The Happiest Place on Earth is Home!

FOOD

Still mostly eating in vs going out to eat (with the exception of the last week where I was traveling).  I’ve been largely batch cooking on the weekends and eating leftovers through the week.

I’m still doing a lot of the Happy Herbivore meals, but have had a few fun ones thrown in.  Like this one!

Crissie’s Kitchen Sink Red Thai Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 packaged extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cubed
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 4 carrots, diced large
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced large
  • 1/2 onion, diced large
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. red Thai curry powder or paste (brand of your choosing, I order from The Spice House)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger root

Directions

  • Line a large skillet with a small amount of water and heat on medium high
  • add onion, garlic, and ginger.  Sautee for 3-4 minutes, until soft
  • add carrots and bell pepper.  Sautee for 5 minutes, stirring often
  • Add can of coconut milk + 1/2 can of water, tofu, and broccoli, and peas
  • Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes

Serve over rice, quinoa, or any other grain of choice (or plain, like I had it!  More soup than stir fry).

I used up all the veggies I had lying around (I was heading out on a week-long trip, so that was important), and the fun thing with curries, is you can use whatever you have.  Cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, corn, etc.  Doesn’t matter – it’s all yummy!

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I ate leftovers over quinoa I had batched cooked over the weekend

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Some other homemade eats

D is the total grill master!  He marinated portabellos and pineapple  in dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, grilled them, and used a hot pepper jelly as a spread on a burger bun.  OH MY GOSH.  So tasty!  And a side of grilled veggies.
D is the total grill master! He marinated portabellos and pineapple in dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, grilled them, and used a hot pepper jelly as a spread on a burger bun. OH MY GOSH. So tasty! And a side of grilled veggies.

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Tofurky night!
Tofurky night!

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batch cooking chowder
batch cooking chowder

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And my awesome eats from Ethos Vegan Kitchen in Orlando, Epcot, and Florida in general!

a cup of chikun noodle soup and sheep's pie!
a cup of chikun noodle soup and sheep’s pie!
potato broccoli soup
potato broccoli soup
BBQ Chikun Empanadas
BBQ Chikun Empanadas

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from a little place near my hotel where I'd stop for some fresh juice.  This was my favorite
from a little place near my hotel where I’d stop for some fresh juice. This was my favorite
smoothie selfie at Downtown Disney!
smoothie selfie at Downtown Disney!
of course I had to stop for tofu green curry at least once!  Wasn't as good as my place at home :)
of course I had to stop for tofu green curry at least once! Wasn’t as good as my place at home 🙂

FITNESS

Well, after finally reading about it for months, I broke down and bought Beach Body on Demand.  It’s honestly been awesome.  I’m working out every day either in my bedroom or my hotel.  Plus runs of course!

after a nice run outside in FL one morning
after a nice run outside in FL one morning

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after a long bike ride last weekend before I left - me and the wee one enjoying a gorgeous day
after a long bike ride last weekend before I left – me and the wee one enjoying a gorgeous day
looking sweaty and unamused.  5am is EARLY for exercise
looking sweaty and unamused. 5am is EARLY for exercise
lame attempt at a smile
lame attempt at a smile

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LIFE

Been a busy, but great two weeks.  New (and final) term for grad school started!  Lot’s of focus on entrepreneurial  processes, and it’s been really interesting so far.  As much an art as a business science.

R had her second peanut flour updose!  She’s now at 6% of 1 peanut.  Words cannot express how proud I am of her for doing this.  Her bravery shocks me – she knows how life threatening her peanut allergy is, yet this treatment protocol, if successful, will forever alter her life and take away that fear.  The process is a bit anxiety producing though.

before and during her does
before and during her does
and after as she has to wait 1-2 hours to monitor
and after as she has to wait 1-2 hours to monitor

I went to a conference for work in Orlando.  It was a really good show, but my favorite is always the volunteer work with military veterans who have recently or are soon to be transitioning.  It’s less about healthcare IT specifically and more about the culture shock.  For those in a long time, it’s learning to STOP using some language and terminology that doesn’t translate into the corporate world and to understand leadership nuance differences (such as people don’t do what you tell them just because you tell them!).  Nothing like that existed when I transitioned out of the Navy, so I love doing this for others.

I also took a side trip to Epcot and had a great time.  And while it was a great trip, the happiest place on earth is really just being back home!

they legit had a DJ!
they legit had a DJ!
how well they know us!
how well they know us!

Other than that, it’s been pretty typical.  Family, work, school, rinse, repeat.

And some extra pics of stuff, morning pictures, and fluffy buddies!

Ginny wrapped up in her toy
Ginny wrapped up in her toy
Bumble wrapped up in her blankets
Bumble wrapped up in her blankets
Kuma deciding Bumble's idea of hiding in blankets is brilliant
Kuma deciding Bumble’s idea of hiding in blankets is brilliant

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she just misses my suitcase...
she just misses my suitcase…

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I'm fairly obsessed with palm trees
I’m fairly obsessed with palm trees
Kuma put her toy against D's foot to use as a pillow
Kuma put her toy against D’s foot to use as a pillow
pure genius
pure genius
after a wet night out in Orlando
after a wet night out in Orlando
when you go to a Disney theme park by yourself and they're very curious as to why....they made me this button!
when you go to a Disney theme park by yourself and they’re very curious as to why….they made me this button!
what it looks like to hit up a theme park by yourself!  Glorious.
what it looks like to hit up a theme park by yourself! Glorious.

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cold morning walk
cold morning walk

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Have a great weekend!!

Golf, School, and a Hurricane (and not the yummy NOLA drinks either!)

FOOD

Not as many pictures as normal, but there are a few!  I was out of town for work to support a project, so didn’t always get my green smoothies – but I did typically have a breakfast salad from the Whole Foods bar on my way into work in the mornings!

Green smoothie (of course!)  This was actually a lunchtime one.
Green smoothie (of course!) This was actually a lunchtime one.
my dinner with E on Saturday night
my dinner with E on Saturday night
my morning juice when traveling
my morning juice when traveling
breakfast BAS
breakfast BAS
and another
and another
white bean vegan chili from my hotel restaurant
white bean vegan chili from my hotel restaurant
Tofu green curry.  Not the best I've ever had...
Tofu green curry. Not the best I’ve ever had…
yummy java from Shenandoah Joe's!
yummy java from Shenandoah Joe’s!
a toasty tofurky sammich with a side of grilled broccoli and mushrooms
a toasty tofurky sammich with a side of grilled broccoli and mushrooms
last night's dinner!  RM made an amazing vegan chili (and had vegan sour cream too!).  Didn't take a pic of the mushroom appetizer because I ate them all...
last night’s dinner! RM made an amazing vegan chili (and had vegan sour cream too!). Didn’t take a pic of the mushroom appetizer because I ate them all…
roasted garlic!  Just because it's awesome in a lot of things (and this is destined for a winter squash alfredo)
roasted garlic! Just because it’s awesome in a lot of things (and this is destined for a winter squash alfredo)

One quick recipe for a simple mid-exam meal!  When I’m really low on free time, I have to admit that I get even more grateful for having pretty much every kitchen appliance out there.  This one was a simple rice cooker dish.  Throw it all in and then eat when it’s done!

  • 1 cup rice (doesn’t matter the type – I wanted brown, but am apparently out and used Arborio instead)
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger root
  • 2 tbsp. red Thai curry powder (here’s the one I use)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3-4 cups whatever frozen veg you have (today, I used peas and green beans)
  • 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas
it's got kick from the Thai spice, and is creamy and filling and awesome
it’s got kick from the Thai spice, and is creamy and filling and awesome

FITNESS

I went for a few runs, a bike ride, an online yoga class in my hotel room, and golf!

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Yes – it was the once a year charity golf event!  Both D and I want to actually play regularly, but I need to graduate first.  There’s so little free time as it is, so starting something new just isn’t in the cards for me.  Still – we had a blast (playing with our usual couple!) and I was literally sore for days!

at least we can DRESS like golfers!
at least we can DRESS like golfers!

LIFE

Big surprise – it’s been a wild week and a half!

First off, it’s Term 4 (of 6) exam time from Oct 7-22, so if possible, I’m even more head down and buried in my studies.  This also means I only have 2 terms left!!  WOO.  I have 5 courses per term, and each course typically has a 5 hr. exam.  There was an exception with one being a bit shorter.

Last Friday was golf, so that was an all day event.  Saturday morning I hit the road for work.  I got to see JN twice and have dinner with EA the night I arrived!  They’re both classmates.

me an EA!
me an EA!

Work took up all day every day until I went home.

Oh – and there was that pesky hurricane.  D’s car got water in the engine and my entire neighborhood was flooded.  D and the kids handled it all very well while I was dry up in the mountains.

that's my driveway and front yard!
that’s my driveway and front yard!
dude kayaking through the street
dude kayaking through the street
view from my front yard
view from my front yard
blackmail photo for later.  The storm was so crazy on Saturday night and R was a bit freaked out by the trees blowing outside her window, that she crawled in with D on my side of the bed.
blackmail photo for later. The storm was so crazy on Saturday night and R was a bit freaked out by the trees blowing outside her window, that she crawled in with D on my side of the bed.

Friday night (last night) was working on a group submission for one final (which also incorporated a significant amount of French wine, puppies, and a fire pit).

Today I took 10 hours worth of exams.  I’m surprisingly NOT as brain dead as I thought I would – though I am going to head to bed soon!

Tomorrow I’m taking what I think may be my toughest exam.  I doubt I’ll sit for more than one, so I will take my remaining final Monday night.  It gets me done 5 days early (which is nice so I can start to prep for next term), but mainly my goal is to not have any exams hanging over my head come my birthday on Wednesday,

Other than that – typical pics of cats, Kuma, the Morning Pictures, and any other random pics snapped!

Ginny jumped in my briefcase
Ginny jumped in my briefcase
and then decided that sleeping on my study materials was more comfy.  Shocker.
and then decided that sleeping on my study materials was more comfy. Shocker.
I took Kuma shopping!  We needed cat and dog food.  And of course like any shopping trip with a toddler, we ended up in the toy section...
I took Kuma shopping! We needed cat and dog food. And of course like any shopping trip with a toddler, we ended up in the toy section…
Spooky Puppy Toy!  It lights up in the ball when thrown.
Spooky Puppy Toy! It lights up in the ball when thrown.
spooky bone.  New kong.  Spoiled pups.
spooky bone. New kong. Spoiled pups.
that tongue...
that tongue…

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Gin knocking over the basket of laundry
Gin knocking over the basket of laundry
the many shots of Kuma napping on or by me when studying yesterday
the many shots of Kuma napping on or by me when studying yesterday
no clue what was happening here, other than D was cleaning the garage once the water receded.
no clue what was happening here, other than D was cleaning the garage once the water receded.
hanging in a box of stuff I'm sending to my niece
hanging in a box of stuff I’m sending to my niece

Morning Pictures

with big bro!  D and I had to be to the golf course, so M took her :)
with big bro! D and I had to be to the golf course, so M took her 🙂

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Kuma tagging along
Kuma tagging along

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Random shots

picked up new shoes at the Converse store at the outlet mall!
picked up new shoes at the Converse store at the outlet mall!
silly good morning pic sent to D while I was away
silly good morning pic sent to D while I was away
me, JG and RM last night
me, JG and RM last night

 

 

All About Balance

FOOD

So I didn’t do an additional 3 days of all smoothies, but it has still been a gentle eats week for the most part.  Morning smoothies and fresh juices (they never get old), fruits, salads, and whole foods in general.

keeping the fresh green juice flowing!
keeping the fresh green juice flowing!
today's minty watermelon citrus frosty
today’s minty watermelon citrus frosty
enjoying said frosty poolside with studies
enjoying said frosty poolside with studies
vanilla/orange smoothie
vanilla/orange smoothie
BAS
BAS
poolside with some lemon water, fresh fruit, and studies.
poolside with some lemon water, fresh fruit, and studies.
BAS with fresh raw corn and a lemon-tahini dressing.
BAS with fresh raw corn and a lemon-tahini dressing.
quick-pickled some cucs, onions, and carrots.  I love just munching on these as a snack.
quick-pickled some cucs, onions, and carrots. I love just munching on these as a snack.
Pho!!  All veggies and rice noodles (no tofu in this one since it's usually fried and I wasn't feeling fried foods)
Pho!! All veggies and rice noodles (no tofu in this one since it’s usually fried and I wasn’t feeling fried foods)
picked a whole TON of fresh basil from the garden, dehydrated it  - and only got 4 ounces!  Still - smells amazing and I can't wait to use it (or gift it).
picked a whole TON of fresh basil from the garden, dehydrated it – and only got 4 ounces! Still – smells amazing and I can’t wait to use it (or gift it).
tonight's dinner - which was really awesome - brown rice with chunky mushroom gravy, green beans, and a garlicky-lemon white beans w/steamed kale
tonight’s dinner – which was really awesome – brown rice with chunky mushroom gravy, green beans, and a garlicky-lemon white beans w/steamed kale
up in C'ville at Brazos Tacos!  SO good (as was the watermelon margarita - not pictured)
up in C’ville at Brazos Tacos! SO good (as was the watermelon margarita – not pictured)

FITNESS

Honestly, the heat has been BRUTAL the past weeks.  >100 degrees most days, so I’ve been walking, yoga-ing, and treading in the pool.

LIFE

This was a fun week because I got to go out of town!  After the week I had last week, it was a welcomed trip because I got to do one of the best parts of my job, see wonderful people and friends, and go to bed STUPID early since it was just me and my hotel room!  I had meetings at one of our hospitals that just happens to be in the same town where my grad school university is!  So – I got to have a few meetings on campus as well as the meetings at the hospital.  Plus seeing classmates that live there is always a bonus.  All in all, this week very much balanced me.

in the PepsiCo forum on grounds meeting my professor.  Love the "firstcoffee tradition
in the Pepsi Co forum on grounds meeting my professor. Love the #firstcoffee tradition

To explain a bit about my program – there are 29 of us in my cohort, and while we have classes 3x per week, it’s virtual via Adobe Connect.  We meet in person in various global locations for 2-week residencies (US, Brazil, and China so far – Europe, India, and another US to come).  So my classmates are literally all over the world – it’s pretty freaking amazing.  We also meet virtually to study several times per week, so we’re all always in contact and often very close, even though we don’t see each other often.  So – when I do get to see any between residencies, it’s always extra special.

I was back late Thursday for budget meetings and then regular stuff on Friday.  Best of all, a friend (and classmate) had her baby yesterday (mom and baby doing great!) and I can’t wait to meet and spoil the heck out of him!

Always – fun pics!

Bumble - living a rough life lounging on the back deck under the ceiling fan on a hot day.
Bumble – living a rough life lounging on the back deck under the ceiling fan on a hot day.
because I think this is funny (and true!)
because I think this is funny (and true!)

Staying Juicy!

“FOOD”

I put food in quotes because I’ve been on a juice cleanse for the past three days!

It’s been a very easy going 3 days, to be honest.  It’s been way too long since I’ve done one, and since going back to school my eating and drinking habits have gone to hell and I managed to find a few pounds I thought I lost a decade ago.

I decided that a reset was in order, and planned this fast for mid-week.  I like weekdays vs weekends since you’re so busy at work and there are fewer food distractions.  I had plenty of energy and, aside from the various juices, also had tons of water.  I averaged 220 ounces of water per day.

I did a blend of juices I made myself and some I had shipped from Jus.  All told, yummy and I feel wonderful!  A friend in Kenya did it with me too!  It was nice to have another soul doing this at the same time.

green juices are always my favs
green juices are always my favs

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called booster shots - straight up (which is crazy) or dilute in water, which is what I did
called booster shots – straight up (which is crazy) or dilute in water, which is what I did

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my last juice - while flipping through a cookbook.
my last juice – while flipping through a cookbook.

I’m considering migrating to a smoothie fast for 3 days to get a deeper reset.  Well see, but will keep ya posted.

Speaking of smoothies, the whole fam is joining the #smoothieselfie movement!

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even R joined in!  I made her an Apple Jack smoothie (coconut milk, banana, apple, date, cinnamon) and she loved it!
even R joined in! I made her an Apple Jack smoothie (coconut milk, banana, apple, date, cinnamon) and she loved it!

 

FITNESS

Strenuous fitness while on a cleanse is a pretty poor idea.  I hit up a lovely gentle/restorative class Wednesday night.  Thursday was a bad day (not the cleanse – work), so I pretty much got through the day until I could go to bed!  Today I went hiking at the state park with my youngest daughter and the pups.  I physically feel fine, and by today I felt mentally better to.

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LIFE

Not going into too much here.  Been a rough week, but you know what.  They happen.  And what matters is how you move forward, and that’s what I’m going to do.  I will focus on the loves in my life (my husband and kids, friends, and school) and the rest is what it is.

Speaking of my studies.  She’s back!  Ginny, my #fluffystudybuddy

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Of course we need other fun pics to wrap up the post!

D & M
D & M
D & R
D & R

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Only Way to Get It Out of the Way Is to Just Do It!

The past few weeks have been full of highs and lows, and the last thing I found I had time to do was blog.  That’s not to say I didn’t think about it – but then so much time had past that it was hard to just sit and write this.  So, only way to do it is to do it.  Not going to go into full detail of the past 3 weeks, but just hit a few highlights.

FOOD

I spent the past week in Las Vegas, and managed a few pretty good eats.  There was a place called the Juice Farm at the Venetian that I hit up every day, which made me incredibly happy.

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I also had some meals at the Wynn (they always have lot of vegan food) which were great.  It was a lousy picture, but the green tea chia pudding was one of the best things I’ve ever, ever eaten!

this pudding - I have to figure out how to make it!
this pudding – I have to figure out how to make it!
sending each other goofy smoothie pics!
sending each other goofy smoothie pics!

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FITNESS

Fitness routine has been pretty, well, routine 🙂

Since I kept east coast hours while in Vegas, I was up for runs freakishly early (like 530 am).

super early morning runs!  Vegas strip is pretty empty that time of morning, and with the nicer weather, it was actually quite lovely.
super early morning runs! Vegas strip is pretty empty that time of morning, and with the nicer weather, it was actually quite lovely.

Before and after has been a lot of workout DVD’s and yoga at home!

my simple home yoga spot
my simple home yoga spot

LIFE

I was at a conference for the past week, and to be honest – I was quite lame.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been there so many times, it’s lost a bit of it’s glitz – or maybe because I was there for work and not with friends, it just didn’t have a huge appeal.  I walked a ton, went to the conference, and most nights was asleep by 10.  I did go out one night, lived it up a little, and that was enough for me!

Some pics for ya!  First couple are conference related, others are random Vegas pics.

my favorite conference session!
my favorite conference session!

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I don't like whiskey, but thought this was funny
I don’t like whiskey, but thought this was funny

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Otherwise, on the home front, lots of games and family time.

I won!  Then R beat D.
I won! Then R beat D.

Oh – and R has a date to get her braces removed!

post-ortho visit where we got the good news!
post-ortho visit where we got the good news!

And random selfie and morningpictures

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Interrupting the Radio Silence with a Brazil Update!

Hello friends!  I hope you’ve had a great couple weeks since the Thanksgiving holiday.  Today, I blog to you from the lovely Sao Paulo, Brazil where I’m here studying for a week before heading to Rio tomorrow for another week!

FOOD

Well, I was warned, and warned hard.  Brazil loves their meat, beware, expect to basically starve (not like I’d ACTUALLY starve or anything, but still).

So, I packed a case of granola bars and a huge bag of single-serving sized smoothie packets.  If I was going to be in a vegan food desert, I’d at least have something to sustain me!

Truth is – the hotel we’re staying in doesn’t have much in the way of options, but once I got out and about in Brazil (which took a few days), it’s actually been pretty good!  And to be fair, when the Associate Dean of my program asks me how I’m finding the food and my answer is “I’m not”, I needn’t worry.  He’s a total foodie and before I knew it, the banana fairies were visiting my table, as did the steamed rice and tofu fairies for lunch today.  I know LM won’t let me starve 🙂

banana fairy!
banana fairy!
today's lunch.  Simple, but yummy.  Steamed rice and tofu with some eggplant and tomatoes.
today’s lunch. Simple, but yummy. Steamed rice and tofu with some eggplant and tomatoes.

The first two days, I didn’t make it to the restaurant for breakfast.  We’re given tons of food during class, but none of it was vegan (other than the cucumber sticks and tomatoes…which I got tired of quickly!).  I’d eat my granola bars and drink the juices.

my breakfasts the first few days in Brazil.
my breakfasts the first few days in Brazil.

I finally grabbed  breakfast one morning and was pleasantly surprised.  As it happens, Sao Paulo has the largest Japanese population outside of Japan and my restaurant had rice, tofu, and miso at breakfast time!  It’s been my daily go-to since.

Water, java, acai/banana smoothie, steamed rice & tofu, and miso...
Water, java, acai/banana smoothie, steamed rice & tofu, and miso…

And…some more pics of eats I’ve had since getting out of the hotel!

a few blocks away is the Fifties Restaurant.  They had a handmade vegan burger!
a few blocks away is the Fifties Restaurant. They had a handmade vegan burger!
the group had reservations at a traditional Brazilian steakhouse.  Initially, was afraid there would be nothing, but it honestly had the most gorgeous salad bar.  I was very happy with this meal!
the group had reservations at a traditional Brazilian steakhouse. Initially, was afraid there would be nothing, but it honestly had the most gorgeous salad bar. I was very happy with this meal!
the second night here, JG was worried I hadn't eaten much and dragged me to a sushi place.  I told them I'm a "vegana" and they made me a gorgeous tempura veggie hand roll with edamame.  Best meal!
the second night here, JG was worried I hadn’t eaten much and dragged me to a sushi place. I told them I’m a “vegana” and they made me a gorgeous tempura veggie hand roll with edamame. Best meal!
so not everything can be a happy story.  Went to a place called Occa across the street for a quick lunch.  Literally some grilled and shaved cucumbers in a wrap that fell apart because it stuck to the grill.  Totally boring, but at least it was filling.
so not everything can be a happy story. Went to a place called Occa across the street for a quick lunch. Literally some grilled and shaved cucumbers in a wrap that fell apart because it stuck to the grill. Totally boring, but at least it was filling.
we went to Sao Jose dos Campos yesterday for a few company visits and stopped at a place called Golden (something).  Another great buffet with plenty of vegan eats for me
we went to Sao Jose dos Campos yesterday for a few company visits and stopped at a place called Golden (something). Another great buffet with plenty of vegan eats for me

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no tap water here!
no tap water here!

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FITNESS

RunCrissieRun!  I’ve gone for a couple treadmill runs since getting to Sao Paulo.  Looking forward to a beach run in Rio on Sunday morning though!

I really should bust out some yoga while in my room though….

LIFE

So, big update.  I’m in Brazil.  It’s for school and while my brain is typically deep fried and covered in mushroom gravy, it’s still pretty awesome.  There are times I completely forget I’m not back in the US, and others where I realize no one there drives a Renault (anymore…though my mother and sister had two when I was younger!), a Fiat pick-up, nor are there 6 ft termite hills (no, didn’t get close enough to take a pic of THAT!).

Allow me to back up a bit.  I left last Friday and was supposed to land in Sao Paulo Sunday morning.  Alas – flight from Miami was canceled and I ended up spending the night there and taking a Saturday afternoon flight out to Brazil – which landed me around midnight.  Thankfully I was stranded in FL with a friend from school (KS) and we definitely took advantage of the bar and a great night’s sleep.

After landing, breezing through customs, and enduring a ride to the hotel with a cabbie who had a death wish, got to bed around 1 am.  Classes started bright and early!

Days go from about 530am – midnight with a lot of studying and classes, but some fun thrown in there too.  We’ve had a city tour, company visits, and amazing speakers discussing the Brazilian economy, government, and the overall state of business.  It’s impossible to articulate it all.

We had an alumni event one night where I got to play “guess that food” without actually eating it.  I think I won 🙂

On the home front, D is kicking butt and taking names as the world’s best Dad and husband!  He took our youngest overnight to a robotics competition, helped my oldest by a new-to-her car (she got rear-ended a few weeks ago and the insurance company totaled it rather than fix it), is getting our son from university today for the holiday break, is feeding them (ish, though A has done a lot of that!), keeping the house clean (I hope), and still working his butt off.  Dude – best guy ever!

The Christmas tree is up and the destructo-cats are having a blast with it.  I think there’s only one major ornament death so far.

Sadly, it’s not all been fun and explorations.  A member of my family passed away on Monday and it’s been more than a little difficult to focus here while thinking of him.  His funeral is tomorrow, and while I know he understands that I’m half a world away for my education, it’s still difficult not being with my family.  So if you’re so inclined, send some positive vibes to Wisconsin for me (especially my mom).

So…pics for you to enjoy while I go back to studying all about the Chilean central bank dilemma of the late 1990’s….

Some sky line pics…Sao Paulo is the 11th largest city in the world!  Known as Brazil’s concrete jungle and financial heart, there are definitely some parallels to our NYC.

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my hotel at night!
my hotel at night!

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Some other random shots of things….

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so - a massive room-sized cat that purrs at the contemporary art museum here.  Not at all creepy....
so – a massive room-sized cat that purrs at the contemporary art museum here. Not at all creepy….
R at her robotics competition!
R at her robotics competition!

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and Kenny G at the Miami airport!
and Kenny G at the Miami airport!

Later gators….