Is There a Nurse in the House?!?

FOOD

I wish I had more exciting stuff to report. I’m dabbling with intermittent fasting – not fully committed, but have read some interesting research. To be honest, I used to be very anti IF and thought it was just a way people starved themselves. But, after doing research and the impact on insulin, insulin resistance (which I have), cortisol (which I have too much of), decided to give it a go. Overall not too terrible, but it means no fun breakfasts and smoothies to share!

I do find myself not being overly hungry. Don’t know if it’s IF (though apparently that’s common) or stress (also present!), but I’ve had a lot of salads with tofu and soups.

Actually a take on vegan butter chicken, but with tofu instead of my usual soy curls, and cauliflower rice. Came out SO yummy.

After A’s graduation (more on that below!), we all stopped at our normal Mexican spot – mainly because they have a vegan menu and really good margaritas! I didn’t eat much, and as usual, I forgot my leftovers.

There was Thai food too. Two good ones (one lunch with a co-worker who is also vegan!), and one by myself. One was really horrific – a place in VB I’d never been before and will never go again.

Blurry, but you know what it is! What it always is!
Seriously the worst. Ordered the veggie spring roll – they gave me chicken. Ordered steamed tofu (not a fan of fried), they brought fried and said that’s just how they do it. And the flavor was gross anyway.
From my fav place near my house

Had two pizzas too! The first was on Friday night when my guy and I went to our wine bar. Got the beet-za (beet juice in the crust and beets on the pizza) with a cashew cheese. Really tasty. Saturday we all met for brunch at the spot my guy’s son works as they just started carrying vegan pizza on a cauliflower crust. Good stuff and was also my dinner that night.

Peppercini, tomatoes, and pineapple

FITNESS

Well, I’ve mainly been getting my running game back on! I love the HIIT classes and need to figure out how to do both, but I’ve missed running and hadn’t done it regularly since late summer/early fall.

I am certainly motivated to run as my guy has started to! Even though he’s more than a foot taller than me and his long legs will trounce me, it’s still fun talking about training together. So, I’ve been running 3 mi per day, 6 days per week for the past week and a half. I am thinking of doing 2x per day workouts. HIIT and runs – just need to figure out which in the morning and which after work. While running at home in the morning would be easier, going to HIIT gives me time to drink and digest my coffee before working out! The downside it having to get ready for work at the gym.

LIFE

Well, life has been busy! Last week work was steady but not crazy. This week is crazy.

BUT – the highlight of the week was my baby girl graduating from nursing school!! I’m so incredibly proud of her – she busted her butt working and in school and it’s amazing to see her achieve her dreams.

For those not familiar, the ritual with nursing graduations is called a pinning ceremony.
A and her hubby J

After the pinning ceremony, we went for tacos and margaritas – at A’s request for months leading up to it!

Friday was busy at work, and then date night with my boyfriend. Wine night and then back to his place. Saturday I went home, worked out, then got cleaned up and the kids and I and J met up with my guy and his youngest, and one of A’s best friends for brunch.

Sunday was research and writing all day. Like 14 hours straight! BUT – all my edits are done and turned in. Hopefully there won’t be many more rounds of edits needed and I can head to IRB.

Today is Super Tuesday and we in Virginia vote our primaries. I got up, did that, went for a run, and then cleaned up. It was a work from home day with the exception of a networking meeting at Starbucks. I really wanted to try their new Golden Drink – which is a pineapple, ginger, turmeric, coconut milk concoction. So I did a mobile order because I needed to set up for a webex meeting just before my networking meeting and didn’t have a ton of time. I got there and the barista asked what I ordered – said it was mobile. She said it didn’t come through, asked me what it was and made me on. 10 seconds later another barista shouted my name and put my drink in the mobile order spot. So – ended up with 2 for the price of 1. And you know what – yummy! Also, my networking meeting was awesome. It was with a venture capital/emerging tech scout. Great conversation for sure, and who knows where that will lead!

Well this is a new one, but much appreciated! I’m getting tired of the texts from candidates, so a call is even worse

Otherwise, so far been a good week. Had a coffee meeting yesterday with a grad student interested in identifying pain points in healthcare that could potentially use a technology solution. Smart guy and I’m hooking him up with a couple coworkers.

Today was really nice, and the floofs were loving the open door and sunshine!

I’m supposed to be going to Orlando next week for a conference and some fun, but at this point not sure it’ll happen. With the COVID-19 outbreak and fears, many organizations are canceling travel for their people, and many events are being canceled. While this event hasn’t been canceled yet, it still is possible. And while my firm hasn’t canceled travel yet, that’s possible too. I’ll be bummed because I love Florida and that week is pretty special for a couple reasons, but also wouldn’t blame anyone if it did get canceled. I’ll just be out the $ already spent on Disney tix!

Whiskey Squares

FOOD

I certainly had a few good eats this past week. I made a big batch of my spicy tofu soup and had that spread out over a few days.

And while I forgot to take a picture, a Thai lunch date with my boyfriend.

I was in DC for a few days, which included one where my girlfriend LS and I went to Equinox. They have a lot of vegan options, and we split the caramelized cauliflower with pistachios, capers, and golden raisins, and for my main dish, I had the pan roasted Japanese eggplant. Everything was amazing!

Last night I stayed at my guys house and he made his homemade spaghetti. Smelling it cooking all day was really awesome, and tasted amazing. Mine with Gardein crumbles. I also had that for breakfast today.

FITNESS

Went to the gym Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before work for the HIIT program. Hate to call it a class since you can come in anytime – it’s a daily curated workout (sort of like a WOD) in a special area of the gym. It’s 15 stations, with 3 1/2 minutes spent at each station in a combo of working and resting.

I get this each Sunday to show what the week will look like. I like how every day varies
So I wear a heart rate monitor, and while I try to hit at least 500, I really prefer to get closer to 700. I often do when I workout in the evening, so I’m going to have to see if it’s just me adjusting to morning workouts or something else. But still, 578 isn’t bad!

LIFE

Been a busy and excellent week. Since our kids didn’t have school on Monday, I ended up spending Sunday night at my guys house. Dinner, a couple movies (Instant Family – which was really cute, and I can’t for the life of me remember the other one!). In the morning we went to our respective gyms and then to work!

About that gym fun. I WAY over packed, and the little locker could barely take it. I had my work clothes plus the ones I wore on Sunday to his house. Obviously I wore my workout clothes to the gym. I had towels, toiletries, my Dyson hair wrap, and my flat iron. Makeup. Etc. In the end, I decided to just put my hair up in a bun and head to the office.

Tuesday was the gym and then a jam packed meeting day. I packed better though and left my purse in the trunk of my car. Before I went to bed on Monday, I straightened my hair, so just needed some dry shampoo after my Tuesday morning workout and could then wear my hair down.

Wednesday was also the gym and then to the office. Not such a busy day, which meant a quick happy hour with my guy. We went to a wine spot (not our typical one) because it was closer to where he needed to be. Wine was not great, but the time was. Then I was off to a happy hour at a new co-working space downtown. Which meant a cooler full of beer (I went with Stella Artois). And then a decision to hit a local bar for some whiskey drinks. The bartender had fun making up stuff for us, and it was all yummy.

Thursday was NOT a gym morning. I went to work, realized I accidentally stole a credit card from my drinking buddy, had lunch with my guy, returned the card, and headed home to pick up my car rental.

My original plan was to drive to DC early Friday morning to get to my 10 am coffee meeting. However – it started snowing, and so I decided to go up to DC Thursday evening instead. In the end, I probably didn’t need to. I couldn’t navigated the roads, but around here you never know. Virginia Beach didn’t get much, but Suffolk got quite a bit. I didn’t want to risk it. So, I hit the road just after 3 and met up with my old doctoral cohort for a few cocktails (they have their residency this weekend – same one I had in Atlanta back in October).

Me and SJ

My coffee meeting got moved up to 9 in Herndon, and that was a great time as always. Another Darden alum I met last year, and we’ve been keeping in touch as careers, etc, develop.

I had lunch with my girlfriend LS. We’ve known each other for ages – met through my best friend AC. I hadn’t seen her in the past few trips I’ve made to DC, so definitely wanted to rectify that. She picked Equinox for lunch (fairly close to the White House), and then we walked over to a liquor store around the corner. I’ve been on the hunt for this Japanese Whisky called Nikka from the Barrel. Can’t buy it in VA anymore, but thought DC may have it. The place was amazing, and while they didn’t have what I wanted, he did give us a tasting and I picked one that was really close. I also got a bottle of Mezcal for my guy, and a nice tequila (NOT mezcal) for my house.

LS has also been wanting to be a whiskey fan, so we spent some time at lunch reading about bourbon, whiskey, whisky, and all the differences. What we finally came to the conclusion of is all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. Sort of like every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square.

Then it was off to a happy hour to finally meet in person a woman I was helping with her start-up. She used to work for my company, but in the DC area. She worked for a hospital president I know well and is in a new role, and asked me to help her out. We’ve had calls and emails and LinkedIn messages, but finally got to meet in person. She’s lovely and I really liked meeting her. Unfortunately, her little one was sick, and not 15 minutes into our wine, her parents called and asked her to come get the baby. Oh well. It was still nice

That did give me time to get my hair done though! In my haste to pack to avoid snowmageddon, I forgot my hair dryer and any hair product. Hence my hair in a bun, once again. But I had a fairly important dinner coming up, and across from the wine spot in Clarendon was a blow out bar – so in I went and had my hair blown out. Overall excellent experience and well worth it.

Then it was off to Jaleo in Crystal City to meet my new academic advisor. She’s the one who is really getting me close to the finish line, and I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to meet her in person. I felt it important to have at least a little bit of a relationship, and her being in DC for the residency was too good of an opportunity to pass up. I am SO glad I did too! She’s lovely. We spent 3 hours eating tapas, drinking sangria, and talking – almost none of it about school. We had similar up bringing, and after talking through other things, feel we may have divorced the same man 🤣. She’s also a world traveler (more so than me) and speaks French! We talked about start-up ideas we each have and how we can help each other with those endeavors after I graduate, and overall just had a wonderful time and connection. I’m grateful she’s in my corner as I head towards the end of this doctoral journey.

Since I saw the crew the night before, I didn’t feel like meeting them all at the bar again, so I headed to my hotel and to bed.

The next morning though, I went back to where the residency was in order to meet my mentee. I signed up through my university to be a mentor, and was partnered with a lovely woman who immigrated to the US from Africa a few years ago, and currently is in banking in Arizona. Similar to me, she’s been doubling and sometimes tripling up on classes to get done as quickly as possible. We speak, text, and email regularly, and it was wonderful to meet her for coffee before her classes started at 8. It also gave me time to say goodbye to my other friends and professors before hitting the road home!

I got to my boyfriend’s house around 1 (had to stop at the grocery for some dinner items!). We watched a couple episodes of the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – eh. And then started on Hunters – which I really liked. Just before dinner, his brother came over, and we all ate and watched Guess Who, which I had never actually finished watching before – and it’s cute. Then it was time to watch basketball and go to bed.

This morning was coffee then going home to do wash, clean, grocery shop, and organize for the week ahead!

One of my fav mugs from my guy. Drinking tea while working on my research.
Kuma being very toasty and lazy on A’s electric blanket Thursday
My best friend’s husband sent us this. It’s true – I’m a bit hyper organized and LOVE project management.
The British crack me up. This headline would not fly in the US…
This is me.

Trials and Tribulations

FOOD

Honestly, not a whole lot to write home about the past two days. I had salads for lunch the past two days, but didn’t take pics. Yesterday’s was loaded with the Morningstar Farms fake chicken strips. Today’s was just veggies. No breakfast either day and no dinner yesterday. Boring, I know, but just haven’t had much appetite lately. I’m starting to wonder if it is stress related!

FITNESS

HIIT at my gym both yesterday and today. The class is called Zone4 – which is explained in the picture below. I do find myself in the 4th one more than any other, which I suppose is a good thing.

The workout varies each day, which is nice to alleviate boredom (this week ending is shown). Yesterday I burned 736 calories and today 610. Can’t complain about that!

LIFE

Well, it has only been two days, and a weekend at that. No plans other than focusing on my dissertation. I have a new academic advisor and finally got feedback from her late last week. Let’s just say she blew up more than I was anticipating – and I don’t necessarily agree with her on some of it, so now it’s about finding time to meet with her to review. Overall, I do appreciate what she has to say as it will make me a better writer and researcher – but she also seems to believe her volunteering at an AIDS facility in Chicago in the 1990’s gives her more insights into nonprofit healthcare than it actually does. Everything I’ve pushed back on so far she’s caved on. I don’t want to offend her (can’t afford to since she determines my readiness for IRB), but I’m getting frustrated with having to educate her. But on the flip side – I can assume other readers may not understand either, so I need to do a better job of being clear. With her, it’s a combination of lack of knowledge – which is fine – and bad/inaccurate/uninformed perspective – which isn’t. Alas, such are the trials and tribulations of a doctoral student 😉

So yesterday, I went to the gym, stopped at the library, made lunch, and spent the rest of the day reviewing her redlines on my writing and reconciling those I could. Then I had two vodka sodas and went to bed!

Today will be similar. Gym, lunch, and now that I’ve reconciled the redlines, doing actual research and writing. And laundry. And, I assume, some vodka sodas!

Hope your weekend was more fun than mine (though mine has been productive, and I can’t complain about that!). This coming week should be good – light on the meeting schedule and a quick overnight trip to DC for several meetings – including one with my academic advisor!

Horrible shot, I know, but the floofs were really enjoying the fireplace last night

Time Flies!

FOOD

I swear, I blink and it’s been 10 days since my last post!

So – some normal eats. Pasta out with R.

Quick lunch date where I got a soup and salad.

A ramen lunch date.

My guy making me homemade spaghetti with Gardein crumbles. (With leftovers for a work lunch!)

A yummy salad at drag brunch.

Beyond Burger at a brewery with my son.

Whole Foods soup and salad bar.

Build your own pizza at a local place (they have vegan cheese!) with my kids.

And another salad.

FITNESS

More of the same! HIIT classes and a few runs because we had gorgeous weather.

LIFE

Well hell – been 10 days. My guess is because my school term started and I’ve been quite busy between that and work. The holiday lull is definitely over!

Went out with a friend to catch up and grab cocktails.

Got to spend quite a bit of time with my boyfriend, which was nice. Even if it was just a quick lunch. Spent the night last Saturday. We watched basketball and a movie, and then went to a drag brunch at our wine bar and had a fun time. The bartender knows us and made us fun breakfast drinks. After, we went out for coffee and I headed home.

My son and I went to Cape Charles for a bit so he could do a whiskey tasting at the distillery and then we stopped at the brewery for an early dinner and went home.

On the totally awesome and amazing side – my eldest is graduating from nursing school in a few weeks! She just passed her last major exam and is doing her preceptorship now. The rest of the time is prep for her board exam. I am so incredibly proud of her!

This weekend I’m with the young one in Boston. More to come I’m sure in the next post!

Au Revoir 2019, Bonjour 2020!

FOOD

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

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

Grapes for dinner at Busch Gardens.

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

Tofu green curry (of course)

Kitchen Sink Curry

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

It was really, really yummy! Makes 4 servings.

Family Mexican dinner night out – vegan bowl and margaritas!

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

FITNESS

4 gym days for that HIIT class and 2 runs.

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

So – here was today:

10 minute warm-up on the rower.

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

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

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

LIFE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First attempt….

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

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

A Very Merry Time Indeed

FOOD

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

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

FITNESS

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

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

LIFE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And other miscellaneous shots of the week!