It’s Party Season!

FOOD

Mostly simple meals, even when traveling the few days I had to this month. Salads, soups, smoothies, curries, and I’ve totally gotten on the ONO (overnight oats) bandwagon. Seriously – 1/2 cup of oats, 1/2 cup nondairy milk (I like the So Delicious Original Coconut Milk), and a healthy amount of Penzy’s Apple Pie spice.

Stir Fried Mushrooms, BBQ Tofu, and Mashers

FITNESS

I finally built the Power Tower in the garage, so there’s a full fledged mini gym, and I’ve definitely taken advantage of it. FYI – pull ups suck.

Also hot yoga and runs as well, plus a lovely trail run.

And on that note, I signed up for a half marathon for later in the year. I got out of the race habit when I started grad school, and I’ve really missed it. It’ll be nice to have a race to train for again.

Also, downloaded a weather app called WTForcast. Love it. This was this evening’s weather as I prepped for a night run….

LIFE

Busy busy busy. But that’s nothing new, and I honestly wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I was just home all day all the time. Yuck. I’d be bored senseless and probably become pretty damned boring myself!

Work has been really good. I’m liking my new role a lot – my focus is on building a new program and core competency in innovation, and I love having so much freedom to develop that framework myself. Fun stuff.

I had to do some traveling to attend a staff Christmas party out of town, but it was a nice trip. The party itself was nice, if not small. I also got to see one of my girlfriends who lives up there, so that’s always a bonus!

Last Monday was the UVA Darden School of Business Alumni holiday party for local alums. Three of us from my class went (the 4th was vacationing in Hawaii – the brat), as well as a couple people from work who went to Darden as well. It was a nice evening, and a great chance to network with local alumni.

R had her first high school orchestra concert this week! She plays bass and they all honestly put on an amazing performance.

On Friday R and I went to a pre screening of Jumanji. It was hilarious and we had a blast.

R and I hit up the salon yesterday. She got her hair cut and I got a pedi (sparkly red for the holidays!).

Then it was off to an ugly sweater party at one of my bowling team mates house. That was a ton of fun. My sweater was interactive. Basically a drinking game. The front is a target and people are given Velcro balls to throw at it. Funny enough, one of the other party goers had a similar sweater! All in all, fun stuff.

Otherwise, it’s been normal life stuff. Kids, fluffs, and friends!

Have a great week!!

Thankful Living

How on earth have 3 weeks passed since my last post?! Yikes – apologies. Been working, playing, cooking, and working out as always. Won’t bore you with ALL the details, but focus on the past week and fun Thanksgiving stuff!

FOOD

Some highlights include an awesome Indian feast I made one night and then took for lunch with a friend in the office. Tofu pot pie, which is always a family favorite. I think A about lost it when she saw leftovers! It’s Fall, which means soup season! Creamy broccoli and my all time fav from Post Punk Kitchen – Red Curry w/ Rice and Kale! And of course smoothies, green curry, and plenty of baked potatoes!

But – on to the groovy eats this Thanksgiving weekend!

We had a house full for Thanksgiving this year! Of course the kids and me (M had to work until 5), my Son 2 (one of M’s besties), my friends MM and RM from Virginia Beach, and OR, GR, and ER from Richmond! It’s hard to fathom the amount of food we had laid out, but to give you an idea – Tofurky (of course), stuffing, maple roasted carrots, sweet cornbread, balsamic roasted brussel sprouts, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, homemade wheat-rosemary bread, pumpkin pie, and OR made an amazing Russian eggplant dish (to which she has still not given me the recipe!) and a gorgeous spinach salad. Son 2 made cupcakes! It blows my mind that there were pretty much no leftovers!

A posing at the snack bar!  We always have snacks out for grazing before dinner in the evening.  Pretzels, gluten free crackers, 4 different hummus flavors, mixed olive, etc)

Here’s A posing at the snack bar (we always have snacks out for grazing before dinner in the evening).

A bunch of the dishes prepped and waiting for their rotation into the ovens.

My plate!

Friday night was dinner at MM and RM’s house where they made a fully vegan meal just for me! Chili, corn bread, a cream cheese dip, and wine! Seriously – I have the bestest friends in the whole world!

FITNESS

Lots of running and hot yoga! Even a hike on one lovely weekend. Started using Endomondo and so far I like it. Only thing I haven’t figured out (though I have emailed support in case it’s user error!) – is the audio coach doesn’t let you know when you hit the halfway mark so you can turn around and head back. I for one, am not always the most observant person, was not paying attention to how long I’d been out nor how far I’d gone. In the end – on my last run I went nearly an extra 3 mi! Not a big deal, but annoying when it comes to a training run.

Post hot yoga. Not cute, but a good workout shouldn’t be!

Runs on chilly days!

LIFE

It’s certainly been a busy few weeks. Monday nights are bowling with friends. Tuesday is Cribbage Club at a local pub. The rest of the days are mostly at home but sometimes out with friends. Plus traveling.

Shots with the boys at bowling! MC was clearly feeling a bit rowdy!

Speaking of traveling – my sister and niece came to visit last weekend! It was my nieces first flight, so that made it extra special. They landed Friday afternoon, and we (me, my sister, niece, and R) went up to DC for the night. We had dinner downtown, then the girls hung out in the room while C and I went to the hotel bar and caught up a bit. Lot’s gone on in the last year since we’ve actually seen each other, so it was nice. The next day was monuments and a tour at the Capitol Building. C got to scratch a bucket list item off when we went to the Library of Congress – which was cool.

We drove home the next day, the girls played Xbox and C and I started a movie. The next day we all went to see Justice League, and then it was pretty much off to the airport. A whirlwind trip for sure, but an awesome one.

This was a short week with the holiday’s so that was nice. Really loved how much time I got to spend with family and friends. As tough as the last year has been, in some ways it’s also been an amazing one. Finishing grad school was certainly a highlight. While a shock, the divorce has been a positive thing for me too. I have a lot of really amazing friends, the best kids, a job I enjoy, plenty of extra curriculars, and no reason to not love my life every single day. So yeah – lots to be thankful for.

Someone didn’t make it up to bed last night. And I don’t mean Kuma!

Stopped by and saw M at work today before heading to watch the Chelsea match!

And some other miscellaneous shots of the past few weeks! Hope you all had an incredible Thanksgiving (for my US friends) and a great week for the rest of my friends around the world!

Guess I’m No Quitter After All

Okay guys, I really came close to quitting blogging.  Part of it was because I know how sparse my posts have been, and I also started to feel I lost my blogging mojo.  Since becoming single, I’ve spent so much of the past few months finding my “new normal”, that I just felt a little out of touch with how I’ve blogged in the past.  But today I realized I’m not actually done, so I guess I’m no quitter after all 🙂

FOOD

There’s literally no way possible for me to show you the eats of the past 6 weeks.  Actually, I probably could, but that would just be way too long!

It’s been pretty typical fare: smoothies, soups, curries, baked potatoes, and the like.  A lot of traveling too, so some more fun eats as well.

made some homemade soy yogurt! Love this stuff. I make it super tart so it can be used in place of things like sour cream too

nice krispies!

spicy tofu soup!

Of course I had a TON of meals on the road the past month.

my survival basket from Whole Foods in San Jose (wine, fruit, etc).
this, my friends, is called a Paffle. It’s two waffles, with tofu scramble in the middle! A bit challenging to eat, but so creative!
can’t go to Florida and NOT go to Epcot. Well, I guess maybe you can, but I know I can’t! It was the international food and wine fest, which was just perfect

I was in Tampa for my bday and the group I was with sent this to my room. Very sweet (even though I didn’t eat it, it’s the thought that counts!)
Dallas had the BEST Mexican and Tex-Mex fare ever.
ugly pic, but amazing fajitas!

oddly super-green curry. But yummy.
got to see my good friend JG in Dallas! Lovely evening with wine and Thai food!

typical hotel vegan food offerings….
so the conference in Dallas specifically asked for dietary needs. I said vegan. NOTHING they served was. So they went and got me two bananas one morning. Ugh.

FITNESS

As it happens, I tore my right quadricep in that soccer game in mid-September, so I was sidelined for weeks!  I was allowed to eventually do gentle yoga, but otherwise it was walks and upper body workouts only.

Just yesterday I finally felt fully ready to get back into some of my normal routine.  So – I went to Hot Yoga!  Hopefully this week there will be more of that, and some runs and boxing too.  Being still just never works well for me.

hot, sweaty, stinky (I imagine anyway), and incredibly happy!

 

LIFE

Well, let’s see.  Lots in the past 6 weeks of course.  I had trips to San Jose, Tampa (with a side trip to Orlando), Charlottesville, Williamsburg, and Dallas.

me an my soon to be ex brother in law (but will ALWAYS be family) in San Jose!
hands down my fav theme park

Also, my youngest went to her first school dance!  Homecoming – and I wonder where my little girl has gone.

hair appt – where Raven the miracle worker actually tamed her crazy curls

And other fun stuff!

bought this at Epcot. Couldn’t help myself (Disney junkie that I am!). Micky heads with the epcot ball design
waiting for my flight home from Tampa
part of my 7 hr delay on my flight to Dallas
me and the oldest cabbage at Howl o Scream!
out with HT for wine flights, olives, and hummus
silly selfie out walking Kuma
me holding my baby boy (okay, JG and KG’s baby boy) and R’s 3rd bday party.
at our IT charity Nerd Golf event
all three in the same space without trying to eat each other. Clearly I’m cooking and they each think I have something they want
came home from some travels to find this on the fridge. Man, I love my kids…
carpooling with the eldest as her car was in the shop

Ginny wanting to come with me
with friends at Wine Fest!
and by FAR the best bday meme I got! This from OPR (who I also saw at Howl o Scream)

 

 

 

Rituals

FOOD

Shockingly, I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as I normally do.  Nothing majorly out of the ordinary either though.  Daily green smoothies, and a variety of typical eats like soups and salads, and some fun things like tofu eggless salad and tofurky sammiches.

yummy fav – silken tofu, Just Mayo, mustard, and sweet relish. With gluten-free crackers, it’s awesome
R’s lunch, not mine (apple allergy), but veg sammie and apples

kale and beet salad
red lentil soup
Whole Foods salad bar

Today was bulk cooking fun!  Gluten-free pasta salad with tofu, pasta e fagioli soup from my fav Susan over at Fat Free Vegan!  She was the first vegan blogger I ever followed, and has always had a special place in my life.  I’ve met her a few times, and she’s as lovely as her blog.

I used pinto beans because it’s what I had – otherwise exactly as written
meals for the week! Pasta salad with gluten-free pasta, basil, and tofu – and then with a bunch of romaine thrown on it too. So – soup and salad for days!
about a third of the basil in my herb garden. Been busy whipping up salad dressings, pesto’s, and other eats with it.

 

FITNESS

Runs and yoga fill my days, and it makes me so happy!  I’ve kicked up both a lot, and it’s been very cathartic for many reasons.  I have a lot more time on my hands and seem to have plenty of energy as a result.

The best were a couple runs with AM, including one with a local running club today!  It was a gorgeous morning, stunning scenery, a good sized group, and yummy (sour) beer at the end.

perfect Sunday!

LIFE

Let’s see.  Been a great week with few complaints.  (and that one was tequila’s fault).

Work was fairly busy, but not horrible.  Had a few highlights though.

Thursday I went to the Hermitage Museum to enjoy the Art of Burning Man with a friend of mine, and also enjoy some local beer and music.  It was a gorgeous night at a really pretty venue.

they had about 7 sculptures from actual Burning Man festivals. Once it was dark, it was amazing!

KG!

pretty night on the river as the sun went down

Friday morning R had her last peanut-flour based updose in her OIT journey to food freedom!  She started this in January (right when I got back from India), and while it’s slow going, she’s been doing great.  Next updose, she moves to actual food!  This whole process will give her freedom from fear of food allergies for the rest of her life, and I am SO proud of her.

waiting to go in
ready to do this
absolutely hating the taste of peanut flour in warm applesauce

Friday night was out at one of my favorite places in the area.  It’s possible I had a little “too much fun”, but I think it’s allowed now and then.

I do want to talk a bit about rituals.  A few months ago, a good friend sent me a book (I Ching) and got me thinking about rituals in general.  I started realizing I have them in my own life, even though I may not realize it.  Let’s take my mornings, for example.  I’m pretty much a wing it and go with the flow kind of person, but I feel all out of whack when my mornings are disrupted.  I get up early, but it’s only so I can be alone with a cup of coffee and some quiet.  I don’t like music, conversation, or noise in general.  I ease into my day, and then I’m right as rain.  Waking up and instantly having to do something throws off my whole rhythm.  And while mornings aren’t my favorite, I do get up early just so I can have this ritual of quiet.  It’s me, a fluff or two, coffee, and reading the news (mostly) or just listening to the wind in the trees.  Texts and news are fine, but I really don’t like talking or music in that part of my life.  Didn’t really realize that before recently, but now that I have, I find it pretty sacred.

My morning java rituals!

Made plans to head to DC twice in a few weeks!  One with a vacation with the cabbages, and one to see Depeche Mode!  I’m beyond excited.  Get to see lots of people I love, have fun, and even get some work done.  Awesome all around.

Now…if I could just get someone to deal with my yardwork, I’d be all set….

M eating my Twizzlers….
watching one of my two fav shows!
Ginny wearing one of my bras. Odd cat.
Ginny helping R read one of her books
Bumble occupying my fav porch spot
lady at Whole Foods violating the “service dogs only” rule
son and son2 heading to Sbux
Sunday morning cuddles with Kuma and the wee one

 

 

 

It’s Just BANANAS

FOOD

Ha, I bet by the title you thought I’d talk about all the bananas I’m eating, right?  NOPE!  More on that later.

But, the fun eats have been pretty standard.  Green smoothies, gluten-free pasta dishes, salads, tacos, and green curry (of course).

left over beans and rice with lettuce, hot sauce, and vegan queso

simple and quick – brown rice ramen noodles, chickpeas, green beans, pepper, and tamari
vegan pizza!
mmm. fav dish. Tofu green curry.
sour flight – not food, but let me tell you the beer second from the right tastes like ass.
nacho mac! brown rice pasta, black beans, corn, peas, salsa, and vegan queso
cheater smoothie (meaning I bought it)

I did a twist on my normal tofu/potato tacos and made them in the air fryer.  That was pretty fantastical.

Same marinade as always – beer, cumin, garlic, chipotle peppers, oregano, olive oil, adobo sauce, and pressed and cubed tofu.  Marinated about 5 hours.  3 peeled potatoes, soaked in water for about 30 minutes.

Literally tossed it all in the air fryer, put on 370 for 15 minutes, checked, then did another 7.  Freaking perfect.  Taco Tuesday lives on.

mine in the form of a taco salad. Kids did the full deal with shells.

FITNESS

Running most days, and hot yoga on others.  And if I missed it, I felt I was suffering.

Honestly, lately all the workouts have been fairly intense and I’m loving it.  Kick my ass, wipe me out, and I’m happy.  Extra energy to burn 😉

LIFE

BANANAS!  It’s become my favorite word in the past couple weeks.  My kids pick on me for it, but it’s appropriate in almost every situation.  Observe:

“How’s your day been?”  Instead of saying “it’s been a crazy busy day full of meetings, deadlines, ridiculous customer expectations, and I haven’t had time for lunch” all you need to say is “it’s been BANANAS”.

Coworker or family member being a PITA (pain in the ass).  They’re acting bananas.

Cut off in traffic, but have kids in the car and you don’t want to cuss?  Scream “Are you totally BANANAS?!?!” instead.

There is literally no wrong way to use it.  Try it out and get back to me.

Well, it’s certainly not been dull!  I think I worried about how I’d fill my time after grad school and newly single life, but I’m telling you all now – I’m not bored at all!

Lots of time with friends, neighbors, involved in local activities, and suddenly finding myself on a bowling team AND a soccer team.  On top of fun with my kids whenever they let me, my life is full and awesome.

But to some recent specifics.  A fun weekend with friends that I mostly remember 😉 , birthday for my friend’s little monkey, a couple evenings out each week, and just having fun and winging it as I go.

can’t believe he’s 1!!!
big sis enjoying the cupcakes

Much of the home entertainment is provided by the Fluffballs, as these shots show.  Some just cute, some funny, but mostly they’re all so groovy in different ways.

please mom, can I come??
air mattress for your friends? Thought you just got me a new bed….
we can snuggle you on your “recovery” day
may not look it, but I’m totally comfy
honestly, they’re practically snuggling. The magic of an air mattress

she insists on taking a new toy outside every time she goes out
the toy carnage of Kuma
snuggly coffee buddy
dogs and fire hydrants are not just for cartoons
my kids were better about not leaving a mess…
took 4 years, but they actually played the other night. Or they came to some agreement and are shaking paws over it
morning snuggles with the wee one
laundry day!

 

Other fun random crap

me in the office yesterday replying to a friend taking the day off and drinking in the sun. I’d have flipped her off if I thought of it…
admittedly felt like this one day…
quiet breakfast
advice from my friend NS. Totally agree
me and the young cabbage taking a break while shopping
unamused by the early morning pic apparently
post girls fun. I spent a LOT of time on the sofa watching TV and cuddling with the fluffs

 

 

 

 

Life Moving Foward (kale and sweaty runs help!)

FOOD

Simple eats for the week.  Leftover soup and kale salads I made on Sunday (lovely thing about kale – so hearty and holds up to dressings for days!).

Also had tofu/pineapple stir fry, smoothies, and salads.  Nothing overly taxing – I’m in a “I don’t feel like cooking” rut this week.

My best meal though, was made for me by my friend SC!  He came over, brought yummy wine and made this incredible cauliflower and potato Afghani dish (and left me TONS of leftovers, yay!!!)

FITNESS

Runs every day!  Some boxing too, and R and I have our first tennis lesson tomorrow at 7pm!  We are both totally excited.  I picked up some cheap starter equipment, and we’ve been goofing off in the driveway bouncing the balls on our rackets.

one of those runs that was just epically awesome. Felt great, went long, and sweated my butt off.
this was after a 2pm run yesterday. Which was just stupid to go out that time of day in heat & humidity like we have here.
decided to skip the potential heat stroke today and run at the gym. Hate feeling like a hamster on the dreadmill, but it’s better than my outdoor options.

While I’m a total noobs, R took some tennis at camp the past few years and was “instructing” me on some of the drills they did to learn control.  Basically bouncing the ball on the racket without letting it fall or get too high.  It was actually cute.

LIFE

Been a good week.  Kuma had a vet appointment and, other than being a bit pudgy, received an excellent bill of health.

everyone at our vet loves Kuma. I walk in, and they take her for visits with all the staff. I pretty much don’t see her the whole time. It’s cute – she has a fan club.

R had a therapist appointment which also went well.  I got a new drivers license since the name change is done, and otherwise, it was a regular week of work and life.

Thursday was a hot one, so it was totally pool time after work.

happy and beautiful evening!

Friday I went out with an old friend to catch up and have a few drinks.  Great night.

waterfront happy hour!

Saturday was SC coming over, eating yummy food, catching up, and introducing him to Orphan Black (my favorite show thanks to my sister!).

Today was an easy day.  Laundry, cleaning, gym, and TV.  I watched What the Health documentary on Netflix (has been on my to do list for awhile now).  I enjoyed it.  I watch a lot of vegan documentaries so the science parts weren’t new, but I did like the detailed information on the corruption of the food industry and government and how they misinform the public on what’s “healthy”.

Will keep you posted on our tennis adventure tomorrow!!!