Bean Town, Take 1

FOOD

Some very typical eats – smoothies and salads namely. I did try out a new protein powder. I really love the nutritional makeup of it, but am not in love with the taste compared to Vega or Garden of Life. So we’ll see if I ever get it again or try another flavor.

Tuesday night was the full blended family dinner fun out for Mexican. Many sangrias were had 🙂

For the rest of the week, I was in Boston, getting home late last night/early this morning. All I can say is thank goodness for Clif Bars since there really wasn’t anything I could eat on the first day. Once the coordinator of the meetings I was in learned I was vegan, she really went out of her way to help ensure there was something to eat for me (even soy milk for my coffee the second day we were there!).

Really tasty mushroom soup

Very typical in a plated meal – when handing out desserts, they don’t know what to give me, so I
get a bowl of fruit. Not complaining though, I love fruit and can do without the sugar of a
typical dessert anyway
Salad was fine. Black bean cakes were not. Certainly an A for effort, but mixed with spaghetti

Wednesday evening I met up with A & L for drinks at the top of the Prudential Tower at a place called Top of the Hub. We didn’t eat, but the drinks were amazing.

Dinner was as Kashmir – and Indian place that A and I actually went to almost a year ago the last time I was there. We ordered a bottle of wine, two orders of samosas, and 3 dishes to split. All vegan because they’re wonderful.

Also some other fun eats.

Discovered a sparkling sake called Mio, and I don’t know that my life will ever be the same

FITNESS

I got to one Regymen class, and it kicked my a$$. Focus was core, and I was sore for days!

Several other days I did Peloton streaming cycle workouts in my home gym.

LIFE

Tuesday evening was dinner with the 7 of us. BS helped me with my first ever basketball bracket! I have 3 total. One that is all him, one that is mostly him with a few changes (just couldn’t make WI lose – though I should have because they did!), and one that was actually a Wall Street Journal analytics one. I’m currently in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place! Though my 3rd is tied with my girlfriend A up in DC. My 1st place is my WSJ bracket, 2nd is the slightly modified one, and 3rd is BS’. Still a bit to go, but it’s been fun and minorly obsessive to check rankings after each game.

Most of the week was in Boston for my first trip there this spring. Two more to go. I left early Wednesday morning. Had a few afternoon meetings while I was there (one hanging in a Starbucks in Harvard Square), and then met with A & L (A and I went to grad school together. L is a professor in Boston). I hadn’t seen A since last summer, and L since a ski trip a little over a year ago, so it was awesome to catch up. Both are coming for a visit this summer, so that’ll be awesome.

Our view
Pick the waitress took. My guy said it was too dark, so A took a selfie and fixed it

Thursday and Friday were meetings, which were really engaging and productive. We had a dinner that Thursday night, which was a lot of fun. It’s always nice getting to know people you really only know via phone calls! Lots of non-work related interesting conversations, especially about food and travel.

I flew home yesterday.

Today I went to Whole Foods and then met my boyfriend and his oldest for lunch. This evening is taking my youngest and her bestie to a hockey game. It’s nice being busy. Not having school work to do won’t get to me 🙂 I have read quite a lot though, which I really enjoy.

Dragons!

So BS admonished me again. I did tell him to bite me because I had a 40 page paper due and that was more important than his blog fix, but whatevs. Paper is done and now it’s time to catch up!

FOOD

As you can imagine, there has been plenty of food in the past 2 weeks! Thai, soups, salad, smoothies. You know – the typical. And eats out and about too of course!

Beyond Meat Brat & pretzel bun at Brick Anchor!

Dinner & drinks with a girlfriend from Boston who was in town

Take out Thai while paper writing

Today’s breakfast salad! Pit stop at Whole Foods on my way in this morning…

FITNESS

The past two weeks have been too chaotic to go to the gym. Good thing I have a small home gym with a spin bike – been quite a bit of that!

And yoga, of course. I’d probably burn out without it.

LIFE

Very busy couple of weeks! Went out of town with my guy a couple weekends ago. Great trip about 3-4 hrs away from home. Got back on Sunday – realized I left my wallet at the restaurant where we had breakfast, and proceeded to drive back to get it. Ugh. It was 7pm by the time I got there and raining, so I just spent the night and came home early in the morning. What a pain. Otherwise a wonderful weekend.

Got annoyed that they left the Irish whiskey with the same dumb Scottish spelling…but

Then it was a normal week of working, working out, studying, and going out one night with my guy – typically a Friday night.

The following weekend was an almost full family movie fun with Captain Marvel (A wasn’t there – her man was in town!). The next day was a brunch party at our fav brunch spot to celebrate A & J. Minus my son who was working and one of my guys sons who had pre-existing plans, and plus two other friends. We reserved the tea room, ate, drank, and laughed a lot. It was a lot of fun.

Then more work and school. My girlfriend H from Richmond was in town for a few days (she grew up here and was here for family stuff). We went out Tuesday night.

I took off Wednesday to focus on my paper. Library, then Brick Anchor for lunch, then Starbucks, and then meeting S from Boston for dinner and drinks.

This past weekend was all about robotics! R had a competition locally and was a ton of fun – though two 12 hr days is loooong. My guy came to some of it both days and that was fun. R was student ambassador so had to work shifts giving tours and explanations of the program. We were her first she gave tours to, so it was cute.

My term ended yesterday, so I’m done until April 8th. Here’s hoping I don’t get too bored…

And misc pics of course 🙂

Snuggly sunshine friends

Umm. I go thru a LOT of highlighters. Bulk purchase for $5 and I was excited.

So this weekend while at robotics, M bought everyone in the family their very own dragon! I was so excited that this one is mine. Totally perfect! Still needs a name tho…

Has Anyone Seen My Lung?

Good grief, nearly 2 weeks! Surprise BS hasn’t admonished me lately….as an FYI, I was sick, so there wasn’t much to chat about!

FOOD

Lots of smoothies – pretty much every day. Including the one I’m drinking now 🙂

Salads, Thai, Ramen, wraps, and risottos. Also had my kids plus my guy and his over for dinner last weekend. Zoodles, beyond beef crumbles, and marinara was amazing! Also made a huge batch of Jambalaya from the Forks Over Knives cookbook. One note about it – recipes are scaled to feed crowds – so for the first time, I actually couldn’t get through all the leftovers!

Leftover Jambalaya over lettuce w/ homemade soy yogurt

Fun drink! Called the Just Beet it Gimlet! Beet juice, gin, and lime!

FITNESS

The first week I was home I had a cold. Literally the morning after landing from Orlando. Since it was upper respiratory and sinus related, it pretty much ruled out any workouts.

This week though, I feel fine and hit up Regymen again. Thought I was going to die at one point (still had a mild cough and I may have left a lung at the gym). Also my bike in the garage while watching my iPad!

And as always, worked in yoga several days.

LIFE

Well, the cold was a pain in the butt to be honest. I have no time to be sick! Fortunately with the neti pot and rest, it went away.

I had an IBM thing the first day I started feeling human again. I’d have worked from home if not for having to present. But it was a really great time and they hosted an event that evening with drinks and apps. Best thing about that day? As I was getting ready to start talking, I noticed a woman in the room that I knew. She was the first CIO I ever had back in Milwaukee! Literally the woman who plucked me out of working clinically in the hospital and gave me my first IT job. I mentioned it before I started my part of the discussion. My CMO (who I was there with), actually walked over to her to shake her hand and thank her for putting me on this career path. It was really humbling when she gave me a hug at the end, and we spent some time catching up at the evening festivities. Definitely a highlight of the past two weeks.

There was a weekend trip last weekend that was literally the best 24 hrs I can think of ever.

At the Portrait Gallery – sent this to my daughter the nursing student!

I took my son and his girlfriend to a wine tasting event this past Wednesday, which was nice, and my guy and I went out last night to one of our fav spots.

This weekend involves another whirlwind trip that I guess I should go get ready for!

So I was struggling warming up one evening and decided to take a bath. Of course I ended up with visitors….

Getting extra caffeine before speaking at the IBM thingy

Plus fluffs

As I Wait for My Delayed Flight…

I was admonished last night by my guys son that I hadn’t blogged in 12 (gasp) days and my readers are clearly in distress over it. So…here you go BS…only doing this for you 😘

FYI – BS stands for Boyfriend’s Son

FOOD

Typical eats for me. Oatmeal, smoothies, Thai, Indian, and a taco party!

Oatmeal and chocolate protein in my office

Prepping for taco fun!

Woke early to bake cookies for R’s lunch

FITNESS

Still majorly addicted to those Regymen classes. Taking 3-4 per week, plus yoga and at-home spin on my bike.

LIFE

So have to say there’s not been a ton of excitement this past week and a half. Work and school for me, plus spending as much time with my kids and my guy as I can. My youngest’s robotics season is in full swing, so she’s doing that until 8pm Tue-Fri, and all day Saturday to get ready for competitions that begin next month. My eldest is still kicking ass and taking names working full time in the ER and in her last 9 months of nursing school. M keeps us all sane by being constant comic relief while also working in his newly promoted role and studying.

So – good times.

My guy and I finally joined the wine club at our fav place. It’s well worth it since we’ve definitely become regulars. So much so that the other night the bartender gave us hugs before we left… 🤨 🍷

Last Saturday my friend C and her husband J came over for tacos and vodka. It was a fun night.

Luna and Kuma are adorable and those two are so close it’s hilarious. Love them a ton!

Someone I met in the local start up community just published a book! We met for coffee and he gave me a copy – which I made him sign. You know – in case he gets all famous.

Okay, this particular bumper sticker pissed me off. Not because of the political view point (which isn’t mine, but I do respect people’s views even they don’t align with mine), but because it implies that they don’t encourage their family to become educated and form their own opinions – but rather attempt to clone themselves and telling them what to think – rather than teaching them HOW. That, my friends, pisses me right the hell off.

I took my oldest out to dinner because the young one was at robotics, M was out with his girlfriend, and I didn’t feel like cooking! Sushi for the win.

About a year ago I bought my boyfriend bath bombs from Lush. He’s a big bath fan, and had never (gasp) used a bomb before! Fast forward, and his oldest loves them now too (yay!). So I stopped and got him a bag full 🙂

Currently I’m sitting at a bar/restaurant at the airport waiting for my flight. Currently delayed, so hopefully it won’t be too long. I’m ready for the Florida sun! And while it IS a work trip, you all know I have to have some fun too – especially Disney fun! So – here’s hoping my flight takes off before I have too many mimosas 🙂

Water Thievery & Other Fun

FOOD

Good eats this week! Of course, I had a TON of leftover soup. My eldest and I really enjoy that one, so it went far with just the two of us eating it.

I made some awesome sweet potato and black bean lasagna-ladas and arroz non pollo one night too. Those leftovers didn’t last long!

Crissie’s Sweet Potato & Black Bean Lasagna-Ladas

Ingredients

  • 2 sweet potatoes – steamed, baked, or otherwise cooked
  • 1 can black beans – rinsed and drained
  • 1 8oz container of vegan cream cheese (I used tofutti since I had it on hand)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 diced jalapeño
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Corn tortillas (I used 6)
  • 1 can enchilada sauce (or make your own)

Directions

  • I steamed the sweet potatoes in the pressure cooker (Ninja Foodi) and let them cool
  • Slide the sweet potatoes out of the skin and into the base of a food processor
  • Add all the spices, jalapeño, and vegan cream cheese and blend
  • Fold in the beans to make your filling mixture
  • Spray the bottom of a casserole dish. Put a layer of tortillas and top with the enchilada filling. Repeat with another layer
  • Pour the enchilada sauce over everything
  • Bake for 35 minutes in a 350 degree preheated oven

Now, if you’re not lazy, you can do this the traditional way and soften each corn tortilla, fill with filling, and roll up and put in the casserole dish. But I always make them lasagna-style. Hence the name of the dish.

The arroz non pollo is adapted from Viva Vegan – an amaaaaazing vegan Latin cookbook. And while I change mine up, it’s close enough that I won’t write that out.

I topped it with some tart homemade soy yogurt and a spicy green sauce. SO good.

Otherwise a lot of soups, salads, and other yummy stuff. Didn’t take a pic of last night’s salad (was meeting new people for the first time and didn’t feel like explaining why I was taking a picture!). But it was an arugula and crunchy potato salad with a maple vinaigrette – and was delicious.

Bakers, tamari mushrooms, and savory tofu cubes

Panera lunch date! Forgot how much I like Panera.

Sunflower seed butter and banana. Love this as a pre-workout meal in the mornings.

Tofu was pan fried and, when lightly browned, topped with sweet chili sauce, lime juice, and
tamari. Really loved how it came out.
Brunch with my boyfriend this morning on our way home. Tofu scramble w/vegan sausage!

Dinner tonight was yummy. Busted out Veganomicon and made lentil Snobby Joes and herbed potatoes. Served with salads. Hadn’t made the joes in a long time, but the kids were stoked they made an appearance. Always been a favorite.

FITNESS

Okay, lots of gym fun this week. I am absolutely loving Regymen – took 3 classes this week. 2 of them were the regular HIIT class, and one was a boxing version. I am sore everywhere, but in the best possible way.

You wear a MyZone heart rate monitor – which is accurate 99.4% to an EKG. There’s an associated app with it. The workout is geared towards keeping you in a specific heart rate zone – delineated by color. Typically, they want you to have a total of 15 minutes in the top two zones (yellow and red). Uh. I spend almost ALL my time in there. After class I actually asked the instructor if I should be worried. It indicated I was maxing out my HR at 98% or so for a ton of time, but felt I could go harder. She asked what other exercises I do – I said running and yoga. Apparently because I run I have a really strong heart, and my max HR is actually a lot higher than the typical calculation based on age. I was told to sleep in it one night so it learns my normal and resting heart rates to calibrate it. I like that it’s smart enough to do that.

But seriously ! 569 calories burned in a single 52 minute workout! That’s insane.

Me after a Thursday night Regymen Burn class.
This was Friday’s lunch time Regymen Box class.

LIFE

First – it was a crazy weather week. A couple days in the 20’s and 30’s. Followed by 50’s-70. And rain. Hence the gym and not running outside!

All told, a good and productive week. Got lots of school stuff done and work is really ramping up – and I’m SO glad. Reconnected with one of my start-up friends as we start to collaborate on professional and personal stuff. He owns a coffee shop in Norfolk, so we met there for our meeting (that’s the coffee and hummus picture above).

It was a crappy day, but still a pretty decent view and great location!

I worked from home on Monday, and was taunted by Kuma and Luna and their naps. And Luna constantly “sharing” my water…and each of those pictures is a separate incident of water “sharing”. Not just me taking a bunch at once.

Friday night my guy and I went out. Two different wine bars – not the one we normally go to – and to be honest, the wine was only mediocre. Company was fabulous, and his dinner was excellent, but I think we’ll stick to what we know we love.

We also decided an overnight trip to Richmond the next day would be a fantastic idea. And it was! I had a haircut appt at 1115, and after went to his house, left my car there, and we went to Richmond. Stopped first at his friends house for a couple beers and catching up. Then it was off to dinner where I actually met a couple people in his family 😳. It was actually really nice, and after we all went to Buskey’s to have cider and play board games. Then it was to the hotel and then home today. Honestly, was a fantastic weekend.

Today was writing a paper and some grocery shopping. Low key.

And – more fluff fun! I really can’t get over how much fun Luna and Kuma have together. Makes me really happy that they get along so well.

Took it too late, but Luna was grooming Kuma and it was so stinking sweet!

Brunch Shenanigans

FOOD

Lots of good eats this week!

My smoothies this week were the lazy kind I pick up at Tropical Smoothie Cafe on the way to work.

I actually made a real meal one morning though, and it was tasty. Tempeh and potato has with onions, peppers, and tomatoes. Topped with tons of hot sauce!

Also an oldie, but goodie! Whole wheat toast with sunflower seed bread and sliced bananas.

Homemade soy yogurt snack.

BBQ tofu and cornbread!

Noodles with pasta and a simple coconut curry sauce.

And of course some tofu green curry on a lunch date with my boyfriend.

Soup for days (and days and days and…days). I made what is still my favorite soup ever. A double batch in the Ninja IQ yielded 26 cups! SO tasty!

I finally checked out Mesob’s Ethiopian in Virginia Beach. WOW. So good and I literally can’t wait to go back. I had the vegetarian plater (though everything is vegan), with Shiro Wot, cabbage and carrots, green beans and carrots, and the house salad with injera bread. I really wanted the Mesir Wot (I LOVE that dish), but they were upfront that it’d take 20 minutes to make that and I just didn’t have time. I have all the ingredients at home, so I should probably try my hand at making it.

Also had a Moe’s salad one day, and then out with my guy – first at one of our favorite wine bars and then dinner at One Fish Two Fish where I had a yummy rosemary gin martini and a delicious off menu vegan dish of spiralized veggies in a spicy tomato sauce.

Yesterday was a big family brunch event. Literally my boyfriend and I, all our kids, and my son’s girlfriend. It was a 2 hr wait, but that was fine. We went to The Bee and the Biscuit and the kids played Uno and we all sat around fire pits (all those over 21 had drinks – which was 5 and that was a HELL of a bar bill, but worth it). Then we went in and had yummy food.

Same wrap I got last time: black bean, potato, spinach, roasted corn, tomatoes. And a side of fruit

FITNESS

Went for 2 runs and then also checked out a new class called Regymen. It’s essentially the Y’s version of Orange Theory. I wore a heart rate monitor and cycled between 3 “stations”. One is treadmills, one is skiers and rowers, and one weights and bikes. There are display monitors around the room so you know what your heart rate is and in what zone you are. It also displays calories burned. In the end I torched 604 calories. Loved the workout. There was perhaps a period where I could’ve thrown up, but that’s ok. Worth it, and I’ll totally go back. Who doesn’t like a workout that makes you wanna cry?

Also did 2 yoga classes. One at the gym, one streaming at home.

LIFE

Pretty typical week. Work, school, family during the week, and fun (and school and cleaning and grocery shopping) on the weekend! I’ve meditated every day, usually in the morning, but if I’m too rushed (or didn’t wake up in my house), I do it later in the day.

On the work front, I hit my 15 year anniversary at my job. I got to pick from a catalog of gifts and got a 4 person tent. Will come in handy when R and I try our hand at camping in a few months! We had that one class at REI and there are a few more there and with a local hikers group I want to do first.

I stopped at a local wine spot while waiting for R to finish up at a school thing.

Not normally a white drinker, but I do love French wine and this was really tasty.

Yeah, I’m short. Feet didn’t touch the ground!

Brunch shenanigans! I LOVE what they do with the outside space to make the wait worth it. Tables, fire pits, a bar, blankets, and a room of games.

Smoke in their eyes made for a goofy shot- but all were warm

After brunch I went home for a bit, then over to my guys house for the night. We watched basketball and a show and had a pretty chill night. After the brunch fun, it was nice to just curl up on the sofa and chill.

And of course the fluffs.

About to get swallowed up by that bush

New morning coffee routine! These two hang out every morning

MY YEAR OF LESS

Ugh. I seriously have sucked paying attention. Which sucks, because I was doing SO well until the holidays. I do have a plan to get back on track – which is basically to reduce going out and only shop when I have a plan.