Running is Back on the Menu!

FOOD

Well, it’s been 2 weeks since the last post (sorry about that – the drama kept on coming, but has hopefully stopped now). Fairly typical eats. Soups, salads, smoothies, curries, rice dishes, etc. Haven’t gone out much, which isn’t a bad thing, though had an awesome breakfast with my guy yesterday! Essentially a deconstructed salad with hummus. And strawberry mimosas!

Tofu/potato tacos for family Taco Tuesday!
Also made some homemade beans and cilantro slaw

Mexican restaurant near us had a great vegan selection. My guy and his oldest and me and my youngest went there. I could do without the slab of vegan cheese, but otherwise awesome.

Not pretty, but a simple tofu and rice curry dish I made in my rice cooker
Note the colorful lid from Amazon prime day!
Zoodles and Boca crumbles with extra veggies and marinara

Simple tofu Alfredo for a quick meal

Savory smoothie!

FITNESS

Running is back on the menu! And yoga too, of course.

LIFE

Let’s see, it has been a busy two weeks. Both work and school have been busy, though I can’t complain about either. It’s also been nice being home the entire month (save one night).

I had a quick overnight in Williamsburg for work. I would’ve come home, but it involved a work dinner and drinks the night before an all-day meeting being held up there, and I wasn’t going to drive the 45-60 minutes home. I didn’t get pics of the meal (my boss was there), but it was SO good. I split a main dish of roasted veggies with someone else (she’s a vegetarian), and we each got salads as well. It was SO good. Lentils and veggies tossed in a lemon champagne dressing. YUM.

Of course since I was up there, did a quick lap at Busch Gardens. It was HOT, but still fun.

Hot day. Fluffy hair.

Then it was back home and normal stuff. My youngest had a really rough day, so ended up skipping my typically Friday night fun with my boyfriend and watched Lord of the Rings with R instead. Poor bunny fell asleep halfway through.

Otherwise, typical week. Lots of studying, work, and spending as much time as possible with people I love!

Another book from my mentor! I have the audio also and really love it. Anyone working in a co-innovation space should read this!

I want this

Luna’s pre-bed game of “murder my toes”

As seen in the spa bathroom

Late lunch with R after she had her first massage!

Crissie the Dessert Fairy 🧚‍♀️

FOOD

It has been a really good week, and I was better than I have been in months on meal prep. Helps that I’m actually home and didn’t have classes, but still. Yay me.

Lots of smoothies.

I don’t use my Tribest personal blender often enough – but my Vitamix was dirty from making cake batter. I forget how good this little thing is – as long as I skip the greens

And I’m a huge fan of this quinoa bowl with a splash of coconut milk, blueberries, bananas, and sunflower seed butter.

Any longtime reader knows of my love of Ezekiel toast with sun butter and sliced bananas!

Since I had made a big batch of quinoa, I also had a black bean salad.

And some chickpea “fakin-tuna salad” wraps too.

Wednesday night my boyfriend and I and 3 of our kids went out to eat and I had pasta arrabbiata that I ate for dinner again later in the week.

Friday I had popcorn and dole whip – I know – not the healthiest, but I was at a theme park…

Saturday my guy and I went out and we shared a hummus platter and then I got a vegan chicken parm. Not the greatest presentation, but it was yummy – though the veggie side looked like a sad afterthought. Definitely more than I could eat, so took the leftovers back to his place for lunch the next day…which I forgot about 🤦🏻‍♀️

This morning we went out for breakfast. I had the tofu scramble, vegan sausages, dry toast, and grits. Ate about 1/2 again, but it was tasty. Their Bloody Mary, on the other hand, was NOT tasty. Tomato juice and sake. Eww….

FITNESS

Yoga, and not every day either. It’s killing me how badly I want to go for a run. Ugh. Stupid back.

LIFE

Overall, quite an excellent week. Tuesday I had my doctor’s appt for my back. Basically – she thinks the muscles have just seized up so badly, nothing is helping (ie – Motrin), and it is not resolving on its own. She put me on prednisone and flexeril. Though I have not taken the latter because it makes me loopy and I have no time for that. However, after being admonished yesterday by the guy, I guess I’ll take it maybe around bedtime. Though I don’t like the idea of being out of it then either – what if something happens and I’m too loopy to deal with it? Ugh. Stupid back.

Wednesday morning I had my labs drawn (figure I may as well get all my normal yearly labs done). Let’s just say when I got to the office the admin had to get me the first aid kit since I was still bleeding. Nothing the phlebotomist did wrong, I tend to have a low platelet count for some reason.

Thursday was the 4th of July, and the guy and his youngest came over for some grilling and pool time. It was really nice. They left early though, and I was in bed by 930!

Friday I stopped at my guys house in the morning briefly for another cake delivery (apparently the youngest didn’t get enough the last time – or maybe any, I’m not sure if the other 2 ate it all or not!). I’m starting to feel like the dessert fairy, though that’s okay. They’re worth it.

My coursework opened, and I got that organized. It’s going to be a busy term, but I’m looking forward to it. Last term before it’s strictly just research & writing until graduation.

In the afternoon around 3, R and I went to Busch Gardens to have fun and watch fireworks. Apparently the 2 days of only taking half of my meds didn’t work as well as I had thought they were. A few hours in and I was starting to hurt. Pushed through, but perhaps it was a bit premature to hike around for hours and ride rollercoasters! But the fireworks were beautiful and the company wonderful and made it all worthwhile.

Funny though, we got home late – around 1130 – and I notice the bathroom door in my bedroom is closed. Odd. I open it…to find this….M apparently was having fun home alone 🙂

Saturday morning was a nail appointment and then a couples massage, dinner, and then an afternoon of drinks and walking around and ogling at sailboats. Quite the awesome day.

This morning we woke early and went to breakfast. Then I studied a bit until the match started. It was tense, but awesome to see the US take another World Cup! Then it was time to go, hit up the store, and grab my eldest from the airport!

Sent this to my sister – who is a law librarian. 🤣🤣

Spring? What Spring?

FOOD

Even though this has been a short week, the eats were definitely on point!

Lots of smoothies, salads, and really nutrient dense meals. I’m trying to focus more on that lately – not just vegan (which is still of the most paramount import for me) – but also less vegan junk.

Also had a trip to the food & wine fest that was a lot of fun too!

Sunflower butter and sliced bananas on Ezekiel toast
The vegan bowl from Cobalt Grille. I’m a fan.

Fun color changing cups M got from Starbucks!

My Lidl haul for ~$30!
Digging on the Morningstar Farms vegan chickn strips!

BEST SUMMER FRUIT

I like a little lettuce with my chickpeas
Made a big batch of chili using Beyond Meat crumbles, Ate it for lunches at work.

Chili with cauliflower rice

PF Chang’s Mandarin Crunch Salad. Good, but too much dressing and could only eat about 1/3 of it.

The Impossible Fajita Bowl from Cowboy Neil’s. Made with Impossible burger (obviously!)

Sangria flight!
Tofu lettuce wrap

Tofu scramble with vegan sausage

Memorial Day we did a cookout at my guys house and he grilled the BEST tofu 🙂

Watermelon, slaw, grilled mushrooms and tofu, corn, and potatoes!

FITNESS

Been a busy week! Lots of runs and various video workouts. I swear though, the lower body workout on Sunday about killed me. Walking was a struggle until nearly Wednesday!

LIFE

Saturday morning I did school work and took Kuma to the pet store.

In the afternoon it was an Eastern Shore adventure. Took a nice drive and stopped for some cider, then back to Virginia Beach for a late dinner before turning in for the night. Was a really nice day.

Sunday was all school work, cleaning, grocery shopping, and cooking.

Monday was the cookout and relaxing.

And then Tuesday it was back to work! But – it was only a 3 day week since I had Friday planned off.

Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday

Each day reached over 100 until Friday, and it was insane. Seriously – it’s like we didn’t have spring at all. I typically don’t mind crazy hot weather, but damn. A girl could use a bit of a warning!

Thursday night I had a 1:1 with my professor/advisor. I basically have 2 weeks to get my research topic approved. Good news is that he’s told me it IS approved. I’ve met all the requirements. But it does give me 2 weeks to take my work and make it even better and more polished. I’m so excited!!

Miscellaneous pics of the week

On a solemn note, there was a shooting here in Virginia Beach yesterday. I, for one, am so sick and tired of these headlines and mourning people who should not have died. Frankly, it pisses me off and the madness needs to end – but no one has the political balls to do anything about it. Ugh.

Half Burnt Beats Fully Burnt

FOOD

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

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

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

And the rest while out of town…

Gardein Wings!

Erin McKenna’s fully vegan bakery!

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

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

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

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

Last night’s very basic noodle and veggie dish

FITNESS

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

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

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

LIFE

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

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

My quick recap –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not as many fluff pics as normal…

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

Sangria IS Fruit Salad

FOOD

Was nice to have a pretty lazy week, which meant some fairly lazy eats. Since I don’t have to study all evening, I can whip up some good stuff!

There were smoothies of course. And LOTS of popcorn! My new microwave popcorn popper is amazing. No oil or added anything if you don’t want – and typically I don’t. Plain with some salt is fine. I did put Earth Balance on the lid to melt into the popcorn for R tho.

Black beans and rice
Tofu green curry with my guy! I only get 4 outings a mo, but he’s worth it!
BAS with chickpeas
Simple tomato and lentil stew I whipped up in the Instant Pot
Pressed and cut tofu (obviously…)

Cajun baked tofu, masher w mushroom gravy, and broccoli

BAS w/ dry fried tofu & bragg’s liquid aminos, tons of veg, and a Catalina dressing

FITNESS

Have run most of the past 4 days. Kickboxing yesterday. Meditating daily. Working my way back up to 20-30 min per day.

Perfect running weather!
Good thing you’re not supposed to look cute after a run! I turn beet red for HOURS

LIFE

The skies cleared, no rain in the forecast, so it was off to Busch Gardens on Sunday! Me and R and my guy and his youngest. The place was dead, so we road all the rides multiple times, did a couple laps, and had a fun time. Howl O Scream was starting, so I was super stoked for that. Turns out though, that they had expected Hurricane Florence to keep them closed that weekend, so they weren’t prepared for the full experience. Just a couple haunted houses were open. So we decided to call it a night with plans to come back on my birthday. I try to go every year on or near my birthday – especially since Halloween is my fav holiday.

My guy and I really love cider. Was happy they had a local Bold Rock Pear on tap!
My baby girl 🙂
I have a good friend with a pup named Lulu. Took this for him

It’s been 4 days of no school. I’ve mowed, cleaned the house several times, did wash, and eventually – when there was nothing left to clean – started reading my library book! I also got notified that the one I put on hold is available, so I’ll be picking that up this week too!

And other life updates thru pictures!

I

Getting to be end of the harvest! Tomato plants have been ripped out, but peppers still going strong!
Chatting Econ with my guys son, saw this, and totally made me giggle
ME!!!!
Snuggle buddy while I read Sunday after my run and before going to BG

My guy got R a tool box and some tools for her bday (perfect gift, let me tell you). She went around tightening all the hinges and handles in the house. Which I greatly appreciated

MY YEAR OF LESS

It’s been a pretty good week. I did use 2 of my going out this week; one on the theme park and one on lunch. Both reasonable though since I have passes to the theme park. Only spend was food and drink and a locker rental for our bags on two of the rides.

I also did have to buy new silverware. Almost all my forks are missing. We have a theory in the house that they ran off to Mexico. See – several years ago, all my spoons went missing. We theorized that they went to party in Mexico and didn’t come back (I mean…margaritas, sunshine…would you come back?!). Clearly the forks felt slighted, and went too. Actually, I’m pretty sure the kids accidentally threw them away. I really dislike using anything disposable. Utensils, paper plates, cups etc – unless it’s absolutely necessary (I admit I picked some up when I thought the hurricane was gonna slammed and I wasn’t going to have water to do dishes – alas – will donate them to a local shelter).

So today I attended a budgeting seminar that Fidelity put on through work. Figured why not? I keep a pretty good budget I think, but there’s always an opportunity to learn more. Honestly, it was a good hour. It went over things like what % of your income should be spent on essentials vs savings vs “other” (It’s 50/20/30, btw), and some other resources. Also good info on what debt to pay down first, etc. I’m posting them here for you if you’re interested. I did compare my budget to the Fidelity model, and will be applying my monthly expenses to it to see how I fare.

Savings and Spending Check Up

Video – based on the interactive session I had today

Power of Saving Small Amounts

And a few articles

https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/personal-finance/learn-about-types-of-debt#Carloans

https://www.fidelity.com/labs/student-loans/#/

https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/personal-finance/how-to-pay-off-debt

Spending

Sept 16 – $57.38 at Busch Gardens (not bad when considering those prices!)

Sept 17 – $0

Sept 18 – $12.81 for Thai Food for my guy

Sept 19 – $57 on silverware. I used my Target Red Debit card to save 5%

Favorite Food Season + Family, Friends, and Fun!

FOOD

It’s been a fun little bit since getting home (and before hitting the road again!).

I love spring/summer when it comes to produce. Time to bust out ALL the zoodles, salads, and other fun eats. And yes – I bought that salad thingy to see if it’s really as cool as it looked. Eh. I prefer my veggies more evenly diced. Did great for the lettuce though. Will keep trying it out! Haven’t done it for fruit yet.

Also went to a local food and wine fest with my guy, which was a total blast!

Also lots of grilling and other amazing eats (like a vegan butter chicken made with soy curls and served on cauliflower rice!).

And on the road eats…

FITNESS

A few runs but the best was going to yoga with my guy. He had never been before and really enjoyed it, which makes me totally happy.

Also stopped by the Peloton showroom, so that’ll be happening soon too!

LIFE

Busy, but what else is new? I happen to love being busy. Not that I can’t slow down now and again, but there’s so much cool stuff in life, may as well do as much as possible!

The second term for my doctorate is winding down. We’ll have a couple week break before ramping up again. It’s mostly reading and writing, but also doing research on potential topics for my research project/dissertation. I have two topics I’m interested in at the moment, so that’s good. A month ago I was at a complete loss!

The pool has been opened and even got in one day of swimming between the rains and travels! But it is also the season where I try to have my morning java outside on the porch as much as possible!

Spent a night in DC, which was a ton of fun (though it always is) and got to see several of my local friends to celebrate me being in town as well as a friend’s birthday AND his wedding anniversary!

And of course miscellaneous pics of family, fluffs, and life!