Beware Parallelogram Season

FOOD

It’s been a lazy week, to be honest. I had bulk cooked so much last weekend, that we ate a lot of leftovers.

Tuesday I made baked Mac no cheese, which is always a family fav.

Luna was a fan too

Also diced up the homemade andouille sausage and put it into lentil soup to make it even heartier.

Lunch one day MAY have been popcorn and a pina colada at the movies 🙂

And there was toast, and smoothies, and pasta, and soups, and salads.

Quinoa with fresh blueberries and cinnamon

Made a big batch of slow cooker minestrone with gluten free pasta

I used to love egg salad when I was a kid. I do love my tofu egg-less salad more tho! Especially topped on a BAS

I had one lunch date with the guy, but didn’t take a pic. We shared some edamame and I had tofu pad Thai. This was my fortune though!

FITNESS

A couple runs, weights in the garage, a spin class also in the garage, and I finally checked out the BodyPump class I’ve been meaning to try. I liked it – will let you know tomorrow how sore I may or may not be as a result!

LIFE

This has been much more low key than usual. And honestly, not sure how I feel about that.

I had the majority of last week off. I was supposed to go to DC for the DC United game with a girlfriend and a military vet related event, but life and Dorian got in the way, so I didn’t go. BUT, I kept the days off to focus on school stuff and general reading, so that was highly productive. I also went to the movies solo one day to see Angel Has Fallen. I love this series and enjoyed this most recent one too.

A gift from NS in Kenya! Adding it to my list of fun things to read

Back to school for the young one went off without a hitch. All going well so far, though it was only a 3 day week because schools were canceled in advance of Dorian on Friday.

Dorian wasn’t a major event. Some power flickers and unreliable internet, and some yard and pool clean up, but we were lucky. There was flooding and downed trees all over – just not in my neighborhood!

The weekend I stayed home and did housework and school work and grocery shopping and other fun prepping for the week.

I decided yesterday that I wanted to learn more to do with Alexa than play music, the news, and check the weather (oh, and how many days until Halloween!). So I started playing with Drop In, and my sister “called” on it! It was fun. R and I chatted with her and my niece and nephew. Totally cool. She and I also spent significant time sending each other Trump related memes this weekend. All told, good times.

Yesterday was a mini spa day for me and the wee one. She got a haircut, and I got a facial. Fun stuff.

Post haircut R!

We have a family group chat with me and my kids and my guy and BS. Silly stuff ensues. This was my recent contribution.

This week should be busy, but not horrible. It’s the last week of the term, so I have ten tons of writing to do. But can’t complain. I’m getting closer and closer to being done!

Studying outside the day before Dorian visited

Post shower snuggles

My cousin in Scotland posted. Love it.
Too early in the morning for her to get up

Sent this to the eldest last night during her ED shift. She claims she will actually say this…

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

Music City Fun!

FOOD

Smoothies when I was home, of course. Also ate that cucumber salad from the shredded cucs from the weekend before. It had some serious kick to it with the red pepper flakes marinating in the salad overnight.

My guy and his oldest came over for lasagna night! Tofu ricotta, fresh garden basil and oregano, and fresh garden tomatoes. I wanted to make a bechamel sauce (rather than use fake cheese), but my Nutritional Yeast shipment hadn’t arrived and I used the last of it for the ricotta. So I did use a little Daiya mozz shreds in the end. Totally yummy. Served with a build-your-own salad bar (we all like different toppings) and a loaf of fresh bread (I love making homemade bread – house always smells so yummy!).

Then it was off to Nashville! Thursday A and I went to a veg place called Wild Cow. It was SO good. We had the vegan spinach/artichoke dip, and I had a tempeh Ruben with mashed sweet potatoes.

Friday afternoon was Thai! According to A, New Orleans is lacking in the Thai food department, so that was definitely on the agenda.

Friday we stopped for a drink before meeting up with A’s high school friends for dinner, where I had a really yummy veggie fajita.

Saturday we went for drinks and dinner with her brother before heading to the concert. I had a raw squash salad that was amazing. Watermelon sorbet too – which was only ok.

This morning we went to First Watch for breakfast where I had their Powerbowl – coconut milk chia seed pudding topped with fresh berries, blackberry preserves, and granola with a side of artisan toast.

FITNESS

Early in the week was runs and spins. None since I got to Nashville – except a ton of dancing at the show!

LIFE

Quite a busy week! My guy and his son, me and R and Kuma hit up Home Depot Tuesday evening to pick up tools for the upcoming flooring project. Then it was dinner for 6 at my house! Lots of fun and the kids all watched a movie too.

Wednesday was a ton of meetings and then a late wine meeting with a venture capitalist who’s backing a software company I’m looking at. Then it was home to pack.

Thursday I had an early flight to Nashville. I landed around 10 and headed to a Starbucks to await A, who was driving up from NOLA. Was perfect because I got all my school stuff done.

We went to her brothers, went to grab food, and then had a chill night of hanging out and catching up over a bottle of wine for us and some bourbon for JJ!

Friday was relatively low key too. I was up several hours early, so did more school stuff. Then A and I went for coffee and pedicures. She showed me around parts of Nashville – which is a beautiful city.

Dinner was with a group of A’s friends from High School. One I had met before in Virginia Beach. All really sweet ladies, and then we went back to H’s house to hangout for a bit.

Saturday was literally a day of drinking and music and it was amazing. We stopped at one quick place (where I had a cider and a sour beer) before going to the really famous area where all the music stuff is. We spent the afternoon at a place called Tootsie’s drinking beer and listening to bands. People can just walk in and play and it was so cool. I really loved this 15 year old girl who got up and sang House of the Rising Sun. Made me totally miss my Dad – he’d have loved it.

Also got a wicked cool rendition of The Devil Went Down to Georgia.

And then – off to the main event! The entire reason we came here – other than to see each other of course. Sleigh Bells, the Pixies, and Weezer show! It was totally amazing. We had pit tickets so we were right up at the stage. It was just shy of 4 hours of music and dancing.

We crashed hard when we got back and today has been low key. Breakfast and will be leaving for the airport soon to come home! I miss my kids and my pups and my guy and I’m ready to sleep in my bed! Will be sad to say goodbye to A since I don’t know when I’ll see her again, but all told, this was an amazing trip!

Breaking My Vitamix (and Surviving)

FOOD

Okay, so I had a food related tragedy this week.  I have a chest freezer in the garage where I keep my frozen stuff (duh, that’s what a deep freeze is for).  Anyway, I had just put my water and my chocolate Vega powder into my Vitamix container and was walking into the garage to get my frozen fruit to add (like I do EVERY morning – though it’s not always chocolate), and when I set it down, I ended up dropping it and CRACKING my Vitamix container.  Seriously – I about became apoplectic.  I mean really – barely a day has gone by since I bought the thing 9 years ago that I haven’t used it.  And those were typically just days I’m not home!  After cursing heavily at mopping up the gooey chocolate mess, it hit me. No Vitamix.  No bitchin green smoothies and dressings and soups whipped up in a snap.  OMG.

Luckily, I have my Tribest personal blender, which does a great job.  Not always smooth on the greens the way my vita is, but if I skip adding the kale, it does a great job.  So – made my Choco banana pineapple smoothie (sans greens) anyway, and then ordered a new canister.  Which will be here Wednesday.  Anticipation is KILLING me.

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Otherwise I’ve had salads, stir-fry veggies on potatoes, green tofu curry (of course – perhaps more than once.  Okay, definitely more than once), and other simple eats.

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FITNESS

Runs and Rides!  Switching off every other day, though not today.  Thought about a bike ride, got wrapped up in work and studies, and suddenly it’s almost bed time!

one of my rides
one of my rides
one of my runs!
one of my runs!

LIFE

Well, I’ve been back home about a week.  And I leave for Paris next week.  Crazy how time flied, but I’m honestly not ready!

Last week was work and studies, doing wash, and getting ready for back to school fun for R.

just before dialing into my class last Thursday - clearly it was too early for either Kuma or Ginny to be anything but chill
just before dialing into my class last Thursday – clearly it was too early for either Kuma or Ginny to be anything but chill

D woke up on Saturday feeling like hell, and is just starting to feel better today.  He felt pretty well for a few hours, but is back to feeling run down.  Some crazy virus that causes a killer headache and general weakness/exhaustion.  He seems to be on the mend though, so that’s great!

A new grocery opened up near me (and yes, that’s actually a big deal in my world)!  It’s pretty good – similar to a Wegman’s, but not quite as cool.  Good hippie food section and, most importantly, fresh produce looks great.  They have a few specialty items I typically have to pick up at Whole Foods (like my toothpaste), so that’s pretty awesome.  And yes I’ve already been twice since I got back last week.

This weekend my friend/classmate’s baby girl turned 2 and R and I went to her party yesterday.  I’ve never seen a 2 year old eat cake so daintily before!  Totally adorable.  Was a beautiful day, and the part was in the park, so it was perfect.

This week is all about being sure I’m set up at work to disappear for 2 1/2 weeks on my European adventure (Paris, Berlin, & a brief pit stop in Helsinki on the way home).  It’s also about trying to work ahead in school so the residency doesn’t completely flatten me.  But either way I have the Louvre, Eiffel Tower dinner (twice), Disneyland Paris, and a soccer match in Berlin to look forward to!

Oh, and Chelsea is doing well so far this season!  3 wins (of 3 games) and currently 2nd ranked in the league.  Don’t get me wrong though – it’s quite early, and last year they tanked something fierce, so we’ll see.  Conte is fun as a coach and I love his awesome emotional outbursts.

he just happens to be my fav player
he just happens to be my fav player

Oh, and I have to likely call off my complete hatred of Manchester United.  Chelsea’s old coach (Jose Mourinho) is now their coach, and I absolutely love that man.  So…good on Man U.  Hope you do okay this season (but never better than my Blues!).

Sorry to get all soccer on everyone.  Back to regularly scheduled posts of pets and general life fun.

it was International Dog day last Friday, which for Kuma meant International Nap Day.
it was International Dog day last Friday, which for Kuma meant International Nap Day.
staying in the office late to get some studying done
staying in the office late to get some studying done

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selfie at the Oceanfront after a hair appt.
selfie at the Oceanfront after a hair appt.

 

 

 

Twizzler Drawers are a Thing (and I’m Getting One)

FOOD

Not a lot off food pics for ya this go around!  I flew out of town early on the 17th.  Most of my meals were dining out, including one meal at the hospital that had the most tasteless carrots I’ve ever encountered.

I did grab a cucumber out of my sister’s garden for breakfast one morning though!

Other than that, I had Mexican and Thai with my father, a Go Macro bar that was also incredibly tasteless, a veggie burger out with my sister, and I cooked one evening at my sister’s house for us and her kids, though my sister made the salad dressing (a stellar balsamic vinaigrette).  I had a great salad in the Milwaukee airport the day I flew home too.

Tofu green curry.  Naturally.
Tofu green curry. Naturally.
seriously tasted like cardboard.  So sad because I'm always on the lookout for a gluten-free, nut-free, vegan bar for my travels.  Sadly, this isn't making my list.
seriously tasted like cardboard. So sad because I’m always on the lookout for a gluten-free, nut-free, vegan bar for my travels. Sadly, this isn’t making my list.
we actually ordered veggie burgers, but this is C before it arrived!
we actually ordered veggie burgers, but this is C before it arrived!
my raspberry weiss
my raspberry weiss
salad at C's
salad at C’s
and our pasta dinner
and our pasta dinner
tomato toast the last day I was there
tomato toast the last day I was there
oh, and introducing the Bloody Molly.  It's a bloody mary, but with Jameson's Irish Whiskey instead of vodka.  I'm a fan.
oh, and introducing the Bloody Molly. It’s a bloody mary, but with Jameson’s Irish Whiskey instead of vodka. I’m a fan.

I’ve only been home a day, but I whipped up one of my long time favs – a beet and fennel soup – and had that today for lunch.  Breakfast was oatmeal with blueberries.

so not pretty....
so not pretty….

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there's a Bartolotta's in the MKE airport - they had a gorgeous Insalata Mista with red onion and fennel.  Good thing to pass the time as my flight got delayed multiple times.
there’s a Bartolotta’s in the MKE airport – they had a gorgeous Insalata Mista with red onion and fennel. Good thing to pass the time as my flight got delayed multiple times.

FITNESS

I got in two runs and one good walk while in Wisconsin!  More than I thought I’d be able to manage.

I went for a bike ride last night and a run today.  The temps have dropped some here (80’s) so they were both very pleasant from a temp perspective.  To be honest, I was exhausted by Monday night (too many flight delays), and didn’t have it in me to run.  My ride was only a half hour,  but it still felt great.  Run today had sprints incorporated, which I haven’t done in a long time!

 

I do need to make some time for yoga in the next few days.  The past week has been incredibly busy and stressful, and I know I could use it!  Yoga always makes me feel better.

LIFE

Ry had a great time at camp!  The site posts pics through the week, and I found these of her.  She apparently got a lot of tennis playing in – something I’ve always wanted to learn.  Looks like I found my tennis partner!

seriously, her expression is like "why the heck are you taking my picture??"
seriously, her expression is like “why the heck are you taking my picture??”
my baby girl is in the front row, far right!
my baby girl is in the front row, far right!

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I stayed late in the office a few days last week, and grabbed dinner on the way home.  Nothing like vegan pizza with a side of finance!

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D and I send each other pics when I’m away.  Honestly, we do it even when we’re NOT apart, but that’s another story….

sun was in my eyes.  I wasn't angry.
sun was in my eyes. I wasn’t angry.
the night D picked R up from camp!!
the night D picked R up from camp!!

And other random pics from the week for you viewing pleasure.

my sister has a drawer of Twizzlers, which is one of the most amazing things ever.
my sister has a drawer of Twizzlers, which is one of the most amazing things ever.
D kicking my butt at cribbage.
D kicking my butt at cribbage.
sent this to my eldest daughter :)
sent this to my eldest daughter 🙂
got my first pair!  The vegan sunset stipe flats
got my first pair! The vegan sunset stipe flats

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every single time I stood up today (even for 30 seconds to get more water), Bumble just jumped into my seat!  Brat cat.
every single time I stood up today (even for 30 seconds to get more water), Bumble just jumped into my seat! Brat cat.
new mug for my Starbuck's collection!
new mug for my Starbuck’s collection!
Kuma!!
Kuma!!

And now – off to bed.  Last two nights have been crap, so I’d like to get a good night in!

Food from a Box

FOOD

Most of the eats this week are typical; smoothies, salads, etc.  We did get to shake it up a bit though and try something new!

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when you're at the office at 630, a chocolate smoothie for breakfast is necessary
when you’re at the office at 630, a chocolate smoothie for breakfast is necessary

A co-worker of my husband’s gave us a coupon code to check out Hello Fresh for free.  So we did!  It’s a program that drop ships meals in a box.  You can choose the # of people being fed and the type of food.  Naturally I chose the veggie box, and I whipped up the first of three meals last night.

I chose the mushroom primavera dish because my daughter is a huge ‘shroom fan, and I thought that if any of these dishes were going to fly, it would be this one.  Absolutely everything necessary to make this dish was in a little box, which was certainly convenient.

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I whipped it up in about 20 minutes by following the recipe card.  And while it was fun – the flavors were only “okay” according to my family.  Also, the meals are vegetarian, not vegan, so I’m sure we lost some of the intended flavor since I didn’t have vegan sour cream nor parm on hand.

So the verdict is – if you have a lot of extra money lying around and don’t mind having to insert your own vegan version of dairy ingredients – go for it.  If it helps busy people eat out of a box of fresh food vs a box of mac n cheese – go for it.  But – if you like to cook and control your own ingredients, it’s a waste of money.

FITNESS

So I’m not an early riser.  And I don’t like staying up all night either (though I’d opt for that over an early alarm any day!).  So my preference is usually to work out during what amounts to the hottest time of the day.  Not awesome.  I went on one run earlier this week and the pounding headache after was a sign of the heat.

So yesterday and today I went for bike rides!  Yes, it was over 100 degrees, but since you pretty much build your own wind, it doesn’t suck.  I miss riding – it’s one of my very fav things to do.  Thing is, in my area of Tidewater there are no safe places to pedal.  And I have a road bike (though I’m eyeing a new hybrid), so I can’t hit the trails.  I need paved surfaces.

Yesterday I went to the Great Dismal Swamp Canal Trail – which is fully paved.  Normally it’s teeming with people, but due to the heat, it was dead.  I came across maybe 4 other people the entire time I was there.  No bears though (that’s a common sighting), because they were smart enough to stay out of the heat!

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Today I went in loops in my neighborhood.  None of the roads in my section of town have shoulders and most don’t have sidewalks.  But, traffic is light and residential streets are the safest I’m going to get.

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It does look like my back tire needs a new inner tube, so D is going to fix that for me later tonight.

LIFE

The best part of this week was getting to meet my friends baby boy!  Baby J is two weeks old and is the cutest squeakiest little man.  J is one of my classmates who also happens to live close by, so the catching up was a ton of fun and nice to do outside of our residencies.

D and baby J got into a little bit of a staring contest!  J won :)
D and baby J got into a little bit of a staring contest! J won 🙂

No complaints about Life, work, nor school – they’re all keeping me plenty busy!

my eldest A came home for the day and eve on Wed, and Kuma was thrilled.  Kept running back and forth to give all 3 kids a chance to play with her.
my eldest A came home for the day and eve on Wed, and Kuma was thrilled. Kept running back and forth to give all 3 kids a chance to play with her.
Ginny in her happy place (face first in a smelly shoe)
Ginny in her happy place (face first in a smelly shoe)

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that face!
that face!

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Today we took R back to camp!  Yep – we signed her up at the relative last minute for a second week since she had so much fun earlier this summer.  Seriously, this is her third year going, and we should’ve just booked two weeks to begin with!

This coming week is going to be a bit more hectic than normal.  Monday and Tuesday I have meetings from 8am – 7pm.  And I plan to stay late in the office both days to get as much studying done as possible, as I’m flying out a 6am on Wednesday for a 5 day trip to WI, and I’m not sure how much studying I’m actually going to get done.  I have a few big deadlines for assignments and proposals that I have to nail before I go.

So – hope you have a great week!