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!

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)

Because Size Matters

FOOD

The week started with dinner out with my boyfriend. We like to spend time on the Eastern Shore of VA, and stopped at this totally adorable restaurant called Kelly’s. It’s in an old bank building. Very quaint. I had a really delicious portobello mushroom dish with veggies and roasted potatoes.

I made a big batch of one of my fav soups too – carrot/coconut/ginger. Ate soup for days!

Then it was off for a work trip. Just an overnighted, so it was quick. Work dinner on Tuesday was at an Italian place, and I had a salad and pasta dish.

All day meetings the next day and they catered. Breakfast was fruit, roasted veggies, and bagel. I skipped lunch. Sick of pasta. Ate a Clif bar instead.

Got home really late Wednesday night/Thursday morning. Had off Thursday and Friday to focus on school stuff (though truthfully, I worked quite a bit). But after very little sleep, I was glad for leftover soup and a quick veggie burger.

Friday morning was a smoothie (of course). And dinner was at my boyfriends house. He made the rice and poured the (very delicious) wine, and I made a tofu stir fry.

This morning was java on the porch before heading grocery shopping and then home. Once home, made a gigantic smoothie. But here’s what’s fun – it’s a new-to-me superfood company that I’ve been intrigued by since learning about them. They’re called Your Super. Anyway, I’ve been intending to do a 3-5 day detox (I used to do them at the change of every season – but fell off that the past two years). So timing worked out that I’m going to review their 5 day detox plan. Since I hadn’t had breakfast yet this morning, I figured – why not start today? So…I did!

Essentially it consists of gigantic smoothies for breakfast and dinner, and a BAS (big a$$ salad for newbies) for lunch. Not a lot of guidelines other than to stick to whole food plant based foods. Um. Ok. That’s my jam anyway. You’re supposed to skip caffeine, but that’s not gonna happen. I love my early morning cupa black coffee. Typically when I do a detox, I try to do it only during weekdays – mainly because I’m so busy, I don’t think about being hungry, or tired, or cranky, or headachy, or any of the other things that can accompany a detox. Not worried about that on this one, mainly because you still have food – though it’s far less than normal, and it comes with a protein powder, so that keeps me full anyway. So, starting today – Wednesday, it’ll be following the Your Super detox plan and, lucky you, you get to read about it :). Will give final thoughts when it’s done.

FITNESS

I went for a run on Monday and Friday. Sadly, that’s it. I spent Tuesday traveling, Wednesday in meetings, Wednesday night into Thursday morning traveling, and then at the hospital for a bit on Thursday with my eldest, and then home contemplating taping my eyeballs open to keep me awake!

Was thinking of spinning later, but think I’ll run instead.

So, not me, but my youngest started yoga this week! I signed her up for an intro series (with her blessing, of course). She’s been stressed out, but also loves being athletic, so I thought this would be good for her both physically and emotionally. I was traveling so my son took her, but she absolutely loved it! I’m excited for her – besides, it’ll give me someone to do yoga with!

LIFE

Sunday late afternoon I went over to my guy’s house. We went out for a bit, but storms started rolling in and we went back to his place. Spent the night there and then work on Monday.

Yummy ciders before the rain hit!
So true, in so many ways

Tuesday I flew to Cleveland. Met two girlfriends for lunch (forgot the pic – Greek salad, no feta), checked into my hotel, worked for a bit, and then Uber’d to dinner with the crew. That was a ton of fun.

Wednesday was up early and at the Cleveland Clinic at 7am for an hour tour before heading to the IBM offices for all day meetings. I will say that this initiative we’re working on – which is literally building a blockchain ecosystem for healthcare – is utterly amazing to be a part of. Currently working with 7 other organizations, and I can say I legitimately adore everyone I’ve met and work with. It’s a ton of work to build this start-up, but incredibly fun and rewarding too. Good times!

Groovy robots CC uses to haul everything except people around!

Then it was time to head home. Flight delays due to East coast storms, but ended up home by 230am. Thursday was busy, Friday I took off to focus on school stuff, which is what I intend to focus on the rest of today and all day tomorrow.

Friday eve at my guy’s was dinner, wine, and snuggling on the sofa watching The Boys on Amazon Prime! Pretty perfect evening.

Also took 2 days off next week just to work on school stuff. I’m so close to getting research approval, but have to get my lit review done first, and that’s a HUGE effort. Excited about it though 🙂

And despite it being a busy week, it was a really great one too. Pretty confident the coming one will be as well 🙂

Silly selfie my son M took with my iPad when I wasn’t paying attention

Jambo Friends!!

FOOD

What a busy week! Mostly excellent on the food front too.

Of course smoothies, salads, and my sunbutter/banana sprouted grain toast. But I also had a vegan houseguest for the past 4 days, so that was fun too!

I made a big batch of rice and lentil stuffed bell peppers for the week.

Thursday I made red beans with vegan andouille sausage, rice, and corn bread. Forgot to snap a pic of it tho!

For a BBQ party on Friday I made a big batch of pasta salad and a southwestern spicy rice salad that both went over well.

Saturday morning NS (my friend and guest visiting all the way from Kenya!) and I went to Yorgo’s Bageldashery where I shared my fav quick vegan breakfast – the Peterman wrap – and some fresh juices.

Sunday morning a bunch of us grabbed brunch at Bay Local where we split a hummus appetizer and a hummus/veg lettuce wrap. He also had avocado toast – which I skipped due to the whole allergy crap.

Sunday night I made orange “chicken” with soy curls. It was amazing if I do say so myself.

Smoothies this morning, and then a last lunch outing before taking NS to the airport. We went to Orapax because they have a huge vegan menu. We got a pizza to split as an appetizer (it wasn’t awesome), the Athenian “chicken” wrap to split (which was very good), and the Mediterranean Beyond Meat burger (which was ok), rosemary fries, and Greek potatoes. Holy stuffed, Batman. The beyond meat burger was a request because it is not available in Kenya. Neither of us were thrilled with it, so at least he knows he’s not missing out!

FITNESS

Gentle yoga and that’s it. It seemed to be getting better, and then over the weekend it sucked. Ugh. I’m literally to the point where I’m just going to go for a run and if I make it without wanting to cry, I’m good.

LIFE

Well, the week started off really busy. I had to get all my work AND school work done by mid-day Thursday. That meant a few late nights and early mornings and zero free time, but it was worth it fully.

Thursday evening NS arrived! One of our good friends was retiring from the Navy after more than 24 years of service (plus his naval academy years) and the masses were gathering. NS came as a surprise – and it was priceless. He and I had been planning for several months, and it was just perfect.

Thursday evening was quiet at home. My boyfriend and BS came over (they met NS in Florida last year) and them, NS, and two of mine hung out for a bit. Not late since NS had just traveled for 30 odd hours to get here, but it was still awesome.

Friday was the retirement ceremony, a ship tour (which I skipped – been there, stationed on them!), then swimming and drinks at my house until going to MM (our naval retiree honoree) for the BBQ with 60+ people. We got home around midnight and crashed.

My girl touring the ship with my friends

Saturday was a beach day followed by a sunset dolphin watching cruise – and there were TONS of dolphins. No awesome shots because the ride wasn’t smooth, but it really was awesome. I skipped the after party (I was wiped), but NS got to hang a bit longer and just uber’d back to my house.

If you look really closely, you can see dolphins

Sunday was brunch with some of the crew and then NS and I went grocery shopping then back to my house where we watched two of my fav veggie documentaries. NS has been pretty much a lifelong vegetarian, but went vegan at the beginning of the year (and LOVES it). We did a lot of Amazon prime shopping for things he can’t easily get back home and just spent a lot of time talking about changing how he cooks, etc. It was really fun to share what I’ve learned after the long time I’ve been vegan.

Sunday night was just dinner with me, NS, and all 3 of my kids. It was a ton of fun and hilarious and I loved that NS could share what a typical crazy dinner in my house is like. Lots of stories, jokes, music, and laughter.

Today was low key. We had our coffee on the back porch and talked – like we had every morning he was here. It is my favorite part of the morning – just sitting outside early and drinking coffee. He brought me two bags of coffee from Kenya, so we definitely indulged in that (the “right” way in a French press and not the drip maker!).

Our friend BR came over with 3 of his kids to visit for a while. Then it was off to lunch and then the airport to say goodbye – for now. I’m really hoping to take R and go visit next spring. Will depend on a few things of course, but I really want to see Kenya.

So – this is why I’ve been a bit absent this last week. It’s been a very busy and wonderful time, and I cannot get over how lucky I am to have so many great friends in my life.

Back to business this week, but with an incredibly happy heart.

Hey, What Are You Doing Down There?

FOOD

I was home for two days before another trip to Chicago. But honestly, it’s the last planned trip for months, which is nice. I enjoy traveling, but miss being home where all the people I love are.

Eats at home included smoothies, salads, a silken tofu-based Alfredo with peas, sunflower seed buttered Ezekiel toast with bananas, and a tofu stir fry.

While in Chicago, had some yummy Mexican food with the crew I was with and then a solo adventure at The Franklin Room, which I’ve been to before and enjoy.

Breakfasts were typical travel fare – bagels, oatmeal, and fruit primarily.

After I landed I had lunch with my boyfriend, and I had the red curry Thai bowl with hot peppers. Very yummy dish.

My guy and I are regulars at a particular spot on Virginia Beach. The menu is pretty decent, though not very robust on the vegan front. Well our bartender happens to mention that to the chef – who decides to basically go vegan – especially while eating out – to better understand the challenges. First of all, how cool is that?!? Anyway, it’s been 2 months now and apparently he’s loving it. He made me a vegan po boy that was amazing. So stoked to see what else he comes up with! After, we went for ice cream!

This morning was a fav – sunflower seed butter, Ezekiel toast and bananas!

FITNESS

Like I mentioned in my last post – just yoga. It’s mostly been fine, though my back is still bothering me. I have a Dr. appt on Tuesday, though I think I’ll end up going to a chiropractor. It’s strange because sometimes it is really painful, and sometimes it barely registers. Frustrating though because I want to run and kickbox and do other fun stuff.

But Luna enjoys it 😊🐱

LIFE

Another whirlwind week. Last weekend was pretty chill. Cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, and packing.

Monday I went to work for half the day and then went home to finish packing and head to the airport. Flight was delayed a few hours though, which sucked. But it did give me time to figure out the Harry Potter Wizards Unite game. Which I have to say I’m having fun with!

The flight itself was fine once we finally took off (and that was after an hour sitting on the tarmac). Free wine though, so bonus! At one point I opened my window and saw another jet flying to my left and going under us. And for some reason, all I could think is “hey, what are you doing down there?”. It was pretty though.

Landed in Chicago where we taxied in circles for an hour trying to find a gate to park at. All told it was a pain in the but and freakishly late by the time I got to my hotel. Oh well, can’t control weather (Chicago had some wicked storms) and I got there safely.

The meetings I was there for all went really well and I’m really pleased with the progress we’re making. We had beautiful weather and I got to walk in the city quite a bit. After meetings ended on Wednesday I walked over to another firm I work with and spent some time there before heading to The Franklin Room.

My guy and I are not-so-low-key obsessed with boats at the moment. Sail boats honestly, but took this anyway because she’s pretty

I flew home on Thursday, had lunch with my boyfriend, and then went home. Went to bed really early (slept like poo for several days – my hotel had the worst pillows!). Work yesterday, then to the bar for the game and dinner. Looking forward to several weeks at home!

School kicks in again at the end of next week, and I’m looking forward to it. Especially since I got some new statistical software!

Hi My Name is Crisis

FOOD

My first day home from being on the road started with a smoothie. Naturally.

Other eats at home included a creamy mushroom stroganoff dish and a big batch of Venezuelan black beans and rice.

I wasn’t home long before it was back on the road again! Eats out included tofu green curry (of course), pastas (because vegan while traveling usually means too much pasta!), and lots and lots of breakfast salads!

Also had a very unique veggie fajita dish, Tom Kar soup with tofu, and a latte with oat milk – which was really delicious. Now I have to make some!

FITNESS

When I was home, it was runs and yard work. This past week while traveling was yoga and two runs. I seriously did something to my back and I’m annoyed. It’s not freakishly debilitating or anything, but I think I’m going to do a ton of yoga in the coming weeks and see how it goes.

LIFE

First part of really awesome news. MY RESEARCH TOPIC IS APPROVED! I’m super excited (obviously). I have a couple week break before class starts up again. Next term’s focus is on research methodology and planning what my research approach will be, as well as continuing researching and writing my literature review. So yeah. Proud moment for me!

A couple weeks off doesn’t mean I’m slacking on the job though. I make a point to review at least one article/study per day as well as reading a book one of my execs gave me – and I’m really liking it. Pay no heed to the matching pen and highlighter colors (I’m cool like that).

Work was good this week. Got a lot done, which was nice. Also decided to brush up my French and have been reading or watching something in French for at least a little bit each day! Namely, Harry Potter for reading and a TV show on Netflix called Mauvaises Herbes (Bad Seeds).

I was taking an Uber to a yoga studio and when I got in the car, the guy called me crisis. Um. I get Cassie sometimes and maybe the spelling of my name is a bit different (thanks, ma), but crisis? Who would call their kid that?

We spent some time at a cute wine bar this week as well as an evening for Darden grads in what was supposed to be a rooftop party, but it was raining. 30th floor with a fun view was good enough! The best part though was the spontaneous arrival of a classmate from Taiwan who happened to be in town for just one night. Talk about lucky! Always great to catch up with classmates and meet new people too.

Of course there were other fun libations as well.

Then it was back home to these two snuggle bunnies.

And other fun things spotted out and about.

Sent a pic of this to my daughter – and we’ve decided on a LOTR and Hobbit marathon this weekend!

Sent this to my Irish fam – and yes, this is a vegan blog, and no, I didn’t go in or anything, but doesn’t mean I can’t find humor in it.