Is That a Chardonnay in Your Pocket, Or Are You Just Happy to See Me

FOOD

One morning last week (Wednesday, I think) I made oatmeal and put a scoop of protein powder in it. I’ve done this before and it was fine, but this was just nasty. I choked it down but wish I hadn’t!

I had Ezekiel toast with sunbutter two days. No other breakfasts in the past few days.

I haven’t had much of an appetite since Friday morning, and honestly – haven’t eaten much. W was not happy with that, so we went out to Fancy Radish in DC and shared a few plate. Still couldn’t eat much, but did have a bite or two of everything.

FITNESS

Worked out every day last week, either a run, a spin, or a strength training session. Saturday I was in DC and did a ton of walking. I do wish I had packed workout clothes. A run in the city would’ve been perfect. Today we’ll see. Could probably use a run or a hot yoga class honestly, but I just got home from a weekend away and am not sure yet.

LIFE

Been a fairly rough week, but it is what it is. Friday I headed up to DC for a weekend and holiday party with friends. It was a much needed weekend.

Friday I wandered around Old Town Alexandria for a couple hours. I was planning to stop at this one wine shop, but it was closed. Stopped at the Majestic for a glass of wine and reading before heading over to W’s house.

W and I hung out at his place for a bit, then walked the couple blocks to Fancy Radish for dinner. Then back to his place for a few hours, then back to my hotel.

Saturday morning was a little rough, but then I met up with A to grab coffee and watch the Scottish Day parade. It was awesome, I can’t believe I didn’t get any shots of the tons of dogs in tartan in the parade! But it was a really great time.

My girl A taking pics!

After the parade, I walked to the metro and went to the Natural History museum for a bit. Then back to my hotel. I was supposed to meet up with friends for the parade of boats with Christmas lights, but I dozed off. Did make it in plenty of time for the party though, which was really nice. There were about 15 or so of us. Grad school buds and their other halves mostly.

For the past several years, my friend D and I pick on Chardonnay drinkers. It goes back to an experience with an ex-girlfriend of his, and has turned into a bit of a running joke. So he got to the party, came over to give me a hug, and pulled out a bottle of Chardonnay! It was hilarious. Obviously left for other party guests if anyone wanted it.

Just the Darden classmates!

This morning I woke up and drove home! Got home about an hour and a half ago. Not sure what the rest of my day will look like, though likely cleaning, some cooking, school work, and maybe a movie.

Trying to see if I can like bourbon. A and K happened to pour a class of Pappy van Winkle – a $700 bottle – and I only had a tiny sip, but it wasn’t bad!

Picking the wee one up from robotics

Thanksgiving, Lazy Days, and Chess Wars

FOOD

The food highlight of the week has certainly been Thanksgiving. I made a Celebration Roast (I couldn’t find Tofurky anywhere this year, so when with the Field Roast brand – I didn’t like it nearly as much), green bean casserole with a homemade creamy mushroom soup, stuffing, mashers, mushroom gravy, tofu pot pie, fresh bread, cranberry/orange/cinnamon sauce, and pumpkin pie.

Other eats this week included smoothies, oatmeal, a bizarre meal with two of my kids, an Impossible Whopper, and plenty of leftovers.

I very much appreciate BK having these. But tbh, it just sits SO heavy. I think my stomach hurt until the next day…

Eggplant and as a side I picked asparagus. Not realizing it didn’t automatically come with pasta. I choose poorly – it was a strange combo of flavors that was not awesome

FITNESS

I was cleared on Monday at a post-op appt to work out again. I ran Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and just finished a cardio spin workout in my garage. Feels good to move.

LIFE

Well the week started with me getting my stitches removed. Doc came into my room 50 minutes after my appt time and asked how I was. “Annoyed” was my response. He was taken aback a bit, but just because he’s a doctor, doesn’t mean my time is less valuable. It really did screw up some of my schedule, but is what it is. But it is annoying. Anyway, stitches are out and the bruising is really fading. I have some gel I need to use for the next 3 months that will hopefully minimize scarring and help it heal normally. If not, then laser treatment, but so far I think it’s looking pretty good.

I worked from home and, admittedly, didn’t do a whole lot school wise. Guess I just needed a mental break.

Tuesday everyone played chess. M and I played an online Game Pigeon version. That evening, R played M and beat him. A played the winner (R) and beat her. Then A wanted to play M. While that happened the next day…this thread ensued first. This is how my children fight….

Wednesday R, M, and I went out for a very late lunch (around 230). After cleaning much of the day, really didn’t want to cook!

Thursday was Thanksgiving, so I spent the day cooking (R had done the cleaning the day before). It was my kids, a couple of M’s friends, my boyfriend, and his boys. It was a nice time – I do enjoy having a full house.

Friday was literally the laziest day I may have ever had. Ever. Kuma and I sat on the sofa and watched two episodes of Mandalorian. Then R and I (and a lazy Kuma) watched Finding Dory. I folded some wash, and then watched several NCIS episodes upstairs with Kuma and Luna. I can’t remember the last time I watched that much TV in a month, much less a day! It was kind of nice, though I did feel like a bum.

Yesterday and today the plans I had fell through, so it’s been fairly low key. Went to see Knives Out with two of the munchkins yesterday – it was SO good. Did a bit of school work and finished a really good audiobook. Today has so far been a workout and starting on school stuff. Imagine I’ll do my weekly meal plan, shop if I need to, and do some bulk cooking for the week.

Book I’m currently reading

Got this for my bday from my boyfriend. It’s cute – he said he liked to get silly things that make me think of him. And I do – every time I use this cup. It’s normally just black, until I pour tea or coffee into it and the album cover comes up. I love it.

Oh Honey, Who Hurt You?

FOOD

Been nice being home for the past week! Eats have been pretty typical while home. Salads, stir fry, rice and veggies, oatmeal, soup, and smoothies.

My fav red Thai curry soup with white sweet potato

I also made three batches of homemade soymilk. One is a soy/oat/date blend which came out way thicker than I wanted. Will play with that and reduce the amount of oats next time. One super thick batch (double the soybeans) in order to make homemade yogurt (my first time making it from homemade milk), and a batch of normal everyday soymilk. Really happy all around.

A few meals out with my guy too. One was a Tex-Mex place we’ve liked, though it appears the quality (both of service and food) have been declining. Sad since they’ve only been open a year or so.

Fajita bowl with Impossible burger chopped into it

One of our fav brunch spots where I get the hummus lettuce wraps and sorbet mimosa!

And grilled cheese (vegan for me of course!) and fried pickles after a movie date.

FITNESS

A run and some kickboxing when I got home from Chicago. I’m banned from working out now until cleared by my doctor. More on that later.

LIFE

So I got home late Friday evening and immediately went to bed. The rest of the week has been pretty darned eventful.

A brunch date, a wine bar date, two movies, and lunch date were definitely the highlights. Included a total of three coffee shop stops as well as a wander through the Old Beach farmers market (very bougie). All packed into about 3 days!

We do love being regulars here. They know what we like. Saw us come in and the sommelier runs into the back to bring this out, having saved a bottle knowing we’d like it – and we did!

Charlie’s Angles and Joker were the movies. One was fun. One was disturbing. A coffee shop near me, one closer to his place, and one near the farmers market.

Between the rest rooms at our brunch spot

From Three Ships coffee spot

Monday night I met up with an old co-worker (he left the company 8 years ago!). He’s become involved in the start-up world and has recently joined our local angel investor group. I happen to know them, so it was fun to reconnect. We met for a glass of wine and just caught up and made some plans for future business collaboration. I’m going to be a guest on his podcast and he sent me a book, which is one of my favorite types of gifts!

Tuesday was not a fun day. So back in August I was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma on my left cheek. Small, but had to come off. Good news is it’s not the super scary type of skin cancer (that’s melanoma). This one is usually caused by some bad sun exposure from sometimes decades earlier. But it has scared me into being more diligent about sun screen than I really ever have been (here’s your PSA kids – WEAR SUNSCREEN EVEN IF YOU DON’T BURN EASILY). Due to my crazy travel schedule, I really needed to wait until I knew I could arrange being home for a few weeks to heal. Hence the surgeries (yes two) on Tuesday. My girlfriend AJ picked me up and was my chauffeur and friend for the day. Step one was to the dermatology surgery office. That involved torture by Christmas music, needles to the face, discussions of temporary blindness, and the eventually excising of the cancer. Then they patched me up and sent me to the waiting room with AJ to kill an hour while they went to verify they got it all. They did, so then we had a few hours to kill before going to the facial plastic surgeon to sew me up and minimize scaring. That one was low-key horrific. Much more painful and invasive and numbed half my face – including my teeth! But, he was great and from my hometown of Milwaukee, which was fun, even though I really couldn’t speak once they got going (he had a resident).

I was offered stronger meds than Motrin and Tylenol, but I refused. Didn’t end up needing them anyway. Sore, but tolerable. Can’t really get it wet, can’t workout, etc.

The rule was to keep the bandage on 24-48 hours. I made it 24 hours and 30 minutes. I sleep on my stomach and the bandage started bunching. Drove me crazy!

By Thursday, I was totally stir crazy and needed to get out of the house. I was out of tofu, so I figured a quick trip to the grocery was needed. So here I am wandering around the store, and a woman comes up to me, puts her hand on my shoulder, and says “oh honey, who hurt you?”. UM… CANCER HURT ME. At first I was a little taken aback by someone approaching me like that (I have a black eye and stitches going down my cheek – so I did look a hot mess), but since it’s really restored my faith in humanity. She cared enough to make sure I was okay, and if I wasn’t – not sure what she’d have done – but it still warms my heart. We chuckled when I explained it to her.

That was early. The black eye and swelling got MUCH more impressive…

Since I couldn’t take a shower and get my face wet, it was definitely bath fun. I’m a huge fan of bath bombs, and my youngest bought me a ton of great spooky ones for my birthday! Luna really enjoys bath time too.

So – that was my week – plus quite a bit of time on my doctoral research stuff. Great times and not so great times, but in the end, I can’t complain. No more cancer. Fun with my love. Caught up at work. Research humming along. Seriously no complaints.

New throw blanket is VERY much Luna approved

She enjoys when I change the sheets. Even though she gets in the way

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!

Beware Parallelogram Season

FOOD

It’s been a lazy week, to be honest. I had bulk cooked so much last weekend, that we ate a lot of leftovers.

Tuesday I made baked Mac no cheese, which is always a family fav.

Luna was a fan too

Also diced up the homemade andouille sausage and put it into lentil soup to make it even heartier.

Lunch one day MAY have been popcorn and a pina colada at the movies 🙂

And there was toast, and smoothies, and pasta, and soups, and salads.

Quinoa with fresh blueberries and cinnamon

Made a big batch of slow cooker minestrone with gluten free pasta

I used to love egg salad when I was a kid. I do love my tofu egg-less salad more tho! Especially topped on a BAS

I had one lunch date with the guy, but didn’t take a pic. We shared some edamame and I had tofu pad Thai. This was my fortune though!

FITNESS

A couple runs, weights in the garage, a spin class also in the garage, and I finally checked out the BodyPump class I’ve been meaning to try. I liked it – will let you know tomorrow how sore I may or may not be as a result!

LIFE

This has been much more low key than usual. And honestly, not sure how I feel about that.

I had the majority of last week off. I was supposed to go to DC for the DC United game with a girlfriend and a military vet related event, but life and Dorian got in the way, so I didn’t go. BUT, I kept the days off to focus on school stuff and general reading, so that was highly productive. I also went to the movies solo one day to see Angel Has Fallen. I love this series and enjoyed this most recent one too.

A gift from NS in Kenya! Adding it to my list of fun things to read

Back to school for the young one went off without a hitch. All going well so far, though it was only a 3 day week because schools were canceled in advance of Dorian on Friday.

Dorian wasn’t a major event. Some power flickers and unreliable internet, and some yard and pool clean up, but we were lucky. There was flooding and downed trees all over – just not in my neighborhood!

The weekend I stayed home and did housework and school work and grocery shopping and other fun prepping for the week.

I decided yesterday that I wanted to learn more to do with Alexa than play music, the news, and check the weather (oh, and how many days until Halloween!). So I started playing with Drop In, and my sister “called” on it! It was fun. R and I chatted with her and my niece and nephew. Totally cool. She and I also spent significant time sending each other Trump related memes this weekend. All told, good times.

Yesterday was a mini spa day for me and the wee one. She got a haircut, and I got a facial. Fun stuff.

Post haircut R!

We have a family group chat with me and my kids and my guy and BS. Silly stuff ensues. This was my recent contribution.

This week should be busy, but not horrible. It’s the last week of the term, so I have ten tons of writing to do. But can’t complain. I’m getting closer and closer to being done!

Studying outside the day before Dorian visited

Post shower snuggles

My cousin in Scotland posted. Love it.
Too early in the morning for her to get up

Sent this to the eldest last night during her ED shift. She claims she will actually say this…

Too Tired for the Complication of Oatmeal

FOOD

Been an awesome couple days, especially today with a lot of kitchen play time.

Saturday I had a strawberry-Vega vanilla smoothie for breakfast. I also made oatmeal. Alas, not paying close enough attention apparently, and I sprinkled cumin all over it instead of cinnamon. Guess I was still sleepy. Needless to say, I didn’t eat it.

I don’t recall if I had lunch (no pic, it didn’t happen, right?!).

Saturday night was a date night and we stopped at a yummy local Italian place and then for ice cream at a local spot that has coconut milk based chocolate ice cream!

Sunday brunch was a Beyond bowl (Beyond Meat sausage, potatoes, peppers, avocado, and black beans. And mimosas, of course.

I skipped the Avo (allergy) and the tortillas (unnecessary)

Sunday dinner I made a red Thai coconut curry tempeh bowl. Super simple and incredibly tasty. I’m a fan of steaming tempeh cubes for about 10 min before using in any recipe. Easier on the belly (so I read once, anyway).

This morning I tried the smoothie + oatmeal combo again. Successful this time by using Apple Pie spice….where the bottle doesn’t look anything like my cumin and cinnamon bottles!

I had leftover tempeh curry for lunch while I bulk cooked like crazy.

Tomorrow is my youngest’ s first day of school (junior in HS), so it’s back to making desserts again. Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting. I also made a batch of acorn squash Alfredo (this recipe, which I mostly follow and totally adore), a huge batch of lentil soup, pasta salad, my first go at vegan Andouille sausage, and tofu/potato tacos. No one shall starve in this house.

Acorn squash alfredo with quinoa gf noodles and peas
Mashed chickpeas, vital wheat gluten, and tons of spices later = vegan andouille sausage magic!

Tofu/potato tacos

FITNESS

Runs pretty much every day. And some yoga as well. And a spin class in my garage.

I was stupid sore on Saturday and part of Sunday from the HIIT/TRX workout on Friday. In a good way though, so I can’t complain.

LIFE

Friday was a pretty low key day. Slept until 8 (bed at 130am, so it’s understandable). Went to the gym and worked and studied most of the day before meeting up with my boyfriend for a quick happy hour.

Saturday was a run and then studying until going over to my guys house where he was working on stuff and watching football and I was studying. Then we went out for a bit, came home, watched a couple episodes of The Boys and went to bed.

Sunday was brunch, then home to clean, run, and study some more.

Today I went for a run and grocery shopping. This was fun. I went to Lidl, which is still my fav place to shop. $43 for a week’s worth of groceries for a family of 4. A couple blocks away, there’s a bakery outlet. I’ve meant to stop for ages, but finally did today. OMG. So excited. It said TastyKake, which is the biggest reason why I never went, but it also said Nature’s Own, which my kids like their whole wheat bread. Figured there was no down side to checking it out. SO glad I did. They have Dave’s Killer Bread there! If you’re a clean eating hippie, you know what that is, but if not, here’s the thing – all organic, sprouted grain, non-GMO, high fiber breads with no artificial silliness, like high fructose corn syrup (which I’m nearly violently against). I vacillate between that brand and Ezekiel. I walked out with 4 loaves of bread and a thing of English muffins for $6. I’d pay more than double that at Wegman’s or Kroger. So – not going to drive past the bakery outlet just because I think it’s just junk inside!

The rest of the day was really just me, my headphones, and audiobook, and bulk cooking. Maybe a bit of studying too, but not a lot.

This coming week I’m mostly off. I work tomorrow and part of Wednesday, but off the rest of the time. Lots to do!

My sunshine puppy