Half Burnt Beats Fully Burnt

FOOD

I was on the road for a week, so not many homemade eats since my last post! I didn’t get pics of everything, but breakfasts were mostly oatmeal and fruit and sometimes toast. I managed a smoothie one day and I thought I was in heaven.

I was at the airport a bit early, so it was fruit, breakfast potatoes, and a mimosa!

Sunday afternoon/evening I went to Epcot (you know I can’t pass that up when in Florida!). Other than drinks, I got what I always do at the Tangerine Cafe in Morocco – falafel, hummus, lentils, olives, couscous, and tabbouleh. It’s their veg platter and it’s yummy.

And the rest while out of town…

Gardein Wings!

Erin McKenna’s fully vegan bakery!

Wine, Popcorn, and Twizzlers at the Orlando Magic game!

Then there’s this past weekend after getting home! Still didn’t cook because my best friend came in for the weekend. Didn’t get a pic of Friday night’s dinner. Mine was a mushroom risotto

AC and I LOVE Thai, and that was her 1 request – no good Thai in NOLA I guess

More gardein wings!
Vegan Bloody Mary at The Bee and Biscuit!

Last night’s very basic noodle and veggie dish

FITNESS

Hahaha. Does hiking all over Orlando and the convention center count? If not…well…then nothing!

I will say I was WAY over my step count, and averaged 5 -7 miles of walking per day.

Glad to be home, and when this stupid cold passes, excited to get back to Regymen and yoga!

LIFE

Well, I was in Orlando for the week for the HIMSS conference. Honestly, it was an excellent conference this year. I had 3 speaking engagements, tons of meetings, a lot of valuable sessions, plus our inaugural booth where we launched 3 products/services. To say it was busy is a major understatement.

Of course, there’s always a blend of a lot of work and quite a bit of play too. Vendors always want to treat you to fun evenings, and that certainly happened.

My quick recap –

Saturday was around the world in Epcot. Sunday was Universal City Walk and some mini golf.

Monday night was a women’s innovation dinner that was actually really great. Then met up with friends for drinks.

Tuesday was a show at a place called Mango’s. Lot’s of singing and dancing and it was a good time. My girlfriend KB lives in Orlando and she was my date! Hadn’t seen her in about 3 years, so it was a ton of fun.

Wednesday was light on the festivities. Went to happy hour to support a friend who is with a new company, but then left to head to Disney Springs and do some shopping and grab dinner. Needed a quiet night.

LOVED these – didn’t buy any – but loved them…

Thursday was the last night there, and we went to the Orlando Magic basketball game. That was a TON of fun and got to catch up with more friends I hadn’t seen in 2 years.

Friday’s flight wasn’t until 455pm, so there was plenty of time to relax at the pool. What I didn’t really pay attention to is the way the sun was falling on me. Only my right side. So – my right arm and leg got a bit of sunburn, while the rest of me didn’t! All is fine now – but I do have a few more freckles on that side of my body!

Friday I came home. My best friend AC arrived from New Orleans about 20 minutes before I landed. So I scooped her up and my guy met us for wine and dinner. My oldest had to work (she works nights), and was leaving right after work for DC and not returning until after AC had to go, so I was instructed by my daughter to bring her aunt AC to the hospital – with food 🙂

Saturday AC and I went to Thai for lunch, then I took her to BackBay Farmhouse brewery, where my guy met up with us for a few drinks and hanging out. Then it was back home and showered for the whole reason AC came this weekend – Kathleen Madigan comedy show. And it was HILARIOUS. After we stopped at Yard House for a drink and apps.

Sunday morning we were up early and to my fav brunch place – the Bee and Biscuit. Then it was off to the airport to drop her off, and me heading back home for a nap and then writing a paper.

Busy busy week! Unfortunately, I came down with a cold this weekend. Woke up Saturday with a sore throat and stuffy. Pushed through, but I think I just need some serious rest. And Sudafed 🙂

On a side note, I really really love sugar skulls. So while at Epcot I did pick up a new water bottle with them on it, and a thing for my desk. AC – who rides in the Mardi Gras parades – made me a purse with one on it – in purple – and it’s the absolute best!

Not as many fluff pics as normal…

So, it was a good week and a great weekend – but I’m happy to be home. Need a bit of recovery to feel 100%, but that’s okay too.

Welcome to Hell Week

FOOD

I finally got a curry this week! Whew. I had lunch plans that fell through, so off I went to one of my fav Thai restaurants to eat and read.

There have also been smoothies (of course), cream cheeze/tomato/sprouted bread (toasted) half sammiches – with fresh from the garden tomatoes!, and veggie pho too.

One night R and I went out with my boyfriend and his kids. Mexican. YUM.

I also grilled one night and made my favorite spicy tofu soup. This one is tofu, onion, canned tomatoes, garlic, sriracha, cauliflower rice, and green beans – all simmered in vegetable broth.

Also was looking for something a bit different, and whipped up a chickn salad using Beyond Meat fake chicken strips, onion, celery, and Dijon mustard – served on half a pita with more fresh sliced tomatoes. Think I’ll be making this one again!

But. There’s more. Oh yes. TACO FEST. My guy and I went – and we were hungry. I’m happy to say there was a decent enough selection of vegan options that I was happy. Sad to say that I couldn’t eat more than 3, though I tried.

There was an Asian inspired tofu taco with sesame sauce. Indian inspired tacos with cauliflower and chickpeas, and a nacho dish with lentils and tons of toppings, including vegan cheese and a spicy cream sauce. And of course margaritas!

All in all, we had a nice time. Down side was they sold too many tickets and lines were crazy deep – like 60+ people per food truck! And only one place for margaritas. While it was open 1-7, we left around 230 or so – when it got stupid busy. We were full anyway, so who cares. Headed across the street to Grain for a drink, and then back to my house. Beer flight for me, cider for him.

FITNESS

So remember how I recently lamented that I lost my running mojo? Well – perhaps just giving voice to it changed the game. Or maybe it was getting new kicks this week (way overdue – was getting blisters from my last pair!).

Anywho…had several runs the past few days as well as a spin session (during the finale of Rizzoli and Isles), and made use of the home gym weight equipment too.

LIFE

So, I’ve decided to work on becoming a morning person. To orient you to my feelings about mornings – I hate them. I think that people who get up at 5 or 530 are nuts, and that the only good reason to be up at that hour is if you’d been up all night. Anything before 630, and I just may get a little violent.

And you know what – this has worked for me for 44 years. When I worked nights at the hospital – it was perfect! Off work at 7, at the third shifter happy hour by 730, and bed by 10! When I was married, I would just run and stuff in the evenings. Easy peasy, and mornings could remain the domain of the insane.

Then I started seeing my guy. And he’s a very early morning person. And we certainly don’t live together or anything, but we have our fair share of overnights, and while I’d be happy to stay snuggled in bed until 830, he just can’t. And to be fair, my evenings have become busier with going out and studying, and so I figure now is a good time to join the ranks of the deranged and become a morning person. Theoretically, I like the idea of getting my workout done, being caught up on work and school stuff, etc.

So. Here I go. First, I did some research in how one decides to become a morning person. Turns out – there’s a LOT of info on it. After reading a lot, I actually decided on a journal/workbook thingy called The Morning Sidekick. It’s a 66 day program geared towards making you want to get your ass out of bed at a ridiculous hour.

It’s broken into three phases. Phase 1. Hell week. The journal says the first two days are the hardest, so I started it Friday night/Saturday morning so I could have the two craptastic days on the weekend. And you know what? They WERE craptastic. But I dragged my ass out of bed anyway. I suck at sleeping, so trying to force myself to fall asleep by 10 is comical. So, for instance, last night I finally fell asleep around 1230. Got up at 530 anyway. Coffee, then 2 workouts, shower, laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and started school. All before 830. It was WILD. I’m not in love with it yet, but will keep giving it a try!

Kuma, on the other hand, clearly didn’t sign up for this whole “morning thing”. And this was her – and she didn’t move until I was back from my run around 7.

Other fun things this week include getting all my school stuff done more than a day early so I could start working ahead. Morning fun has nothing to do with it – was just the first week of this term and it was a bit light.

I picked out my new floors! Stopping tomorrow after work to place the order for delivery. The floor laying party is scheduled for the weekend of Aug 4th. I’m SO excited!

Also took R to see Jurassic World today. We both really enjoyed it.

The garden is doing great! A is super proud of it. It’s also helping keep her sane between working full time and full time nursing school. And I like eating everything! I swear, even though we’re growing ten tons of tomatoes, they rarely last with me around.

Other than that, chilling out, cooking, cleaning, and spending time with the ones I love!

Kuma’s Selective Stair Use Annoys Me

FOOD

Summer is seriously the best for fresh food. Don’t get me wrong, I adore winter squash and kale, etc, but bring on the fruit and summer squash and fresh tomatoes please!

Morning smoothies as always. Usually use water as the liquid base, maybe 1/2 a banana and berries and some green – spinach and kale mostly, but sometimes arugula for a spicy kick. Occasionally I’ll throw in a fresh herb like cilantro or mint.

Went to my boyfriend’s house for the 4th. I brought “dessert” 😉

He made a totally yummy smoked tofu plus vegan mashers and roasted corn.

Other random eats like toasted Ezekiel bread with Daiya cream cheese and sliced tomatoes with fresh pepper!

I went to Keegan’s in Virginia Beach to watch the Brazil v. Belgium match yesterday. Their veggie stack is actually really awesome. As was the Tito’s & Soda!

And always tofu green curry.

FITNESS

Definitely still loving the at-home spin classes pretty much daily. I enjoy the Peloton instructors, but after yesterday’s class, still wanted to ride. So, I popped on a show from Hulu (Rizzoli and Isles), sprinted during the show and climbed with high resistance during the commercials. For once, I’m glad to have the bloody commercials! I was pretty dead though after yesterday’s 90 minutes!

Also went for a run, and probably will in a little bit since the weather has cooled off post all the overnight rains.

LIFE

The 4th was a lot of fun hanging out and my boyfriend’s house with his kids and two of mine (M had to work). A’s boyfriend is in town and he came too. The evening involved competitive pool basketball, drinks, eats, and the kids playing video games. It was a pretty perfect day.

My girls!

Now that we have no more cats, Kuma is allowed free run of the house. I had a gate blocking her from the upstairs, as that was cat safe-haven territory. Their litter boxes and food, etc was up there. This means Kuma can actually sleep with one of us. She’s a runt of a pup, so I bought some puppy stairs. Let’s just say the stair training is NOT going well….and I don’t get it. She does the stairs in the house fine. And the front and back porches. But not to the comfiness of my bed! Ugh.

And my summer break from classes is officially over. Back to the grind, and I’m pretty grateful for it. I don’t do boredom well, and the past 3 weeks I struggled a bit with what to do with myself!

Oh well. Tomorrow I leave for a couple days on the road for work. Should be back by late Tuesday night. Until then, typical miscellaneous pics!

Good Times but with a Tearful Goodbye

First of all, Happy 4th of July to my friends in the USA! Today, on our 242nd Birthday, I’d like to remember the dreams our forefathers had for this country, and while I do not feel our current political climate is at all honoring that vision, I have to believe in the strength and heart of the American people, and in the end, we will exceed that vision of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for ALL who come to our shores.

FOOD

Hot summer days are definitely here to stay! That means morning smoothies and fruit-based deliciousness.

I found myself mostly alone this past 10 days or so. R was in Orlando with her bestie’s family, A works nights, and M mostly works evenings, so my meals were super simple for the most part.

Did have dinner one night at my guys house, but forgot to snap pics. Salad, pasta, and cupcakes!

FITNESS

More Peloton spin fun and runs!

LIFE

Been mostly a good week and a half. R had a blast in Orlando, for which I’m so happy and grateful to her friend’s family for taking her!

Got to have a fun evening out with another couple who were visiting the area.

I took R and her bestie to their first big outdoor show! R had gone to see 21 Pilots with my ex-husband and the other kids about 5-6 years ago. This was her first big stadium show, and Imagine Dragon’s did NOT disappoint! It was N’s very first concert ever. The girls had a blast, and it was so much fun to be there with them.

It’s that time of year again where java is best enjoyed outdoors in the morning!

And A’s garden harvest is starting to produce some yummy eats too.

Other random pics.

But there was certainly heartbreak this past week as well. Our beloved Ginny succumbed to her feline leukemia. We were so fortunate to share her life for 5 years, and saying goodbye, frankly, sucked. I’m not sure Kuma knows what to do being the only fluff left. In time, we’ll rescue another kitty or two, but for now, we’re just focusing on celebrating Gin. Here are a few of the last pics I took of her. Sweet dreams Ginnykins

Spin, Spin, Baby!

FOOD

I’ve actually been home for well over a week straight! And – no trips until a short one in July, so it’s been pretty nice.

Before I got home though, I did get to see a girlfriend in DC and meet for breakfast at an all vegan joint called Fare Well. Had these awesome tofu chilaquiles that I think I could eat every single day!

Other eats on the road. Tofu dishes, fajitas, eggplant, and other yummy stuff.

Home eats!

Fitness

Okay, so for this, I’m totally stoked. I have been obsessed with getting a Peloton bike for months now. For those not familiar, its a spin bike with a built in big screen and, with a peloton subscription, you can take on demand or live spin classes.

On the road trip, we stopped at Tyson’s Corner where they have a Peloton showroom. LOVE. Also was lucky to try it out at the Westin when I was in Chicago, so I knew I loved it.

Well, I literally had it ordered and in my cart and ready to buy it, but just felt too selfish spending $3k for the bike, delivery, set up, and shoes. The subscription is $12.99 per month and not included. Even though all the kids want to use it, I just couldn’t stomach that price.

So what does my guy do? He does maybe 10 minutes of research and finds a “Peloton hack”. Grand total? $350 + subscription! http://www.sippingandshopping.org/my-peloton-bike-alternative/

So I purchased a Sunny spin bike. Don’t need spin shoes since the pedals are clip ins on one side and cages on the other (I have road racing shoes, and just need to change out the clip types).

I got an iPad mount so I can put my screen up. And a Wahoo cadence sensor. Voila! I can do everything a Peloton can do, without the sick price tag.

And I’ve been using the heck out of it! My bum is sore, but that’ll fade in a few weeks.

It’s the perfect addition to the home gym we’ve been building since last fall. Oh, and while the bike wasn’t 100% put together, R (my 14 yo) built it in less than an hour. Just as functional and sturdy as the Peloton bike.

So while I still love to run, I’m excited to spin, spin, baby!

LIFE

Really can’t complain. Picked up a summer cold that had a lingering cough for over a week, but other than that, felt fine.

While out of town, turns out one of my good friends was in Baltimore (he lives in Portland), so we got together for dinner one night, which was awesome!

M turned 21 on the 8th! So right at midnight, had to take him out for his first legal bday shots! My friend B was sending shot ideas. After the four horseman, M quit it on the shots and had a beer before going home.

Big dinner party and then pool party on his bday proper. The next day, he and his girlfriend went to Toronto for the week. They had a blast.

My friends who live in NOLA came to stay for a few days. Well, A didn’t – she had to work, but J and the kids were here, and stayed with me for two days. It’s always nice to see them.

I had a ton of pool drama. First company I hired to come open it and get it ready just sucked beyond reason. After a month of them continuing to muck it up, I hired a different company, and the difference has been incredible! They also spent over an hour teaching me everything I needed to know to do all this myself too. Needless to say, with the weather as hot as it’s been, the pool is definitely getting used!

This past Friday was the last day of the second term of my doctoral program! My last deliverable with a huge paper, but once it was knocked out, I hit the pool with my Kindle Oasis (waterproof) and read all afternoon. I have off until July 9th, which worries me that I’ll get bored, but that’s okay. The mental break is nice.

And A finished up her first term in nursing school and killed it! She was struggling with the schedule change – working full time nights and school full time days. Made a comment about needing an eye mask or something. Got her these – she’s been sleeping great since between the eyemask and ear plugs!

And this tee for R…if you knew her, it describes her perfectly.

Other events included going shopping for new floors for my house, going to see the Incredibles 2 last night (better than the first!), plus plenty of miscellaneous fun and fluffs! Plus a few shots from the MGM casino in Maryland.

Strawberries For Days

FOOD

On Saturday morning, A and I went strawberry picking.  And pretty much everything has revolved around it since!

the strawberry haul!  And a spicy/sweet jam from the farm too.
the strawberry haul! And a spicy/sweet jam from the farm too.
strawberry balsamic vinaigrette!
strawberry balsamic vinaigrette!
really yummy salad dressing.  Olive oil, strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard.
really yummy salad dressing. Olive oil, strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard.
one of the most amazing snacks ever.  Mix cream cheese with spicy jam/jelly, and dip in pretzels.  Holy cow.  Been a long time fav of D and me.
one of the most amazing snacks ever. Mix cream cheese with spicy jam/jelly, and dip in pretzels. Holy cow. Been a long time fav of D and me.
of course ya gotta make some home made strawberry shortcake!
of course ya gotta make some home made strawberry shortcake!
this freaked D out....just the act f cooking strawberries
this freaked D out….just the act of cooking strawberries
but it made a yummy strawberry syrup for pancakes!  It's fairly thick, so good for toast too.
but it made a yummy strawberry syrup for pancakes! It’s fairly thick, so good for toast too.
speaking of pancakes....perhaps I tried to make too big a batch in that pitcher (it was A's birthday breakfast!)
speaking of pancakes….perhaps I tried to make too big a batch in that pitcher (it was A’s birthday breakfast!)
breakfast stuff
breakfast stuff
in non strawberry related news, made a new mac no cheese dish from a new cookbook.  Made with sweet potato!
in non strawberry related news, made a new mac no cheese dish from a new cookbook. Made with sweet potato!
A's birthday dinner on Sunday!  Tofurky, grilled veggies, and the strawberry shortcake.
A’s birthday dinner on Sunday! Tofurky, grilled veggies, and the strawberry shortcake.
not food, but a totally refreshing pitcher to keep outside on a hot day!  1 lemon and 2 limes sliced in a half gallon pitcher of ice water.  Refilled 4 times, but never had to switch out the fruit - it kept on flavoring the water.
not food, but a totally refreshing pitcher to keep outside on a hot day! 1 lemon and 2 limes sliced in a half gallon pitcher of ice water. Refilled 4 times, but never had to switch out the fruit – it kept on flavoring the water.

I did have one food fail, though I take no immediate blame 🙂  I wanted a fresh loaf of bread, and it came out hard as a rock.  I think my bread machine may be dying.  It’s old though, so maybe it’s a natural death.  The last several loaves I’ve made in it weren’t great – but if I use the Kitchen Aid and bake it in the oven, no problem.

FITNESS

This is my favorite time of year to run.  I know it’s hot, but considering how much I hate being cold, it really doesn’t bother me.  It is getting to the point where I’ll have to be better about wearing water belts though!

Sunday’s run in particular had me very hot and sweaty!  It got up to almost 90, but it was still only in the high 70’s/low 80’s when I went.  There was a light breeze, so it was actually very enjoyable.

I find that it’s when I STOP running that I become a sweat bomb.  Or perhaps that’s just when I notice it.

That’s when the pool comes in totally handy though 🙂

Other than that, it’s been mostly body weight workouts.

LIFE

I had one of those perfect weekends.  The one’s where the weather is perfect, the company is amazing, there’s things to do (but not TOO much), and things are just glorious.  It was the first really hot weekend, the first weekend our pool was open, and I seriously can’t complain.

Friday night, D and I went out.  We don’t go out all that often (honestly, we can have fun in a paper bag, so we’ve never needed “date nights” or things like that), so it was really nice.  We went to an Italian place, had a couple drinks and appetizers, and just hung out.  Talked about life, the future, politics, sports (I know…baseball was on and he loves baseball), and nothing in particular.

hanging out Friday night at Carrabbas!
hanging out Friday night at Carrabbas!

Saturday was all about food!  It started with A and I going strawberry picking, then she went to spend the day with her boyfriend, and I hit up the farmer’s market circuit…then came home, popped in headphones, and made stuff!

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A in the strawberry field.  Or is it a patch??
A in the strawberry field. Or is it a patch??
so many strawberries!
so many strawberries!

R had a couple friends over to swim and play video games, and then just as they left, M had friends over to do the same!

tweens in the pool
tweens in the pool

Yesterday was A’s 20th birthday!  So crazy that my little girl is 20.  After birthday breakfast, it was time for some pool fun.  Then she was off with one of her oldest friends for an afternoon of antique shops (yes, they love antiquing), and then home for her requested dinner and presents.  She got a new stereo with a turn table – so excited.  Some records too (Beatle’s Yellow Submarine, Pink Floyd – that was D, and The Clash – that was me!).

We received a package this weekend (coffee order), and each time I walked past it, one of the cats was in it.

Ginny got there first...
Ginny got there first…
but as soon as she left, Bumble jumped in.
but as soon as she left, Bumble jumped in.

While she was gone, I pretty much spent the entire day outside either in a lounge chair reading, or in a pool floatie listening to my iPod audio book.  As soon as D got back from running errands, he popped in the pool with a book and floated around too!

InstagramCapture_ca559134-25a1-466a-8725-0e2d39a03dc2

Today was business as usual, though perhaps a bit pink.  See, for all my outdoor glory, I forgot to wear sunscreen.  I’m crispy.  Even the insides of my ears are burned!

It probably was comical that I had picked out an outfit for today with a pink top.  It was almost like wearing camouflage!

Otherwise, today was a pretty good day too.  After work and school, M had a bunch of friends over to swim and watch TV.  A’s boyfriend came over for a bit too, and everyone had a relaxing evening.  Everyone except R, who isn’t feeling well.  She has a low grade fever, and I’m worried she’s catching the same allergy-induced sinus garbage I had two weeks ago.  I hope not – and that it was just too much sun and not enough hydration – but we shall see in the next day or so.

Until then, morningpictures!

Friday!
Today!
today :)
Friday