Tag Archives: Movies/TV

It’s Okay to be Obsessed with Cabbage

FOOD

I do have to say, it’s been non-stop eats of the whole non-processed variety!  Mostly gluten-free too (I have RA, and gluten makes it worse, so I try to avoid whenever possible).  I’m trying to be better about that!

Many of the dishes come from The Happy Herbivore, so I can’t take credit for the creation – just the eating!  As much as I like to design a great dish, I’m finding the demands on my time just don’t allow that as much as I’d like – and then I end up either skipping meals, or diving into wine, hummus, and crackers as an excuse for a meal.  So, largely letting someone else plan the dish, and all I have to do is cook and eat!

this is "chorizo" soup!  I made a huge batch on Sunday, and ate it 4 times through the week.  It's SO good.

this is “chorizo” soup! I made a huge batch on Sunday, and ate it 4 times through the week. It’s SO good.

Korean BBQ Lentils

Korean BBQ Lentils

Deep Dish Eggplant bake with tofu ricotta

Deep Dish Eggplant bake with tofu ricotta

a variation of a broccoli & hummus quesadilla.  Made the filling, but put it on a baked spud and topped with cabbage and hot sauce

a variation of a broccoli & hummus quesadilla. Made the filling, but put it on a baked spud and topped with cabbage and hot sauce

more soup, but loaded with cabbage.  Bit obsessed with that this week - digging the crunch

more soup, but loaded with cabbage. Bit obsessed with that this week – digging the crunch

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this is kale-fredo!  Made with quinoa noodles and thickened with chickpea flour to keep it gluten-free

this is kale-fredo! Made with quinoa noodles and thickened with chickpea flour to keep it gluten-free

Of course, still dig my smoothies!

I can't even recall what all was in this, but that it was super yummy and freakishly filling.

I can’t even recall what all was in this, but that it was super yummy and freakishly filling.

banana split!  I don't use protein powders often, but did yesterday.  Chocolate Vega powder, banana, strawberries, and spinach.

banana split! I don’t use protein powders often, but did yesterday. Chocolate Vega powder, banana, strawberries, and spinach.

And some quick miscellaneous eats too!

I keep a big bag of Bob's Red Mill rolled oats in my office for those days I'm REALLY rushed.  Tossed in some blueberries, and made breakfast at work.

I keep a big bag of Bob’s Red Mill rolled oats in my office for those days I’m REALLY rushed. Tossed in some blueberries, and made breakfast at work.

 

in a hurry due to exams and studying, so this is a simple baked potato topped with greens, hot sauce, and horseradish

in a hurry due to exams and studying, so this is a simple baked potato topped with greens, hot sauce, and horseradish

 

I discovered the joy of the "Steam" button on my Instant pot!  I actually had this unintentional mono-meal two days in a row!  I'm a sucker for a well done sweet potato and carrots :)

I discovered the joy of the “Steam” button on my Instant pot! I actually had this unintentional mono-meal two days in a row! I’m a sucker for a well done sweet potato and carrots 🙂

FITNESS

I pulled a muscle in my neck/shoulder, so I took it easy for a few days.  Once it felt mostly better, I added in some gentle yoga.  Eventually, it was back out for runs in the neighborhood!

LIFE

It’s been a pretty typical week, with an added level of stress due to exams.  I have one more that I hope to have mostly done today.  This one is a paper vs a sit-down timed exam.  But due Saturday, and I’d like to just get it over with!  That means Sunday marks the beginning of my last term before graduation in May!!!  And yes – I’m counting down the time.

Lot’s going on at work and on the professional front as well!

The weekend was really chill – mostly just me an R hanging out.  M worked and D was out having a spa evening on Friday, at a piano bar working on his book on Saturday, and doing all the grocery shopping and errand running on Sunday so I could focus on school stuff.

When R does her peanut flour dose, she has to be totally chill for 2 hours.  She can’t do anything that could elevate her heart rate because that can trigger a reaction.  Her chill of choice is to binge watch Hell’s Kitchen, so that’s what we do!  She totally loves Gordon Ramsey and her goal is to travel and eat at one of his restaurants.

I have the day off today because D has a colonoscopy this afternoon and I’m his designated driver.  Most readers know he has Crohn’s Disease, and this is just a check-up to see how he’s doing.  He has no symptoms of a flare or anything (which is fantastic), but it’s important to monitor every few years.

So, it’s time for me to get back to my paper before heading out to take D to his appointment!

Kuma keeping R company during a Hell's Kitchen episode

Kuma keeping R company during a Hell’s Kitchen episode

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the many naps of Kuma

the many naps of Kuma

Ginny demanding I take a break from my studies

Ginny demanding I take a break from my studies

Gin curled up on R's chair!  This is her special chair for her bass practice, but I think Ginny uses it more

Gin curled up on R’s chair! This is her special chair for her bass practice, but I think Ginny uses it more

bundled up for a cold morning walk!

bundled up for a cold morning walk!

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I got to do the #morningpicture today!!!  Of course that meant brining Kuma too :)

I got to do the #morningpicture today!!! Of course that meant brining Kuma too 🙂

 

Misadventures of a Delhi Market Trip

FOOD

I admit to not having many more food pics to share from India.  My second week there I got quite sick with “Delhi Belly”.  To be honest, it may be a very long time before I want to eat Indian food again!  More than a week later, and I’m still not 100%.  Since getting home it’s been super small meals – usually a smoothie for breakfast and a salad for lunch.  Haven’t been eating dinner.  Partly I think because my sleep is so off and I’m jet lagging hardcore.

there were a few days where I couldn't eat anything at all.  On the 4th day - I had some tomato/veg broth and plain rice.

there were a few days where I couldn’t eat anything at all. On the 4th day – I had some tomato/veg broth and plain rice.

I arrived home Sunday evening, and we were out of some of our basic groceries – and my creamy base for smoothies – bananas.  So on my way to work Monday morning, I picked up an acai green smoothie!

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After stopping at the market on my way home Monday, I was able to whip up my own smoothie this morning!  Orange, banana, pineapple, strawberry, and spinach.

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Lunch was a BAS (Big Ass Salad for newbies).  Taco style!  Romaine, iceberg, onion, cilantro, tofu, black beans, cucumber, and salsa.  Thank you Moe’s!!!

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FITNESS

I went for a run before work this morning.  Actually – my sleep is all jacked up, so I was awake at 3:30am.  After spending 45 min trying to fall back asleep, I gave up and threw on my running clothes.  I put on a pot of java and took off.  I wasn’t sure how I’d feel after not running for a few weeks and not eating much, but it was honestly fantastic.  Not sure I can make this early morning thing a habit, but I dug it this morning.

LIFE

Other than getting sick as crazy, the rest of the week was good.  We have great speakers and classes as always, but mostly it was just amazing to be with my classmates.  We don’t physically see each other except during these residencies, and I truly dig them all.

The last day, however, saw some Delhi misadventures that are funny to think about now.  It goes like this…

6 people set off to walk to a market.  Success!  Those same 6 break up into 2 Uber’s to find their way to an Old Delhi Spice Market.  This is where our heroes take an interesting turn….

BF and I were wondering if seeing dogs in clothes was a way to mark them as belonging to someone vs strays!

BF and I were wondering if seeing dogs in clothes was a way to mark them as belonging to someone vs strays!

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In Uber 1 (my uber), driver turns the wrong way down an alley.  We’re blocked in (people and cows on all sides!) and some start banging on the car.  The driver gets out, and my anxiety level starts to notch up just a bit!  Eventually, he comes back, everyone rallies around to clear the way so our driver can back out of the alley.

We get close (ish) to the market (none of us in the car actually know where we are), and traffic is so crappy he kicks us out and tells us to walk.  We have a vague idea of direction (actually, BF seemed to have an innate sense of how to get there), and off we go.  We find it, and the “spice market” is actually blocks and blocks of small shops selling tubs/bins of spices, beans, and pastas.  Lot’s of street food vendors too, and it was fun to watch.

We actually manage to find our other 3 friends (thank goodness for WhatsApp and Google Maps!) and start walking together.  We got to stop and watch a shopkeeper toss bananas in the air just to be swooped up and eaten by the baboons!

We decide that it’s time to head back.  Based on craptastic traffic and our hotel checkout time – we needed to go.  Finding a way out (i.e. – cab, etc.) started to prove impossible.  So…NS (who speaks Hindi, thank goodness!) negotiates with a gentleman to carry the 6 of us in his electric scooter/cart thing.  We are quite the spectacle as we’re all piled in something made for 4, and start bouncing down the street.  About 6 blocks later – the front tire pops, and we’re on foot once more.

After a few blocks, NS negotiates with 2 tuk tuk (auto rickshaw) drivers to ferry us back to the hotel.  We’re back in groups of three, and I think our drivers believed they were in some kind of Nascar/Death Race/Bumper Car mash-up.   When not stuck in traffic, we’re literally flying down the roads.  Keep in mind that there are very few traffic lights or signs, and it’s a “first come gets the right of way” type of environment.  And lanes are optional.

Anyway…as we’re entering a round about, JC starts yelling at me “DON’T LOOK LEFT, DON’T LOOK LEFT, HOLY S&^$”.  Of course I’m sitting on the far left and anything coming at us (which was everything from busses, trucks, cars, rickshaws, and cows) would smash right into me.  Our little rickshaw would be toast!

As we were stuck in traffic, all manner of people walked up to ask for money.  One was a particularly tenacious and hilarious little girl who kept trying to reach into JC’s inner coat pocket.

We make it back to the hotel, and EA, JC, and I immediately burst into cheers and applause.  The driver seemed both surprised and pleased.  I guess he’s not usually celebrated for getting his passengers to their destination alive…

My flight left that night.  15 hours from Delhi to Jersey.  7 hour layover there.  Then home – just to be diverted during our decent due to a disabled plane on the ground blocking the runway.  We went to Richmond, refueled, then headed home.  Finally.

I was back to work immediately the next morning, and I admit that I’m struggling with jet lag for the first time.  I’m falling asleep between 5-8, and up around 3-4.  Then feel like a zombie (other than the whole brain eating thing) by 1.  Alas, it can’t last forever!

So, just a few other miscellaneous pictures before I try to stay awake another few hours before going to bed!

one of the days I couldn't get out of bed and sent D a "feel sorry for me" selfie

one of the days I couldn’t get out of bed and sent D a “feel sorry for me” selfie

watched several movies that day.  This popped up after every commercial.  It was spoken in a highly dramatic voice.

watched several movies that day. This popped up after every commercial. It was spoken in a highly dramatic voice.

last day of class!

last day of class!

hell no.  My cats love me.

hell no. My cats love me.

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scarf shop in the hotel where more than a few of us picked up some beautiful scarves.

scarf shop in the hotel where more than a few of us picked up some beautiful scarves.

in the Delhi airport

in the Delhi airport

in the Jersey airport

in the Jersey airport

missed these two so much

missed these two so much

 

Namaste from India!

FOOD

Just a few short days after my last post, I was on my way for a 2 week stay in India!  While I have managed to find plenty of eats, the “vegan” concept is still a bit foreign.  I usually get offers of boiled veggies, fish, and chicken.  Still – it hasn’t been all that challenging considering the plentiful vegetables and legumes!

congee with fresh ginger

congee with fresh ginger

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yes - nice hotel :)

yes – nice hotel 🙂

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LOVE the guava especially!

LOVE the guava especially!

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salad w/hummus as a dressing has become a total favorite

salad w/hummus as a dressing has become a total favorite

FITNESS

Yoga every day!  I certainly went for runs before heading to India, but haven’t since I’ve been here.  The air quality is such that I wouldn’t go outside anyway – even with a group, and our crazy long days in residency leave me little desire to do hard cardio.  So – every morning has been yoga and it’s been great.

LIFE

Well – I’m in India!  This is the last of my non-US residencies, and I have one more of those (in April) before graduating in May!

I arrived in Mumbai in New Year’s Eve.  Despite being awake for about 38 hours, I still hit up the NYE bash at the Opium Den bar in the hotel with several of my classmates.  Many others went to Dubai to stay with a classmate and ring in the new year.

I spent a week in Mumbai and, like much of what I’m seeing of India, it’s a study in contrasts.  There are those who are very well off (2-3% of Indian’s are wealthy by international standards – and that’s a LOT of people, considering there are 1.2 billion people.  That means there are more wealthy in India than the total population of Australia!), a rising middle class, and some abjectly poor.  And you can see it all in a very short radius.

Mumbai has heavy British influences, though with an Indian spice.  I found much of it quite pretty.

view from my room - the Arabian Sea and the Mumbai skyline

view from my room – the Arabian Sea and the Mumbai skyline

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my class in front of the Gateway to India

my class in front of the Gateway to India

beautiful train station

beautiful train station

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yep - that's a guy with a really big gun....

yep – that’s a guy with a really big gun….

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a women's co-op we visited.  founded more than 50 yrs ago, the goal is to employ women to help them provide for their families while still getting to stay home.

a women’s co-op we visited. founded more than 50 yrs ago, the goal is to employ women to help them provide for their families while still getting to stay home.

one of the Mumbai slums

one of the Mumbai slums

a gift from the co-op

a gift from the co-op

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We left Mumbai after a week, flew to Delhi, and then took a 6 hour bus ride to Agra.  It took 3 hours to get from the airport to the highway because traffic is so horrible – and it’s always this bad.

view from the front of the bus :(

view from the front of the bus 😦

We rolled into Agra quite late, checked into our rooms, and went to bed.  We had to be in the lobby by 6am to get to the Taj Mahal before it opened – hoping to see a sunrise, but it was foggy (or smoggy).

in my Agra hotel room.  Do not distrub me!!!

in my Agra hotel room. Do not distrub me!!!

tried to call the front desk to ask about my Wi-Fi - but didn't know how!  Tried 0, but no answer.  Oh well.  Just went to sleep instead.

tried to call the front desk to ask about my Wi-Fi – but didn’t know how! Tried 0, but no answer. Oh well. Just went to sleep instead.

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lots of baboons!  They like to steal things from people - especially food.

lots of baboons! They like to steal things from people – especially food.

this one won a little battle with a friend over the ownership of this bottle

this one won a little battle with a friend over the ownership of this bottle

From there we went back to the hotel for breakfast, then off to the Agra fort.  That was amazing!

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built to protect a palace, it was a total maze.  Designed that way in part to confuse incoming troops, but mostly to stop stampeding elephants

built to protect a palace, it was a total maze. Designed that way in part to confuse incoming troops, but mostly to stop stampeding elephants

Then it was lunch, and finally to a market and temple.  That particular trip was completely chaotic, but like nothing else I’ve seen.

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Then it was to the train station, back to Delhi, into a new hotel, a reception (which I admit I skipped so I could shower!), and then back to business today.

While here, I’m definitely embracing a different wardrobe!

on the way down to class this morning

on the way down to class this morning

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Tonight I’m off to have dinner with a co-worker’s family!  He’s from Delhi, and his mom and sister are making me dinner.  SO excited!

On the non-India front, I promised pics of the finish painted guest room.  Plus I can’t leave you without a few fluff balls and morning pictures!

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she loves laundry day

she loves laundry day

seeing Rogue One the night before I left for India

seeing Rogue One the night before I left for India

M and Kuma passed out on the sofa!

M and Kuma passed out on the sofa!

me as I landed in Mumbai

me as I landed in Mumbai

me and two of my awesome classmates

me and two of my awesome classmates

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Independent Verification that Audiobooks Rock Runs

FOOD

The new Vitamix container is here!  The good news is it’s a BPA-free container (that wasn’t really a thing 9 years ago), but the bad news is that it feels totally cheaply made – especially the handle.  My last one had a nice cushy handle, and this one just…doesn’t.  I imagine it’s partly because they started selling in regular stores like Williams Sonoma, Target, and QVC – and mine version is still the hardcore commercial kitchen version.  No frills.

old one on the right; new one on the left

old one on the right; new one on the left

I certainly put it to good use with smoothies and soups this week!

beet and fennel soup - one of my favorites

beet and fennel soup – one of my favorites

soymilk, water, spinach, chia seeds, banana, and mixed frozen berry

soymilk, water, spinach, chia seeds, banana, and mixed frozen berry

ginger, carrot, lemon, and pepper soup!  Another favorite.

ginger, carrot, lemon, and pepper soup! Another favorite.

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coconut water, pinapple, banana, mango, and spinach

coconut water, pineapple, banana, mango, and spinach

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Also had a few other fun eats this week.

our green smoothie selfies!  D opts for the straight up Island Green.  Mine is the Detox Island Green (no sugar, add ginger)

our green smoothie selfies! D opts for the straight up Island Green. Mine is the Detox Island Green (no sugar, add ginger)

open-faced sammies with marinated tofu, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and mustard

open-faced sammies with marinated tofu, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and mustard

majorly on sale at the grocery.  Perfect mid-morning snack at the office.

majorly on sale at the grocery. Perfect mid-morning snack at the office.

BAS picked up from the grocery down the street from work.  Had a lemon-tahini dressing in the fridge in my office.

BAS picked up from the grocery down the street from work. Had a lemon-tahini dressing in the fridge in my office.

brownies.  Getting ready for school starting up!

brownies. Getting ready for school starting up!

tofu stir-fry.  General Tso's style (with asparagus because it's what I had on hand)

tofu stir-fry. General Tso’s style (with asparagus because it’s what I had on hand)

grilled corn and veggie burger - open faced on some Ezekiel toast

grilled corn and veggie burger – open faced on some Ezekiel toast

FITNESS

Just runs since my last post, no rides.  The days I was hoping to ride was either too late or too wet (thanks, Hermine!).

before 4 mi on the left.  After on the right!

before 4 mi on the left. After on the right!

Today’s was awesome though.  Not only was the post-Hermine weather cool and gorgeous, but I also discovered Serial!  I’m between audiobooks (and that’s my fav for running), and D’s been trying to get me to try podcasts for ages.  I have a few that I’ll pop in now and then (WSJ, This American Life, TedHour, and RadioLab) – but it’s rare I listen to them.

I had heard over the past year about a podcast called Serial.  So – I downloaded that and decided to listen to Episode 1 of Season 1.  I figured it was about an hour and my planned run was about 45 minutes, so I wouldn’t run out by the time my run ended.

Holy.  Cow.  It’s unbelievable.  The first episode is called “Alibi”.  It centers around the murder of a 17 year old girl and her ex-boyfriend who was convicted of her murder.  It’s already got me hooked (even though I know what’s happening with this case currently), and I can’t wait to lace up and listen again.

great run, though I saw some of the damage Hermine caused in my neighborhood.  Nothing tragic, thankfully.  Sadly, too cold to cool off in the pool!

great run, though I saw some of the damage Hermine caused in my neighborhood. Nothing tragic, thankfully. Sadly, too cold to cool off in the pool!

Oh, and I ran across this on my running app today.  HELLO.  I knew that.  Been saying that for many, many years.  Especially for a new runner, it’s a great distraction.  Music is easy to tune out, and you find yourself focusing on how much your legs or lungs hurt.  A good book draws you in, and you get lost in the story while you’re trucking along.  I like my music now and again, but I vastly prefer audio books.

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LIFE

It’s been a pretty normal week for the most part.  Family, school, and work.

yes, D and I send selfies when we don't see each other in the morning.  I was out way too early Thursday for anyone to see me first!  This was my "good morning".

yes, D and I send selfies when we don’t see each other in the morning. I was out way too early Thursday for anyone to see me first! This was my “good morning” from my office at 6am.

D went out for a drink with one of our friends earlier in the week and brought him home for dinner!  It was taco night, and we had a lot of fun standing around talking, eating, and just hanging out.  Oh, and Ginny took residence in his shoes (she loves shoes!).

face first, inhaling the aroma....

face first, inhaling the aroma….

D and I actually went out Friday night!  We grabbed dinner and went to see the latest Jason Bourne movie.  Great fun!

pre-movie dinner selfie!

pre-movie dinner selfie!

Saturday was a solid day of studies.  I made of goal of accomplishing 3 specific things by the end of the long weekend.  I got them ALL done on Saturday, so the evening was spent watching Terminator Genisys and cooking!

Today was up super early, cleaning, walking the dog, studying, and going for a run before anyone else woke up.  Then grocery shopping, more studying, a school team meeting, and a BBQ at home with all of the family and some of the kids’ friends too.

And now, I end with my typical random week pics and the intent of going to bed early 🙂

snapped this while chatting with BF from school about the pups so he could see how much she's grown!

snapped this while chatting with BF about the pups so he could see how much she’s grown!

you can't see my cute little ballet flats I wore to work.  Because as soon as I got home, Ginny crawled over them.  She has a shoe thing.  I totally get that.

you can’t see my cute little ballet flats I wore to work. Because as soon as I got home, Ginny crawled over them. She has a shoe thing. I totally get that.

cats and bags.  enough said.

cats and bags. enough said.

I can just imagine Kuma pleading to Ginny to play with her.

I can just imagine Kuma pleading to Ginny to play with her.

Saturday night movie fun!

Saturday night movie fun!

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typically Ginny getting all over my homework.  This is forward currency contracts and interest rate parity.  My cat is the smartest cat is the world!

typically Ginny getting all over my homework. This is forward currency contracts and interest rate parity. My cat is the smartest cat is the world!

all 3 getting along....

all 3 getting along….

And the week’s a wrap!  Later gators 🙂

Blisters and Bruises

FOOD

Just being back in my kitchen makes me so happy!  Soups, salads, tofu, smoothies….all the grub that makes me so happy 🙂

While I was away, D was a cooking fool.  It was awesome, because he’s always insisted that he can’t cook.  He made up a tofu/potato taco dish that was such a hit, he made it again my first night home.  Which was awesome because I was pretty much an exhausted zombie all day, and it was nice to have him cook for me!

topped with romaine, tomato, soy yogurt, and hot sauce!

topped with romaine, tomato, soy yogurt, and hot sauce!

After a good night’s sleep on Sunday, I was finally feeling my normal groove on Monday.  Forgot to snap a pic, but had a mango, banana, strawberry, chia, and spinach smoothie for breakfast (and a bagel I picked up for a work meeting – won’t lie!).  Lunch was some veggie pho, and dinner was a pressure cooker split pea soup loaded with veggies, thyme, and liquid smoke for some fun flavor.

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I also did one of my fav things – banana freezing.  Apparently no one else in my fam eats bananas with the voracity that I do, and when I got home there were several that were too brown for regular eats.  So – peel, chunk up freeze, and then bag up for banana soft serve or smoothies!

key here is to freeze them like this BEFORE putting in a bag...otherwise they stick together and are a pain.  I speak from very personal experience on this one.

key here is to freeze them like this BEFORE putting in a bag…otherwise they stick together and are a pain. I speak from very personal experience on this one.

I started feeling not so hot on Tuesday so managed a BAS of romaine, onion, cauliflower, and chickpeas, and little else.

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Today was VERY not feeling okay, so I was happy for leftover soup…

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FITNESS

Full disclosure – I have about 342 blisters from last week.  Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration, but the bottom of my feet are shredded.  I was averaging about 20 mi per day last week between morning runs and walking – and sadly most of my walking was either old flip flops or work shoes.  It’s literally hurt to stand!

Though yesterday morning was beautiful and I felt that since I didn’t run on Saturday (travels) or Sunday (zombie and foot pain day), that I definitely needed to run Tuesday morning.  Blisters were mostly feeling better and I figured it’d be fine.  About 1/2 mile in, I was annoyed, but insistent on ignoring them (I’m good at ignoring things – ask most of my family).  About 2 miles in I decided to turn around and head home.  I limped up to my front door and then left for work in flats (screw heels on blister day!).

chillin on the back porch after my "run" and before work!

chillin on the back porch after my “run” and before work!

I did yoga Monday and some light stretching today.  Some of the blisters have turned to bruises.  I think that’s a good sign.

LIFE

It’s so good to be back home!  The good thing is that so many of us were at the conference in Vegas last week, that I really wasn’t behind on anything.  That’s a good thing too, because it’s exam time for school, and all my free time is spent studying and getting prepped to knock those out.  2 this weekend, and 2 the weekend after!  5th class doesn’t have an exam, woo hoo!

I got home from the airport around 130am on Sunday, slept like crap, and was up super early.  So…zombie day.  I literally read all day and then curled up on the sofa with the family and watched the last Harry Potter movie.  It was kind of awesome to veg out though.

I also noticed that a whole bunch of people who traveled last week are in various stages of sick as hell this week.  Ugh.  Fortunately my job is pretty wicked, and as long as I have a computer and a phone, I’m good to go.  I have an empty inbox, multiple projects wrapping, and budgets reconciled!

One fun thing being at home during the day is the cats.  They certainly spend most of it sleeping, but they wander around until they find the perfect sleepy spots…

for Gin, it's seriously about sleeping in shoes.  The more recently worn, the better....

for Gin, it’s seriously about sleeping in shoes. The more recently worn, the better….

Bumble is a sunshine kitty when the stairs are lit up!

Bumble is a sunshine kitty when the stairs are lit up!

and an undercover kitty when they're not

and an undercover kitty when they’re not

And finally, morning pics!

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yes it's me.  Yes I'm sick so look like hell!

yes it’s me. Yes I’m sick so look like hell!

 

 

Week of Kitchen Sink/Cupboard Eats, Movies, Chess, and a Birthday!

FOOD

Okay, another week, another chance for some fun eats.  This week we had a bet that we could eat yummy stuff every day without actually going grocery shopping because we’re such massive food hoarders.  Okay, maybe not that, but I have a tendency to shop and buy stuff that I “plan” to make, and then don’t and then buy something else.

Anyway, the week started out with some Sweet and Sour lentils that were just amazing!  Loaded with carrots and pineapple, I could eat this (and did as leftovers for lunch) for days!  It was largely inspired by this recipe, but modified for what I had on hand and to increase the veg content.

on some basmati, it was perfect

on some basmati, it was perfect

Other eats include smoothies, salads, stir-fry’s, and easy eats.

brain food

brain food

a bit hot ginger tea

a bit hot ginger tea

Cajun tofu cutlets with mashers, roasted maple sweet potatoes, and sage gravy.  My personal fav of the week!

Cajun tofu cutlets with mashers, roasted maple sweet potatoes, and sage gravy. My personal fav of the week!

D’s bday was yesterday, and his meal was a special request – though comfort food at it’s finest.  Including mushrooms, mashers, gravy, stuffing, and salad.  And cake, of course!  This was a triple layer chocolate cake with chocolate malt frosting!

another upside down pic.  Sorry!

another upside down pic. Sorry!

so, he's not actually 04...but the numbers were correct (just in the wrong order!)

so, he’s not actually 04…but the numbers were correct (just in the wrong order!)

For V-day breakfast, D went out to Yorgo’s to get me a vegan breakfast burrito!  Tofu scramble, Diaya cheese, potatoes, tempeh sausage, and red onion.  I added a ton of hot sauce and loved it!

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FITNESS

I’ll be honest, only one run this week.  It’s so cold, and I no longer have access to a treadmill.  So – lots of yoga and a few workout DVD’s at home.  Not as much fun, but better than freezing!

LIFE

Another week gone by, and it was pretty normal.  Lot’s of work and studying and as much family time as I could get.  I’m heading out for a week at the end of the month for a work conference (Vegas…I know….suffering, right?!), so being home is where I want to be this week.

D pulled some major muscle in his neck and ended up at urgent care and then mostly immobilized for a few days.  He’s a lot better, but not healed all the way yet.

We’re on a chess playing kick the past few days.  M beat me in a game.  I beat R (barely).  And then the kids did their own little tourney last night.

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Friday I went to see The Big Short and loved it.  Wow, I totally want to see it again!  Other than that, we’ve watched Forest Gump, Indiana Jones (finished out the series), and James Bond!

And here are the obligatory pictures.  Beginning with how Ginny doesn’t want me to study…

and when I gave up, she started to use my pillow too

and when I gave up, she started to use my pillow too

oh look, you're really busy...rub my belly! (yes, a cat who loves her belly scratched)

oh look, you’re really busy…rub my belly! (yes, a cat who loves her belly scratched)

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Morning pictures….

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And miscellaneous fun!

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while not my studies, she still couldn't handle me reading something....

while not my studies, she still couldn’t handle me reading something….

"while you all play chess, I'll just sleep in the box..."

“while you all play chess, I’ll just sleep in the box…”

have been a big fan of Andrea Bocceli for years, and was excited when there was a whole playlist on Spotify!

have been a big fan of Andrea Bocceli for years, and was excited when there was a whole playlist on Spotify!

such snuggles!

such snuggles!

Have a great week, and I’ll post again soon (ish!)

Finally a Grown Up Because I Have Curtains

FOOD

When I went vegan a little over 9 years ago, I had no problem giving up some foods.  Desserts were a big one for awhile – at least until I found my vegan baking mojo (and to be honest – I hate to bake and have more of a salt-tooth vs sweet tooth, so it never really bugged me).  My mom’s egg salad sammiches and tuna noodle salad were two of my favorites growing up, and even though I’ve tried multiple recipes over the years, this one still stands as my fav egg-less salad.  I don’t make it as often as I probably should, but it’s so yummy as a sammich or with crackers.  It’s mostly adapted from my mom and other recipes collected through the years, and I think is one of those stand by recipes.

Crissie’s Tofu Eggless Salad

Ingredients

  • firm silken tofu – best is the cardboard box Mori-Nu brand found in the Asian food aisle vs where regular tofu is found.  Sliced small (I still use an egg slicer for it)
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayo (I use Just Mayo)
  • 4 tbsp yellow mayo
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup pickle relish (I like the sweet kind)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  • mix and eat!

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I prefer toasted Ezekiel bread or whole wheat pitas and with added veggies like lettuce, tomato, and onion.

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Other eats  were an Amy’s bean burrito (hey, even I eat food from a freezer now and then!), green smoothie, salad from Moe’s (Welcome to Moe’s!), veggie soup with toast, and a yummy dinner with roasted portabello mushrooms, butternut squash risotto, and a vegan chorizo sausage.

topped with my tart homemade soy yogurt and some hot sauce

topped with my tart homemade soy yogurt and some hot sauce

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FITNESS

Runs every day (but today – yucky rain and snowy weather), yoga, and meditation.  I had my 2nd meditation class yesterday and I very much enjoyed it.

So I started this meditation class for a few reasons.  The first is that I’ve gone down this road before – gung ho to figure out how to stop the constant chatter in my brain – but gave up.  I kept thinking of all the other stuff I could get done if I didn’t just sit still.  The second is because I suck at sleeping.  Seriously – if you look up “insomnia” in the dictionary, it’s quite possible you’ll see my face.  I honestly want to learn how to turn the noise down enough to sleep like a normal person.  And finally, on the advice of a speaker we heard in Brazil last month.  He talked about meditation being a huge key to his balance (he works for a very prestigious global consulting firm), and goodness knows I could use some balance.  So…it was pretty awesome to find that the yoga studio closest to my house actually was starting a 5-week meditation course.  Naturally, I signed up!

I know it’ll take me a long time to get it, but I was heartened when a girl in my class mentioned that she, too, has difficulty sleeping, and that even one week of meditating before bed has helped.  I don’t expect a miracle overnight, but sometime in the next month would be nice!

after a long run on Friday - apparently Ginny loves to snuggle when I smell...

after a long run on Friday – apparently Ginny loves to snuggle when I smell…

60's yesterday and a run around the lake!

60’s yesterday and a run around the lake!

LIFE

The past few days have been pretty great.  I get up so much earlier than my family, so I’ve had a lot of quiet study time.

And while we didn’t win the lotto, my son did play for the first time (he’s 18) and won $4!

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We also – after almost a year in our new house – got curtains.  Only for 2 of the windows, but I’m feeling very grown up all of the sudden!  I fretted over them for a long time.  What looks right?  What fabric?  Ugh.  I’ve stalked Pinterest and finally after a xmas gift card from my parents and a not so subtle “get some damned curtains” nudge, we finally did.  Holy crap, curtains are expensive!  Even on sale, these two windows were nearly $300.  Yikes!  Alas, now I have the “curtain bug” and will not rest until all my windows are appropriately dressed.

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Friday night we all hung out and watched Mission Impossible.  Last night, D and I had plans to check out the new cinema café that opened near us and watch 13 (the Benghazi movie).  We even got there an hour early thinking we’d get great seats and grab a beer or something.  Silly movie was sold out!  So…we went out for dinner/drinks and then went back today to watch the flick!

Bumble snuggling with M on movie night

Bumble snuggling with M on movie night

out on Saturday eve

out on Saturday eve

and finally at the movies today!

and finally at the movies today!

The rest of the evening is doing some studying, laundry, bulk cooking, and prepping for the busy week ahead!

 

 

It’s a Soul II Soul Kind of Day

Bonus points for you if you get the 1989 musical reference!  Here’s a link if you did not…

FOOD

It’s been nice to have enough time at home to spend some of it in the kitchen.  I know I’ve mentioned it before, but as hectic as my life gets, I often give that up.  Hopefully I’ll get to keep the trend up!  I tend to forget that yummy and healthy food can be simple and not every meal needs to be a complicated affair!

Take today’s lunch, for example.  Totally amazing and yummy.  I took a whole grain pita bread topped it with a little BBQ sauce, red onion, crushed pineapple, and leftover citrus seitan from last night, baked for 10 minutes at 350, and had a tropical pizza for lunch!

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Other eats from the past few days…

Smoothies, of course…

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Jerk Tofu with Coconut Rice (which was really, really good – just followed the marinade on the bottle of Jerk Seasoning)

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for the rice

for the rice

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Made my very first batch of homemade seitan!  To be honest, I’ve always been a bit leery about something called “wheat meat” and actually ate it for the first time not too long ago.  Since I had time and the right ingredients on hand, I whipped up a batch.  It’s SOOOO good.

after and before images (before boiling it in broth in my pressure cooker

after and before images (before boiling it in broth in my pressure cooker

Last night for dinner I made brown rice, sweet black beans (also in the pressure cooker), and a citrus marinated seitan.  Totally, totally delicious.  With enough leftovers for wraps and salads for lunches this week.

before baking

before baking

after

after

dinner!  Topped with some homemade tangy soy yogurt

dinner! Topped with some homemade tangy soy yogurt

I also made a batch of homemade yogurt.  Super simple – just plain soymilk, probiotic powder, and a little raw sugar.  I incubate it for 15 hrs because I like mine super tart.

My favorite toast – Ezekiel sprouted bread with sunflower butter, sliced banana, and a little agave.

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I roasted a bunch of root veggies (carrots, sweet potatoes, and beets) with coconut oil and maple syrup.  Topped a baked potato with them – also really good.

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It got cold finally, so this morning I went with Irish oats instead of a smoothie.  With banana, cinnamon, and a very little bit of maple syrup.

made these in the pressure cooker too.  45 min on the stove or 4 in the cooker?  Yeah...I'm not overly patient...

made these in the pressure cooker too. 45 min on the stove or 4 in the cooker? Yeah…I’m not overly patient…

I had one meal out and it was quite a disappointment.  My area has no decent Chinese food.  I grew up with a few really good restaurants, and when I lived in the Seattle area – forget it.  The grocery store’s Asian food was better than anything I’d ever had!  Here in Hampton Roads, all the Chinese restaurants are take-out places with maybe 1 or 2 sit down restaurants.  When I was in Richmond in November and had lunch with JG, we went to Peter Chang’s – a sit down real Chinese restaurant – and my meal was awesome.  I was so excited to find out that one opened in Virginia Beach!  I was out shopping (in vain) for curtains, and stopped for lunch.  I had a clay pot of tofu and veggies, and it wasn’t all that great….

looks cool though...

looks cool though…

FITNESS

I’ve been running every day the past week or so.  Not terribly far (rebuilding some base mileage), but it’s been nice to get out there.

It’s strange going from shorts and a t-shirt to gloves and headbands!  Chilly weather is upon us.

New Year’s day I was up WAY earlier than everyone else, and since there was a gaggle of teenagers sleeping on my living room floor, I immediately left the house to grab coffee, run errands, and take my first run of the year down at the Oceanfront.

King Neptune as a running buddy!

King Neptune as a running buddy!

And this was me today after getting back from a noon run – my face is about as pink as my headband!  I suppose it wouldn’t have killed me to smile – I was in a hurry when I took it 🙂

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LIFE

It’s been a really nice week.  Quiet at work, fairly quiet at home, no classes, and lots of time to study and relax.  It’s going to be tough getting back to reality tomorrow!

New Year’s Eve is always a quiet affair for D and me.  We stay home, relax, and I tend to go to bed around 1215!  This year was no different.  M had a bunch of friends over, and effectively kicked everyone else out of the living room!  A went to a friends house, so me, D, and R watched movies in my bedroom until just before midnight.  And as usual, I was out cold by 1215!

I meet with my classmate partners in crime tonight, which will be nice.  They’re a great group and it’ll be nice to catch up.

Otherwise it’s meal planning for the week (which is done), cooking, more studying, laundry, and getting ready for everything tomorrow (back to life, back to reality! – it’s the song lyrics if you didn’t watch the video)

I leave you with miscellaneous pictures…as usual…

snuggles

snuggles

her royal Bumble in her gingerbread house

her royal Bumble in her gingerbread house

the New Years Eve drink!  Vodka, Gin, Grenadine, and OJ.

the New Years Eve drink! Vodka, Gin, Grenadine, and OJ.

Discriminatory Airplane Manufacturers & The Joy of Being in My Own Kitchen

FOOD

My last meal in Rio!  Found a cafeteria with some friends and enjoyed a filling lunch.

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One of the best things about getting home after time away is getting into my kitchen!

Sunday night I didn’t cook (had been up for about 40 hrs, so D went to Whole Foods and picked up some essentials and a yummy soup for dinner).

Monday morning was a green smoothie to take to work!  A simple affair of vanilla coconut milk, banana, mango, and spinach.  For lunch, I met up with D for sushi (sweet potato rolls for me), and dinner was a monster BAS!

in the office bright and early on Monday morning!

in the office bright and early on Monday morning!

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Components of the BAS (Big A$$ Salad for the newbie readers) were chopped romaine and spinach, roasted mustard red potatoes, Cajun tofu bites (simple sauté, sprinkle with Cajun season and finished with a bit of soy sauce), red onion, cucumber, and tomato.  The dressing was a simple whipping of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, orange zest, and champagne.

shame on anyone who thinks a salad should be boring!

shame on anyone who thinks a salad should be boring!

Last night, D and I went out to dinner to a little place in Virginia Beach called Eurasia.  They made me a yummy dish of tri color quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, peas, kale, and a balsamic reduction.  With a side salad topped with beets, it was a great meal.

sorry for the bad lighting!

sorry for the bad lighting!

This morning started with another green smoothie.  Coconut water and chia seeds (left to soak about 10 minutes), banana, strawberry, grape, mango, and spinach.

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FITNESS

Today was the perfect day for a nice long run.  Mid 70’s, and while not exactly sunny, it was finally not raining!  I laced up around noon and ran off all the stress, frustration, and exhaustion of the past few weeks.  Best therapy ever.

LIFE

So after my last post, I spent much of the day wandering and shopping in Rio with DW, JG, and her husband K who flew out to spend a few fun post-residency days.

a gift to my classmates from the hotel staff. I drank up the coconut water right away, but gave away the snacks.

a gift to my classmates from the hotel staff. I drank up the coconut water right away, but gave away the snacks.

I went back to the hotel and spent a bit of time on the roof with some classmates as we were all dispersing to either airports or other hotels for those staying on longer.

me an NS up on the roof! My classmate from Kenya - who happens to be a Liverpool fan, but I love him anyway :)

me and NS up on the roof! My classmate from Kenya – who happens to be a Liverpool fan, but I love him anyway 🙂

At 930pm Rio time, I started my very long journey back home.

a live band rocking out in the airport because...Rio.

a live band rocking out in the airport because…Rio.

for some reason, this made me smile.

for some reason, this made me smile.

My flight from Rio to Miami wasn’t too bad, though I didn’t get any sleep.  First of all, sleeping sitting up just sucks, secondly, the dumb plane has built in pillows (I think I was on an Airbus, but not sure) that stick out from the seat and cannot be removed – and because I’m short, they force me to keep my head at an unnatural angle.  Jerks.  Also, the woman sitting in the window seat (I had the aisle) kept getting up to brush her teeth.  As such, I ended up watching a little over 3 movies before landing in Miami.

There was a long wait in passport control and customs while entering the US, and I managed to at least delete all the junk email from work!  I will say, I was a bit annoyed when the customs guy informed me he liked my hair better in my passport picture than when he saw me at 4 am after being awake for 24 hrs.  Dude.  Not cool.

I had to kill 8 hrs in the Miami airport which was also annoying.  Nothing was open and plugs are hard to find.  I eventually camped out near a wall with a plug to charge my phone and Surface and then wandered back and forth to stay awake.

The flight home to Virginia was on an Embraer plane, which didn’t have those annoying head rests, and I managed to doze for half the flight!

D, M, and R picked me up at the airport (A couldn’t, and I’ll get to that in a bit), and whisked me home.  After some cleaning and a long shower, it was relaxing until going to bed around 8pm.  It was  a long time to be awake (about 40 hrs), but I fell asleep quickly and slept hard.  Next day was Monday morning, so it was back to work and life as it was before Brazil!

While I was away, D had to deal with a few issues, one of which was emergency eye surgery for our eldest.  She noticed something wrong with her peripheral vision, went to our eye doctor (THANK GOODNESS) and was immediately sent to a retinal specialist because apparently her retina had almost completely detached.  So, it was right into surgery for her last Thursday.  It’s been difficult for her and D is absolutely super-dad.  Good news is that A is healing well.  She had to have an additional procedure yesterday which hurt like hell (laser treatment to generate scar tissue to plug the tear), but the retina has reattached.  She has to spend a week bascially lying on her left side so gravity does the rest of the work, but she should be all healed in about a month.

Otherwise it’s been coffee on the back porch, reading, relaxing, and taking care of family!

back porch java!

back porch java!

the first Midori Sour I've had in nearly 20 yrs...

the first Midori Sour I’ve had in nearly 20 yrs…

D and me going out. Alone. It was awesome.

D and me going out. Alone. It was awesome.

One last note about a book I’m reading and the person who suggested it.  FF lives in Sao Paulo and was our guide and honorary classmate for the entire two weeks we were in Brazil.  During tours and discussions he spoke so passionately about the people and his hope for the future – and candid about the issues they’re facing as a nation.  He mentioned a particular book, which I picked up and will be reading throughout the holiday break.

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It Feels Like a Normal Post!

FOOD

Friday was a simple green smoothie of coconut water, spinach, hemp seeds, banana, and frozen pineapple.


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Lunch was some leftover tofu stir fry that I had made on Thursday for dinner.  Super simple (and I have no picture, sorry!), but sauteed cubed tofu in a bit of coconut oil then added onion, garlic, red bell pepper, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, and green beans.  Added soy sauce at the end, and served over rice.

Dinner was a potato burrito and some Spanish rice.

I had class yesterday morning, so I heated up some leftover cream of broccoli soup (a Happy Herbivore recipe from her Holiday’s and Gatherings book).

Lunch was pretzels and hummus (bad, I know…was studying and didn’t feel like cooking).

I did cook for dinner though, and have a recipe to share!  I made butternut squash risotto from a mix I picked up at Costco last week – by Manitou Trading Company.  It was a huge hit, so find it if you can!  Served with a mushroom and broccoli bake and Lightlife vegan Italian smart sausages.

very flavorful and perfect for a chilly fall night

very flavorful and perfect for a chilly fall night

Crissie’s Mushroom & Broccoli Bake

Ingredients

  • 4 cups broccoli – steamed
  • 3-4 cups quartered mushrooms (I used baby bellas, but any would work)
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • bread crumbs (I used Italian seasoned panko)

Directions

  • steam the broccoli for about 4 minutes
  • put broccoli and mushrooms in a 9-in (or similar sized) baking dish
  • in a skillet, melt the Earth Balance
  • saute garlic and onion until onion is clear
  • add flour and make a roux
  • slowly add coconut milk and stir until a thick sauce forms
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pour coconut milk mixture over the veggies and stir well
  • sprinkle with bread crumbs
  • bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees

I’m actually thinking of making this on Thanksgiving – it’s been quite awhile since I’ve felt any creativity in the kitchen, and this recipe didn’t disappoint at all.

this came out so bubbly and creamy!

this came out so bubbly and creamy!

FITNESS

After class yesterday I went for a run before getting busy working on laundry and studying.  Not too far – only on Day 2 of the 10k training program!

Still, it was a nice day and at one point D drove past me (heading to the gas station to get gas for the mower) blaring Eye of the Tiger in case I needed some motivational tunes.  He’s so cute.

I also went ahead and signed up for the Shamrock 8k in March here in Virginia Beach.  It helps to have a race to train for, and I’ve been running the Shamrock for all but one of the last 12 years!

LIFE

After work Friday was a retirement party for my CIO and then D and I went to AC and JC’s house to relax and hang out.

We have class on Saturday’s for half of this term – I think it’s to work around the holiday’s and to lesson our workload in our Brazil residency – which is just 2 weeks away!  So, I was up around 8 on Saturday, studied for a bit, had class from 10-1130, and then got back to studying most of the day (mixed with a few breaks for a run, shower, and laundry).

I’ve really been getting into candles lately, and a packaged arrived yesterday with three I had ordered!  Unfortunately, as I was taking the bubble wrap off of one of them, I lost a chunk of finger on broken glass 😦  Seriously, it bled for about 4 hours, and was seriously wondering if I needed stitches at one point.  What sucks too, is that it’s my pointer finger on my right hand – so the one I need for typing, using a mouse, and writing.  Ugh.  At least I’ll be exempt from washing dishes for a bit – and you can  bet I’m going to milk that for as long as I can!!  🙂

After dinner last night, I decided no more studies, and D, R, and I watched Die Hard!  She’s starting to get introduced to some of my old action favorites – like James Bond, John McLane, and next is Armageddon!

I went to bed fairly early, and the two of them stayed up and watched another flick.

Today’s plans are – meal planning, finish laundry, and study!