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!

Odd Numbers are My Jam

FOOD

I only actually made one meal in the past 4-5 days. I had so much of the kitchen sink curry leftovers, that I had that for three meals.

I did have tofu green curry, but it was a work meeting and it felt a little odd to take a picture – then I’d have to explain that I have a blog, and while I normally don’t care, not everyone I have meetings with really needs this insight into my personal life 😏.

Friday night’s dinner was an olive tray at our wine bar, but I forgot to take pics.

Saturday brunch was a Bloody Mary, pointsetta mimosa (which was delicious), and half of a hummus and veggie wrap. The menu item was labeled vegan, and it came with some chips. I had one, it was quite good, and my bf tried one. Immediately told me they were likely NOT vegan. Waitress double checked – they were indeed not the vegan ones. They gave me sour cream and onion (no wonder I didn’t recognize the flavor – I just kept telling my bf that it tasted like garlic or something). She felt horrible – bought me another mimosa, and brought some salt and pepper chips – in the bag so I could check. I ate a few and took that bag and half the wrap home. Honest mistake. Not thrilled I ate dairy, but it won’t kill me. I don’t have an allergy, it’s a choice.

Last night I made a vegan ramen-ish dinner. Vegan ramen noodles, a broth made of veggie broth, miso, ginger, and soy, and then threw in peas, corn, green beans, and Morningstar farms fake chicken strips. It was really good, but way too much. Ate about half.

FITNESS

HIIT and a run. Packing for the gym after work is new to me. And I had my bag on Thursday – but forgot my shoes 🤦🏻‍♀️. So I went home and got into my gym clothes – shoes included – and then drove back to the gym. I always use locker 139. It’s strange, but 1 – I like odd numbers, and 2 – I guess I’m more a creature of habit than I like to admit. Getting there Thursday evening, my locker was taken! As were all of them in that row. So I had to use a <gasp> even number. 134. Oh the horror. Honestly though, odd numbers have always been my favorite. Pretty much every good thing in my life is related to an odd number. Most of the people I love (excluding my sister and her kids and dad, who were both in even years) were born in odd years. Graduations were ALL in odd years. Other milestones too. I tend to pick them for hotel rooms, movie seats, and yes, my locker damnit. What can I say? Odd numbers are my jam.

Today R had a 2 1/2 hour robotics meeting in Franklin, VA, which is just about an hour away. I knew I couldn’t use that time to study, so decided to use it to run and then read. Unfortunately the school she was at did not have a track, but it was in a residential area, so the run was still easy enough. Streets are nicely square, so I didn’t get lost either. Knocked out 5 miles and then sat in my car reading. Let’s just say that by the time I got home, I was more than ready for a shower after wallowing in my own sweaty mess for hours.

LIFE

Well, only two days of work after the holiday. Both were good days. Thursday’s focus was on a joint venture new company proposal downtown, and Friday was a lot of things, but the best one is with a start up I’m working with in the UK. It’s been a slow process, but things are really moving along now. I also had a work lunch meeting, and while the guy was late and mildly annoying, it was overall ok.

Thursday after work was the gym and writing. Friday after work was wine bar date with my boyfriend and staying at his place. Brunch in the morning, and then a nap in the afternoon with the floofs.

Today was the robotics adventure for 5 hours. Was chatting with my guy about my digital planner. I do a weekly plan, a daily plan (always planned the night before) – which includes my schedule and a separate page where I do bullet journaling to keep track of tasks for that day. This is what today’s bullets looked like. So far I’ve done them all except meditate…

I also do a weekly meal plan, but I created a OneNote template for that and groceries. I swear, I’m not nuts – I just like to be organized. And I like lists…

After I got home, I took a shower and snuggled with the floofs again for a bit.

Even after I got up, Kuma decided naps were really the best way to spend the afternoon

Then I worked on my edits for my dissertation for the rest of the day, until it was time to make dinner.

Will be strange to have a full and normal week. Work, family, school, gym. Rinse and repeat!

Au Revoir 2019, Bonjour 2020!

FOOD

Been a pretty good week. Not a lot of food, but what I did eat was yummy!

Bruch with my baby was delicious. Vegan burrito and festive drinks.

Grapes for dinner at Busch Gardens.

Morningstar Farms vegan chicken strips with greenbeans (I was hungry and this was fast).

Tofu green curry (of course)

Kitchen Sink Curry

Ingredients:

  • 1 block tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 can green beans
  • 1 package frozen cauliflower rice
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 1 sweet potato peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3 tbsp red curry powder or paste (I use the Spice House powder)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

Directions:

  • Throw everything in your pressure cooker (I used my Ninja Foodi)
  • High for 6 minutes. Natural release for 10.

It was really, really yummy! Makes 4 servings.

Family Mexican dinner night out – vegan bowl and margaritas!

Today was an Eastern Shore lunch date for a Beyond burger and beer flight (of which 1 I just couldn’t stomach – so he drank it for me!).

FITNESS

4 gym days for that HIIT class and 2 runs.

I really do dig this class. But saying it’s a class isn’t exactly accurate. It is a daily curated workout where there are 15 stations. You exercise 3 rounds at each station, and each round is 1 minute. There’s a timer that indicates when a round starts and ends (there’s a 20 second rest period after each round) Each day is a different focus. Like yesterday was arms and back. Today was full body and core. There’s almost always a trainer or two wandering around to motivate and correct. There are also videos for each station to show the moves, so when I’m there and there isn’t a trainer (like today), I’m not lost.

So – here was today:

10 minute warm-up on the rower.

  1. Sit in a V position in front of weighted ropes and, using your core, flip the ropes over your legs.
  2. Using a TRX suspension trainer, put your feet in them, and then walk into an inverted V as many times as possible before the buzzer rings.
  3. Leg raises on an inverted incline
  4. Skierg (love this thing. It’s essentially a standing rower – more to mimic cross country ski motions with your arms than any leg work)
  5. Walking dumbbell lunches
  6. Pulley rope pull. This one you sit and imagine tug of war, but the rope is silicone and going through a pulley to put tension on it.
  7. Barbell squat + overhead press
  8. Rower
  9. Hard to explain this one – you hold dumbbells overhead – but in an X shape. Then touch elbow to opposite knee. It was awkward and I felt highly uncoordinated!
  10. Cybex Arc Trainer on a forward incline
  11. Combo move of dumbbell curls to overhead press while stepping up on a box and doing a knee raise
  12. V sit ups while sitting on a 1/2 bosu ball
  13. Cybex Arc trainer upright (not forward incline)
  14. While lying back, raise legs and move in a half circle to one side, back, and then the other
  15. Oblique crunches

Total circuit takes 45 minutes plus whatever warm up. You wear a HR monitor that displays on the screen to let you know how you’re working. Today I was feeling slow, but still burned 612 calories, so despite the struggle, it was still awesome.

I also like that it changes every day. I don’t do well with monotony.

LIFE

It’s been a really nice and mostly lazy week.

Thursday my guy and I hit up our wine bar and I stayed at his place, and then we had brunch in the morning.

Friday was cleaning and mostly hanging around the house. Oh, and an emergency vet visit because Kuma got into A’s stocking and ate chocolate! She’s fine, and after getting home, we snuggled on my bed watching Star Wars.

Did visit the guy for a bit that evening and finished the last Star Wars movie in the series before the new one.

Saturday was The Rise of Skywalker! I actually really liked it. I was never a big Star Wars fan (I was always Star Trek over Star Wars), but having just watched them all in the previous week, I had a good appreciation of it. Stayed over again.

A very hippie book was recommended to me, and I promised I’d read it, so I glad I got it at the library (and didn’t spend any $ on it). I’m trying, but I can honestly tell you I am not really digging it. But I’ll finish it because I did make a promise. But ugh. Sunday morning was wonderful and lazy – coffee and reading on the sofa with my bf. Then home.

Sunday afternoon R and I hit up Busch Gardens for arcade fun and Christmas Town. Honestly, the lights were beautiful. It always does blow me away.

Was hoping for an air hockey rematch battle, but it was busted

Monday it was really warm out – so it was run fun and I honestly can’t recall what else 😳. Grocery shopping probably.

Tuesday I went to see my good friend M, who is moving to Nashville this weekend. Going to miss him and his wife very much, but I have friends all over the world I manage to see on occasion, and I have no doubt we’ll visit M&R over the years.

Then it was time to hit up the outlet mall with R to spend some gift cards and then meet up with all the fam, minus my eldest, for NYE dinner.

We went home, I rented a movie, and was in bed by 1030!

2019 really flew by. It was mostly a good year, but I’m not sad to see it go. The past decade has been really eventful! Obtained 2 degrees (and the majority of a 3rd), raised a family, got divorced, made some of the most amazing friends a girl could have, traveled the world, lost my Dad, discovered what drives me and makes me passionate, found love, and, more than anything, realize just how much I like me. Will I always strive to be a better person? Absolutely. But by and large, I like who I am as a person, what I stand for, my independence and strength, and who I surround myself with.

So 2020 is here – now what? For me, big focus is on graduating with my doctorate. No reason I can’t finish this year – just means a lot of work (not like that’s anything new – but this is now all self guided research and writing). It’s really exciting! And then focusing on what to do with it, which I’ve certainly been giving a lot of thought to.

One thing I will occasionally do is take on a “project food”. My dad always said that if you don’t like something you eat, it is because it wasn’t prepared in a way you like. I took that to heart, and over the years, I’ll tackle a food I didn’t like, but make myself try it and prepare it in various ways over a year. If I still hate it, then I know I at least tried. I’ve done this with blueberries (used to hate them unless in a muffin), beets, and mushrooms. Mushrooms I say are a partial success. I like portobellos, but that’s about it. This year’s project food – WHISKEY!

Yes, I know it’s not a food, but if you’ve read recent posts, you know I’m pretty obsessed with becoming a whiskey drinker. My eldest and son-in-law even bought me a nice bottle for Christmas. And I picked up one recommended by my best friend too. So – I’m not sure how it’ll go – I’ve always disliked it – but I’m going to give it a shot! Wish me luck.

First attempt….

Random pics from the week that don’t fit anywhere else!

Not bad, considering most my free time is spent on school! I love to read, and while I do a blend of professional and fiction books – I know there’s more fiction in here than non!

A Very Merry Time Indeed

FOOD

Friday I had a smoothie in my office for breakfast and a solo Thai lunch. Dinner was awesome though – the wine bar my guy and I go to now has a plant based menu section! Several months ago, the chef decided to be vegan for a month, just to see what it was like for me (which is epically cool). First, I hear he loves eating vegan – which is awesome. But even more so is the new menu, and I had the vegan po boy for dinner Saturday night (as did my meat eating friend I was there with), and it was delicious!

Other eats include brunch with my boyfriend, salads, beans and rice, and of course Christmas dinner of Tofurkey, mashers, corn, stuffing, mushroom gravy, and a bunch of other dishes I just didn’t get to.

FITNESS

Gym on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday for the HIIT class. And yesterday was my traditional Christmas run. I’ve done it 11 out of 12 years – missed last year because I was in WI and it was snowy and cold and ewww.

I rolled my ankle Saturday night – nothing fun, literally just stepping off a curb. But it was too sore on Sunday to do anything. It was swollen and I was worried I sprained it, but by Monday it was still sore, but I felt comfortable hitting the gym. I just modified any moves that required jumping. To be honest, it is still slightly sore, but it was fine for my run yesterday and I’m heading to the gym in a few where I expect it’ll be fine also.

LIFE

It was nice to be in the office on Friday and Monday. After work Friday, I went out with friends to celebrate the end of another term and that I am officially ABD! That means “all but dissertation”. Essentially, I’m done with classes and my focus shifts to research, analysis, publication, and graduation! My girlfriend I went out with is also in my program and knows just how hard I’ve worked to get to this point faster than anyone has before. So she and her husband treated me to a wonderful night of wine, food, and fun.

I was there about 30 min before S and A arrived. So Alex the bartender – who knows what we love to drink – kept giving me short pours of new things to try

This – was disgusting. Couldn’t even finish the sample, it was so bad.

A turmeric whiskey sour. Was quite good, though I let A finish it because I can’t really mix wine and booze

Saturday I spent the afternoon and night with my boyfriend. We ran some errands and then went to our fav Cape Charles’ spots for cider and cocktails (see now why I stumbled off the curb 🤦🏻‍♀️?).

The next morning was brunch at one of our 2 regular spots and then it was off to run errands on my way home.

Monday was in the office again, then the gym and more errands. I had to pick up some groceries and went to the store near my house. It was a madhouse, and the line looked more like a theme park rollercoaster line than a grocery store!

So Christmas. Normally one of my least favorite holidays – ever since I was a kid. This year was actually really nice. On Christmas Eve, the tradition in my family is to open pajamas and a game, and whoever wins the game gets to choose breakfast in the morning (which means I shop for what 5 people like for breakfast because you never know who the winner will be!).

My son in law spent it with us, and he ended up winning the game. I didn’t play because I was cooking – but it was fun to watch them.

Christmas morning was also nice. Coffee first, then gifts, breakfast, and my run. After cleaning up from breakfast, I put out appetizers and a Bloody Mary bar to snack on until dinner.

We spent the day at home. My boyfriend came over for a few hours and we did his gifts too. I got a Google WiFi mesh that he installed and it’s amazing!

I love maps and globes. Several weeks ago my youngest asked me where I’ve always wanted to go. Without hesitation – Morocco. She got me a framed 1800’s era map of Morocco – in French! I love love love it. I also got a book and a travel cord organizer from my sister, another framed print from my son, flavored vinegar and olive oil and a bottle of Bulleit from my daughter and son-in-law, and an Amazon gift card from my mom. Though honestly – it was less about the what (which was all lovely), and more about the who. I got to be with the people closest to me and have a great day.

What my travel cord “bag” looks like now – so what C got me really is perfect!

Only downside yesterday was the holiday light plan. We went to the Merry Mile, which is at the Virginia Beach oceanfront – you drive on the boardwalk of the beach and see the lights that are there, usually driving under them. It’s about 30 minutes away, and we wait in the long line of cars….to find out its cash only. THE WEBSITE DIDN’T SAY THAT. The kids didn’t want to hunt down an atm and then get back in line, so we went home instead.

Okay, Star Wars. To be honest, I have always been more of a Star Trek fan, but with the series concluding, I want to brush up on the series, so I’ve been working on watching them all in a lead up to going to see the finale on Saturday with my son, boyfriend, and his eldest. I never even saw them all, so it has been a fun education. Thus far, I have watched 5 of them.

And other miscellaneous shots of the week!

HIIT Me Baby, One More Time

FOOD

Good week on the food front with a fair amount of cooking.

Sunday I made a batch of spicy tofu soup and butternut squash soup.

I also made two loaves of bread this week – I have a bread machine and my youngest says it looks like I 3D print them. So they’ve become the 3D printed breads.

Lots of tofu eggless salad this week too. Some on sammiches and some mixed into big ass salads.

Tofu eggless salad AND a Beyond Meat patty for a super filling salad

Monday was a ramen date with my guy, which was really nice. Had Thai one day and smoothies, of course.

Actually had this for dinner one night

And another big batch of spicy tofu soup today!

Coffee date yesterday

FITNESS

HIIT me baby, one more time! Lots of activity this week. Several runs (we had a couple really nice days), and HIIT workouts at my gym. They have this thing that, during certain hours, you can walk in and a trainer puts you through a HIIT workout. I did that a few times this week. Lots of rowing, those crazy rope things, box jumps, deadlifts, squats, ab work, etc. I wear a heart rate monitor, and these 45 minute or so sessions are burning around 500 calories or so each. Can’t complain!

Also, you can tell the holidays are upon us because the crazy wreath people are back! If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know I tend to comment on people during the holidays who feel the need to put a wreath on every window, door, garage, etc. I think because I grew up in the north where it actually snows, most houses decorate with lights and maybe one wreath. Here it almost never snows, and people show their festivity in a very different way – which includes LOTS AND LOTS of wreaths. I’ve certainly gotten more used to it, but it still makes me smile when I see it.

As spotted on my block during this morning’s run

LIFE

It has definitely been a busy week. Monday and Tuesday in the office. Lots going on and it was nice to be there.

Tuesday night was spirit night for R’s orchestra class at a local pizza place, so we all went there.

Wednesday I was working from home because a contractor was coming by. Almost a year ago, I had them come in to finish work in my downstairs bathroom. We had just finished the new floors in my house, but noticed water damage in the downstairs bathroom. Anyway, hired someone to come in and fix the subfloor, fix the leak (it was a bad wax seal around the toilet), and put in the floors. Well a couple weeks ago the city was doing smoke tests looking for leads in piping. We got a notice that seeing smoke outside is no cause for alarm, but smoke inside is. Well I’m working at home, my eldest is home studying and suddenly smoke comes pouring out of the bathroom. I’m not so low-key freaking out starting to wonder where the heck my house is on fire from. A is cool as can be, calls the city, and sure enough it’s the smoke test. So long story – contractors came out. There’s no leak and everything is fine.

Thursday was at work for half the day, then went home. R was home sick, but when I talked to her, sounded like she had a fever, so I went to go check on her. 102.8. Today she woke with a 102, so I worked from home with the exception of one late meeting I had to do downtown. Cycling Motrin and Tylenol is keeping the fever down and she’s actually eating and acting relatively normally.

R bundled up in front of the fireplace trying to stay warm

So last night my sister texts me to tell me about Keanu Reeve’s day. The following commenced where she fully shamed me. When I told her that, her reply was “Then my job is done”. Guess siblings never change 🙂

My old insomnia has raised its ugly head lately. The past week or so, I haven’t slept well. Thankfully last night was a good night, so I hope the no sleep silliness has passed.

Tonight will be tons of school work. Tomorrow I’ll HIIT the gym again and then come home and do school work. If all the stars align, will head to my guys house for dinner, movies, and to stay the night.

Wednesday morning Kuma really didn’t want to get out of bed

Is That a Chardonnay in Your Pocket, Or Are You Just Happy to See Me

FOOD

One morning last week (Wednesday, I think) I made oatmeal and put a scoop of protein powder in it. I’ve done this before and it was fine, but this was just nasty. I choked it down but wish I hadn’t!

I had Ezekiel toast with sunbutter two days. No other breakfasts in the past few days.

I haven’t had much of an appetite since Friday morning, and honestly – haven’t eaten much. W was not happy with that, so we went out to Fancy Radish in DC and shared a few plate. Still couldn’t eat much, but did have a bite or two of everything.

FITNESS

Worked out every day last week, either a run, a spin, or a strength training session. Saturday I was in DC and did a ton of walking. I do wish I had packed workout clothes. A run in the city would’ve been perfect. Today we’ll see. Could probably use a run or a hot yoga class honestly, but I just got home from a weekend away and am not sure yet.

LIFE

Been a fairly rough week, but it is what it is. Friday I headed up to DC for a weekend and holiday party with friends. It was a much needed weekend.

Friday I wandered around Old Town Alexandria for a couple hours. I was planning to stop at this one wine shop, but it was closed. Stopped at the Majestic for a glass of wine and reading before heading over to W’s house.

W and I hung out at his place for a bit, then walked the couple blocks to Fancy Radish for dinner. Then back to his place for a few hours, then back to my hotel.

Saturday morning was a little rough, but then I met up with A to grab coffee and watch the Scottish Day parade. It was awesome, I can’t believe I didn’t get any shots of the tons of dogs in tartan in the parade! But it was a really great time.

My girl A taking pics!

After the parade, I walked to the metro and went to the Natural History museum for a bit. Then back to my hotel. I was supposed to meet up with friends for the parade of boats with Christmas lights, but I dozed off. Did make it in plenty of time for the party though, which was really nice. There were about 15 or so of us. Grad school buds and their other halves mostly.

For the past several years, my friend D and I pick on Chardonnay drinkers. It goes back to an experience with an ex-girlfriend of his, and has turned into a bit of a running joke. So he got to the party, came over to give me a hug, and pulled out a bottle of Chardonnay! It was hilarious. Obviously left for other party guests if anyone wanted it.

Just the Darden classmates!

This morning I woke up and drove home! Got home about an hour and a half ago. Not sure what the rest of my day will look like, though likely cleaning, some cooking, school work, and maybe a movie.

Trying to see if I can like bourbon. A and K happened to pour a class of Pappy van Winkle – a $700 bottle – and I only had a tiny sip, but it wasn’t bad!

Picking the wee one up from robotics