Jambo Friends!!

FOOD

What a busy week! Mostly excellent on the food front too.

Of course smoothies, salads, and my sunbutter/banana sprouted grain toast. But I also had a vegan houseguest for the past 4 days, so that was fun too!

I made a big batch of rice and lentil stuffed bell peppers for the week.

Thursday I made red beans with vegan andouille sausage, rice, and corn bread. Forgot to snap a pic of it tho!

For a BBQ party on Friday I made a big batch of pasta salad and a southwestern spicy rice salad that both went over well.

Saturday morning NS (my friend and guest visiting all the way from Kenya!) and I went to Yorgo’s Bageldashery where I shared my fav quick vegan breakfast – the Peterman wrap – and some fresh juices.

Sunday morning a bunch of us grabbed brunch at Bay Local where we split a hummus appetizer and a hummus/veg lettuce wrap. He also had avocado toast – which I skipped due to the whole allergy crap.

Sunday night I made orange “chicken” with soy curls. It was amazing if I do say so myself.

Smoothies this morning, and then a last lunch outing before taking NS to the airport. We went to Orapax because they have a huge vegan menu. We got a pizza to split as an appetizer (it wasn’t awesome), the Athenian “chicken” wrap to split (which was very good), and the Mediterranean Beyond Meat burger (which was ok), rosemary fries, and Greek potatoes. Holy stuffed, Batman. The beyond meat burger was a request because it is not available in Kenya. Neither of us were thrilled with it, so at least he knows he’s not missing out!

FITNESS

Gentle yoga and that’s it. It seemed to be getting better, and then over the weekend it sucked. Ugh. I’m literally to the point where I’m just going to go for a run and if I make it without wanting to cry, I’m good.

LIFE

Well, the week started off really busy. I had to get all my work AND school work done by mid-day Thursday. That meant a few late nights and early mornings and zero free time, but it was worth it fully.

Thursday evening NS arrived! One of our good friends was retiring from the Navy after more than 24 years of service (plus his naval academy years) and the masses were gathering. NS came as a surprise – and it was priceless. He and I had been planning for several months, and it was just perfect.

Thursday evening was quiet at home. My boyfriend and BS came over (they met NS in Florida last year) and them, NS, and two of mine hung out for a bit. Not late since NS had just traveled for 30 odd hours to get here, but it was still awesome.

Friday was the retirement ceremony, a ship tour (which I skipped – been there, stationed on them!), then swimming and drinks at my house until going to MM (our naval retiree honoree) for the BBQ with 60+ people. We got home around midnight and crashed.

My girl touring the ship with my friends

Saturday was a beach day followed by a sunset dolphin watching cruise – and there were TONS of dolphins. No awesome shots because the ride wasn’t smooth, but it really was awesome. I skipped the after party (I was wiped), but NS got to hang a bit longer and just uber’d back to my house.

If you look really closely, you can see dolphins

Sunday was brunch with some of the crew and then NS and I went grocery shopping then back to my house where we watched two of my fav veggie documentaries. NS has been pretty much a lifelong vegetarian, but went vegan at the beginning of the year (and LOVES it). We did a lot of Amazon prime shopping for things he can’t easily get back home and just spent a lot of time talking about changing how he cooks, etc. It was really fun to share what I’ve learned after the long time I’ve been vegan.

Sunday night was just dinner with me, NS, and all 3 of my kids. It was a ton of fun and hilarious and I loved that NS could share what a typical crazy dinner in my house is like. Lots of stories, jokes, music, and laughter.

Today was low key. We had our coffee on the back porch and talked – like we had every morning he was here. It is my favorite part of the morning – just sitting outside early and drinking coffee. He brought me two bags of coffee from Kenya, so we definitely indulged in that (the “right” way in a French press and not the drip maker!).

Our friend BR came over with 3 of his kids to visit for a while. Then it was off to lunch and then the airport to say goodbye – for now. I’m really hoping to take R and go visit next spring. Will depend on a few things of course, but I really want to see Kenya.

So – this is why I’ve been a bit absent this last week. It’s been a very busy and wonderful time, and I cannot get over how lucky I am to have so many great friends in my life.

Back to business this week, but with an incredibly happy heart.

Crissie the Dessert Fairy 🧚‍♀️

FOOD

It has been a really good week, and I was better than I have been in months on meal prep. Helps that I’m actually home and didn’t have classes, but still. Yay me.

Lots of smoothies.

I don’t use my Tribest personal blender often enough – but my Vitamix was dirty from making cake batter. I forget how good this little thing is – as long as I skip the greens

And I’m a huge fan of this quinoa bowl with a splash of coconut milk, blueberries, bananas, and sunflower seed butter.

Any longtime reader knows of my love of Ezekiel toast with sun butter and sliced bananas!

Since I had made a big batch of quinoa, I also had a black bean salad.

And some chickpea “fakin-tuna salad” wraps too.

Wednesday night my boyfriend and I and 3 of our kids went out to eat and I had pasta arrabbiata that I ate for dinner again later in the week.

Friday I had popcorn and dole whip – I know – not the healthiest, but I was at a theme park…

Saturday my guy and I went out and we shared a hummus platter and then I got a vegan chicken parm. Not the greatest presentation, but it was yummy – though the veggie side looked like a sad afterthought. Definitely more than I could eat, so took the leftovers back to his place for lunch the next day…which I forgot about 🤦🏻‍♀️

This morning we went out for breakfast. I had the tofu scramble, vegan sausages, dry toast, and grits. Ate about 1/2 again, but it was tasty. Their Bloody Mary, on the other hand, was NOT tasty. Tomato juice and sake. Eww….

FITNESS

Yoga, and not every day either. It’s killing me how badly I want to go for a run. Ugh. Stupid back.

LIFE

Overall, quite an excellent week. Tuesday I had my doctor’s appt for my back. Basically – she thinks the muscles have just seized up so badly, nothing is helping (ie – Motrin), and it is not resolving on its own. She put me on prednisone and flexeril. Though I have not taken the latter because it makes me loopy and I have no time for that. However, after being admonished yesterday by the guy, I guess I’ll take it maybe around bedtime. Though I don’t like the idea of being out of it then either – what if something happens and I’m too loopy to deal with it? Ugh. Stupid back.

Wednesday morning I had my labs drawn (figure I may as well get all my normal yearly labs done). Let’s just say when I got to the office the admin had to get me the first aid kit since I was still bleeding. Nothing the phlebotomist did wrong, I tend to have a low platelet count for some reason.

Thursday was the 4th of July, and the guy and his youngest came over for some grilling and pool time. It was really nice. They left early though, and I was in bed by 930!

Friday I stopped at my guys house in the morning briefly for another cake delivery (apparently the youngest didn’t get enough the last time – or maybe any, I’m not sure if the other 2 ate it all or not!). I’m starting to feel like the dessert fairy, though that’s okay. They’re worth it.

My coursework opened, and I got that organized. It’s going to be a busy term, but I’m looking forward to it. Last term before it’s strictly just research & writing until graduation.

In the afternoon around 3, R and I went to Busch Gardens to have fun and watch fireworks. Apparently the 2 days of only taking half of my meds didn’t work as well as I had thought they were. A few hours in and I was starting to hurt. Pushed through, but perhaps it was a bit premature to hike around for hours and ride rollercoasters! But the fireworks were beautiful and the company wonderful and made it all worthwhile.

Funny though, we got home late – around 1130 – and I notice the bathroom door in my bedroom is closed. Odd. I open it…to find this….M apparently was having fun home alone 🙂

Saturday morning was a nail appointment and then a couples massage, dinner, and then an afternoon of drinks and walking around and ogling at sailboats. Quite the awesome day.

This morning we woke early and went to breakfast. Then I studied a bit until the match started. It was tense, but awesome to see the US take another World Cup! Then it was time to go, hit up the store, and grab my eldest from the airport!

Sent this to my sister – who is a law librarian. 🤣🤣

Hey, What Are You Doing Down There?

FOOD

I was home for two days before another trip to Chicago. But honestly, it’s the last planned trip for months, which is nice. I enjoy traveling, but miss being home where all the people I love are.

Eats at home included smoothies, salads, a silken tofu-based Alfredo with peas, sunflower seed buttered Ezekiel toast with bananas, and a tofu stir fry.

While in Chicago, had some yummy Mexican food with the crew I was with and then a solo adventure at The Franklin Room, which I’ve been to before and enjoy.

Breakfasts were typical travel fare – bagels, oatmeal, and fruit primarily.

After I landed I had lunch with my boyfriend, and I had the red curry Thai bowl with hot peppers. Very yummy dish.

My guy and I are regulars at a particular spot on Virginia Beach. The menu is pretty decent, though not very robust on the vegan front. Well our bartender happens to mention that to the chef – who decides to basically go vegan – especially while eating out – to better understand the challenges. First of all, how cool is that?!? Anyway, it’s been 2 months now and apparently he’s loving it. He made me a vegan po boy that was amazing. So stoked to see what else he comes up with! After, we went for ice cream!

This morning was a fav – sunflower seed butter, Ezekiel toast and bananas!

FITNESS

Like I mentioned in my last post – just yoga. It’s mostly been fine, though my back is still bothering me. I have a Dr. appt on Tuesday, though I think I’ll end up going to a chiropractor. It’s strange because sometimes it is really painful, and sometimes it barely registers. Frustrating though because I want to run and kickbox and do other fun stuff.

But Luna enjoys it 😊🐱

LIFE

Another whirlwind week. Last weekend was pretty chill. Cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, and packing.

Monday I went to work for half the day and then went home to finish packing and head to the airport. Flight was delayed a few hours though, which sucked. But it did give me time to figure out the Harry Potter Wizards Unite game. Which I have to say I’m having fun with!

The flight itself was fine once we finally took off (and that was after an hour sitting on the tarmac). Free wine though, so bonus! At one point I opened my window and saw another jet flying to my left and going under us. And for some reason, all I could think is “hey, what are you doing down there?”. It was pretty though.

Landed in Chicago where we taxied in circles for an hour trying to find a gate to park at. All told it was a pain in the but and freakishly late by the time I got to my hotel. Oh well, can’t control weather (Chicago had some wicked storms) and I got there safely.

The meetings I was there for all went really well and I’m really pleased with the progress we’re making. We had beautiful weather and I got to walk in the city quite a bit. After meetings ended on Wednesday I walked over to another firm I work with and spent some time there before heading to The Franklin Room.

My guy and I are not-so-low-key obsessed with boats at the moment. Sail boats honestly, but took this anyway because she’s pretty

I flew home on Thursday, had lunch with my boyfriend, and then went home. Went to bed really early (slept like poo for several days – my hotel had the worst pillows!). Work yesterday, then to the bar for the game and dinner. Looking forward to several weeks at home!

School kicks in again at the end of next week, and I’m looking forward to it. Especially since I got some new statistical software!

Hi My Name is Crisis

FOOD

My first day home from being on the road started with a smoothie. Naturally.

Other eats at home included a creamy mushroom stroganoff dish and a big batch of Venezuelan black beans and rice.

I wasn’t home long before it was back on the road again! Eats out included tofu green curry (of course), pastas (because vegan while traveling usually means too much pasta!), and lots and lots of breakfast salads!

Also had a very unique veggie fajita dish, Tom Kar soup with tofu, and a latte with oat milk – which was really delicious. Now I have to make some!

FITNESS

When I was home, it was runs and yard work. This past week while traveling was yoga and two runs. I seriously did something to my back and I’m annoyed. It’s not freakishly debilitating or anything, but I think I’m going to do a ton of yoga in the coming weeks and see how it goes.

LIFE

First part of really awesome news. MY RESEARCH TOPIC IS APPROVED! I’m super excited (obviously). I have a couple week break before class starts up again. Next term’s focus is on research methodology and planning what my research approach will be, as well as continuing researching and writing my literature review. So yeah. Proud moment for me!

A couple weeks off doesn’t mean I’m slacking on the job though. I make a point to review at least one article/study per day as well as reading a book one of my execs gave me – and I’m really liking it. Pay no heed to the matching pen and highlighter colors (I’m cool like that).

Work was good this week. Got a lot done, which was nice. Also decided to brush up my French and have been reading or watching something in French for at least a little bit each day! Namely, Harry Potter for reading and a TV show on Netflix called Mauvaises Herbes (Bad Seeds).

I was taking an Uber to a yoga studio and when I got in the car, the guy called me crisis. Um. I get Cassie sometimes and maybe the spelling of my name is a bit different (thanks, ma), but crisis? Who would call their kid that?

We spent some time at a cute wine bar this week as well as an evening for Darden grads in what was supposed to be a rooftop party, but it was raining. 30th floor with a fun view was good enough! The best part though was the spontaneous arrival of a classmate from Taiwan who happened to be in town for just one night. Talk about lucky! Always great to catch up with classmates and meet new people too.

Of course there were other fun libations as well.

Then it was back home to these two snuggle bunnies.

And other fun things spotted out and about.

Sent a pic of this to my daughter – and we’ve decided on a LOTR and Hobbit marathon this weekend!

Sent this to my Irish fam – and yes, this is a vegan blog, and no, I didn’t go in or anything, but doesn’t mean I can’t find humor in it.

You Light Up My Life. And My Bedroom.

FOOD

Been a busy 10 days with a combo of home eats and travel eats.

First – I made a chipotle tex-mex risotto that was killer. Ate it for days!

My boy’s 22nd bday dinner was at his fav sushi/Japanese restaurant and I left SO stuffed. Edamame, cucumber salad, tofu, and sweet potato rolls. YUM.

I flew up to Chicago on Sunday and drove up to the Milwaukee area to see my mom and sister. My mom and I went to a lovely Italian place in Mequon. We shared some bruschetta and I had a simple spicy pasta dish.

Monday morning I had a tofu chilaquiles for breakfast that was amazing. At the conference they had fruit and chia pudding for snacks. Loved it.

Tuesday I had some coffee and a banana in my room for breakfast. I don’t recall lunch – probably a salad at the conference – and dinner I went for Italian again!

Of course there was a tofu green curry dish, and last night was also just a veggie salad on toasted Ezekiel bread with Daiya cream cheese.

No pics, but this morning was a smoothie for breakfast, no lunch, and some creamy tofu-mushroom stroganoff for dinner.

FITNESS

LOTS of runs this past week. Sunday and Wednesday weather in Chicago was wet and cold, but Monday and Tuesday were beautiful. So Monday and Tuesday were runs outside and Wednesday morning was the gym treadmill.

Thursday I went for a run outside at home, which was wonderful – perfect weather.

Think I’m going to focus on yoga this coming week though. My lower back has been sore since late last week. I thought it was sleeping funny or maybe from kickboxing, but it’s a bit worse, so some good yoga is in order!

LIFE

Well – it’s been busy! Shocker, I know. R had her end of year orchestra banquet on Thursday, which was really lovely.

Friday was my fairly normal evening with my guy. Out for a bit and then stay at his place.

Saturday was M’s 22nd birthday! I made a cake as usual (lemon with vanilla “buttercream” frosting) and 14 of us went out for dinner! All you can eat sushi is just insane, but very tasty. Everyone had a great time. It included cake eaten with chopsticks.

Sunday I was up early and on a morning flight to Chicago. Picked up my mom, had lunch, took her home, then went to my sister’s for a bit, which is always awesome. My niece is heading to Germany this weekend for 3 weeks on a school trip – SO excited for her. 15 is a great age to start exploring the world. Well – any age really, but I’m still really stoked for her.

Traffic sucked SO badly heading back to Chicago. Oh well.

The conference was really great – especially the first day. That evening was a reception at the CEO’s house, which was very lovely. Not much food wise for me (though he’s a vegetarian – only vegan eat was a fresh spring roll).

I did watch the US Women’s World Cup opener against Thailand. I started to feel pretty badly for the Thai players. 13-0 is pretty humiliating.

I skipped the reindeer games Tuesday night. I like being around people – but I also really like being alone. After a couple days of intense interaction, I decided some me time was needed. It started with a much needed pedicure, then a rooftop bar and a book, then dinner, a walk through a park on the lake, and then bed.

I came home Wednesday, but due to weather, my flight was delayed. Though I met a really amazing woman at the wine bar at O’Hare. Her flight to Denver was also delayed so we spent hours chatting.

It was very cute, but my guy actually stayed awake texting me the entire time (yay for free in-flight texting!). When I landed safely home, he signed off and went to bed. Well, as we usually do – when I got home I sent him a quick text to let him know I made it safely. Especially since I was going to sleep in the next day. He’d worry, and I’d hate that.

A couple minutes later, I get this…. 🤣🤣

Apparently my text lit up his phone – and his room. I mean, he was awake, but still. Freaking hilarious.

Thursday was a 1/2 day for me working from home. My original plan was to head to DC in the afternoon for an event today and then come home today. But I had too much to do, so I scrapped that plan and stayed home.

On the fun front – I’m done with school for another term! My research topic has been approved! So – I have a couple weeks off, but lots I plan to do in terms of my research and getting organized. I’m switching citation software (from Refworks to Endnote), and need to do some cleaning up of my citations. My next term’s focus is on the literature review (about 30 pages and a min of 85 sources – but I already have 60, so that’s a great start) and a course on research methodology as I put together my approach for IRB approval. Guess I actually need to do this now, huh? ☺️

Today R when to her HS graduation to cheer on some friends from robotics and orchestra who are graduating. She’s now officially a junior 😳

Otherwise today was some work related research on pricing models (I’m a fan of vested pricing model approach personally). Then it was grocery shopping, cleaning, yard work, cooking, and a little poolside reading.

And other random pics for your entertainment!

My chilling at Borjo’s coffee doing my pricing model research waiting on R while she was at graduation

Our fav wine bar has several of these horrible prints in full size. Cracked me up seeing a shop of them at O’Hare

This is me. I’m directionally challenged. Badly.

Happy Tuesday & Bumblebee Butts

FOOD

The week is still young, but great eats so far!

Sunday started with a smoothie (shocker, I know).

Snack was gluten free crackers and hummus while I wrote and poured over my APA manual.

For lunch I made a maple tahini dressing from a new ebook that I could seriously eat with a spoon. Put it on a salad and that was amazing.

$20 as a downloadable PDF – and worth every penny

Dinner was a tofu taco bowl over lettuce, cabbage, and a bit of brown rice and hot sauce.

Monday was another smoothie with vanilla protein powder (from Garden of Life this time. It’s good enough, but I do like Vega better).

Lunch was the last of the chili leftovers with cauliflower rice.

For dinner I made the oil-free marinara from the same book as the tahini dressing, and put in Boca meatless crumbles and zoodles. Thing was – wasn’t hungry enough to eat it, so I actually packed it up to take to work for Tuesday.

Alas – I forgot my lunch AND my smoothie this morning. Just a brain fart moment – wasn’t rushing or anything.

Thankfully I keep some Vega protein drinks in my office for emergencies.

Lunch was tofu curry (another shocker I know).

And dinner was the one I made last night!

FITNESS

On Sunday I did kickboxing. I was feeling both feisty and a wee stressed, so this is always a go to option for that.

Monday the weather broke and it was a high of 81 – so it was a run after work. And it felt glorious.

Today was yard work and kickboxing again. Something cathartic about imagining you’re punching and kicking the crap out of something/one.

LIFE

All told, a good couple of days.

Saturday afternoon was very chill, and included some popcorn and reading out by the pool

Sunday’s focus was school, meal planning, grocery shopping, and housework.

The week’s meal plan

Monday and Today were work day, obviously. Evenings spent making dinner, working out, and school work mainly.

At work today one of my very fav execs gifted me with a book. I’m looking forward to reading it….when my term ends. He knows that it will be a couple weeks, but that’s okay.

Other miscellaneous pics since my last post!

Exploring the screened in porch aka catio!

Fav start to my morning – outside in beautiful weather with a cup of coffee and quiet.