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.

Spring? What Spring?

FOOD

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

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

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

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

Fun color changing cups M got from Starbucks!

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

BEST SUMMER FRUIT

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

Chili with cauliflower rice

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

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

Sangria flight!
Tofu lettuce wrap

Tofu scramble with vegan sausage

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

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

FITNESS

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

LIFE

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

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

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

Monday was the cookout and relaxing.

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

Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday

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

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

Miscellaneous pics of the week

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

Dancing in a Car Makes Everyone Happy

FOOD

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

Quick pho lunch

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

FITNESS

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

LIFE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unhappy Kuma hoping for some grilled eats too

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