Can I Get a Hell Yeah?

FOOD

So awesome having my kitchen again. I feel like I neglect her some when I’m home, but when I’m away, I miss her dearly!

I know it’s only been two days, but I’ve been a busy bee in the kitchen

Breakfast yesterday was some overnight oats made with coconut, cinnamon, and mango.

Lunch was a simple quinoa and black bean salad, and for dinner I made Kung Pao tofu with orange sauce.

This morning I had a qunioa dish with coconut milk, blueberries, banana, and sunflower seed butter that was really delicious.

Lunch I made a chickpea “not-tuna” salad wrap. Dinner was a lentil and kale soup that was not soupy at all and more of a stew.

FITNESS

Still just yoga but I was literally twitching to go on a run. Good think I have my Dr appt tomorrow because I’m going bananas.

When all better though, the young one and I are going to do some Muay Thai kickboxing! I used to do it ages ago, but it is really pricey. Single mom, I try to cut down on things like that, but got a great groupon deal, so we’re both really stoked!

LIFE

I had a really great and chill weekend. Will be the last one of those for a bit! Saturday I did the meal planning and grocery shopping and stopped at my boyfriends house for a little bit to visit. M had some friends over and they and R played in the pool while A looked on and I grilled dinner.

Hoping I’d drop something. It’s possible I gave her a baby potato or two after they cooled down…

Sunday was also low key. Another quick morning visit at my guys house (to deliver dessert I made), but didn’t stay but a few minutes. I honestly spent much of the day either in or next to the pool reading (yay, Kindle Oasis!). Ran a few errands, finished laundry, and cleaned and meal prepped for the next couple of days.

I went to bed early because I needed to leave to take A to the airport at 6. Unfortunately getting into bed early does not = sleep. It was midnight before I fell asleep. 5 hours is usually plenty and I’ve been fine, but it’s still annoying.

Then I picked up java and had that with my boyfriend before getting to the office by 730. Busy day, but great. Flew by. Totally awesome and random though was my VP of strategy asking if I want to accompany him on a site visit – to the hospital system where one of my very best friends works! Um. Can I get a hell yeah? Excited for the reason to go, but not gonna lie – more excited that I get to visit her and her fam.

And I had better appreciate the last of the chill days for awhile since school starts up again next week and the following weekend tons of friends from all over are converging here to celebrate the naval retirement of one of our friends. But, there are worse problems to have then a bunch of really great friends getting together to celebrate!

Okay, so I’m not sure Luna always knows how to be a cat. Like I put an open box on the floor and she looks at it, sniffs, and walks away. I chalk this up to her spending her first year of life living in a cage at the shelter, and now that it’s been 6 months here (as of Saturday), she did her first real cat thing! SITTING ON MY KEYBOARD. In a strange way, I was proud.

Business humor, but I did sent this to my guy who thought it was funny.

ME EVERY DAY. FYI, I’ll ignore vendors who persistently spell it wrong.

A

Spring? What Spring?

FOOD

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

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

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

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

Fun color changing cups M got from Starbucks!

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

BEST SUMMER FRUIT

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

Chili with cauliflower rice

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

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

Sangria flight!
Tofu lettuce wrap

Tofu scramble with vegan sausage

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

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

FITNESS

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

LIFE

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

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

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

Monday was the cookout and relaxing.

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

Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday

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

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

Miscellaneous pics of the week

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

Dancing in a Car Makes Everyone Happy

FOOD

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

Quick pho lunch

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

FITNESS

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

LIFE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unhappy Kuma hoping for some grilled eats too

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

She Devil

FOOD

Lunch on Monday I went out and had tofu green curry! Shocker, I know. Dinner was beer and popcorn 🙂

Met my guy after work for a couple beers since we hadn’t seen each other much lately

Tuesday I had a day road trip for work. I stopped at Wegman’s in Woodbridge, VA for a breakfast salad. On the way home I admit – I stopped at Taco Bell. Traffic was a nightmare and I just wanted to get home! (It was 8 hrs of driving + 2 hrs of meetings). I generally dislike anything fast food quite a lot since there’s literally no nutritional value at all and helps contribute to the widening waistlines of the world, I do admit sometimes (tho rarely) it’s the only option. Had I used my normal purse, I’d have had granola bars in it that I would’ve had instead.

Wednesday I had a salad for brunch from our new Wegman’s. I have to say – I may not need to go to Whole Foods ever again! One of my big complaints about the Virginia Beach Whole Foods is that their salad bar rarely has any vegan proteins on it, like tofu or tempeh. Wegman’s does. It was awesome. While I didn’t snap a pick, I had a breakfast salad there on my way home this morning also.

Other meals this week were grilled fun, smoothies, pizza, and about half of this awesome burrito made with Impossible meat! Also baked some banana bread for the kidlets.

Never had this one before, but I really liked it

Quick lunch at Brixx pizza! Love they have vegan cheese options

FITNESS

Managed to squeeze in two runs and one bedroom yoga session (and no, that’s not a euphemism – I really did a yoga class in my bedroom).

LIFE

When I got home from my residency Monday morning (about 1am), I discovered that my boyfriend came over and installed my new dishwasher as a surprise! Mine died a bit ago, and I frankly got tired of hand washing them. It was an amazing surprise.

On the school front, it was a bit chaotic, but lower intensity than normal. My guess is our professors were giving our brains a chance to relax after residency last week.

On the work front, it was really busy, but good. Tuesday I had a day trip to DC to speak about blockchain in healthcare to a Federal Services advisory group. It was a really excellent discussion and a lot of fun.

Though, as I’m stuck on 395 trying to get out of the city, I check Facebook. And what do I see? This post from my sister. FYI, she lives in Wisconsin…

So I text her. And SHE WAS IN DC AT THE SAME TIME AS ME. Most disconnected sibling award goes to….? US. Ugh. Good thing I’ll be in Chicago in a couple weeks and will drive up to see her. Because I’m a good sister 😏. All kidding though, I live 3 1/2 hrs from DC and there’s no way she’d think I’d be there mid-week when she’s only there overnight. But still. Crazy.

Busy week otherwise. Work and a plumber to install a new kitchen sink. All good things though. Oh, and I also figured out how to use my pressure washer on Wednesday! Been sitting in my shed for 2 years unused. Last year I just hired someone, but its silly to have one and not use it. And I was sick of the pollen, so M and I figured it out (YouTube helped). Which means I was able to enjoy my coffee on the back porch this week!

Friday night my guy and I went out to one of our fav spots. Saturday morning I went home and worked on school stuff for most of the day. My girls went to some curiosity fair together in the morning and also picked up some plants for the garden. After they got home, we went out to get the remainder of the plants and then A finished all the planting!

Late that afternoon went back, we went out to dinner, and then up to the Eastern Shore to our fav cider place. It’s actually in Richmond, but they have a tasting room on the bay too, and that’s closer. Not as much selection since it’s not where the ciders are brewed, but still awesome.

And funny enough – we ran into one of my girlfriends and her husband! My guys son always says I have friends everywhere (I’m a lucky girl), but even this was funny. So they joined us and then we went to a distillery for a couple drinks before going back home. Awesome night.

My fav! The Resolution
The She Devil. Also good, and VERY spicy

I hit up the grocery on my way home this morning and have otherwise had a really peaceful Sunday and lovely Mother’s Day with my kids! I got a spa gift card for a Mother’s Day package (massage, facial, hair appt), and a beautiful crystal lotus. I have a love of them – after all I have a tattoo of one on my inner arm. It has a very personal meaning for me, so I’m totally thrilled with it.

Spotted on my drive to DC. I admit – I don’t get the appeal of trucks like this unless you have a business that requires hauling heavy stuff!

My morning java on my guys porch yesterday!

Lazy bear staring at us upstairs but not wanting to put in the effort to join us

BS made a playlist he shared – so I was jamming to it while making banana bread today!
I feel like I should make business cards with this and just hand them out to people when they learn I’m vegan

Will be another busy week. I fly out tomorrow morning for another blockchain panel discussion, but this time for a healthcare audience. I’m excited to see one of my girlfriends who lives where I’m heading – she’ll be my date on Tuesday night at an event at the Botanical Gardens!

Popcorn, Wine, and Fighter Jets

FOOD

Honestly, the last two days I’ve not had smoothies (I KNOW – shocker. I’m okay, I promise). Yesterday was coffee and a banana. This morning was just coffee. Granted, I spent the night at my guys house – and he always makes us coffee in the morning. Then we snuggle outside and enjoy it until life takes over.

I did make a big batch of homemade soy yogurt on Wednesday. Couldn’t be easer – 1 carton Westsoy soy milk (the shelf stable kind, not the stuff from the fridge – I order mine from Amazon), 1/2 tsp vegan probiotic powder – put in jars and put in the Instant Pot on the Yogurt setting for 15 hours. It makes a very tart – almost sour cream-like yogurt. I use it for dressings and honestly just eating plain. NOT meant for any sweet dishes though. Would bump the incubation down to 9 hrs or so for that. Final step is to put on the lids and leave in the fridge for 24 hrs to finish. Perfecto.

Dinner on Wednesday was a BAS (Big A$$ Salad for newbie readers). Super simple really – pressed and cubed tofu that is dry fried in a skillet until starting to turn brown, and then put about a tablespoon or so of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (tamari or soy sauce would be the same) – cook until it boils off and toss it in a salad. Mine was lettuce, cucs, cauliflower, and red onion and then a FF Catalina. I had to almost fight R over the tofu cubes though. She declared this her “favorite ever”, which is hilarious. Clearly all my other tofu dishes I’ve been trying too hard….

I didn’t get a shot of dinner last night. Was at my guy’s house. He grilled and made mashers and I made mushroom gravy and brought pie. So it was a veggie burger and corn on the cob. His son put the mushroom gravy on his burger, which I have to admit is pretty bloody clever!

Today’s first meal was lunch – and it was a Happy Herbivore Alfredo with edamame and corn. It was super filling, but only “ok”. Think it needed more spices and salt to be honest. I’d make it again, but play with the recipe more.

Dinner was the last of the leftover Caribbean Beans & Rice. I topped with lettuce, hot sauce, and some homemade soy yogurt.

Then there’s the popcorn and wine snack. Don’t judge. This just may be my favorite meal ever!

FITNESS

Kickboxing yesterday. Nada today. Was going to run, but found I’m just a bit too sore for it. So a day off won’t kill me. Did some yoga this afternoon – about 20 minutes of sun salutations. Felt wonderful.

LIFE

Well, it’s only been 2 days since my last post so there can only be so much that’s happened!

Work and life. That’s about it. Let’s see. I mowed the front lawn and R did the back. House is still clean and laundry is still mostly done. Got a lot of research done (work related mostly) and read, which was awesome.

Last night after dinner, my guy and I went to a fav bar – Birch Bar. It was advertised at Cider Thursday – and you know we’re cider fans. It’s also their 43 Hours of Sour, and I’m a huge sour beer fan. So – out we went. Cribbage board in tow (he kicked my a$$), and we had a few. The cider wasn’t blowing him away (I mostly had the sour beers and only one cider). I think the ciders were sour, and he’s not the biggest fan. But it was still a ton of fun. Then again, we always have a good time. Then it was back to his house and I spent the night there. Home and work in the morning!

Today was busy for work, and my last meeting didn’t end until 5 – which kinda sucks for a Friday. Alas, is what it is. Was still a great day, and I’m feeling all floppy and chill, which is never a bad thing.

A really good book. Sent this pic to a co worker when she told me she “loved my brain” after a meeting where I’m working on some business development for a new product to bring to market. It’s all in the story – it’s how you relate to your market…

This evening has been doing more research, and the chilling outside and reading. It’s an amazingly beautiful night too.

Lying on my enclosed back deck, feet up, enjoying my library book!

Excited for tomorrow! A grad school friend of mine is retired from the Airforce as a pilot (he’s a commercial jet pilot now). But he’s still very engaged in military air shows, and we’re going to see him tomorrow! He’s in town for a big air show, and after the flight, we should get to see the planes up close and personal! Mostly I’m excited to see him – he’s a really awesome person and friend. I’m pretty positive my next blog post will be full of pics of planes!

MY YEAR OF LESS

Well, I haven’t spent any money that wasn’t bill related or other necessary expenses like gas for my car. Well, other than the pie I got the boys yesterday, but I consider that part grocery, part gift – both allowed on the spending ban.

I was more than ready to use last night’s outing as my final “go out” for the month, but my guy picked up the tab. It wasn’t bad really – we basically had flights which are small pours and cheap – but still. It was nice. I’m usually very adamant about always splitting down the middle, but I couldn’t argue with him when he said it meant more outings with him yet this month!

I will be honest, I’m rethinking the 4 outings a month and thinking of turning it into a dollar limit. Like $200 per month in going out. Thing is – I do like going out, and find it can be a very small amount of $$ spent. So who cares if I go out 8 times or 4 as long as it’s kept to a dollar amount. Will finalize that after I analyze the September spending and budget. Would like to know your thoughts on that tho….

So that’s it! Hope you have as exciting of a weekend as I’m planning to have! (FYI – air show is free!).

Dog Eating Couches & Other Shenanigans

FOOD

Lots of yummy eats this past week, mostly in, but a couple out. I had several vegan meals actually made FOR me (and not at a restaurant). This is a new twist in my life, and one that I definitely love. My guy loves to cook and he’s made some incredible meals this past week!

Here are the highlights…

Gardein Chick’n Stir Fry

Sushi place by me with 11 veg options!
Potato & Veg tacos w lime/pepper watermelon
By far our fav cidery
New local cidery too! A fan so far

When they cater a meeting and the vegan option is a sad salad…everyone else had hearty meals
My new popcorn maker and I’m in love! Microwave, no oil needed, with an option to add fun stuff to melt and drip thru the lid. I used Earth Balance

My contribution to one of our meals this weekend
My guy made vegan Chick’n Marsala and it was amazing! Whole crew ate vegan that night 🙂

He bought a new blender, and I brought my fav brand of protein powder so I could have my typical bfast. Perfect for a day of studying

Second vegan meal he made me this weekend! Grilled BBQ tofu, broccoli, and mashers (which his son declared changed his life! They were that good…)
My contribution to Labor Day – Mac no cheese
Gardein burger, loaded kale salad, corn, Mac no cheese!
Took the leftover Marsala home and had w broccoli today

So I definitely did not starve this past week. I think it’s fun that my guys son said the new way his dad made mashers “changed his life” they were that good :). And they were.

FITNESS

A couple of runs is about it. And yard work. Been looking at a few weekend hikes I want to do when fall really kicks in. May actually have to try the whole “camping” thing!

LIFE

All told, a good week. Typical work and school stuff, though the school stuff was pretty heavy this past week.

Did get a day trip to Richmond and Williamsburg, which was nice.

There was a funeral to attend on Saturday, but otherwise the weekend was good too. I spent it at my guys house where we hung out, played games, watched TV, and I did ten tons of school stuff while they cleaned and did normal household stuff. As a very sweet surprise, while I was writing a paper, they washed my car!

You can’t tell, but 3 of us our playing. 2 of us got out butts kicked

At Sly Clyde Cidery. Hadn’t played since a kid with my sister. So fun

I’m ONE roll from going out and he gets doubles. Ugh.

I never played before. Took forever to learn, but was fun once we did

I came home Sunday morning to get things done at my house that I needed to, but went back for dinner, which was really nice. By special request, I brought Kuma with me. All was awesome, she got on fine with his dogs, and liked to explore. Though she decided to explore behind the sofa – and got stuck. He had to take the couch apart to get her out. I will say I was a bit mortified. As soon as she was out, she tried darting right back. Ugh. So when his son asked me to bring Kuma by, and I asked if his dogs would eat mine…the eventual reply was “no, but the couch will”. Valid.

MY YEAR OF LESS

Okay, on to the new section! I guess this may be considered a personal finance blog addition. And here’s why I’m adding it. When I first started RunCrissieRun, it was because I had declared to my now ex that I was going to run a marathon in 2010 (it was NYE 2009). So when I woke up the next morning and had the “oh hell, now I need to do this” minor freak out, I decided to blog about it, mainly to keep myself accountable to the training. And it worked great! So, that’s really the main motivation for sharing this part with all of you.

A co-worker of mine posted on FB about this book called The Year of Less, and how she wanted to see if anyone was interested in doing a challenge group. So, I picked up the Kindle version right before my vacation, and read it, decided it sounded like a great idea, and agreed to the challenge – which kicked off Sept 1.

It’s a super easy read about the author who went on a year-long shopping ban, but ended up being more about mindful consumerism, minimalism, addiction, etc. Good read that I recommend. And being a single mom, being more contentious with spending is not a bad thing (it’s never a bad thing, really). And I admit that I do like to shop – and it’s largely unnecessary stuff.

So, I built a spreadsheet (gotta put that MBA to work!) so I could take some baselines of my spending so I had something to track against, create a budget, define my rules (more on that in a sec), and keep track of what I’m purging. Part of this, which admittedly goes beyond just “not shopping” is taking stock of what you DO have, what you actually use and need, and decluttering your life. Many who know me know that I tend to throw anything away I haven’t used in 6 mo or more because I actually hate clutter (that wasn’t always the case, believe me). But that doesn’t mean I don’t have way too much crap. The purging will be done over the course of weeks – my life is just too busy to set aside the days it’ll take to get done.

So first – my rules. Simple enough -what I can and can’t spend money on…

Each month I’ll track all the new additions to savings as a result of NOT shopping so much! I really don’t have much consumer debt (low balances on a couple cards), and only big debt is house, car, and student loans. Would be really nice to build up that personal savings and work on paying down the big stuff. I’ll report as a percentage though (to income) and not an actual $$ amt.

And to my first purge! Friday night, I turned on Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and went through my dressers (yes, I have two – got one in the divorce!). It took the entire movie to finish, and in the end, I purged 51% of the contents of my drawers! Planning to tackle my closet and bathroom next.

my purging “helper”

Fun spending facts:

Sept 1 – $0

Sept 2 – $0

Sept 3 – $34.13 at Lidl for a WEEK’S worth of groceries for 3 of us

Sept 4 – $0

So – there ya go! Interested to see how I fare on my trip to DC that starts tomorrow….wish me luck!