Weather Whiplash, History Hike, and Day Date Fun

FOOD

Thursday morning I had an eye dr appt before work. I left early enough to stop at Yorgos for a vegan “bacon, egg, and cheese” on a sourdough bagel and an orange and beet juice. SO yummy. Hadn’t been here since NS and I went when he wasn’t visiting from Kenya.

Lunch was leftover Ethiopian stew and dinner was leftover feijoada with cauliflower rice. Popcorn snack!

I had a great date-day with my guy that started with breakfast – mimosas and hummus plate for me! Then we stopped for coffee, did some shopping, and then headed to our fav place for some cider and beer flights. We tried to stop at the distillery, but they were only doing tastings. Since whiskey isn’t either of our jams, we passed. At the brewery, we shared a big pretzel and I got the Beyond Meat burger and fries.

I was too full for dinner! Though I met up with a girlfriend at a local spot for half a glass of wine in the evening.

Today was oatmeal with banana and pumpkin pie spice and another Beyond Meat burger at the same brewery (too full for the fries), but this time with my daughter. No beer tho.

FITNESS

I went for a 5 mile run on Thursday and R and I went on a 3 mile hike today! The hike was awesome. It was pretty, but mainly just walking and talking with R was the best part. She went over everything she’s currently learning in history, which much of it I’d forgotten over the years. The terrain was very flat, which was a bummer, but lots of beautiful butterflies. I picked up a year-long state park parking pass, so we plan to hit up as many as possible (and VA has a LOT of them!).

LIFE

Thursday was working and school fun and my eye dr appt. No changes, which is nice. The weather definitely dipped though. Crazy that a week prior it was 100 degrees! Getting whiplash with the weather. Today was lovely and near 80.

Friday I had off and made the best of it! Truly a great day. R was in the homecoming parade, A was at work, and M has been sick, so it was nice to get a text from S at the last minute asking to hang out. Since I had time to kill before picking R up, it was perfect.

Today started off with school fun, then R and I getting our flu shots, heading to the park for the hike, to the brewery for lunch, then the drive home where she promptly passed out. Stopped to pick up my dry cleaning on the way home, took a shower, and plan to just ready, study, and chill!

Allergies or Cold? Ask Queen!

FOOD

Being home means kitchen fun! And being sick means soup…

I made a batch of vegan broccoli cheese soup and a loaded veggie one too. Soup for days!

I also made some soy yogurt, oatmeal, tofu stir fry, salads, blueberry sauce, tandoor tofu with curry veggies, green juice, and a spice cake!

Also made my first go at homemade vegan mayo. Seriously – not going back. SO simple and cheap. A jar costs about $7 at the grocery. This was about $1.50. I do prefer making as much from scratch as possible – I know what is in it, and what isn’t. No chemicals to keep things shelf stable, etc. That makes me happy – knowing that’s what I’m eating and how I feed those I love.

And one lunch out with my guy – pad Thai with tofu.

FITNESS

Well, I got home from Boston at the wee hours of Wednesday morning. By late afternoon, I was not feeling well. By Thursday, I was miserable. Friday definitely on the upswing, but still got exhausted easily. Saturday felt dang near normal, so went for a walk around the neighborhood. Nothing overly taxing, but still getting out and moving.

This morning, I felt great, and wildly stir crazy (which is normal for me), so I went hiking! I figured I wouldn’t push it too much. But….I may have gotten lost, so the hike itself was longer than planned, but still wonderful. All told, 5 beautiful miles!

LIFE

Well, already mentioned the being under the weather thing. As such, I worked from home and tried to relax as much as I am capable. Which meant sitting, reading, then puttering in the kitchen or trying to clean something. But mostly chilling out. Which, I admit, I suck at.

Friday afternoon I actually rented a movie! I watched the new Men in Black movie. It was fun enough.

Saturday I was definitely stir crazy. I ran a few errands, but mostly stayed home. I did get quite a bit of writing done, which made me happy. Both for my research as well as a LinkedIn article series I’m writing. This is the second one which I’ll publish Monday morning. Important to focus some energy on building my personal brand.

Unfortunately my boyfriend got sick this weekend, so we haven’t been able to see each other, but it is what it is. Will see him soon.

I head out in the morning for a 3 day trip that I’m actually really looking forward to. Not to say I don’t typically look forward to travels, but this one is different, and I think it’ll be great.

With that – time to get the laundry finished and pack!

Luna likes leftover Indian food!

I think they like me feeling poopy – they get to nap all day on my bed

My fortune from lunch with my guy. I like it. It is my plan, after all.

Learned about this from some colleagues in Boston last week. Perfect timing. Wonder if that’s why I was only sick 2 days instead of longer!
Only Queen can sum up ragweed allergy season!

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!

I Really Need a Protest Dish Towel

FOOD

Last couple have days have been quite yummy!

Sunday evening I went to one of my fav DC spots – Thaiphoon – in Dupont Circle for my always fav tofu green curry.

Monday morning I just grabbed a bagel at my hotel before heading for a coffee meeting.

Lunch was at HipCityVeg in DC! I’d wanted to go there for years, and was so excited. I had the kale lemonade and the jerk chick’n salad. No dinner since it was spent driving – didn’t really work up an appetite. My lunch partner had the udon salad – I took a pic because it is vegan after all, and it was the other dish I was eyeing.

Tuesday morning was a smoothie with Ripple vanilla protein powder, banana, spinach, and blueberries.

Lunch was some roasted tofu then tossed in a stir fry with a yummy ginger sauce I saw in The Abundance Diet book. It was a little too salty – it did call for 1 tsp in the sauce. I’d cut that down ton 1/4 tsp if I make it again. I tossed in some cooked quinoa too.

And because yesterday was Tuesday that means tacos! I made Arroz Verde and a tofu filling. I took a can of diced tomatoes, 1 chili, and 2 tsp of Penzy’s Salsa & Pico seasoning, and blended it. Pan fried the crumbled tofu with onions and garlic until starting to brown and then poured in the tomato sauce. Once it started boiling, turned it to simmer until all the liquid was either absorbed or evaporated. Served with shredded lettuce and homemade tart soy yogurt and hot sauce.

This morning I finally got to use my juicer! New part worked like a charm 🙂

That was followed up by a hearty breakfast salad a couple hours later.

And, perhaps, strawberry-jalapeño margaritas were had…(well, one was just strawberry).

FITNESS

Did two spin classes so far this week. Thank goodness for Peloton!

This evening I’m planning to run outside! It’s a beautiful day, and the first in a long time where I’ve felt like running.

LIFE

It’s been a really great couple of days.

Sunday I was at an all day UVA sponsored workshop – which is the reason I was in DC to begin with.

Monday I was still in the DC area. I had a 9am coffee meeting with a fellow UVA Darden Alumni. I do have to say that our network is very, very strong and I love that. We’re always looking out for each other, expanding our networks, etc. That alone is pretty much worth the price of tuition.

Speaking of, on Friday I had lunch with a current Darden student who is interested in my industry (healthcare emerging tech). It was nice getting to pay it forward and put him in touch with resources to help him.

Lunch was with an IBMer I met about 6 weeks ago. She was down in my neck of the woods where I was giving a presentation on Innovation. A couple weeks later she emailed me wanting to get together, learn more about being a successful woman in the tech industry, and since I was heading to DC, decided to make a lunch of it. She’s 22 and really at the early stages of her career, but freakishly smart and driven and I had a great time with her.

Something my boyfriend says often 😆

Sent this pic to my kids hoping they’d get the hint….

I made a quick pit stop at the portrait gallery before driving home.

Monday was work and then grocery shopping on my way home. I was in dire need of grub in the house!

Oh, and because I don’t have enough to do, I signed up for a mobile app development certification program! I got a wicked discount on it, and that started last night. It’s two nights per week for the next month. I’m excited. Doing a web dev program after that 🙂

Since I have startup ideas that would require those skills, figure it can only benefit me to get them. Besides, no white out on a resume – the more skills I have, the better!

Tonight I get to put together a guest lecture for a local university tomorrow. I had thought the person who originally asked me forgot since I hadn’t gotten any info from him. Alas – at 4 he emailed me. Ugh. Guess I need to do this.

Sunshine fluffs
How I start my mornings – usually in my car, but today in my kitchen. I do love me some Bloomberg.
Had a lot of that this past weekend…
“Where in the World is Luna??”

Meet The Family!

FOOD

Usually when I have a break between terms I spend a lot of it in the kitchen. I haven’t had a chance to do that much, but I’m hoping I can in the coming week since my courses start again on the 5th.

So I’ve been inspired to get back into juicing. Finally picked up How Not to Die, and it makes me really miss it (both not dying AND juicing!). Of course I have a slow juicer (Tribest Slowstar), but it’s always leaked a bit, which is why I stopped using it. So after doing some research, found it’s a known problem. I contacted Tribest (even tho I bought this juicer in 2014, it has a 10 yr warranty), and they’re sending me the replacement part for free!

Until then, it’s occasionally buying juices until I can make my own.

Other eats include Thai, of course. And salads, soups, meals out with my guy, and a lovely solo dinner in downtown Norfolk. Plus dinner in the DC area last night.

Even tho he’s not a veg head, we have similar tastes in food. Indian is always a good option!

Had a couple cheater smoothies this week. Didn’t make any myself, but still had a couple!

Whipped up a simple tofu ramen for me and the kids one night

Finding vegan brats at a German spot was awesome
Roasted veggie gnocchi at Seasons 52 in Tysons Corner

My guy found a newish Tex-Mex place with a vegan menu. It was AMAZING. Owner is cool
and the bartender made great margaritas (like this strawberry jalapeño)

FITNESS

Couldn’t fit in any Regymen classes, but did get in yoga and spinning. This weekend has been quite a bit of walking too.

LIFE

Even though there’s been no school, it’s been a busy week.

Last Saturday was a fund raiser for my daughter’s orchestra group at the Norfolk Admirals hockey game. When I was in Boston she asked if we could go. Of course! Transferred her $$ to her card so she could pick them up. I get home, and she tells me (very excitedly), that her best friend can come! Thing is – she bought 2 tickets. SO….I scooped the girls up, took them to the arena, and then walked around, ending up with dinner solo at Leone’s. No worries tho. Pasta, wine, and a book, and I was very happy.

Sunday morning I went over to my boyfriend’s house for a bit. Then we went out to lunch, and then I met his family for dinner. No pressure. Actually it was really low key and everyone is really sweet.

Being on a school break means more reading for me. Aside from my fun fiction books on kindle, am working on these 3 too. Just because it’s break time, doesn’t mean I don’t feed my brain.

The rest of the week was work and kid stuff, though went out Thursday night with my guy.

Friday I dropped R off at school – she has a robotics competition out of town that her brother and friends are going to cheer on – because I’m in DC for a long weekend. Had a stop in Charlottesville for a meeting, then up to DC, where I have some events until Monday afternoon.

Vegas, Baby!

FOOD

Aside from whipping up an awesome Indian meal late last week (garlic naan, tofu korma, & cumin basmati), most my meals have been in Vegas since last Saturday. I did grab a lot of cold pressed juices this week, though failed to take pics of them. There’s a place at our hotel (Palazzo) called The Juice Farm. My fav was the beet, orange, ginger, parsley, collard one. Beets are great for the liver, and since Vegas is NOT great for the liver, the juices were a must! I tend to gravitate towards Asian food, and while I didn’t snap enough pics of the yummy eats – they really were yummy. Veggie sushi, edamame, green curry, roasted eggplant, congee, sake, and tofu bibimbap.

FITNESS

Runs last week is it. This week was mostly a ton of walking, both on the conference room floor and of course on the Vegas Strip.

LIFE

VEGAS BABY! But I’m pretty sure you already knew that 😉

Before I tell you WHY I’m here, let me tell you how I got here! So – the east coast was hit with a nor’easter that grounded thousands of flights for days. While it had passed by Saturday (barely), some flights were still affected. Funny enough, 3 of my co-workers flew a different airline and left on time. My flight – on Delta – was supposed to leave at the same time – but was delayed 2 hrs (the plane coming was late). So first the ticket agent tells me I’ll have to spend the night in Atlanta. Okay, not the end of the world. I have a girlfriend there that I would love to see, so if that was the case, I’d just call E and crash with her! But then….the ticket agent says “well, I can get you there tonight, but it’s going to be ugly”. Um okay. Define ugly. Norfolk – Atlanta – Kansas City – Salt Lake City – Vegas. Huh. Okaaaaay. Since I have nothing better to do, why not?? So I proceeded on a cross country adventure. They smartly put my luggage on a flight heading to Vegas from Atlanta that had no seats on it, but rather than risk losing my bag with so many hops, my bag made it to Vegas before I did. However….it did get there pretty much the same time my colleagues arrived, so they grabbed it for me and took it with them so I could just cab straight to the hotel! They’re the best. And honestly, Delta did great. The delays were not their fault, they still got me to my destination in one piece, and I was upgraded to comfort + or First Class when it was available and gave me Sky Priority so I’d board really early. Longest layover was in Atlanta, where I found a spot to hang out and charge my stuff!

Me and several co-workers were there for a conference – (HIMSS – the largest healthcare IT conference). Overall, it was a really great conference. Since accepting a new role with a focus on innovation and start-ups, coming to it this year was a totally different experience. Typically I’m meeting with vendors I already had, or those in the space where I was investigating new technologies for my customers. This time it was attending the Innovation Symposium, meeting with institutions who are or have built a similar program to what I’m working on. Looking at and meeting with small start-ups to identify potential opportunities. It can be an overwhelming show for sure, but I really did enjoy it and learned a ton this week.

And you can’t come to Vegas for a week and NOT have fun too! Three of my girlfriends flew in to spend part of the week together. The four of us had traveled to Vegas before several years ago (for AC’s bday), so it was like getting the band back together again!

Also on a total fluke, my cousin was here for one day for her job! She and I hadn’t seen each other since our Grandma passed away 9 years ago. We grew up in WI, but I moved to VA and she moved to CO – both within a few months of each other 14 years ago, and none of our travels to visit family overlapped except for the funeral. We had lunch and caught up, and were just happy to be able to connect.

Otherwise it was a little bit of gambling (okay, one night where I played blackjack down in Old Vegas), lots of walking, chilling out, and a show.

And of course, there’s the obligatory Kuma and Ginny pics!

Okay friends, about to head to the airport for my journey home. I’m definitely ready for my own bed, a full night’s sleep (I hope), and the ability to focus on all the school work I’m currently behind on!