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 ūüôā ¬†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 ūüôā

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!

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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

My Kid is Part Penguin

FOOD

Okay, two weeks of eats. ¬†I seriously can’t believe it’s been two weeks! ¬†Needless to say…tons of good meals!

this dish was called am fog from this yummy place called Clementine's in Harrisonburg.  It represented the farm these mushrooms were grown on the mountain across the way.  On a risotto with asparagus, and I was in heaven!
this dish was called am fog from this yummy place called Clementine’s in Harrisonburg. It represented the farm these mushrooms were grown on the mountain across the way. On a risotto with asparagus, and I was in heaven!
vegan breakfast wrap from Yorgo's Bageldashery in Norfolk.  One of my very fav places.
vegan breakfast wrap from Yorgo’s Bageldashery in Norfolk. One of my very fav places.

Last Friday I made mushroom ragout with polenta and tofu.  This ragout dish is one of my favorites Рtakes about 2 1/2 hours, but is so worth it.

ragout ingredients.  Mushroom, carrots, bell peppers, celery.  So simple.
ragout ingredients. Mushroom, carrots, bell peppers, celery. So simple.
cook until juices run clear, add about 1 1/2 cups broth, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 2 hours.
cook until juices run clear, add about 1 1/2 cups broth, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 2 hours.
also made stuffed mushroom caps.  Vegan cream cheese, garlic, spices, and breadcrumbs.
also made stuffed mushroom caps. Vegan cream cheese, garlic, spices, and breadcrumbs.
pan cooking some seasoned tofu cutlets.
pan cooking some seasoned tofu cutlets.
not a great pic by any means, but it was still very good.
not a great pic by any means, but it was still very good.
so good, I ate the leftovers for breakfast the next day!
so good, I ate the leftovers for breakfast the next day!
my mother's day breakfast!  D is so cute...he doesn't know how to feed me (he tries, he really does), so he woke up early and drove out to Yorgo's for to buy breakfast!  And that's love right there, because we live a good 20-25 minutes away :)
my mother’s day breakfast! D is so cute…he doesn’t know how to feed me (he tries, he really does), so he woke up early and drove out to Yorgo’s for to buy breakfast! And that’s love right there, because we live a good 20-25 minutes away ūüôā

Typical daily drinks.  Green juices and smoothies!

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Monday I decided to make Indian food.  Started the naan dough before work, and even got to use up some of my homemade soy yogurt.

using the mortar and pestle that D got for me at the Luray caverns last year.
using the mortar and pestle that D got for me at the Luray caverns last year.
homemade yogurt!  I let it incubate a long time because I love my yogurt tangy.  Perfect for curries.
homemade yogurt! I let it incubate a long time because I love my yogurt tangy. Perfect for curries.
homemade garlic naan.  Made 15 pieces.  I ate one, and there were none left after dinner.
homemade garlic naan. Made 15 pieces. I ate one, and there were none left after dinner.
dinner!  Herbed basmati rice, adzuki beans, potato curry, and cauliflower.
dinner! Herbed basmati rice, adzuki beans, potato curry, and cauliflower.

Makes this bowl of oatmeal seem boring….

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Tonight was dinner on the grill.  Eggplant, red onion, and bell pepper rings tossed in olive oil and then grilled Рand then tossed again in hot sauce, tamari, and rice vinegar.  Served on a lavash with lettuce leaves, Dijon mustard, and balsamic vinegar.  Oh, and a side of grilled asparagus.  SO GOOD.

before the grill....
before the grill….
after (they shrink so much!).
after (they shrink so much!).
tonight's eats
tonight’s eats

Other miscellaneous foods from the past two weeks….

another grill night - veggie burgers and mixed veggies (potatoes and broccoli I think).
another grill night – veggie burgers and mixed veggies (potatoes and broccoli I think).
you know I need at least one tofu green curry....
you know I need at least one tofu green curry….this was my Mother’s Day dinner (after drying off from Ana)
another great breakfast from Yorgo's!  I love having meetings down there in the morning.  Tofu, vegan cheese, and tempeh bacon on an everything bagel.
another great breakfast from Yorgo’s! I love having meetings down there in the morning. Tofu “egg”, vegan cheese, and tempeh bacon on an everything bagel.
linguine with tons of fresh garlic, olive oil, and mixed veggies.
linguine with tons of fresh garlic, olive oil, and mixed veggies.
don't judge.  Realized I was out of hot dog buns after the Tofurky kielbasa was cooking.  So I cut it and stacked in on a hamburger bun!
don’t judge. Realized I was out of hot dog buns after the Tofurky kielbasa was cooking. So I cut it and stacked in on a hamburger bun!
tofu teriyaki
tofu teriyaki
edamame
edamame

 

FITNESS

Quite literally, the only workouts the past two weeks have been runs. ¬†It’s all I’ve had time for. ¬†Luckily, I’m pretty much okay with that!

LIFE

You know, I think time is a tricky thing. ¬†It goes by so quickly when you’re not paying attention! ¬†Two weeks is a long time between posts, and I’m sorry. ¬†Between D working nights, me getting a ridiculous sinus/ear infection (completely lost my hearing in my left ear for almost 2 days – freaked me right the heck out), a last minute work trip, and regular life….it’s remarkable how fast the time flies.

Mother’s day was nice – though we should have checked the weather for that whole “tropical storm” thing. ¬†Alas, we went to the theme park anyway, managed to get one roller coaster down – before the sky opened up and the storms hit! ¬†Seriously though, it was still a great time.

me and D when the kids went for round 2 on the Griffon
me and D when the kids went for round 2 on the Griffon
all of us drenched.  Cracks me up how unamused A is, and that R's nose is flaring so much.  They're clearly annoyed at the rain.
all of us drenched. Cracks me up how unamused A is, and that R’s nose is flaring so much. They’re clearly annoyed at the rain and even more annoyed that we stopped for a selfie.

Miscellaneous pics…

hello mountains!!  One of the things I love about Virginia.  We have it all - beaches, mountains, forests, cities, swamps (okay, I don't like swamps, but we have them), and everything in between.
hello mountains!! One of the things I love about Virginia. We have it all – beaches, mountains, forests, cities, swamps (okay, I don’t like swamps, but we have them), and everything in between.
rub da belly!!!
rub da belly!!!
no words other than Ginny doesn't look so much like a kitty anymore
no words other than Ginny doesn’t look so much like a kitty anymore
the girls in the front window when I left yesterday
the girls in the front window when I left yesterday
Love 80's music.  Okay...not music like Whitney Houston or Tiffany...but fun stuff, like Roxy Music.
Love 80’s music. Okay…not music like Whitney Houston or Tiffany…but fun stuff, like Roxy Music.
still my favorite room in the house!
still my favorite room in the house!

Probably the most fun thing is the pool was opened on Monday. ¬†It was supposed to be last Friday, but the pool people had a truck breakdown, and we didn’t get done.

So Monday it was this green jello-looking thing, and by today, my family (NOT me), actually went in.

me Tuesday evening lying in one of the lounge chairs and reading.  It was almost 90 and perfect.
me Tuesday evening lying in one of the lounge chairs and reading. It was almost 90 and perfect.
yesterday R spent over an hour cleaning the pool.  Kid is desperate to get it ready.
yesterday R spent over an hour cleaning the pool. Kid is desperate to get it ready.
D, M, and A all jumped in this evening wearing their clothes.  Keep in mind it was in the 60's.
D, M, and A all jumped in this evening wearing their clothes. Keep in mind it was in the 60’s.

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this is me....on the chair with a hot cup of tea and a blanket.  While they swam.
this is me….on the chair with a hot cup of tea, new cookbook, and a blanket. While they swam.
she couldn't wait anymore.....
she couldn’t wait anymore…..

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I want you all to keep in mind that our pool is not heated. ¬†And that water was in the pool ALL WINTER LONG. ¬†And R swam for about 20 minutes before I made her get out for fear of hypothermia…..

She is clearly part penguin.

And finally, the morning pictures!

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okay, this was today's, and it's freaking me out how grown up R looks....
okay, this was today’s, and it’s freaking me out how grown up R looks….