and will be shaping a lot for me as a single mom. He left the state to be with his new love and I don’t have family in the area, but I DO have a lot of friends and a great network of support I can lean on if I need to.  So, I imagine this is the best for both of us now.  Make no mistake – I don’t hate him.  I’m disappointed, but all I want is for everyone I know to be happy, and if this is what it takes, then so be it.

Enough of that, right?!  On to the good news!

D #1 = Darden!  That’s right – after a freakishly challenging MBA program, I graduated last month!  That, my friends, has been the biggest reason for my long absence – between work and school, I barely had time to breath, much less cook consistently and blog.

But, while I’m filling up my newfound free time in some creative ways, it’s also nice to now I’ll have the time to focus on getting my blog rolling once again.

I admit that in April and much of May, I didn’t eat too much.  Not a good thing – and not healthy – just couldn’t.  Thankfully, as life is developing a routine, my appetite is slowly coming back.  Lot’s of good things like smoothies, salads, stir fries, and wine 😉

I also spent many early morning’s in April and May (like 3am morning) going on what I lovingly referred to as “rage runs”.  Mainly because it sounded fun, but it really was how I chose to work through some emotions during that time.  I’m now back to working out at normal hours, which for me is usually sometime after work.

You pretty much already have my major life updates.  Lot’s going on at work, and I’m also getting involved in my local start-up entrepreneurial community, which is really exciting.

Otherwise, just keeping busy and working with my kids and my friends on developing our “new normal”.

So that’s it for now.  I’m going to work on a blog face lift in the coming weeks (it is a season of change in my life, after all!), so stay tuned there.

Until then, some pics of the past week or so, and we’ll chat soon.  Promise 🙂

found a way to bring the two cats together in a close proximity. SINK WATER
lovely gift from a very lovely friend
Bark and Brews! R and I took Kuma to the Botanical Gardens. Pups welcome all Sunday’s in summer!
nap time in the pool for R
R and her cat Ginny 🙂
my cat – napping in my spot on the back deck
Ginny looking busted in the bath tub
the new morning picture!

still my fav pace for java in the morning
Kuma snuggles
my gorgeous girl

Smooth(ie) Operator

FOOD

The best thing about being home is smoothies!  It’s also cool that my study buddy group in class is also hitting the smoothies hard core.

My smoothies!!  (including when I was rushed and picked up a green smoothie at a smoothie shop!)

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I am fully functional again, and all signs of nausea and no appetite have passed!  It did take much longer than I anticipated, but all’s well that end’s well.  Had some good solid food eats too as a result!

broccoli and sweet potato sushi & edamame
broccoli and sweet potato sushi & edamame
grapes!
grapes!
out w D on Friday night.  Sweet potato fries and an amazing veggie burger
out w D on Friday night. Sweet potato fries and an amazing veggie burger
beet & fennel soup
beet & fennel soup
Whole Foods salad bar
Whole Foods salad bar
grape tomatoes is one of my fav snacks
grape tomatoes is one of my fav snacks
sweet and sour tofu stir fry
sweet and sour tofu stir fry

FITNESS

I went to my first hot yoga class in MONTHS this weekend.  It was so perfect.  It was tough, and I may still be a bit sore between the shoulder blades, but I totally needed it.  I love doing yoga at home, but there’s something about the challenge and comradery of a group class with a great instructor!

post class shot!
post class shot!

LIFE

So the big accomplishment of the last week appears to be getting over jet lag!  SO YAY.

Actually, the best part of the past week has been spending time with family.  It’s hard to be motivated to do much else!

The other big news is R starting OIT (oral immuno-therapy) for her peanut allergy.  For those that don’t know, my youngest (13 years old) has a life threatening peanut allergy.  She can’t travel on a plane, can’t eat from a bakery, can’t step foot in many restaurants (like Thai & Chinese), and has to sit at a special “food allergy” table during her lunch breaks at school.

She’s started the OIT treatment program last Thursday – which is essentially eating a very small dose of peanut protein and slowly increasing that dose until you can actually eat the offending food.  To give an idea, 1 small peanut has 250 mg of peanut protein.  R’s current dose is 3mg.  The first 2 days the dosing was done at the doctors office to watch for reactions – and she did have a minor one of a sore throat (it’s how we knew to stop with 3mg.  We had started with 0.1mg).  Since then, it’s at-home dosing for two weeks, then back to the doctor to “updose” and monitor.

day 1!
day 1!
1st dose at home
1st dose at home

All told, the program takes around 8-12 months to reach a point of immunity.  The “medicine” is to eat peanuts (or peanut-containing candy, etc) every day for life to keep that immunity.  It’s a long road, but if successful, will let her lead a normal life where food is no longer something to be afraid of!  I’m so proud of her.  It’s scary as can be to purposefully eat the one thing you know can harm you.  It’s scary as hell to FEED your child something you’ve had her avoid her entire life just to keep her safe.

Aside from that, it’s been all about school since we’re in our exam period!  In fact, I have off today to study with a buddy and knock out the rest of my work by Sunday!

So, here’s some pics to leave you with!

D doing some home repairs in one of our bathrooms!
D doing some home repairs in one of our bathrooms!

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the 90's called.  They want their soda back.
the 90’s called. They want their soda back.

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took Kuma with me to run errands.  A bunch of people came out from the bank drive thru to play with her!
took Kuma with me to run errands. A bunch of people came out from the bank drive thru to play with her!

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right after getting my hair cut, and waiting for D for our massages last weekend!
right after getting my hair cut, and waiting for D for our massages last weekend!

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Settling In Before Taking Off Again!

FOOD

I’ve been home a little over a week, and I’m (as usual), so happy to be back in my kitchen.

Smoothies are the breakfast of champions!  Well, maybe that was Wheaties.  But it should be smoothies 🙂

it's a green smoothie, but blueberries win every time!
it’s a green smoothie, but blueberries win every time!

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not the only green smoothie lover in the house!  R loves hers with apple, dates, and cinnamon for an "Apple Jack" smoothie
not the only green smoothie lover in the house! R loves hers with apple, dates, and cinnamon for an “Apple Jack” smoothie

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The weather is starting to get all fall-ish, so I’ve made some warmer meals, like soups, chili, and (gluten free) pasta dishes.

still hands down my fav soup.  Post Punk Kitchen's Red Curry Soup.  Sweet potato, kale, and rice...what's not to love?
still hands down my fav soup. Post Punk Kitchen’s Red Curry Soup. Sweet potato, kale, and rice…what’s not to love?
black bean and sweet potato chili!  Leftovers for days (and days and days)
black bean and sweet potato chili! Leftovers for days (and days and days)
with sweet maple cornbread
with sweet maple cornbread
butternut squash and fresh sage pasta!  Recipe from Zsu Dever's Vegan Bowls.  Made with chickpea gluten free pasta
butternut squash and fresh sage pasta! Recipe from Zsu Dever’s Vegan Bowls. Made with chickpea gluten free pasta

Other miscellaneous eats.

beets cooked in orange juice
beets cooked in orange juice
on a salad with a yummy maple tahini dressing
on a salad with a yummy maple tahini dressing
taco salad!  Spicy tofu and topped with a vegan queso as a dressing
taco salad! Spicy tofu and topped with a vegan queso as a dressing
grilled lime and sriarcha tofu with BBQ sauce "dressing" and grilled corn!
grilled lime and Siracha tofu with BBQ sauce “dressing” and grilled corn!
leftover tofu as a wrap...
leftover tofu as a wrap…
and as a salad with garlic, lemon, tahini dressing
and as a salad with garlic, lemon, tahini dressing
a sad and icky plate of veg sushi that I just couldn't choke down.  Sad because it was from my fav sushi place.
a sad and icky plate of veg sushi that I just couldn’t choke down. Sad because it was from my fav sushi place.

FITNESS

Runs and rides!  More runs than rides though!

Two of my runs in the last week have found me in the middle of unexpected rain storms.  And when I mean unexpected, read it as “Crissie didn’t check the weather”.

Friday!
Friday!
Sunday...
Sunday…
Saturday (pre-ride).  It didn't rain :)
Saturday (pre-ride). It didn’t rain 🙂

LIFE

I’ve been home a little over a week now, and it’s been glorious!  Busy – but in a really good way.  Catching up at work, getting back in the groove of things, and then having a major project many years in the making go live!

The fluffy family members have been awesome, as usual.  Except for the afternoon Kuma decided to steal my highlighter and sticky notes while studying!

puppy kisses!
puppy kisses!
had just put all her toys in her basket, and about 2 seconds later, she starts taking them back off again!
had just put all her toys in her basket, and about 2 seconds later, she starts taking them back off again!
first grooming appt!  Came home with a cute Halloween bandana
first grooming appt! Came home with a cute Halloween bandana

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Bumble doing what cats do best...
Bumble doing what cats do best…
Ginny loves shoes.  Mostly recently worn and slightly smelly ones
Ginny loves shoes. Mostly recently worn and slightly smelly ones
guess who just walked in the door?  (hint, size 14's...)
guess who just walked in the door? (hint, size 14’s…)
I was cooking.  They both clearly thought I had something they wanted.  Until they realized it was kale...
I was cooking. They both clearly thought I had something they wanted. Until they realized it was kale…

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getting ready for the best holiday!
getting ready for the best holiday!

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Speaking of studying…

for anyone who wants to really understand merger and acquisitions!
for anyone who wants to really understand mergers and acquisitions!  Or for anyone hoping to pass an upcoming finance exam 🙂

Friday night my eldest and her boyfriend came over for dinner and Rock Band!

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And of course, morning pictures!

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And “others”

me and D while the kids were karaoke-ing!
me and D while the kids were karaoke-ing!
getting ready for Halloween!
getting ready for Halloween!

Friday D and I have a charity golf event, and then I’m traveling for 5 days to support that project I mentioned.  Of course there’s the whole hurricane Matthew thing brewing, which thankfully appears to be turning east of Virginia Beach, but we’ll still get rains and winds.  After last months flooding, that means our region is still in danger of falling trees and flooding – so here’s hoping everyone in Matthew’s path stays safe and dry.  Oh, and this Friday also begins our 2 week exam period.  It’s going to be a chaotic couple of weeks!  But what’s new, right??  🙂