Tag Archives: Theme Parks

The Happiest Place on Earth is Home!

FOOD

Still mostly eating in vs going out to eat (with the exception of the last week where I was traveling).  I’ve been largely batch cooking on the weekends and eating leftovers through the week.

I’m still doing a lot of the Happy Herbivore meals, but have had a few fun ones thrown in.  Like this one!

Crissie’s Kitchen Sink Red Thai Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 packaged extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cubed
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 4 carrots, diced large
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced large
  • 1/2 onion, diced large
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. red Thai curry powder or paste (brand of your choosing, I order from The Spice House)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger root

Directions

  • Line a large skillet with a small amount of water and heat on medium high
  • add onion, garlic, and ginger.  Sautee for 3-4 minutes, until soft
  • add carrots and bell pepper.  Sautee for 5 minutes, stirring often
  • Add can of coconut milk + 1/2 can of water, tofu, and broccoli, and peas
  • Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes

Serve over rice, quinoa, or any other grain of choice (or plain, like I had it!  More soup than stir fry).

I used up all the veggies I had lying around (I was heading out on a week-long trip, so that was important), and the fun thing with curries, is you can use whatever you have.  Cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, corn, etc.  Doesn’t matter – it’s all yummy!

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I ate leftovers over quinoa I had batched cooked over the weekend

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Some other homemade eats

D is the total grill master!  He marinated portabellos and pineapple  in dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, grilled them, and used a hot pepper jelly as a spread on a burger bun.  OH MY GOSH.  So tasty!  And a side of grilled veggies.

D is the total grill master! He marinated portabellos and pineapple in dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, grilled them, and used a hot pepper jelly as a spread on a burger bun. OH MY GOSH. So tasty! And a side of grilled veggies.

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Tofurky night!

Tofurky night!

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batch cooking chowder

batch cooking chowder

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And my awesome eats from Ethos Vegan Kitchen in Orlando, Epcot, and Florida in general!

a cup of chikun noodle soup and sheep's pie!

a cup of chikun noodle soup and sheep’s pie!

potato broccoli soup

potato broccoli soup

BBQ Chikun Empanadas

BBQ Chikun Empanadas

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from a little place near my hotel where I'd stop for some fresh juice.  This was my favorite

from a little place near my hotel where I’d stop for some fresh juice. This was my favorite

smoothie selfie at Downtown Disney!

smoothie selfie at Downtown Disney!

of course I had to stop for tofu green curry at least once!  Wasn't as good as my place at home :)

of course I had to stop for tofu green curry at least once! Wasn’t as good as my place at home 🙂

FITNESS

Well, after finally reading about it for months, I broke down and bought Beach Body on Demand.  It’s honestly been awesome.  I’m working out every day either in my bedroom or my hotel.  Plus runs of course!

after a nice run outside in FL one morning

after a nice run outside in FL one morning

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after a long bike ride last weekend before I left - me and the wee one enjoying a gorgeous day

after a long bike ride last weekend before I left – me and the wee one enjoying a gorgeous day

looking sweaty and unamused.  5am is EARLY for exercise

looking sweaty and unamused. 5am is EARLY for exercise

lame attempt at a smile

lame attempt at a smile

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LIFE

Been a busy, but great two weeks.  New (and final) term for grad school started!  Lot’s of focus on entrepreneurial  processes, and it’s been really interesting so far.  As much an art as a business science.

R had her second peanut flour updose!  She’s now at 6% of 1 peanut.  Words cannot express how proud I am of her for doing this.  Her bravery shocks me – she knows how life threatening her peanut allergy is, yet this treatment protocol, if successful, will forever alter her life and take away that fear.  The process is a bit anxiety producing though.

before and during her does

before and during her does

and after as she has to wait 1-2 hours to monitor

and after as she has to wait 1-2 hours to monitor

I went to a conference for work in Orlando.  It was a really good show, but my favorite is always the volunteer work with military veterans who have recently or are soon to be transitioning.  It’s less about healthcare IT specifically and more about the culture shock.  For those in a long time, it’s learning to STOP using some language and terminology that doesn’t translate into the corporate world and to understand leadership nuance differences (such as people don’t do what you tell them just because you tell them!).  Nothing like that existed when I transitioned out of the Navy, so I love doing this for others.

I also took a side trip to Epcot and had a great time.  And while it was a great trip, the happiest place on earth is really just being back home!

they legit had a DJ!

they legit had a DJ!

how well they know us!

how well they know us!

Other than that, it’s been pretty typical.  Family, work, school, rinse, repeat.

And some extra pics of stuff, morning pictures, and fluffy buddies!

Ginny wrapped up in her toy

Ginny wrapped up in her toy

Bumble wrapped up in her blankets

Bumble wrapped up in her blankets

Kuma deciding Bumble's idea of hiding in blankets is brilliant

Kuma deciding Bumble’s idea of hiding in blankets is brilliant

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she just misses my suitcase...

she just misses my suitcase…

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I'm fairly obsessed with palm trees

I’m fairly obsessed with palm trees

Kuma put her toy against D's foot to use as a pillow

Kuma put her toy against D’s foot to use as a pillow

pure genius

pure genius

after a wet night out in Orlando

after a wet night out in Orlando

when you go to a Disney theme park by yourself and they're very curious as to why....they made me this button!

when you go to a Disney theme park by yourself and they’re very curious as to why….they made me this button!

what it looks like to hit up a theme park by yourself!  Glorious.

what it looks like to hit up a theme park by yourself! Glorious.

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cold morning walk

cold morning walk

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Have a great weekend!!

Au Revoir, Paris! Guten Tag, Berlin!

FOOD

All I can say is – I’m definitely not traveling for the eats.  Ugh.  Vegan options here are just too heavy for the way I’d like to eat.  Honestly, my best meals are makeshift eats from the local market, and I find myself eating very little otherwise.  And I’m getting kind of sick of bananas.  But alas – I can’t complain because the trip has been awesome.

One thing I love the French for is a yummy Dijon beet salad.   Germany has yet to impress me much, but it’s early yet 🙂

do love me some ginger ale!

do love me some ginger ale!

best meal! Grocery store eats are just fine with me

best meal! Grocery store eats are just fine with me

closest thing to a veg juice I could find. Quite good though!

closest thing to a veg juice I could find. Quite good though!

I love that Dijon mustard is a regular condiment with the salt & pepper!

I love that Dijon mustard is a regular condiment with the salt & pepper!

more beets!

more beets!

my entree at the Eiffel Tower!

my entrée at the Eiffel Tower!

my last morning, took off to a little cafe down the road from my hotel to enjoy some quiet and coffee

my last morning, took off to a little café down the road from my hotel to enjoy some quiet and coffee

Starbucks in Berlin!

Starbucks in Berlin!  Because it’s universal

today's lunch. Okay, but too heavy. Rice pilaf, roasted onion, and cabbage.

today’s lunch. Okay, but too heavy. Rice pilaf, roasted onion, and cabbage.

One of the grocery stores I went to (we actually did a case about them a year ago!)

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FITNESS

A couple short runs (1 outside, 2 on the hotel treadmill) and some in-room yoga.  And hiked up a ton of the Eiffel Tower, so there’s that…

ran through this park one morning. Had to snap this pic because I GO TO HIS UNIVERSITY!!!

ran through this park one morning. Had to snap this pic because I GO TO HIS UNIVERSITY!!!

I am excited that I found a hot yoga studio just down the block from my hotel here in Berlin.  It’ll be interesting because I don’t know diddly about the German language, but I figure I’ve been doing yoga long enough that I’ll be able to follow along just fine!

LIFE

Okay, busy few days!!  I may just tell it in pictures!

Disneyland Paris headquarters, where we spent the afternoon with their Investor Relations dept and VP of Marketing!

Disneyland Paris headquarters, where we spent the afternoon with their Investor Relations dept and VP of Marketing!

and after...another bit of fun in the park

and after…another bit of fun in the park

me and J after the parade!

me and J after the parade!

walking back to the hotel

walking back to the hotel

Thursday night was spent at the Eiffel Tower, including having dinner at one of the restaurants.  We then went to the very top (a combo of a TON of stairs and elevators that move in a diagonal), and had just an incredible view.

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goofy face, and my "photobomber" is actually one of my classmates, MS!

goofy face, and my “photo bomber” is actually one of my classmates, MS!

 

restaurant menu

restaurant menu

not photobombing this time...

not photobombing this time…

The Seine and the city!

The Seine and the city!

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After our last class in Paris Friday, and we celebrated with a lovely champagne lunch.

me and B and champagne!

me and B and champagne!

Then, me, NS (HUGE Liverpool fan), and WB left the group to hit up a local bar called Lush to watch the Chelsea v. Liverpool game.  Being the ONLY one in a Chelsea shirt (and only 1 of 2 supporters in the place), it was a bit unfriendly at first.  That vanished quickly when they realized I was a good sport.  The evening was a blast, and we hung out for a long time talking politics with the locals!  (They find our situation in the US both hilarious and troubling…pretty much like the rest of us to!).  Beyond that, I met some wonderful people, exchanged contact info, and hope to come back soon!  (and actually have Chelsea win…).

yum!

yum!

pre-Lush bar shot (WB, me, NS)

pre-Lush bar shot (WB, me, NS)

my forehead, but basically meant to be a shot of the bar where everyone just stands and watches the game!

my forehead, but basically meant to be a shot of the bar where everyone just stands and watches the game!

on the metro back!

on the metro back!

By the way, NS sang annoying Liverpool songs at me for 2 days.  I figure he ought to enjoy it now, because despite Liverpool’s win, Chelsea is still beating them in the EPL standings….

Did pick up a magazine for those rare non-school reading moments…

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Yesterday was traveling to Berlin (flight was delayed), but the hotel is freaking amazing!  Oh – did I mention that during my stay in Paris a Saudi royal Princess was at my hotel with her entourage?  Yeah – there’s that.  And the Berlin digs are even better!

setting up camp at the airport in Paris to get some studying done before our flight.

setting up camp at the airport in Paris to get some studying done before our flight.

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Of course D is at home holding down the fort.  I missed R’s 13th bday 😦  However, A and M went to her school and took her for lunch in a little picnic – and then Skyped me so we could sing and I could see them.  The 6 hr. time difference is probably the worst so far in being able to talk to my family regularly.

fell asleep 12, woke up 13!

fell asleep 12, woke up 13!

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me taking a pic of my laptop when we all skyped!

me taking a pic of my laptop when we all skyped!

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2 days of morning pictures!

2 days of morning pictures!

So goodnight from Berlin!

Bonjour Paris!

Well, I’m coming to you from Paris as my first stop in a 3-city trip! 

FOOD

I will forever believe that the best vegan food I can get is in my kitchen.  Traveling (especially global travels) really nails that home!  What I wouldn’t do for a flat with a kitchen instead of a hotel room!

It’s certainly not all bad though, and I’ve honestly had some lovely eats in the past several days.

First – things I ate before hopping my flight last Thursday…

smoothies, of course!

smoothies, of course!

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I was in a hurry.  Baked spud with chickpeas and hot sauce

I was in a hurry. Baked spud with chickpeas and hot sauce

And since arriving in Paris…

my first Paris meal at a pretty fameous cafe on Champs Elysee

my first Paris meal at a pretty fameous cafe on Champs Elysee

out for Thai food for dinner with some classmates!

out for Thai food for dinner with some classmates!

no green curry :(  so sad

no green curry 😦 so sad

I've been obsessed with Orangina since I started studying French as a little girl

I’ve been obsessed with Orangina since I started studying French as a little girl

FUN meal with wine pairings and lessons at Le Foodist.  My menu was custom made :)

FUN meal with wine pairings and lessons at Le Foodist. My menu was custom made 🙂

simple breakfast eats

simple breakfast eats

room service.  Only bleh, to be honest.  Plain pasta w/olive oil and a side of mushrooms and celery.

room service. Only bleh, to be honest. Plain pasta w/olive oil and a side of mushrooms and celery.

soy yogurt (along w/a banana were today's bfast)

soy yogurt (along w/a banana were today’s bfast)

Overall, being a vegan in Paris isn’t the easiest.  I try to keep bread to a minimum (causes inflammation and irritates the RA).  Veggies and fruits aren’t hard to find, but to not have everything swimming in cheese is….

FITNESS

Before heading to Paris late last week, it was runs and yoga.

Since getting here, it’s been walks, hikes, and one run so far.

LIFE

Last week was the start of the school year!  Seems so strange to have only one of my kids left in regular school (as in, not college where the other two are!).

And it was all about spending time together before my nearly 3-wk trip out of the country.  That and wrapping up all loose ends at work and trying as hard as I could to prep for my residency and all the cases I had to do!

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after nearly missing my connection in Philly, I ended up with a whole row to myself!

after nearly missing my connection in Philly, I ended up with a whole row to myself!

and here I am.  36 hours of being awake later (I had a red-eye), checked into my room, and not looking as delieriously tired as I actually was!

and here I am. 36 hours of being awake later (I had a red-eye), checked into my room, and not looking as deliriously tired as I actually was!

Paris is beautiful (of course), though I will say that the city reminds me very much of Washington DC.

Day 1 was walking around with a friend until our hotel rooms were ready.

Le Ard de Triomphe

Le Ard de Triomphe

lunch with M

lunch with M

courtyard view from my hotel

courtyard view from my hotel

a quick pic of the Eiffel Tower near my hotel

a quick pic of the Eiffel Tower near my hotel

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Notre Dame

Notre Dame

through a cab window :)

through a cab window 🙂

Day 2 I went to Disneyland Paris by myself!  Being a theme-park junkie, it was awesome.

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And then classes started, so it’s all studying, all the time, with the exception of company visits, guest speakers, and some school-sponsored fun thrown in (like Le Foodist, a walking tour of Paris, and a visit to Champagne).

D and me on the walking tour

D and me on the walking tour

N & A bonked heads right as we to this at the Four Seasons George V Palace hotel in Paris -> where we were meeting with a couple leaders

N & A bonked heads right as we to this at the Four Seasons George V Palace hotel in Paris -> where we were meeting with a couple leaders

The rest of the pics are non-Europe shots 🙂  My standard morningpictures (now that school is back in!), cats, dog, and general mayhem.

first day of 8th grade!!!

first day of 8th grade!!!

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And now – going back to my studies!!  Au revoir (for now!)

Doofus

That’s me.  Blogging doofus.  I appreciate the understanding that life is just so hectic that I’m struggling with the blog regularly.  It’s not that I don’t think about it.  But when I do, it usually means I’d have to skip studying (which, sorry, but hell no) or sleeping (oh HELL no).  So – I’ll keep trying, but until I finish this whole grad school thing, I may continue to be a doofus.

FOOD

Happy to say that eats have been more at home and bringing to work from home than dining out.  D and I get into a pretty regular (and terrible) habit of eating out too much.  This is largely thanks to summer, because D can satisfy his urge to cook outdoors – and ends up doing most of the cooking!

first time ever actually having a veggie hot dog. Pretty darn good!

first time ever actually having a veggie hot dog. Pretty darn good!

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grilled tofu, asparagus, and corn!

grilled tofu, asparagus, and corn!

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And aside from that, lots of smoothies (current fav is vanilla, mixed berry, and fresh basil!), salads, and simple and quick meals like baked potato tacos (baked potatoes topped with beans and hot sauce), tofu stir fries, and pasta dishes.  Also – D and I are making #smoothieselfies a thing.  And yes – we actually text each other these.  He almost never reads my blog, so he has no idea you now know this 🙂

the morning of our anniversary on 6/25 as we were heading out of town

the morning of our anniversary on 6/25 as we were heading out of town

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made too thick so it became almost an ice cream breakfast!

made too thick so it became almost an ice cream breakfast!

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Of course I eat more than smoothies!  I made some pistou (similar to pesto, but no cheese or nuts and much heavier on the basil).  I used that pistou in a few dishes – my fav was just blending up about 1/2 a cup with a box of silken tofu and some nutritional yeast.  Made a creamy basil-flavored alfredo I mixed into veggies and pasta.

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I even made homemade tofu green curry for the first time!   It came out great!  Not as good as my fav Thai places, but definitely better than some I’ve had!

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notice - only pic of a meal out! Lentil soup and a vegan falafel wrap.

notice – only pic of a meal out! Lentil soup and a vegan falafel wrap.

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FITNESS

Typical mixture of running, workout DVD’s, the gym, and yoga.  To be honest, the RA is has been flaring a bit since China so the running has been less than I’d like, but I’m feeling much better and lacing up more!

I will say – I should start running in my bathing suit (or at least, having that as a base layer.  It’s been HOT and on Sunday afternoon – no kidding – I jumped into the pool in my running clothes.

just before hitting the pool in all this glory. At least I took my shoes off!

just before hitting the pool in all this glory. At least I took my shoes off!

And because I’m on a group that does post-working “prove-it” selfies, here are a couple more.  Because I know you always want to see me sweaty.

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And my little yoga spot in my bedroom.

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LIFE

Well, when you last left your heroine (okay, I’m not likely anyone’s heroine, but roll with me on this!)…

D and I celebrated our anniversary with a weekend in Williamsburg.  We had a blast and it was nice to get away (even though that was the weekend exams opened, which means I did NO studying at all).  It was worth it.

on our way home after a very good weekend

on our way home after a very good weekend

I then had 2 weeks to finish all my end of term exams, papers, and other deliverables, so I was literally in the office until 9-10 pm every day and all day all weekend after that.  Term wrapped on 7/9 and the new term immediately started.  Our school has no breaks – it’s 21 months of full time crazy!  But don’t let me fool you – I absolutely love it.  Hardest thing I’ve ever done, but everything I’m doing is exciting in some way.  And my family is so amazing that they understand why I go MIA for hours every day just to study.  Here’s the end of a chapter after a particular crazy chapter.  The first two sentences in the summary section made it all worth it though!

I went with a vodka cranberry only because I didn't have tonic water. Otherwise I'd have been all over that gin and tonic!

I went with a vodka cranberry only because I didn’t have tonic water. Otherwise I’d have been all over that gin and tonic!

R went to camp for a week and had (as usual) a total blast.  We took Kuma with us to drop her off and she promptly became the camp puppy.  D picked her up (I had class so couldn’t go), and the two of them passed out on the way home.  R and the dog.  Not D.  He was driving.

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pulling into camp!

pulling into camp!

the day before she left was just me and her having a great day together!

the day before she left was just me and her having a great day together!

And I always have to end with gratuitous pics of Bumble, Ginny, and Kuma.

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all 3. in the same space. at the same time. Ginny captivated by the ceiling, Bumble ignoring Kuma, and Kuma realizing she's being completely ignored by the two she wants to play with the most

all 3. in the same space. at the same time. Ginny captivated by the ceiling, Bumble ignoring Kuma, and Kuma realizing she’s being completely ignored by the two she wants to play with the most

rough life of a puppy.

rough life of a puppy.

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outside away from the other beasties, asleep on the porch sofa

outside away from the other beasties, asleep on the porch sofa

puppy kisses!

puppy kisses!

it was hot. I can relate.

it was hot. I can relate.

first beach trip! We couldn't walk 5 feel without people swarming her.

first beach trip! We couldn’t walk 5 feel without people swarming her.

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#fluffystudybuddy

#fluffystudybuddy

waiting for me to finally come to bed!

waiting for me to finally come to bed!

Pizza Fun, Ticket Bonanza, & Practical (ish) Meal Planning

FOOD

Yesterday was all about the tofu pot pie.  Seriously, I had it for breakfast AND lunch.  You know.  Need to clear out the space in the fridge because I was going grocery shopping…

Dinner was nothing fancy – the leftover boozy beans from the other night over a bowl of romaine, onion, and quinoa.  No pics.  My bad.

This morning was a smoothie (though NOT a green one!).  This one is from one of my fav smoothie books ever – 365 Vegan Smoothies.  This is the Strawberry-Chia Synergy one.  By the way, great book if you’re new to smoothies.  I’ve bought it as a gift a few times now!

pre-blend before heading to the office

pre-blend before heading to the office

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Lunch was a to-go salad I brought to work.  Romaine with scallions in the big section, sliced beets and cubed herbed tofu in the smaller ones.  I brought and used up the rest of the dressing I made the other day (balsamic/orange/champagne).

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Dinner was homemade pizza!  I’ve modified a dough recipe through the years, and here’s what I’m currently using.

Crissie’s Pizza Dough (makes 4 good sized pizzas)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 tbsp yeast
  • 2 tbsp sugar (we use the raw sugar, but any sweetener would do)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil (I use an infused olive oil with Italian seasoning.  If using regular olive oil, add 1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7-8 cups flour
  • any toppings that tickle your fancy

Directions for Dough

*I use a kitchen aid stand mixer so it’s ridiculously easy, but you can do this by hand too

  • put the warm water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl and let it proof for about 10 minutes (it should get a bit bubbly)
  • add the salt and olive oil
  • turn the mixer on the lowest setting and add 1/2 cup of flour at a time until you get a nice dough (or do this with a wooden spoon and call if your bicep workout for the day)
  • if doing by hand, you’ll likely have to hand knead in the last 1 – 1 1/2 cups
  • let sit until doubled.  At least an hour, but can let it go all day if you want

Directions for Cooking

  • preheat oven to 450
  • spray your pizza pan and sprinkle with cornmeal if you have it or flour if you don’t
  •  turn the dough out onto a floured surface.  Knead in any dough you need to make it easy to work with
  • cut into 4 sections
  • roll each out and place on the pan
  • top with a bit of olive oil – I also sprinkle with garlic salt and extra Italian seasoning.  For those who like spice, crushed red pepper is a great add here.  Cooking it mellows the heat out a bit, but retains a good bite
  • top with a sauce of your choosing (tomato, prepared pizza, BBQ, white sauce, pesto…you get the idea)
  • add any other toppings you dig
  • cook!  Set timer for 15.  That usually does the trick – but if you’re extra loaded you may want another minute or two.

Dig in!

some of the veggies

some of the veggies

decorating the pizzas (yes, we call it decorating...)

decorating the pizzas (yes, we call it decorating…)

FITNESS

Holy soreness, batman.  I don’t know if it’s the daily running after NOT running as much, or the yoga class that stretched my hamstrings in the other direction, but it’s all sore.

I did a light walk/jog yesterday to work out some kinks and yoga today.

LIFE

Yesterday morning was meal planning, grocery shopping, and studying.  For meal planning I use One Note.  That way I can share the grocery list with D if he does the shopping (usually so I can study!).  Here’s the plan for this week.  Knowing it’s more of a guideline than a plan!

 

12/27 – 1/2

Day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Snacks

Sunday

Green Smoothie – Sassy Green Kick-Start p. 81

Colin’s Blueberry Muffins (PPN)

BAS

Homemade Pizza (normal dough & PPN dough)

Monday

Green Smoothie – Strawberry Chia Synergy p 82

BAS

Mac No Cheese

Snobby Joes/Misc Sammich Fun

Tuesday

Green Smoothie Super Blue Recharge p. 85

BAS

Taco Tuesday!

Rice

Wednesday

Green Smoothie – Green Chia Monster p. 93

BAS

Baked Tofu

Sautéed mushrooms

Salad

Roasted potatoes or mashers

Thursday

Green Smoothie – whatever I have!

BAS

Leftovers & Snacks

Friday

Green Smoothie

BAS

NEW YEARS!

Saturday

Green Smoothie

BAS

Build-A-Bowl Asian Style

https://runcrissierun.com/2015/09/

 BAS Stuff:

  • Roasted Chickpeas (PPN p. 83)
  • Tofu Feta (PPN p. 113)
  • Quinoa
  • Brown Rice

Misc Stuff for Lunches

  • Egg-less Tofu Salad
  • Hummus w/veggies
  • Wraps
  • Buffalo Tofu (PPN p. 154)
  • PPK red Thai soup
  • Marinated cucumber slices (Asian style -> Ani Phyo)
  • Caribbean Quinoa Bowl
  • Kale chips

To give you and idea of how it’s just a guideline – totally didn’t make pizza last night.  Ended up going to Busch Gardens with the young one and letting everyone else fend for themselves.  But…because pizza night is so much fun, moved it to today and am totally skipping the snobby Joe night (lentil based sloppy joes).  I typically put a bunch of extra recipes or items I want to prep so there’s always food on hand for lunches, snacks etc.  They don’t all get made, but it’s the basis for the grocery list.  The goal is no one starves when the week gets into full swing and we’re all so busy, we end up ordering take out.  Also, I try to have a BAS most days (Big A$$ Salad) since they’re fun, yummy, and good for me too.

Oh, and for reference, PPN is Plant Pure Nation – another book I love.

So, hello novel.  After meal planning and all the associated fun, I asked R if she wanted to go to Busch Gardens for Christmas Town.  Because nothing says Christmas like 80 degree weather…..

D was at the office, A was with a friend, and M had no interest.  So just R and I went and had a blast.  We spent much of the time in an arcade (rides weren’t going for the most part), and she hit some mega jackpot and was buried in tickets by the time we were done.  It was awesome.

as we got to the park

as we got to the park

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getting my you-know-what handed to me in air hockey

getting my you-know-what handed to me in air hockey

skee ball

skee ball

jackpot!!

jackpot!!

Today was back to the office where I sorted through 1200 emails!  It took me almost 7 hours to clear out my inbox and catch up, but it was great.

I got home at a good time, spent about 4 hours studying, made dinner, and am not getting ready for bed!

So good night all (oh, and Chelsea managed to not lose today.  Not exactly stellar, but it beats getting our butts kicked…).

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun, Working Hard, and Ridiculously Busy!

FOOD

This past month has been all over the map!  Thankfully there hasn’t been much travel for me, other than the first week, so it’s been a pretty typical blend of elaborate eats, simple meals, and going out.

I met up with a classmate of mine, KS, up in DC for lunch.  I had this awesome wrap at a place in Georgetown she picked out.

I met up with a classmate of mine, KS, up in DC for lunch. I had this awesome wrap at a place in Georgetown she picked out.

Build a bowl meal of risotto, chickpeas, and roasted squash

Build a bowl meal of risotto, chickpeas, and roasted squash.  Another Zsu Dever genius dish from Vegan Bowls

Leftover lentil, rice, and peas over shredded lettuce

Leftover lentil, rice, and peas over shredded lettuce

Can't have Fall without lotsa pumpkin bread

Can’t have Fall without lotsa pumpkin bread

That moment when you know you have to go grocery shopping because you toss everything you have in a sauce pan to make stewp!  It was quite good though.

That moment when you know you have to go grocery shopping because you toss everything you have in a sauce pan to make stewp! It was quite good though.

Mango/pineapple/tofu stir fry leftovers for lunch

Mango/pineapple/tofu stir fry leftovers for lunch

Preparations for a big Italian dinner night when my friend SC came up to visit!

Preparations for a big Italian dinner night when my friend SC came up to visit!

My big Italian plate!

My big Italian plate!

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Oatmeal with banana and topped with homemade tangy soy yogurt

Oatmeal with banana and topped with homemade tangy soy yogurt

My birthday sushi!

My birthday sushi!

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FITNESS

Once again, sporadic at best.  I’ve gone to a boot camp class a few times that I actually really enjoy.  I’m having a hard time allowing myself the free time to go workout though – which is something I hope to work on.

Truth is, with full time (and very demanding) school, work, and family – the first thing I always sacrifice are the things I do solo – like working out.  It’s lame and I know I’d be a better mom/employee/student if I just invest that time, but I can’t get over the feeling that it’s selfish for me to do so.

LIFE

Well, October has come and gone since we last visited with each other!  It’s been a busy one, that’s for sure.  Not that my life is ever anything else though, right??

So let’s see – I went to DC for a few days for work and managed to get in a nice lunch (despite the pouring rain) in Georgetown with KS.  We go to school together and immediately clicked when we met.  She’s a great person, and it was nice to be able to see her between residencies.

Speaking of classmates, I went up to Richmond to have a study session with JG and SH also.  Exams are starting (actually, started yesterday), so it was nice to get together to review the hardest class of them all.

School in general is going very well.  It’s intense and I spent a lot of time studying, but I really do love it.  It’s challenging and exciting as much as it is exhausting!  About one day a week I will take “off” from class work to do something fun or nothing at all!

One of those "off" nights involved taking R out to learn how to play pool!  She loves it - and is pretty darn good already!

One of those “off” nights involved taking R out to learn how to play pool! She loves it – and is pretty darn good already!

My birthday was this month!  The Saturday before hand, we went to Busch Gardens for Howl-O-Scream fun.  Had a great time!  On my birthday itself (a Monday), M and I went to the movies in the middle of the day, and then we all went out to my favorite b’day place – Geisha – for hibachi, veggie sushi and my “un-cake” which is 1/4 of a pineapple with other fruits on it.

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So a merry go round becomes a horror-go-round with the addition of red lights and spooky music!

So a merry go round becomes a horror-go-round with the addition of red lights and spooky music!

A friend of R’s spent the weekend with us, and we took the girls to Busch Gardens and let them do whatever they wanted.  N (R’s friend) isn’t a big fan of spooky, so we got through one haunted house only.  Didn’t matter though – the girls had plenty of fun on rides and goofing off like 12 yr olds do.

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SC came up from North Carolina for an evening of cooking wine, and relaxing.  We’d been trying to get together since May, but one thing or another kept coming up.  He brought wine and the two of us cooked half the night away.  After dinner, he and I and R took a long walk around the neighborhood and had an overall great night.

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D and I played in the United Way Nerd Golf tournament again this year with ABD and her husband JD.  It was a great time!  Oh, and it’s called Nerd Golf because it’s all our IT department that does it.

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The next two weeks are my exam period for the end of my first term!  I’m budgeting my non-work time to prep and organize for them, with the intent to knock them all out Fri-Sun next weekend.  That will give me a full week to take it easy before Term 2 starts and I head off to Brazil!  My passport was returned this week with my visa, so I’m good to go!

Until then, I leave you with the normal random pictures and morning pictures!

D, R, and I were texting each other goofy pictures where we tried to look bored.  R was in her robotics club meeting, D was in his car waiting for her to come out of school, and I was at the dining room table studying

D, R, and I were texting each other goofy pictures where we tried to look bored. R was in her robotics club meeting, D was in his car waiting for her to come out of school, and I was at the dining room table studying

R and I hit up the pumpkin patch one day after school

R and I hit up the pumpkin patch one day after school

Found this to be a bizarre sign at the restaurant/bar where we were playing pool

Found this to be a bizarre sign at the restaurant/bar where we were playing pool

I love Virginia Beach :)

I love Virginia Beach 🙂

Starting to get too cold for my favorite room - but I enjoy it when I can

Starting to get too cold for my favorite room – but I enjoy it when I can

Ginny interrupting my studies for a belly rub

Ginny interrupting my studies for a belly rub

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Ginny interrupting R's studies too!

Ginny interrupting R’s studies too!

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Another study session interrupted by the fluffball

Another study session interrupted by the fluffball

Don't bother us.... we're sleeping

Don’t bother us…. we’re sleeping

And the morningpictures and selfie!

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Big Breakfast, a Birthday, and Back in the Swing of Things!

FOOD

I’m not usually one for big breakfasts – in fact a smoothie or oatmeal (or a smoothie AND oatmeal!) usually does it for me.  However, my daughter’s birthday was this past Sunday, so it was definitely a day for big breakfasts!

a breakfast casserole with tempeh, tofu, veggies, and all sorts of yumminess...

a breakfast casserole with tempeh, tofu, veggies, and all sorts of yumminess…

pancakes!

pancakes!

biscuits and gravy and roasted herbed potatoes!

biscuits and gravy and roasted herbed potatoes!

No one went hungry on Sunday!

Other eats of the week…

build a bowl leftovers at the office!

build a bowl leftovers at the office!

creamy dijon pasta from Everyday Happy Herbivore...still one of my go-to meals.

creamy dijon pasta from Everyday Happy Herbivore…still one of my go-to meals.

smoothie selfie from Tropical Smoothie.  Island Green Detox (though I hate that word)

smoothie selfie from Tropical Smoothie. Island Green Detox (though I hate that word)

smoothie at home!  Coconut milk, strawberries, banana, and spinach.  Simple and still a fav.

smoothie at home! Coconut milk, strawberries, banana, and spinach. Simple and still a fav.

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another bowl night.  This was just rice, mixed veggies, and sauteed tofu.

another bowl night. This was just rice, mixed veggies, and sauteed tofu.

LOVE appliances - especially when I forget to plan dinner.  This was black beans and rice.

LOVE appliances – especially when I forget to plan dinner. This was black beans and rice.

and can't forget the birthday cake!!!  Strawberry cake with vanilla frosting.

and can’t forget the birthday cake!!! Strawberry cake with vanilla frosting.

my one main meal away when I was in Lynchburg for work.  It was incredible!

my one main meal away when I was in Lynchburg for work. It was incredible!

Excited for tonight’s dinner – build a taco bar!  A friend and classmate is coming over with her husband and little one.  She lives halfway across the country, but is in town this week.  So excited!

FITNESS

RunCrissieRun is the name of the game!  Running most days, and the days I don’t I’m making use of those workout videos that collect dust.

I’ve also been trying to meditate daily, though I sometimes forget 🙂

LIFE

Most days are work, home, and school stuff.  Not always in that order!  Catching up after 3 weeks away is quite a lot of work!   Lots of early days and late nights and very little in the way of family time (with the exception of R’s birthday, of course!).

I did take her and a couple friends to the theme park where they barely agreed on a single ride (my daughter is a speed demon, the other two…not so much), but they had a great time anyway.

R and the girls!

R and the girls!

me chilling while they were on a ride

me chilling while they were on a ride

me studying while they were on a different ride...

me studying while they were on a different ride…

I was away for work for a couple of days as well, and will be for half of next week.  Though that is hopefully it until Brazil in December!

I leave you with miscellaneous pics before I hustle back to the kitchen to prepare for JG and her family!

school is in session, and morningpictures are back!!

school is in session, and morningpictures are back!!

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And morning java…mostly on weekends and the rare days I have enough leeway in my mornings to chill out

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And cats….

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Camp, Cats, Pools, and Travels!

FOOD

Well the past few weeks have been a bit crazy, but lots of good food involved.  I have a few new books to review (and giveaway), so I can’t share all I’ve been up to just yet!  I’m really excited to though, as there’s some great dishes coming your way in the coming weeks.

There have been smoothies, Tofurky, and plenty of meals out.  D and were traveling for a few days, so there were many yummy dishes out and about in our travels too!

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my garden is still pumping out cucs like crazy, so I've had a lot of cucumber toast sammiches!

my garden is still pumping out cucs like crazy, so I’ve had a lot of cucumber toast sammiches!

Of course I had to go out for Thai at least once in the past couple weeks!

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And tacos….

pressure cooker pinto beans and all the toppings

pressure cooker pinto beans and all the toppings

taco potato!  One of my fav ways to change up my tacos

taco potato! One of my fav ways to change up my tacos

And a tofurky feast night

tofurky, mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, roast carrots, and sweet corn bread

tofurky, mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, roast carrots, and sweet corn bread

And finally, I made one of my favorite alfredo sauces from Lunchbox Bunch, and it’s made from acorn squash!  I pretty much just make the sauce, though I use half the Italian Seasoning.

the sauce

the sauce

I made some brown rice pasta, and when that was boiling, added peas, green beans, kale, and brussel sprouts.  SO yummy.

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And finally, Orlando eats from my long weekend trip with D!

probably the most boring meal.  Oatmeal and an English muffin with jelly

probably the most boring meal. Oatmeal and an English muffin with jelly

bunch the last day at White Wolf Café.  English muffin with sliced tomatoes and grits!

bunch the last day at White Wolf Café. English muffin with sliced tomatoes and grits!

tofu scramble, sausage, and home fries burrito with polenta - from Ethos Vegan Kitchen

tofu scramble, sausage, and home fries burrito with polenta – from Ethos Vegan Kitchen

eggplant and zucchini vegan pizza from Red Circle at Universal

eggplant and zucchini vegan pizza from Red Circle at Universal

my very fav Epcot dish - from Marakesh.  Pita, hummus, couscous, tabbouleh, marinated olives, and lentils.

my very fav Epcot dish – from Marakesh. Pita, hummus, couscous, tabbouleh, marinated olives, and lentils.

our first Babycakes!  They've opened in Downtown Disney, and I had mint choc chip and D had French toast cupcakes.  SO GOOD.

our first Babycakes! They’ve opened in Downtown Disney, and I had mint choc chip and D had French toast cupcakes. SO GOOD.

lemon potato wedges from Taverna Opa

lemon potato wedges from Taverna Opa

zucchini chips

zucchini chips

Full yet???

FITNESS

Most of my workouts have been runs, but also got in some biking when in Orlando!

D and I rented some bike share bikes in Orlando and biked around town!

D and I rented some bike share bikes in Orlando and biked around town!

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post ride sweaty selfie!

post ride sweaty selfie!

I also went to my first hot Vinyasa class in nearly 2 years.  I got dizzy, and this pic just shows how sweaty I got (and admittedly, it looks like I want to barf).

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D and I also walked for over 30 miles in the 4 days we were gone!

LIFE

Well, based on all the above pics, we’ve certainly been busy!  The week after the 4th of July holiday, D went back to working on days and living like a normal person.

It was also the week we prepped R for her 2 weeks at camp!  Shopping, ortho appointments (where she got her bottom braces put on), lots of family time, and packing.

driving to camp!

driving to camp!

dropping the young one off at camp!

dropping the young one off at camp!

After another work week, D and I had another short week and left for a quick trip to Orlando!  We have only gotten away alone together 1-2 times, so this was a pretty big deal.  First time we’ve ever flown anywhere together.

We had an absolute blast just wandering around town.  We did Epcot, and Universal City Walk a few times, but we also went to a casino (where I owned the blackjack table!), a blues club, and a bike ride.  It was an absolutely wonderful trip.

airport selfie as we were boarding our ridiculously early flight...

airport selfie as we were boarding our ridiculously early flight…

drinking a drink called Pimp Juice!

drinking a drink called Pimp Juice!

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this cracked me up....

this cracked me up….

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Today was back to the office and tomorrow is taking M to his university orientation day!

And here – more random pics from the past two weeks!

me & M

me & M

A & D

A & D

they're starting to like each other!

they’re starting to like each other!

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she loves the outdoor patio too!

she loves the outdoor patio too!

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cats missed the suitcase

cats missed the suitcase

harvest!

harvest!

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After a Week of Website Drama, I’m Back with TONS of Pics – Food, Cats, and Anniversary Fun

Well, due to some website technical difficulties for the past week, I’m finally back up and running!  

FOOD

This has been one of those weeks that’s a combination of at-home meals, and dining on the go.  Every morning was either a smoothie or cucumber toast (it’s a good thing I love cuc toast, because my garden seems to keep pumping them out!).

And here are the grub highlights!

one of my fairly standard smoothies.  Water, banana, frozen berries, mango, and spinach.

one of my fairly standard smoothies. Water, banana, frozen berries, mango, and spinach.

smoothie and cuc toast on Daiya cream chese

smoothie and cuc toast on Daiya cream chese

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tofu lettuce wrap from the Busch Gardens food and wine fest

tofu lettuce wrap from the Busch Gardens food and wine fest

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lentil cake with tomato and sauce

lentil cake with tomato and sauce

smoothies with D

smoothies with D before work

grilled portabello mushroom burger with Italian pasta side

grilled portabello mushroom burger with Italian pasta side

sloppy potato!  Baked potato topped with lentil sloppy Joe's and some raw cauliflower

sloppy potato! Baked potato topped with lentil sloppy Joe’s and some raw cauliflower

veggie fajitas

veggie fajitas

Tropical Smoothie Cafe has Beyond Meat, and I grabbed their Jamaican jerk wrap.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe has Beyond Meat, and I grabbed their Jamaican jerk wrap.

pineapple chili with shredded greens

pineapple chili with shredded greens

simple bagel breakfast

simple bagel breakfast

Crissie's Smoothie Delivery Service!

Crissie’s Smoothie Delivery Service!

another smoothie selfie!

another smoothie selfie!

And of course, can’t forget the morning java pics!

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celebrating our anniversary morning with java together!

celebrating our anniversary morning with java together!

FITNESS

This has been a really great week on the fitness front.  Why?  I went back to hot yoga!  I was last at my studio in November.  It’s easy to say that life got too busy with moving, work, etc – but the truth is, I was a little heart broken, so I stopped going.

I had spent a year saving up to take yoga teacher training, and it was slated to begin the first weekend of December.  This is something I’ve wanted to do for nearly 10 years now, and I was finally going to do it!  Then I had to have a difficult conversation with D about the realistic time expectations, and together we concluded that there just isn’t the time in our lives for me to do this now.  Since that decision was made – I hadn’t gone back.  I was sad, disappointed, and perhaps a bit angry.  However, after over 6 months, I decided it was time to shake it off and go.  I’m so glad I did.

me after my first class back!

me after my first class back last weekend!

after work monday night.  Glad it's dark because the mascara was ALL over my face!  Must remember to take that off before class...

after work monday night. Glad it’s dark because the mascara was ALL over my face! Must remember to take that off before class…

I still want to be a teacher some day, but I realize it will be several years before I have the ability to commit to that.  Until then, I will be happy to be a student.

On the days I didn’t go to yoga (I went twice), I went running.  I also have a jog belt for the pool, and have done some of that too!

LIFE

It’s been a really good week for me.  I’ve gotten a ton done, and that always makes me feel relaxed.

A few random pics of the week:

my girls eating lunch outside on the porch

my girls eating lunch outside on the porch

flowers D bought me on Sunday

flowers D bought me on Sunday

Ginny is obsessed with wet feet

Ginny is obsessed with wet feet

buckets of margaritas!

buckets of margaritas!

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gin and tonic time

gin and tonic time

harvest!

harvest!

my in the backyard reading

my in the backyard reading

Nightmare Before Christmas Yahtzee!  R won...

Nightmare Before Christmas Yahtzee! R won…

Mine and D’s anniversary was Thursday, and even though we had to work, it was fun ending out evening floating in the pool, talking, and having a few drinks.

Happy Anniversary evening drinks - before taking it to the pool.

Happy Anniversary evening drinks – before taking it to the pool.

Our regular celebration actually happened yesterday though.  Every year since we’ve been in VA (which is 11 1/2 years now!), D and I have gone to Busch Gardens – without the kids.  We always have a great time, and yesterday was no exception.

pulling into the park

pulling into the park

about to get on the front row of the Griffon

about to get on the front row of the Griffon

sky ride

sky ride

drinks in Ireland

drinks in Ireland

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okay, strange cat mask in Italy

okay, strange cat mask in Italy

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Travels, a Disturbing Trend with Pillows, and a Kid Who Can’t Differentiate Foods…

FOOD

Okay, so I went out of town for a few days, and had some great food!  I also had lunch with a friend before I went, some simple eats and drinks, and a happy hour with D!  I also went to an International Food & Wine Fest, and while the vegan eats were plentiful, the ones I had were awesome!

smoothie time!

smoothie time!

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baked potato taco!

baked potato taco!

kung pao tofu

kung pao tofu

tofu and veggie curry

tofu and veggie curry

fried mushrooms out at happy hour with D on Wednesday!

fried mushrooms out at happy hour with D on Wednesday!

tofu lettuce wraps - part of the awesome lunch I split with SC at PF Chang's....

tofu lettuce wraps – part of the awesome lunch I split with SC at PF Chang’s….

Tom Kha soup

Tom Kha soup

red curry

red curry

tomato brushetta up in Charlottesville at my hotel...really a cold gazpacho on french bread slices.  REALLY tasty...

tomato brushetta up in Charlottesville at my hotel…really a cold gazpacho on french bread slices. REALLY tasty…

tofu lettuce wraps today

tofu lettuce wraps today

hummus, olive tapenade, and pita

hummus, olive tapenade, and pita

FITNESS

I really have been all about the runs lately.  Maybe it’s the traveling or the crazy life hours, but all I’ve really wanted to do is run.

Yesterday was one of those days where I figured I should run…but didn’t really want to.  Belly ache and tired from traveling, I laced up anyway and took off.  SO glad I did…by the time I got home I felt great.  That’s what I love about running…you lace up and head out on a rough day only committing to a nice walk….and end up having a great run.

LIFE

The past few days have been awesome.  Work was great, but so were other things.  Hopefully I’ll have more to write about that in the coming weeks, but I will say that the couple of days I spent out of town were wonderful.

Otherwise, I had my morning java on the back deck, got my morning pictures from D, had a great time in Charlottesville (seriously, they have a thing called Friday’s After Five where the whole community comes out to eat, drink, and listen to music!), snuggled with the fluff-balls, and hit up a food and wine fest with D.

java!

java!

happy hour with D on Wednesday.  I think he was trying to lick my face....

happy hour with D on Wednesday. I think he was trying to lick my face….

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more back deck java!

more back deck java!

an annoying trend I've noticed in hotels where they pile up mini-pillows....

an annoying trend I’ve noticed in hotels where they pile up mini-pillows….

went to see Tomorrowland and got my trade-able Disney Pin!

went to see Tomorrowland and got my trade-able Disney Pin!

this view never gets old.  It's my mornings, and I love it.

this view never gets old. It’s my mornings, and I love it.

Fun stuff from Charlottesville….

I didn't stop, but this sounded fantastic

I didn’t stop, but this sounded fantastic

they have a community chalkboard.  Everyone should have a community chalkboard.

they have a community chalkboard. Everyone should have a community chalkboard.

Wine and chocolate.  Cool.

Wine and chocolate. Cool.

Fridays' After Five!

Fridays’ After Five!

more Charlottesville fun

more Charlottesville fun

Food and Wine (and beer and champagne) fest fun!

me and D walking in....

me and D walking in….

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second selfie!

second selfie!

final selfie!!

final selfie!!

they had a Scotch tasting.  I didn't partake because I don't like it, but thought it was cool anyway.

they had a Scotch tasting. I didn’t partake because I don’t like it, but thought it was cool anyway.

I want to have this Irish fairy...

I want to have this Irish fairy…

Oh, and one silly story about R.  She’s 11 – going to be 12 at the end of summer.  She wanted to feed herself breakfast and went to make waffles in the toaster.  She proceeds to come up to my room to inform D and me there’s only one waffle left and it’s sitting in the toaster oven. Okay, someone else ate the waffles, so I go downstairs.

And find a veggie burger patty in my toaster oven.  Seriously.  My kid doesn’t know the difference between waffles and veggie burgers.  I’m clearly not raising a kid who can fend for herself….

Other pics!

another morning pic!

another morning pic!

me and Bumble snuggled up this morning

me and Bumble snuggled up this morning

Ginny invading our territory, and Bumble not completely freaking out (she did not long after)....

Ginny invading our territory, and Bumble not completely freaking out (she did not long after)….

Really, who wouldn’t love the week I’ve had??