Celebrating Life, Birthday’s, and Friends

FOOD

Certainly been a busy week!  As usual, smoothies, salads, and soup were the mainstays.  As were all things in the form of tacos!

kale salad with lemon tahini dressing
sweet potato & kale soup
potato taco!

tofu wings at Yard House
of course I had to have at least ONE tofu green curry!
BBQ tofu, mac no cheese, and sweet carrots

Seriously though – hosted a taco bar party on Friday, which is always the easiest for a crowd!  I’m pretty sure no one ended up hungry.

I can’t believe I forgot to take a pic of all the eats, but at least here’s mine.  I went with a taco salad, piled high with all the good stuff.

FITNESS

Runs and yoga ruled the week.  A few swims, and I started making calls for tennis lessons for me an R!  Hoping to start towards the end of next week.

LIFE

This past week has been very reflective and both wonderful and sad at the same time.  My father passed away unexpectedly in October and for various reasons (my mom’s health and my busy MBA travels mainly), the memorial wasn’t scheduled until this past weekend.  Due to my crazy upside down life events, I couldn’t get to WI.  I do honestly believe that if anyone would understand the reasons why, it would be my father.

What I did was spend a lot of time with friends – most who came to town to celebrate the birthday of one of our Darden alum!  First was the taco party at my house on Friday.  Tons of kids in the pool and adults having drinks and catching up.  Saturday was spent first on the beach and boating/tubing, and then having a BBQ back at birthday boy’s house.  Sunday was very quiet as friends scattered back to home (DC and Charlottesville), and while they all went to brunch and to tour a Naval ship, R and I stayed home for her dose (and her post-dose belly ache relaxing).  Rest of the day was grocery shopping and meal prep.

boat fun
classmates at the taco party!
beach girls
Darden classmates at the BBQ bday party!
“morning after” Sunday with A and W on the back deck
boat hair, don’t care
R and AM tubing! Wish I got one of R on her own – M was whipping her all over the place, but she hung on! Until she didn’t and got stung by 2 jellyfish 😦

kids and cornhole! R and my friend’s son W were two peas in a pod all weekend

Of course needing to end with random pics, it’s overall been a good week.  A lot of thinking about my Dad, missing family, and celebrating with friends.

R had her peanut OIT updose on Friday! Went well, though she always uses a damp towl to wipe her lips. This was just her being goofy.
coat hook at the allergist that R called the “drunk octopus”
morning java Sunday morning with my brand new NPR cup from W and his family! (he works there, which is wicked cool)

“someone tell me it’s not time to get up yet”

 

King Neptune is My Drinking Buddy

FOOD

I had today off, so sleeping in until 8am meant coffee and then brunch – which was just last night’s dinner reheated.  Beans, rice, and lettuce.  Good stuff!

java buddies

I had hummus and veggies for lunch, and haven’t actually had dinner yet.  Since it’s 7pm, I probably won’t.  Don’t judge.  I’m working on the food thing slowly.  In my defense, I ordered an appetizer, but it was awful so I didn’t eat it.

FITNESS

Had a nice run today and more pool cleaning.  That’s becoming my arm workout!

LIFE

So today I was off because we were supposed to have a big team meeting at a food and wine fest.  It got canceled due to weather, which is a bummer because it actually didn’t rain, was in the 70’s, and would have been totally perfect for such an event!  Alas, it didn’t happen, and since my calendar was blocked, decided to still take the day.

So, I did housework, hung with R as she binge watched Arrow with Kuma, made weekend plans to have a bunch of friends stay with me, ran, and took a shower.  Then off to run errands.

A big part of that was losing a chunk of my life at the Social Security Administration.  My court order name change came through (not the divorce itself – that takes a bloody year in VA – but I did petition for a name change now).  Anyway, I ended up not having the right certified document, so there’s 2+ hours I won’t get back.  That meant I couldn’t go to the DMV, so I gave up, went to the Oceanfront, read for a bit, hung out with King Neptune and then a co-worker for some happy hour.

And now – home, cleaning, blogging, and relaxing before heading back to work tomorrow!

Later gators!

 

A Near Cat-astrophe!

FOOD

Breakfast started out with a green smoothie.  I don’t always, but when I feel I need an added oomph, I’ll throw in a scoop of Vega protein powder.  Today’s was Vega Protein and Greens Berry, 8 ounces Bai pineapple infused coconut water, frozen mango, 1/2 banana, and tons of kale and spinach.

Lunch didn’t happen.  It should have – but alas.  It didn’t.

Dinner was a simple rice cooker beans and rice dish.  Brown rice, pinto beans, chilies, onion, garlic, and various spices.  Serve with tortilla chips, lettuce, and hot sauce!

FITNESS

I streamed a yoga class today.  It wasn’t an overly challenging one, but what I needed for some peace and clarity.

I do have to say though, my arms are sore as all get out from cleaning the pool yesterday!

LIFE

Well, I swear – when you live alone (as in the home caretaker – I’m not ACTUALLY alone, two of my kids are here), things start to break down.  First if was my car.  In the shop 5 days and still no clear idea of what’s wrong.  Then it was the lawnmower.  It had been dying a slow death for a year now, but finally bit it, literally the day D moved out.  Thankfully Sears is in a death spiral, and biting the bullet and buying a new mower didn’t break the bank! Then the pool cleaner.  That’s at the shop as I await to hear what the damages are there (so it’s manual cleaning for me for now!).  And now the garage door.  It will open electronically, but not close.  I was even on the ladder with a flashlight (after watching YouTube videos), and I still have no idea what I’m looking at. Ugh.  And that’s what’s led to today’s near cat-astrophe.

I went to take the Polaris (the pool vacuum of awesomeness) to the pool supply/repair place.  I knew I was only going to be gone about 15-20 minutes, so I left the garage door open.  I get home, pull in, and as soon as I get out of my car, Kuma comes running up to me!  What the heck?!?  Lo and behold, the door from the garage into the house was WIDE open (wasn’t me, I swear).  I immediately get R and we start looking for cats.  Bumble is upstairs snoring away, but Ginny is no where to be found.  Gin is feline leukemia positive, and we’re really cautious about keeping her in the house at all times (unless in the screened in back porch with one of us).  Anyway, sure as can be, Gin is gone.  We both look around the house and down the block a bit.  At this point, I figure she has to be fairly close, so I have R go in the house to get a can of the special “wet food” (the one where they come running as soon as they hear it pop open.  And it worked – Gin came bolting up the stairs into R’s waiting arms.  Who proceeds to start crying and carrying the cat everywhere.  But, happy ending for sure.

Ginny feeling ashamed of herself.

And I think that’s enough adventures for me today.

 

D&D

Oh wow, a whole 3 months have gone by.  I promise, it’s me, not you.  A lot has been going on in my world the past few months, and I am summing them up with D&D.  No, not Dungeons and Dragons.  And no, not a misspelling of my bra’s cup size.

It’s sort of a bad news/good news thing, so I’ll start with the bad so it can end on a high note.

D #1 = Divorce.  Yup, who knew? I hope you understand that I don’t want to get into details because writing them isn’t fun and I’m pretty sure reading them isn’t either.  But, it’s a part of my life and will be shaping a lot for me as a single mom. He left the state to be with his new love and I don’t have family in the area, but I DO have a lot of friends and a great network of support I can lean on if I need to.  So, I imagine this is the best for both of us now.  Make no mistake – I don’t hate him.  I’m disappointed, but all I want is for everyone I know to be happy, and if this is what it takes, then so be it.

Enough of that, right?!  On to the good news!

D #1 = Darden!  That’s right – after a freakishly challenging MBA program, I graduated last month!  That, my friends, has been the biggest reason for my long absence – between work and school, I barely had time to breath, much less cook consistently and blog.

But, while I’m filling up my newfound free time in some creative ways, it’s also nice to now I’ll have the time to focus on getting my blog rolling once again.

I admit that in April and much of May, I didn’t eat too much.  Not a good thing – and not healthy – just couldn’t.  Thankfully, as life is developing a routine, my appetite is slowly coming back.  Lot’s of good things like smoothies, salads, stir fries, and wine 😉

I also spent many early morning’s in April and May (like 3am morning) going on what I lovingly referred to as “rage runs”.  Mainly because it sounded fun, but it really was how I chose to work through some emotions during that time.  I’m now back to working out at normal hours, which for me is usually sometime after work.

You pretty much already have my major life updates.  Lot’s going on at work, and I’m also getting involved in my local start-up entrepreneurial community, which is really exciting.

Otherwise, just keeping busy and working with my kids and my friends on developing our “new normal”.

So that’s it for now.  I’m going to work on a blog face lift in the coming weeks (it is a season of change in my life, after all!), so stay tuned there.

Until then, some pics of the past week or so, and we’ll chat soon.  Promise 🙂

found a way to bring the two cats together in a close proximity. SINK WATER
lovely gift from a very lovely friend
Bark and Brews! R and I took Kuma to the Botanical Gardens. Pups welcome all Sunday’s in summer!
nap time in the pool for R
R and her cat Ginny 🙂
my cat – napping in my spot on the back deck
Ginny looking busted in the bath tub
the new morning picture!

still my fav pace for java in the morning
Kuma snuggles
my gorgeous girl

Happy, Healthy, and Sad, all at the same time….

FOOD

Hey kids!  I’m excited that I’m consistently every two weeks of blogging at this point 🙂  I swear – I graduate in spring, and blogging will be more regular!  Excited about the next evolution I have in mind.  Stay tuned!  You’ll learn more about that in June!!!

For now, my eats have been largely homemade and quick.  Yes, I do bulk cooking on Sunday’s, but I also have learned the value of quick eats when time gets away from you.  So baked spuds with some beans and cabbage is as good for me as anything else!

Here are quick shots of smoothies, salads, baked spuds, and various other whole food fun!

FITNESS

Okay, I’ve got to admit that I’m fully into Beach Body right now.  Yes, I like my runs, but seriously.  Kickboxing.  No equipment needed, but I get to beat the crap out of whatever my mind dreams up.  And I’m pretty imaginative 🙂

They have a program called Core de Force which is basically MMA, and I really dig it.

LIFE

Hmm.  2 weeks of updates, huh?  So – biggest news is I’ve actually been home!  🙂

As far as I can tell, that’ll be the case until mid-May (ish).  Then again, I always say that, and I’m usually full of you-know-what.  But, for what it’s worth, I don’t plan to travel anywhere until May 19th when I head into graduation weekend!

I’ve been home about 3 weeks, and it’s been awesome.   All my time has been spent at work, studying, or hanging out with my family.  We’ve done some movie marathons and have had overall good times.

My oldest (who seriously is almost 22) had the flu last week.  I’ve never seen someone so sick (and that’s saying a lot because I work in healthcare).  After 2 trips to the ER and a confirmed influenza diagnosis, she actually let us take her home to take care of her.

not quite fun in the ER! D and A waiting to be seen…

Not to intentionally rain on any parade, but…

A friend of my family passed away Sunday evening.  Her name was D, and she fought a valiant fight against breast cancer for 10 years.  Beautiful, fun, sweet, and incredibly kind, my whole family will miss her.  She kept her husband (and our friend) D grounded, and as much as we will miss her, all our energy is for him right now. She is at peace and an amazing spirit, and the rest of us will go on because if we didn’t, she’d find a way to come kick our butts!

So with that, I’m going to leave you with pics of my family (furry, and other), and all I can wish is you tell the people who mean the most to you that you love them.  Because – no matter our differences, I love you all.

 

~Crissie

so – the fun thing of regular morning pictures is having YEARS of them! On top, 5 yrs ago. Bottom, this week 🙂

These were the morning pictures.  Of course…there is more 🙂

I was trying to study and Kuma would have NOTHING to do with that…

seriously. How can you not love them?

she likes it when I workout – especially push-ups
long walk in the rain!
me and Bumble chilling out!
no amount of blankets is enough for Kuma bear
Friday was Kuma’s birthday!!! Birthday Bear!

Ginny not caring that I’m trying to study…while sleeping on my breakfast!
taking mama to work…
fireplace puppy

And whatever else was in my feed!

made me giggle
went to the Chrysler Art Museum on Sunday and saw this. As a big fan of the movie El Dorado, I was excited to know the movie scene was based on something from history (no matter how horrible).
one of the exhibits – and looking at Alexander Platz…I was there in September. I saw 3 exhibits that were in places I’ve physically been (Paris, Berlin, and China), and it mean so much more to me than I thought it would

 

Managing A Few Days Without Total Chaos!

FOOD

It’s been all homemade eats the past few days since getting home from FL.

coconut water, chocolate Vega powder, mango, and banana smoothie!  Was my first of the week, and was out of decent greens
coconut water, chocolate Vega powder, mango, and banana smoothie! Was my first of the week, and was out of decent greens
that was rectified on Sunday when D went grocery shopping, so Monday's smoothie was vanilla Vega powder, 2 clementine's, water, and spinach.
that was rectified on Sunday when D went grocery shopping, so Monday’s smoothie was vanilla Vega powder, 2 clementine’s, water, and spinach.

I know the bottle says Shakeology, but I don’t use it.  Not that I don’t think it’s packed full of nutrients, but I had an allergic reaction to their vegan vanilla a few months ago.  So, I still to Vega most of the time and Sunwarrior on occasion too.  To be honest, I don’t use protein powders all the time, but when I’m making my smoothie as a meal replacement or I know it needs staying power (or when I know I’m a bit lacking in some vital nutrients), I’ll toss it in.  After a week of travel and mostly eating out, I tend to add them to my smoothies.

I also did a lot of batch prep on Sunday’s.  That included some of the Happy Herbivore meals and salads.  I have to admit, I’ve become addicted to the Fitpacker container system the past few weeks.  It makes storage a breeze and takes up less space.

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D grilled Saturday night, and I begged for a repeat of the awesome portabello burger I blogged about last time!  With some grilled squash and mushrooms and air fried french fries, it was a fun and tasty dinner (that I didn't have to cook!)
D grilled Saturday night, and I begged for a repeat of the awesome portabella burger I blogged about last time! With some grilled squash and mushrooms and air fried French fries, it was a fun and tasty dinner (that I didn’t have to cook!)

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part of Sunday's dinner was some zucchini and yellow squash noodles pan sauteed with garlic and Italian seasoning.
part of Sunday’s dinner was some zucchini and yellow squash noodles pan sautéed with garlic and Italian seasoning.
I also dig my baked spuds!  This is some maple baked beans with cruncy cabbage
I also dig my baked spuds! This is some maple baked beans with cruncy cabbage
oh look, another baker!  This one has steamed green beans mixed with hummus on top with some hot sauce.
oh look, another baker! This one has steamed green beans mixed with hummus on top with some hot sauce.
big bowl of yummy vegan Pho!
big bowl of yummy vegan Pho!
Monday's lunch - a BAS and some spicy mac made with quinioa gluten free noodles
Monday’s lunch – a BAS and some spicy mac made with quinoa gluten free noodles
hot and sour tofu soup with onion, bell peps, and green beans.
hot and sour tofu soup with onion, bell peps, and green beans.
and another baker, but just with cabbage and hot sauce this time
and another baker, but just with cabbage and hot sauce this time
this is HH's Bayou Bowl!  Brown rice topped with a cajun style lentil and veg.  And cabbage for crunch because that's my thing
this is HH’s Bayou Bowl! Brown rice topped with a Cajun style lentil and veg. And cabbage for crunch because that’s my thing
and tonight's dinner of spicy tofu tacos on corn tortillas with veggies on top
and tonight’s dinner of spicy tofu tacos on corn tortillas with veggies on top

FITNESS

Still doing the Beach Body on Demand workouts.  I honestly do like them because there’s variety (my Achilles heel in DVD based workouts).  I’m in my final 7 days of the 21 Day Fix program workouts and I admit to feeling pretty darn good.  And much stronger.  And possibly constantly sore 🙂

I’ve also joined a really active challenge group with a coach who totally understands vegan nutritional needs, so I’m pretty stoked there.  Plan to start the kick boxing program on Monday, which aligns with completing the current program.

Of course I have my 3x per week runs too!

this is me and my helper Ginny doing Yoga fix on Sunday.  I have to say that working out at home thrills her in very odd ways.  She loves to either work out with me or be near me when I do.
this is me and my helper Ginny doing Yoga fix on Sunday. I have to say that working out at home thrills her in very odd ways. She loves to either work out with me or be near me when I do.

Last night was Cardio Fix.  I’m trying to work out more in the mornings, but it just wasn’t happening on Monday.  I had to be at the office before 7am, and that would involve getting up around 430, and that’s just silly.  So, evening working it was.  By the way, I’m not sure why I’m smiling.  There’s this exercise in this video called Surrender’s, and I’m pretty sure they’re evil.

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Today was a 3-fer workout.  Upper Body Fix first, and because that was challenging by didn’t wipe me, I followed it with a 4 mile run.  Then this evening, R and I went on a bike ride when she got home from school.   3 laps through the neighborhood for a total of about 30 minutes.

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LIFE

Well, it’s been a nice few days!  I’ve only been home for a few, but they’ve been pretty chill.  For the first time since grad school started, it felt like a normal weekend!  Saturday M had some friends over (that we’ve known since they were young) and D grilled.  It was hanging out and being silly mostly.  I also did the week’s meal planning and D did the grocery shopping while I studied.

Sunday was laundry, cleaning, batch cooking, a school team meeting, studying, and watching a movie!  We watched Moana, and I loved it.

M’s car is screwed up, so we’re currently sharing my ride.  So he’s been taking me to work so he can go to school and then picking me up in the evening.  While it’s a bit of a challenge, it’s not the end of the world.  Not sure his car is worth fixing yet, so we’ll see.

It’s been really nice out (80 over the weekend, chilly yesterday, but 70’s today and 80’s tomorrow before winter comes back and we’re in the 50’s).  We’re definitely taking advantage of THAT!  Kuma has been hard to keep inside, and Bumble has been joining her in the yard too.  Ginny sticks to her window watching and is just happy the house is opened up!

So, hope you’re having a good week so far!

D making a goofy grill face.  Since it's technically still winter, it's dark by dinner so he wears the head lamp when grilling!
D making a goofy grill face. Since it’s technically still winter, it’s dark by dinner so he wears the head lamp when grilling!

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Monday morning picture!
Monday morning picture!