Tag Archives: Family Fun

Managing A Few Days Without Total Chaos!

FOOD

It’s been all homemade eats the past few days since getting home from FL.

coconut water, chocolate Vega powder, mango, and banana smoothie!  Was my first of the week, and was out of decent greens

coconut water, chocolate Vega powder, mango, and banana smoothie! Was my first of the week, and was out of decent greens

that was rectified on Sunday when D went grocery shopping, so Monday's smoothie was vanilla Vega powder, 2 clementine's, water, and spinach.

that was rectified on Sunday when D went grocery shopping, so Monday’s smoothie was vanilla Vega powder, 2 clementine’s, water, and spinach.

I know the bottle says Shakeology, but I don’t use it.  Not that I don’t think it’s packed full of nutrients, but I had an allergic reaction to their vegan vanilla a few months ago.  So, I still to Vega most of the time and Sunwarrior on occasion too.  To be honest, I don’t use protein powders all the time, but when I’m making my smoothie as a meal replacement or I know it needs staying power (or when I know I’m a bit lacking in some vital nutrients), I’ll toss it in.  After a week of travel and mostly eating out, I tend to add them to my smoothies.

I also did a lot of batch prep on Sunday’s.  That included some of the Happy Herbivore meals and salads.  I have to admit, I’ve become addicted to the Fitpacker container system the past few weeks.  It makes storage a breeze and takes up less space.

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D grilled Saturday night, and I begged for a repeat of the awesome portabello burger I blogged about last time!  With some grilled squash and mushrooms and air fried french fries, it was a fun and tasty dinner (that I didn't have to cook!)

D grilled Saturday night, and I begged for a repeat of the awesome portabella burger I blogged about last time! With some grilled squash and mushrooms and air fried French fries, it was a fun and tasty dinner (that I didn’t have to cook!)

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part of Sunday's dinner was some zucchini and yellow squash noodles pan sauteed with garlic and Italian seasoning.

part of Sunday’s dinner was some zucchini and yellow squash noodles pan sautéed with garlic and Italian seasoning.

I also dig my baked spuds!  This is some maple baked beans with cruncy cabbage

I also dig my baked spuds! This is some maple baked beans with cruncy cabbage

oh look, another baker!  This one has steamed green beans mixed with hummus on top with some hot sauce.

oh look, another baker! This one has steamed green beans mixed with hummus on top with some hot sauce.

big bowl of yummy vegan Pho!

big bowl of yummy vegan Pho!

Monday's lunch - a BAS and some spicy mac made with quinioa gluten free noodles

Monday’s lunch – a BAS and some spicy mac made with quinoa gluten free noodles

hot and sour tofu soup with onion, bell peps, and green beans.

hot and sour tofu soup with onion, bell peps, and green beans.

and another baker, but just with cabbage and hot sauce this time

and another baker, but just with cabbage and hot sauce this time

this is HH's Bayou Bowl!  Brown rice topped with a cajun style lentil and veg.  And cabbage for crunch because that's my thing

this is HH’s Bayou Bowl! Brown rice topped with a Cajun style lentil and veg. And cabbage for crunch because that’s my thing

and tonight's dinner of spicy tofu tacos on corn tortillas with veggies on top

and tonight’s dinner of spicy tofu tacos on corn tortillas with veggies on top

FITNESS

Still doing the Beach Body on Demand workouts.  I honestly do like them because there’s variety (my Achilles heel in DVD based workouts).  I’m in my final 7 days of the 21 Day Fix program workouts and I admit to feeling pretty darn good.  And much stronger.  And possibly constantly sore 🙂

I’ve also joined a really active challenge group with a coach who totally understands vegan nutritional needs, so I’m pretty stoked there.  Plan to start the kick boxing program on Monday, which aligns with completing the current program.

Of course I have my 3x per week runs too!

this is me and my helper Ginny doing Yoga fix on Sunday.  I have to say that working out at home thrills her in very odd ways.  She loves to either work out with me or be near me when I do.

this is me and my helper Ginny doing Yoga fix on Sunday. I have to say that working out at home thrills her in very odd ways. She loves to either work out with me or be near me when I do.

Last night was Cardio Fix.  I’m trying to work out more in the mornings, but it just wasn’t happening on Monday.  I had to be at the office before 7am, and that would involve getting up around 430, and that’s just silly.  So, evening working it was.  By the way, I’m not sure why I’m smiling.  There’s this exercise in this video called Surrender’s, and I’m pretty sure they’re evil.

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Today was a 3-fer workout.  Upper Body Fix first, and because that was challenging by didn’t wipe me, I followed it with a 4 mile run.  Then this evening, R and I went on a bike ride when she got home from school.   3 laps through the neighborhood for a total of about 30 minutes.

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LIFE

Well, it’s been a nice few days!  I’ve only been home for a few, but they’ve been pretty chill.  For the first time since grad school started, it felt like a normal weekend!  Saturday M had some friends over (that we’ve known since they were young) and D grilled.  It was hanging out and being silly mostly.  I also did the week’s meal planning and D did the grocery shopping while I studied.

Sunday was laundry, cleaning, batch cooking, a school team meeting, studying, and watching a movie!  We watched Moana, and I loved it.

M’s car is screwed up, so we’re currently sharing my ride.  So he’s been taking me to work so he can go to school and then picking me up in the evening.  While it’s a bit of a challenge, it’s not the end of the world.  Not sure his car is worth fixing yet, so we’ll see.

It’s been really nice out (80 over the weekend, chilly yesterday, but 70’s today and 80’s tomorrow before winter comes back and we’re in the 50’s).  We’re definitely taking advantage of THAT!  Kuma has been hard to keep inside, and Bumble has been joining her in the yard too.  Ginny sticks to her window watching and is just happy the house is opened up!

So, hope you’re having a good week so far!

D making a goofy grill face.  Since it's technically still winter, it's dark by dinner so he wears the head lamp when grilling!

D making a goofy grill face. Since it’s technically still winter, it’s dark by dinner so he wears the head lamp when grilling!

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Monday morning picture!

Monday morning picture!

 

The Happiest Place on Earth is Home!

FOOD

Still mostly eating in vs going out to eat (with the exception of the last week where I was traveling).  I’ve been largely batch cooking on the weekends and eating leftovers through the week.

I’m still doing a lot of the Happy Herbivore meals, but have had a few fun ones thrown in.  Like this one!

Crissie’s Kitchen Sink Red Thai Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 packaged extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cubed
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 4 carrots, diced large
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced large
  • 1/2 onion, diced large
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. red Thai curry powder or paste (brand of your choosing, I order from The Spice House)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger root

Directions

  • Line a large skillet with a small amount of water and heat on medium high
  • add onion, garlic, and ginger.  Sautee for 3-4 minutes, until soft
  • add carrots and bell pepper.  Sautee for 5 minutes, stirring often
  • Add can of coconut milk + 1/2 can of water, tofu, and broccoli, and peas
  • Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes

Serve over rice, quinoa, or any other grain of choice (or plain, like I had it!  More soup than stir fry).

I used up all the veggies I had lying around (I was heading out on a week-long trip, so that was important), and the fun thing with curries, is you can use whatever you have.  Cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, corn, etc.  Doesn’t matter – it’s all yummy!

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I ate leftovers over quinoa I had batched cooked over the weekend

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Some other homemade eats

D is the total grill master!  He marinated portabellos and pineapple  in dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, grilled them, and used a hot pepper jelly as a spread on a burger bun.  OH MY GOSH.  So tasty!  And a side of grilled veggies.

D is the total grill master! He marinated portabellos and pineapple in dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, grilled them, and used a hot pepper jelly as a spread on a burger bun. OH MY GOSH. So tasty! And a side of grilled veggies.

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Tofurky night!

Tofurky night!

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batch cooking chowder

batch cooking chowder

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And my awesome eats from Ethos Vegan Kitchen in Orlando, Epcot, and Florida in general!

a cup of chikun noodle soup and sheep's pie!

a cup of chikun noodle soup and sheep’s pie!

potato broccoli soup

potato broccoli soup

BBQ Chikun Empanadas

BBQ Chikun Empanadas

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from a little place near my hotel where I'd stop for some fresh juice.  This was my favorite

from a little place near my hotel where I’d stop for some fresh juice. This was my favorite

smoothie selfie at Downtown Disney!

smoothie selfie at Downtown Disney!

of course I had to stop for tofu green curry at least once!  Wasn't as good as my place at home :)

of course I had to stop for tofu green curry at least once! Wasn’t as good as my place at home 🙂

FITNESS

Well, after finally reading about it for months, I broke down and bought Beach Body on Demand.  It’s honestly been awesome.  I’m working out every day either in my bedroom or my hotel.  Plus runs of course!

after a nice run outside in FL one morning

after a nice run outside in FL one morning

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after a long bike ride last weekend before I left - me and the wee one enjoying a gorgeous day

after a long bike ride last weekend before I left – me and the wee one enjoying a gorgeous day

looking sweaty and unamused.  5am is EARLY for exercise

looking sweaty and unamused. 5am is EARLY for exercise

lame attempt at a smile

lame attempt at a smile

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LIFE

Been a busy, but great two weeks.  New (and final) term for grad school started!  Lot’s of focus on entrepreneurial  processes, and it’s been really interesting so far.  As much an art as a business science.

R had her second peanut flour updose!  She’s now at 6% of 1 peanut.  Words cannot express how proud I am of her for doing this.  Her bravery shocks me – she knows how life threatening her peanut allergy is, yet this treatment protocol, if successful, will forever alter her life and take away that fear.  The process is a bit anxiety producing though.

before and during her does

before and during her does

and after as she has to wait 1-2 hours to monitor

and after as she has to wait 1-2 hours to monitor

I went to a conference for work in Orlando.  It was a really good show, but my favorite is always the volunteer work with military veterans who have recently or are soon to be transitioning.  It’s less about healthcare IT specifically and more about the culture shock.  For those in a long time, it’s learning to STOP using some language and terminology that doesn’t translate into the corporate world and to understand leadership nuance differences (such as people don’t do what you tell them just because you tell them!).  Nothing like that existed when I transitioned out of the Navy, so I love doing this for others.

I also took a side trip to Epcot and had a great time.  And while it was a great trip, the happiest place on earth is really just being back home!

they legit had a DJ!

they legit had a DJ!

how well they know us!

how well they know us!

Other than that, it’s been pretty typical.  Family, work, school, rinse, repeat.

And some extra pics of stuff, morning pictures, and fluffy buddies!

Ginny wrapped up in her toy

Ginny wrapped up in her toy

Bumble wrapped up in her blankets

Bumble wrapped up in her blankets

Kuma deciding Bumble's idea of hiding in blankets is brilliant

Kuma deciding Bumble’s idea of hiding in blankets is brilliant

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she just misses my suitcase...

she just misses my suitcase…

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I'm fairly obsessed with palm trees

I’m fairly obsessed with palm trees

Kuma put her toy against D's foot to use as a pillow

Kuma put her toy against D’s foot to use as a pillow

pure genius

pure genius

after a wet night out in Orlando

after a wet night out in Orlando

when you go to a Disney theme park by yourself and they're very curious as to why....they made me this button!

when you go to a Disney theme park by yourself and they’re very curious as to why….they made me this button!

what it looks like to hit up a theme park by yourself!  Glorious.

what it looks like to hit up a theme park by yourself! Glorious.

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cold morning walk

cold morning walk

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Have a great weekend!!

Smooth(ie) Operator

FOOD

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

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

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

broccoli and sweet potato sushi & edamame

broccoli and sweet potato sushi & edamame

grapes!

grapes!

out w D on Friday night.  Sweet potato fries and an amazing veggie burger

out w D on Friday night. Sweet potato fries and an amazing veggie burger

beet & fennel soup

beet & fennel soup

Whole Foods salad bar

Whole Foods salad bar

grape tomatoes is one of my fav snacks

grape tomatoes is one of my fav snacks

sweet and sour tofu stir fry

sweet and sour tofu stir fry

FITNESS

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

post class shot!

post class shot!

LIFE

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

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

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

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

day 1!

day 1!

1st dose at home

1st dose at home

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

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

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

D doing some home repairs in one of our bathrooms!

D doing some home repairs in one of our bathrooms!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Namaste from India!

FOOD

Just a few short days after my last post, I was on my way for a 2 week stay in India!  While I have managed to find plenty of eats, the “vegan” concept is still a bit foreign.  I usually get offers of boiled veggies, fish, and chicken.  Still – it hasn’t been all that challenging considering the plentiful vegetables and legumes!

congee with fresh ginger

congee with fresh ginger

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yes - nice hotel :)

yes – nice hotel 🙂

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LOVE the guava especially!

LOVE the guava especially!

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salad w/hummus as a dressing has become a total favorite

salad w/hummus as a dressing has become a total favorite

FITNESS

Yoga every day!  I certainly went for runs before heading to India, but haven’t since I’ve been here.  The air quality is such that I wouldn’t go outside anyway – even with a group, and our crazy long days in residency leave me little desire to do hard cardio.  So – every morning has been yoga and it’s been great.

LIFE

Well – I’m in India!  This is the last of my non-US residencies, and I have one more of those (in April) before graduating in May!

I arrived in Mumbai in New Year’s Eve.  Despite being awake for about 38 hours, I still hit up the NYE bash at the Opium Den bar in the hotel with several of my classmates.  Many others went to Dubai to stay with a classmate and ring in the new year.

I spent a week in Mumbai and, like much of what I’m seeing of India, it’s a study in contrasts.  There are those who are very well off (2-3% of Indian’s are wealthy by international standards – and that’s a LOT of people, considering there are 1.2 billion people.  That means there are more wealthy in India than the total population of Australia!), a rising middle class, and some abjectly poor.  And you can see it all in a very short radius.

Mumbai has heavy British influences, though with an Indian spice.  I found much of it quite pretty.

view from my room - the Arabian Sea and the Mumbai skyline

view from my room – the Arabian Sea and the Mumbai skyline

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my class in front of the Gateway to India

my class in front of the Gateway to India

beautiful train station

beautiful train station

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yep - that's a guy with a really big gun....

yep – that’s a guy with a really big gun….

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a women's co-op we visited.  founded more than 50 yrs ago, the goal is to employ women to help them provide for their families while still getting to stay home.

a women’s co-op we visited. founded more than 50 yrs ago, the goal is to employ women to help them provide for their families while still getting to stay home.

one of the Mumbai slums

one of the Mumbai slums

a gift from the co-op

a gift from the co-op

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We left Mumbai after a week, flew to Delhi, and then took a 6 hour bus ride to Agra.  It took 3 hours to get from the airport to the highway because traffic is so horrible – and it’s always this bad.

view from the front of the bus :(

view from the front of the bus 😦

We rolled into Agra quite late, checked into our rooms, and went to bed.  We had to be in the lobby by 6am to get to the Taj Mahal before it opened – hoping to see a sunrise, but it was foggy (or smoggy).

in my Agra hotel room.  Do not distrub me!!!

in my Agra hotel room. Do not distrub me!!!

tried to call the front desk to ask about my Wi-Fi - but didn't know how!  Tried 0, but no answer.  Oh well.  Just went to sleep instead.

tried to call the front desk to ask about my Wi-Fi – but didn’t know how! Tried 0, but no answer. Oh well. Just went to sleep instead.

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lots of baboons!  They like to steal things from people - especially food.

lots of baboons! They like to steal things from people – especially food.

this one won a little battle with a friend over the ownership of this bottle

this one won a little battle with a friend over the ownership of this bottle

From there we went back to the hotel for breakfast, then off to the Agra fort.  That was amazing!

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built to protect a palace, it was a total maze.  Designed that way in part to confuse incoming troops, but mostly to stop stampeding elephants

built to protect a palace, it was a total maze. Designed that way in part to confuse incoming troops, but mostly to stop stampeding elephants

Then it was lunch, and finally to a market and temple.  That particular trip was completely chaotic, but like nothing else I’ve seen.

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Then it was to the train station, back to Delhi, into a new hotel, a reception (which I admit I skipped so I could shower!), and then back to business today.

While here, I’m definitely embracing a different wardrobe!

on the way down to class this morning

on the way down to class this morning

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Tonight I’m off to have dinner with a co-worker’s family!  He’s from Delhi, and his mom and sister are making me dinner.  SO excited!

On the non-India front, I promised pics of the finish painted guest room.  Plus I can’t leave you without a few fluff balls and morning pictures!

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she loves laundry day

she loves laundry day

seeing Rogue One the night before I left for India

seeing Rogue One the night before I left for India

M and Kuma passed out on the sofa!

M and Kuma passed out on the sofa!

me as I landed in Mumbai

me as I landed in Mumbai

me and two of my awesome classmates

me and two of my awesome classmates

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Settling In Before Taking Off Again!

FOOD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

still hands down my fav soup.  Post Punk Kitchen's Red Curry Soup.  Sweet potato, kale, and rice...what's not to love?

still hands down my fav soup. Post Punk Kitchen’s Red Curry Soup. Sweet potato, kale, and rice…what’s not to love?

black bean and sweet potato chili!  Leftovers for days (and days and days)

black bean and sweet potato chili! Leftovers for days (and days and days)

with sweet maple cornbread

with sweet maple cornbread

butternut squash and fresh sage pasta!  Recipe from Zsu Dever's Vegan Bowls.  Made with chickpea gluten free pasta

butternut squash and fresh sage pasta! Recipe from Zsu Dever’s Vegan Bowls. Made with chickpea gluten free pasta

Other miscellaneous eats.

beets cooked in orange juice

beets cooked in orange juice

on a salad with a yummy maple tahini dressing

on a salad with a yummy maple tahini dressing

taco salad!  Spicy tofu and topped with a vegan queso as a dressing

taco salad! Spicy tofu and topped with a vegan queso as a dressing

grilled lime and sriarcha tofu with BBQ sauce "dressing" and grilled corn!

grilled lime and Siracha tofu with BBQ sauce “dressing” and grilled corn!

leftover tofu as a wrap...

leftover tofu as a wrap…

and as a salad with garlic, lemon, tahini dressing

and as a salad with garlic, lemon, tahini dressing

a sad and icky plate of veg sushi that I just couldn't choke down.  Sad because it was from my fav sushi place.

a sad and icky plate of veg sushi that I just couldn’t choke down. Sad because it was from my fav sushi place.

FITNESS

Runs and rides!  More runs than rides though!

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

Friday!

Friday!

Sunday...

Sunday…

Saturday (pre-ride).  It didn't rain :)

Saturday (pre-ride). It didn’t rain 🙂

LIFE

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

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

puppy kisses!

puppy kisses!

had just put all her toys in her basket, and about 2 seconds later, she starts taking them back off again!

had just put all her toys in her basket, and about 2 seconds later, she starts taking them back off again!

first grooming appt!  Came home with a cute Halloween bandana

first grooming appt! Came home with a cute Halloween bandana

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Bumble doing what cats do best...

Bumble doing what cats do best…

Ginny loves shoes.  Mostly recently worn and slightly smelly ones

Ginny loves shoes. Mostly recently worn and slightly smelly ones

guess who just walked in the door?  (hint, size 14's...)

guess who just walked in the door? (hint, size 14’s…)

I was cooking.  They both clearly thought I had something they wanted.  Until they realized it was kale...

I was cooking. They both clearly thought I had something they wanted. Until they realized it was kale…

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getting ready for the best holiday!

getting ready for the best holiday!

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Speaking of studying…

for anyone who wants to really understand merger and acquisitions!

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

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

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And of course, morning pictures!

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And “others”

me and D while the kids were karaoke-ing!

me and D while the kids were karaoke-ing!

getting ready for Halloween!

getting ready for Halloween!

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

Bonjour Paris!

Well, I’m coming to you from Paris as my first stop in a 3-city trip! 

FOOD

I will forever believe that the best vegan food I can get is in my kitchen.  Traveling (especially global travels) really nails that home!  What I wouldn’t do for a flat with a kitchen instead of a hotel room!

It’s certainly not all bad though, and I’ve honestly had some lovely eats in the past several days.

First – things I ate before hopping my flight last Thursday…

smoothies, of course!

smoothies, of course!

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I was in a hurry.  Baked spud with chickpeas and hot sauce

I was in a hurry. Baked spud with chickpeas and hot sauce

And since arriving in Paris…

my first Paris meal at a pretty fameous cafe on Champs Elysee

my first Paris meal at a pretty fameous cafe on Champs Elysee

out for Thai food for dinner with some classmates!

out for Thai food for dinner with some classmates!

no green curry :(  so sad

no green curry 😦 so sad

I've been obsessed with Orangina since I started studying French as a little girl

I’ve been obsessed with Orangina since I started studying French as a little girl

FUN meal with wine pairings and lessons at Le Foodist.  My menu was custom made :)

FUN meal with wine pairings and lessons at Le Foodist. My menu was custom made 🙂

simple breakfast eats

simple breakfast eats

room service.  Only bleh, to be honest.  Plain pasta w/olive oil and a side of mushrooms and celery.

room service. Only bleh, to be honest. Plain pasta w/olive oil and a side of mushrooms and celery.

soy yogurt (along w/a banana were today's bfast)

soy yogurt (along w/a banana were today’s bfast)

Overall, being a vegan in Paris isn’t the easiest.  I try to keep bread to a minimum (causes inflammation and irritates the RA).  Veggies and fruits aren’t hard to find, but to not have everything swimming in cheese is….

FITNESS

Before heading to Paris late last week, it was runs and yoga.

Since getting here, it’s been walks, hikes, and one run so far.

LIFE

Last week was the start of the school year!  Seems so strange to have only one of my kids left in regular school (as in, not college where the other two are!).

And it was all about spending time together before my nearly 3-wk trip out of the country.  That and wrapping up all loose ends at work and trying as hard as I could to prep for my residency and all the cases I had to do!

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after nearly missing my connection in Philly, I ended up with a whole row to myself!

after nearly missing my connection in Philly, I ended up with a whole row to myself!

and here I am.  36 hours of being awake later (I had a red-eye), checked into my room, and not looking as delieriously tired as I actually was!

and here I am. 36 hours of being awake later (I had a red-eye), checked into my room, and not looking as deliriously tired as I actually was!

Paris is beautiful (of course), though I will say that the city reminds me very much of Washington DC.

Day 1 was walking around with a friend until our hotel rooms were ready.

Le Ard de Triomphe

Le Ard de Triomphe

lunch with M

lunch with M

courtyard view from my hotel

courtyard view from my hotel

a quick pic of the Eiffel Tower near my hotel

a quick pic of the Eiffel Tower near my hotel

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Notre Dame

Notre Dame

through a cab window :)

through a cab window 🙂

Day 2 I went to Disneyland Paris by myself!  Being a theme-park junkie, it was awesome.

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And then classes started, so it’s all studying, all the time, with the exception of company visits, guest speakers, and some school-sponsored fun thrown in (like Le Foodist, a walking tour of Paris, and a visit to Champagne).

D and me on the walking tour

D and me on the walking tour

N & A bonked heads right as we to this at the Four Seasons George V Palace hotel in Paris -> where we were meeting with a couple leaders

N & A bonked heads right as we to this at the Four Seasons George V Palace hotel in Paris -> where we were meeting with a couple leaders

The rest of the pics are non-Europe shots 🙂  My standard morningpictures (now that school is back in!), cats, dog, and general mayhem.

first day of 8th grade!!!

first day of 8th grade!!!

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And now – going back to my studies!!  Au revoir (for now!)

Independent Verification that Audiobooks Rock Runs

FOOD

The new Vitamix container is here!  The good news is it’s a BPA-free container (that wasn’t really a thing 9 years ago), but the bad news is that it feels totally cheaply made – especially the handle.  My last one had a nice cushy handle, and this one just…doesn’t.  I imagine it’s partly because they started selling in regular stores like Williams Sonoma, Target, and QVC – and mine version is still the hardcore commercial kitchen version.  No frills.

old one on the right; new one on the left

old one on the right; new one on the left

I certainly put it to good use with smoothies and soups this week!

beet and fennel soup - one of my favorites

beet and fennel soup – one of my favorites

soymilk, water, spinach, chia seeds, banana, and mixed frozen berry

soymilk, water, spinach, chia seeds, banana, and mixed frozen berry

ginger, carrot, lemon, and pepper soup!  Another favorite.

ginger, carrot, lemon, and pepper soup! Another favorite.

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coconut water, pinapple, banana, mango, and spinach

coconut water, pineapple, banana, mango, and spinach

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Also had a few other fun eats this week.

our green smoothie selfies!  D opts for the straight up Island Green.  Mine is the Detox Island Green (no sugar, add ginger)

our green smoothie selfies! D opts for the straight up Island Green. Mine is the Detox Island Green (no sugar, add ginger)

open-faced sammies with marinated tofu, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and mustard

open-faced sammies with marinated tofu, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and mustard

majorly on sale at the grocery.  Perfect mid-morning snack at the office.

majorly on sale at the grocery. Perfect mid-morning snack at the office.

BAS picked up from the grocery down the street from work.  Had a lemon-tahini dressing in the fridge in my office.

BAS picked up from the grocery down the street from work. Had a lemon-tahini dressing in the fridge in my office.

brownies.  Getting ready for school starting up!

brownies. Getting ready for school starting up!

tofu stir-fry.  General Tso's style (with asparagus because it's what I had on hand)

tofu stir-fry. General Tso’s style (with asparagus because it’s what I had on hand)

grilled corn and veggie burger - open faced on some Ezekiel toast

grilled corn and veggie burger – open faced on some Ezekiel toast

FITNESS

Just runs since my last post, no rides.  The days I was hoping to ride was either too late or too wet (thanks, Hermine!).

before 4 mi on the left.  After on the right!

before 4 mi on the left. After on the right!

Today’s was awesome though.  Not only was the post-Hermine weather cool and gorgeous, but I also discovered Serial!  I’m between audiobooks (and that’s my fav for running), and D’s been trying to get me to try podcasts for ages.  I have a few that I’ll pop in now and then (WSJ, This American Life, TedHour, and RadioLab) – but it’s rare I listen to them.

I had heard over the past year about a podcast called Serial.  So – I downloaded that and decided to listen to Episode 1 of Season 1.  I figured it was about an hour and my planned run was about 45 minutes, so I wouldn’t run out by the time my run ended.

Holy.  Cow.  It’s unbelievable.  The first episode is called “Alibi”.  It centers around the murder of a 17 year old girl and her ex-boyfriend who was convicted of her murder.  It’s already got me hooked (even though I know what’s happening with this case currently), and I can’t wait to lace up and listen again.

great run, though I saw some of the damage Hermine caused in my neighborhood.  Nothing tragic, thankfully.  Sadly, too cold to cool off in the pool!

great run, though I saw some of the damage Hermine caused in my neighborhood. Nothing tragic, thankfully. Sadly, too cold to cool off in the pool!

Oh, and I ran across this on my running app today.  HELLO.  I knew that.  Been saying that for many, many years.  Especially for a new runner, it’s a great distraction.  Music is easy to tune out, and you find yourself focusing on how much your legs or lungs hurt.  A good book draws you in, and you get lost in the story while you’re trucking along.  I like my music now and again, but I vastly prefer audio books.

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LIFE

It’s been a pretty normal week for the most part.  Family, school, and work.

yes, D and I send selfies when we don't see each other in the morning.  I was out way too early Thursday for anyone to see me first!  This was my "good morning".

yes, D and I send selfies when we don’t see each other in the morning. I was out way too early Thursday for anyone to see me first! This was my “good morning” from my office at 6am.

D went out for a drink with one of our friends earlier in the week and brought him home for dinner!  It was taco night, and we had a lot of fun standing around talking, eating, and just hanging out.  Oh, and Ginny took residence in his shoes (she loves shoes!).

face first, inhaling the aroma....

face first, inhaling the aroma….

D and I actually went out Friday night!  We grabbed dinner and went to see the latest Jason Bourne movie.  Great fun!

pre-movie dinner selfie!

pre-movie dinner selfie!

Saturday was a solid day of studies.  I made of goal of accomplishing 3 specific things by the end of the long weekend.  I got them ALL done on Saturday, so the evening was spent watching Terminator Genisys and cooking!

Today was up super early, cleaning, walking the dog, studying, and going for a run before anyone else woke up.  Then grocery shopping, more studying, a school team meeting, and a BBQ at home with all of the family and some of the kids’ friends too.

And now, I end with my typical random week pics and the intent of going to bed early 🙂

snapped this while chatting with BF from school about the pups so he could see how much she's grown!

snapped this while chatting with BF about the pups so he could see how much she’s grown!

you can't see my cute little ballet flats I wore to work.  Because as soon as I got home, Ginny crawled over them.  She has a shoe thing.  I totally get that.

you can’t see my cute little ballet flats I wore to work. Because as soon as I got home, Ginny crawled over them. She has a shoe thing. I totally get that.

cats and bags.  enough said.

cats and bags. enough said.

I can just imagine Kuma pleading to Ginny to play with her.

I can just imagine Kuma pleading to Ginny to play with her.

Saturday night movie fun!

Saturday night movie fun!

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typically Ginny getting all over my homework.  This is forward currency contracts and interest rate parity.  My cat is the smartest cat is the world!

typically Ginny getting all over my homework. This is forward currency contracts and interest rate parity. My cat is the smartest cat is the world!

all 3 getting along....

all 3 getting along….

And the week’s a wrap!  Later gators 🙂

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!

 

All About Balance

FOOD

So I didn’t do an additional 3 days of all smoothies, but it has still been a gentle eats week for the most part.  Morning smoothies and fresh juices (they never get old), fruits, salads, and whole foods in general.

keeping the fresh green juice flowing!

keeping the fresh green juice flowing!

today's minty watermelon citrus frosty

today’s minty watermelon citrus frosty

enjoying said frosty poolside with studies

enjoying said frosty poolside with studies

vanilla/orange smoothie

vanilla/orange smoothie

BAS

BAS

poolside with some lemon water, fresh fruit, and studies.

poolside with some lemon water, fresh fruit, and studies.

BAS with fresh raw corn and a lemon-tahini dressing.

BAS with fresh raw corn and a lemon-tahini dressing.

quick-pickled some cucs, onions, and carrots.  I love just munching on these as a snack.

quick-pickled some cucs, onions, and carrots. I love just munching on these as a snack.

Pho!!  All veggies and rice noodles (no tofu in this one since it's usually fried and I wasn't feeling fried foods)

Pho!! All veggies and rice noodles (no tofu in this one since it’s usually fried and I wasn’t feeling fried foods)

picked a whole TON of fresh basil from the garden, dehydrated it  - and only got 4 ounces!  Still - smells amazing and I can't wait to use it (or gift it).

picked a whole TON of fresh basil from the garden, dehydrated it – and only got 4 ounces! Still – smells amazing and I can’t wait to use it (or gift it).

tonight's dinner - which was really awesome - brown rice with chunky mushroom gravy, green beans, and a garlicky-lemon white beans w/steamed kale

tonight’s dinner – which was really awesome – brown rice with chunky mushroom gravy, green beans, and a garlicky-lemon white beans w/steamed kale

up in C'ville at Brazos Tacos!  SO good (as was the watermelon margarita - not pictured)

up in C’ville at Brazos Tacos! SO good (as was the watermelon margarita – not pictured)

FITNESS

Honestly, the heat has been BRUTAL the past weeks.  >100 degrees most days, so I’ve been walking, yoga-ing, and treading in the pool.

LIFE

This was a fun week because I got to go out of town!  After the week I had last week, it was a welcomed trip because I got to do one of the best parts of my job, see wonderful people and friends, and go to bed STUPID early since it was just me and my hotel room!  I had meetings at one of our hospitals that just happens to be in the same town where my grad school university is!  So – I got to have a few meetings on campus as well as the meetings at the hospital.  Plus seeing classmates that live there is always a bonus.  All in all, this week very much balanced me.

in the PepsiCo forum on grounds meeting my professor.  Love the "firstcoffee tradition

in the Pepsi Co forum on grounds meeting my professor. Love the #firstcoffee tradition

To explain a bit about my program – there are 29 of us in my cohort, and while we have classes 3x per week, it’s virtual via Adobe Connect.  We meet in person in various global locations for 2-week residencies (US, Brazil, and China so far – Europe, India, and another US to come).  So my classmates are literally all over the world – it’s pretty freaking amazing.  We also meet virtually to study several times per week, so we’re all always in contact and often very close, even though we don’t see each other often.  So – when I do get to see any between residencies, it’s always extra special.

I was back late Thursday for budget meetings and then regular stuff on Friday.  Best of all, a friend (and classmate) had her baby yesterday (mom and baby doing great!) and I can’t wait to meet and spoil the heck out of him!

Always – fun pics!

Bumble - living a rough life lounging on the back deck under the ceiling fan on a hot day.

Bumble – living a rough life lounging on the back deck under the ceiling fan on a hot day.

because I think this is funny (and true!)

because I think this is funny (and true!)