Thanksgiving, Lazy Days, and Chess Wars

FOOD

The food highlight of the week has certainly been Thanksgiving. I made a Celebration Roast (I couldn’t find Tofurky anywhere this year, so when with the Field Roast brand – I didn’t like it nearly as much), green bean casserole with a homemade creamy mushroom soup, stuffing, mashers, mushroom gravy, tofu pot pie, fresh bread, cranberry/orange/cinnamon sauce, and pumpkin pie.

Other eats this week included smoothies, oatmeal, a bizarre meal with two of my kids, an Impossible Whopper, and plenty of leftovers.

I very much appreciate BK having these. But tbh, it just sits SO heavy. I think my stomach hurt until the next day…

Eggplant and as a side I picked asparagus. Not realizing it didn’t automatically come with pasta. I choose poorly – it was a strange combo of flavors that was not awesome

FITNESS

I was cleared on Monday at a post-op appt to work out again. I ran Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and just finished a cardio spin workout in my garage. Feels good to move.

LIFE

Well the week started with me getting my stitches removed. Doc came into my room 50 minutes after my appt time and asked how I was. “Annoyed” was my response. He was taken aback a bit, but just because he’s a doctor, doesn’t mean my time is less valuable. It really did screw up some of my schedule, but is what it is. But it is annoying. Anyway, stitches are out and the bruising is really fading. I have some gel I need to use for the next 3 months that will hopefully minimize scarring and help it heal normally. If not, then laser treatment, but so far I think it’s looking pretty good.

I worked from home and, admittedly, didn’t do a whole lot school wise. Guess I just needed a mental break.

Tuesday everyone played chess. M and I played an online Game Pigeon version. That evening, R played M and beat him. A played the winner (R) and beat her. Then A wanted to play M. While that happened the next day…this thread ensued first. This is how my children fight….

Wednesday R, M, and I went out for a very late lunch (around 230). After cleaning much of the day, really didn’t want to cook!

Thursday was Thanksgiving, so I spent the day cooking (R had done the cleaning the day before). It was my kids, a couple of M’s friends, my boyfriend, and his boys. It was a nice time – I do enjoy having a full house.

Friday was literally the laziest day I may have ever had. Ever. Kuma and I sat on the sofa and watched two episodes of Mandalorian. Then R and I (and a lazy Kuma) watched Finding Dory. I folded some wash, and then watched several NCIS episodes upstairs with Kuma and Luna. I can’t remember the last time I watched that much TV in a month, much less a day! It was kind of nice, though I did feel like a bum.

Yesterday and today the plans I had fell through, so it’s been fairly low key. Went to see Knives Out with two of the munchkins yesterday – it was SO good. Did a bit of school work and finished a really good audiobook. Today has so far been a workout and starting on school stuff. Imagine I’ll do my weekly meal plan, shop if I need to, and do some bulk cooking for the week.

Book I’m currently reading

Got this for my bday from my boyfriend. It’s cute – he said he liked to get silly things that make me think of him. And I do – every time I use this cup. It’s normally just black, until I pour tea or coffee into it and the album cover comes up. I love it.

Flight Club

FOOD

Mixed bag of home and road eats this past week. I was home for four days, and then back to Chicago for a few.

I made a butternut squash sauce for pasta.

I swear, there’s a baker under that mound of green beans and chickpeas!

Brunch Sunday with the boyfriend – my typical wrap.

Lunch on Monday was with a co-worker and I had a veggie burger

Tuesday late lunch/early dinner was with my sister and mom. My sister and I split an Impossible burger. She had never had one before, and hadn’t had a hamburger in 30 years, so it was a fun treat! They’re very filling, so splitting that an an app was just fine.

Chicago eats were a mixed bag this time. I was “captive” and the vegan eats were slim pickings, at least until the last day. So I picked up stuff at Starbucks or had oatmeal in my room. No lunch for 2 days, and I think I can’t look at another Clif Bar for awhile…

FITNESS

Spin class, runs, and yoga while I was home.

LIFE

Well, been busy for sure. Last weekend was fairly low key. Spent most of it at home with the kids and doing all the home front fun stuff like cleaning and grocery shopping.

Sunday was brunch with my boyfriend and hanging out at his place a bit.

Love the fire pits at our fav brunch spot

Monday was work and then shopping the veteran’s day sales! Then packing for a morning flight to Chicago.

Tuesday morning I hopped a flight to Chicago and then headed up to Milwaukee, where I picked my sister up from work. We then went to her house and then to pick up our mom for lunch. All told it was nice.

Though – on Monday Wisconsin got a ton of snow and I may have been a bit worried about the roads. Texted C from the airport to validate the roads were ok. She then went to social media to publicly shame me. Brat sister.

Picked up C, after some directionally challenged moments, and were on our way!

After lunch, spent some time at her house visiting my niece, nephew, and brother in law. Then it was back to Chicago.

View from my room did not suck

By the way, if you don’t have WTForecast, you’re missing out. It makes crap weather at least funny.

Lots of very informative meetings and presentations for 3 days I have been in Chicago. Got to meet up with several people I’ve met over the years in the innovation space, and met a few cool new ones. One of the new people I met actually used to work with one of my girlfriends back in DC. We took a selfie and sent it to her. Small world.

Wednesday night I couldn’t join the party because I had class, but that was ok. I joined it last night at a place called Flight Club. NOT Fight Club, which made me completely reevaluate my expectations of the night! It’s a nightclub with darts. I played. I largely sucked. But had a great time.

And now, I’m airport bound and ready to be home with NO work travels for about a month! I’m quite excited 🙂

Until then, random pics for your enjoyment.

M and I made Vesper’s to celebrate watching Casino Royale. They were WAY too boozy, so basically turned them into Cosmos

Totally forgot about this building in Milwaukee that has ladybugs on the side.

My munchkins went out to dinner together last night.

Sour Beers and Birthday Fun!

FOOD

I made a big batch of my spicy tofu soup that I ate several times during the week. My eldest loves it too, so I was forced to share.

Other eats included Thai green curry on a lunch date. I’m wondering if the quality of our normal spot is going down, or just a new chef maybe. It was honestly too thick and a bit too sweet for my liking, and his wasn’t as awesome as usual either.

I still had leftover Ethiopian stew, so I had that a few times too. Breakfasts were often oatmeal.

Friday was Indian lunch date and then an after work cocktail (lemon basil-tini for me) and for dinner was vegan pizza on a cauliflower crust.

Saturday was the most fun (of course) because it was birthday brunch at our fav spot with all but one of our munchkins (he had to work). The Bee and Biscuit is awesome not just for it’s food, but for the outdoor oasis you wait in before your table is ready. Jay is the best bartender, and we had some delicious drinks. Vegan Bloody Mary to start, a manmosa, and their summer solstice. That meant more coffee with my hippie wrap and fruit meal.

For dinner we checked a new spot off the list – Oiishi Burger in Virginia Beach. It was only ok, and not likely we’ll go back. Miso soup was bland, edamame was good, and the veggie curry was only ok. His meal was only mediocre too.

FITNESS

Started the week at the gym for some strength training and treadmill/dreadmill fun. Rest of the week was workouts at home, namely runs, walks, spin, and yoga.

LIFE

Sunday started with what should have been a quick drive to the gym. Alas, major car fire had the highway near me completely shut down for about an hour. Good news is it doesn’t appear anyone was hurt and that’s all that matters. Me sitting in traffic just means I’m lucky that I wasn’t the cause of it.

Always that guy who has to get out of his car to try and see the scene 🙄

After the gym, it was grocery shopping, meal prep, cooking, laundry, and homework. Typical Sunday!

It was a pretty busy week on the work and school front. Couple of coffee and lunch dates with my boyfriend as we could squeeze them in, but otherwise a really normal week (meaning I was actually at home!).

Thursday night R (who is a junior in HS this year) had a 2 hr event at one of the primary schools in our city called STEM&M (which I think that name is totally adorable). Her robotics team went to the event with last years bot and talked to the 3-5th graders about robotics. She had a blast. And I had 2 hrs to kill. I was going to hit up a Starbucks or something and study, but one really wasn’t close. BUT, a newly opened brewery was – so of course I had to hit that up! Texted a girlfriend of mine, and she met me there briefly. Really love their sour beers!

Saturday was my birthday and it was really awesome. It began with brunch with my 3, my boyfriend, and his oldest. That was several hours. After brunch, the kids and I headed to Ikea because R needed a new desk and M also got a new shelf. We had some fun karaoke on the way. After getting home, I packed up a bag and headed to my guys house. We hung out there for a bit until his youngest got home and got ready for a night out. Then we also headed out to our fav Cape Charles for some cider. Then off for dinner and back to his place. This morning was a lot of snuggling and then going grocery shopping on my way home. All told, about 70 people – friends and family all around the world – wished my a happy birthday and my heart is warmed knowing I have so many wonderful people in my life.

Necklace from my sister. When I thanked her (because it’s awesome!), she wrote that “the message is so you. You’re one of the strongest people I know and can do anything.” I cannot express what that means to me coming from my older sister – someone I’ve always admired and wanted to be like!

And of course, other random pics of the week, mainly of the floofs!

This week should fly by. I’m in the office only Monday, with offsite meetings and responsibilities Tues-Thurs and then a flight to Vegas Friday morning which kicks off a marathon trip of conference and residency!

Summon a Demon….or Meditate

FOOD

I actually don’t have a ton of food pics, oddly enough. Since my last post, it’s been a mix of eating in, eating out, and traveling.

Last of the lentil soup and vegan andouille!
Used Postmates from my fav Thai place. It was a disaster! But Luna loved the rice…

Breakfast date fun!

A vegan chocolate martini, and I was in literal heaven
Oh wait…THIS was the last of the lentil soup and andouille sausage!
Grilled tofu marinated in lime juice, chili paste, soy sauce, and water. So amazing.

Work lunch
Baby girl turned 16! Mug cake!

Carrot, orange, ginger, and beet juice

Family birthday lunch celebration
His and hers Bloody Mary’s!

Honestly love this stuff – especially while traveling. Tastes really good – which is shocking compared to most I’ve tried (and choked down)
Today’s Thai lunch date dish

FITNESS

Mostly runs and yoga. Another garage spin class too, which is always fun!

LIFE

It has been relatively quiet. The term ended, though I’m not actually using the break to chill this time. I’m done with all my coursework, and with my research topic approved, I have a ton of work to do before I can even begin research. Right now my focus is on writing my literature review – something I want to have completed in the next 6 weeks. That goal is highly aggressive, but I am confident I’ll hit it.

Most importantly, my baby girl turned 16! We had a low key evening at home on her birthday, which meant a dinner of her choosing and cake and presents. The next day we met up with my boyfriend and his youngest for lunch before the kids and I headed off to opening night of Howl-O-Scream for spooky fun! It is definitely a tradition for us, and we had a great time. Dole whip and screams for everyone! 🎃👻👹

Kids went on a ride I did not like (claustrophobic and don’t like the VR headsets), so I had a cider and read while waiting

One day my boyfriend and I spent the day together and had a great time. It involved a gallery, a new coffee shop, breakfast, and yummy cocktails, among other things. We also went out for brunch the day before I left for Boston.

Speaking of my trip to Boston – what a travel mess. Flight delays, missed connections, unsuccessful stand-by flights meant I got in many hours later than I was supposed to and missed the first day of meetings. Oh well. Second day I was met with cheers and hugs, so that was fun.

It was only an overnighter, so went home the next day – and had a flight delay! Irrelevant though since I had plenty of time to make my connection and got home the same time I would’ve anyway.

I’m home for the rest of the week before heading out of town Mon-Wed next week. So begins a very busy travel schedule for me through most of the rest of the year. Alas. All about that hustle!

For a pup who doesn’t like to swim, this is as close to the pool as she gets!

Too Tired for the Complication of Oatmeal

FOOD

Been an awesome couple days, especially today with a lot of kitchen play time.

Saturday I had a strawberry-Vega vanilla smoothie for breakfast. I also made oatmeal. Alas, not paying close enough attention apparently, and I sprinkled cumin all over it instead of cinnamon. Guess I was still sleepy. Needless to say, I didn’t eat it.

I don’t recall if I had lunch (no pic, it didn’t happen, right?!).

Saturday night was a date night and we stopped at a yummy local Italian place and then for ice cream at a local spot that has coconut milk based chocolate ice cream!

Sunday brunch was a Beyond bowl (Beyond Meat sausage, potatoes, peppers, avocado, and black beans. And mimosas, of course.

I skipped the Avo (allergy) and the tortillas (unnecessary)

Sunday dinner I made a red Thai coconut curry tempeh bowl. Super simple and incredibly tasty. I’m a fan of steaming tempeh cubes for about 10 min before using in any recipe. Easier on the belly (so I read once, anyway).

This morning I tried the smoothie + oatmeal combo again. Successful this time by using Apple Pie spice….where the bottle doesn’t look anything like my cumin and cinnamon bottles!

I had leftover tempeh curry for lunch while I bulk cooked like crazy.

Tomorrow is my youngest’ s first day of school (junior in HS), so it’s back to making desserts again. Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting. I also made a batch of acorn squash Alfredo (this recipe, which I mostly follow and totally adore), a huge batch of lentil soup, pasta salad, my first go at vegan Andouille sausage, and tofu/potato tacos. No one shall starve in this house.

Acorn squash alfredo with quinoa gf noodles and peas
Mashed chickpeas, vital wheat gluten, and tons of spices later = vegan andouille sausage magic!

Tofu/potato tacos

FITNESS

Runs pretty much every day. And some yoga as well. And a spin class in my garage.

I was stupid sore on Saturday and part of Sunday from the HIIT/TRX workout on Friday. In a good way though, so I can’t complain.

LIFE

Friday was a pretty low key day. Slept until 8 (bed at 130am, so it’s understandable). Went to the gym and worked and studied most of the day before meeting up with my boyfriend for a quick happy hour.

Saturday was a run and then studying until going over to my guys house where he was working on stuff and watching football and I was studying. Then we went out for a bit, came home, watched a couple episodes of The Boys and went to bed.

Sunday was brunch, then home to clean, run, and study some more.

Today I went for a run and grocery shopping. This was fun. I went to Lidl, which is still my fav place to shop. $43 for a week’s worth of groceries for a family of 4. A couple blocks away, there’s a bakery outlet. I’ve meant to stop for ages, but finally did today. OMG. So excited. It said TastyKake, which is the biggest reason why I never went, but it also said Nature’s Own, which my kids like their whole wheat bread. Figured there was no down side to checking it out. SO glad I did. They have Dave’s Killer Bread there! If you’re a clean eating hippie, you know what that is, but if not, here’s the thing – all organic, sprouted grain, non-GMO, high fiber breads with no artificial silliness, like high fructose corn syrup (which I’m nearly violently against). I vacillate between that brand and Ezekiel. I walked out with 4 loaves of bread and a thing of English muffins for $6. I’d pay more than double that at Wegman’s or Kroger. So – not going to drive past the bakery outlet just because I think it’s just junk inside!

The rest of the day was really just me, my headphones, and audiobook, and bulk cooking. Maybe a bit of studying too, but not a lot.

This coming week I’m mostly off. I work tomorrow and part of Wednesday, but off the rest of the time. Lots to do!

My sunshine puppy

Wild Child With a Bedtime

Seriously, where the heck does the time go???

FOOD

Pretty typical. At home, lots of salads, smoothies, sunbutter toast, and tofu.

I made up a batch of beets in the Instant Pot, which I really love. And there was curry, a fav salad on a lunch date with my guy at a local Vietnamese place.

Saturday night we stayed in and grilled. He did most of the cooking – I made the salad. Everything was delicious.

Sunday morning we went to brunch – hummus lettuce wraps and a fun mimosa made with a scoop of sherbet in champagne! I’m a fan.

Dinner Sunday was a full family gathering, including my son-in-law, so the 8 of us went out to a Mexican restaurant that has a full vegan menu, which is awesome.

Then I hit the road for a 4 day work trip. The IBM offices have a chef, and he made me some delightful eats. Quinoa/beet cakes, and tons of roasted veggies, whole grains, and plenty of snacks too.

I met up with a girlfriend for margaritas (mine was the picante – of course) and dinner. I had a fun vegan Cobb salad, but the bowl is made of a cucumber! Tasty and fun.

This morning was toast and lunch was a bunch of lentils mixed with BBQ on a baker. Good stuff!

FITNESS

Several runs, yoga, and some HIIT workouts – which I think I need to start doing more of!

LIFE

Time really is flying by. R heads back to school next week! She’s super excited, so I am too.

It’s been a typical week or two. School dominates a lot of my time, but in a good way. Work, kids, and as much time as my guy and I can manage too. We try to spend at least one night per week together, which is always wonderful, even if it’s just watching a movie (which was last weekend!).

I had a work trip to Cambridge, MA for the majority of this week. Very productive and I love seeing all of my colleagues on this blockchain start-up. But it was also very exhausting. Flew up Monday late, Tuesday all day meetings, met with my girlfriend Tuesday eve, meetings all day Wednesday, big group dinner that night, meetings all day Thursday, and flew home that evening. I got in late last night (about 1130) and finally fell asleep by 130.

Today was sleeping in, working out, happy hour, dinner, then school fun! Looking forward to a long weekend of cleaning, school stuff, family, and time with my baby!

R bought this for me for finishing what SHOULD be my last math-based class ever!

View when I had cocktails with S earlier this week

So I’m a wild child with a bedtime!
This is me now. I used to stay up late and sleep in. But now I’m a morning person who wants to go to bed by 830 (though I don’t actually go to sleep until 10ish)