Happy Halloween Week!

FOOD

Been fun being home for a solid week now – especially because I can spend so much time in the kitchen! Seriously – I feel sorry for people who don’t like to cook. The joy of creating something, and knowing exactly what’s in it – and then feeding people you love.

It also helps to have plenty of leftovers to take to the office to limit going out to eat all the time. Thrifty single-mom finances at work 🙂

Made a yummy roasted butternut squash and apple soup. So simple really – roast the squash, sauté some onion and garlic, peel and steam an apple (I have to peel it due to my allergy) – then toss is all in the blender with veggie broth and some GF flour. Soup for days!

This is probably my very favorite salad. Kale is so hearty, you can make this and it lasts for days. This one is kale, cabbage, carrot, cucumber, quinoa, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds tossed in a lemon-tahini dressing.

And when you have a lunch meeting at the office and offer to bring the grub – everyone eats like me!!

One of my favorite easy snacks. Herbed tofu and slices of tomato.

Of course it’s officially Fall, so that means ALL THE PUMPKIN THINGS. Simple but tasty pumpkin pie with silken tofu, brown sugar, pumpkin, and all the right spices.

And since I was gone for 5 days and my kids failed to eat the bananas (brat children), I had plenty to work with to make fun baked things. Enter – chocolate chip banana bread! I needed oat flour but didn’t have any – so I wizzed some oats in the Vitamix and made my own.

I also whipped up a batch of Cajun blackened tofu – of which R snatched more than half to eat. I also made a pot of caulipots (mashed potatoes and cauliflower together), and some homemade BBQ sauce. Totally fantastic lunch, if I do say so myself! (And look – I just did). One of many smoothies I had this week. Of course, I usually have one per day. Nothing better than starting your day with pretty much your entire fruit and veggie needs!I’m a big fan of meals that start with a baked potato. This one – with a yummy mushroom gravy and a side of sriracha tofu.Lunch today was actually quite the disappointment. The cocktail was awesome though, so that’s redeemable. The salad had to be made twice (yeah, vegan means hold the feta!), the Gardein was super chewy and kinda icky, and the waiter lied about the first dressing he brought. Long story – the dressing that salad came with had honey – so I asked for the other dressing (a Dijon balsamic). He brought the wrong one – I sent it back – he came back with the right one, claiming it was the first one (HELLO, it was a different color and flavor!). I can handle mistakes – not everyone really understands the difference between vegetarian and vegan – but to lie about it? Ugh. And finally, dinner tonight! Remember about being a fan of baked potatoes as a base for a meal? Seriously – totally under appreciated.The two kids who are home (one is at a conference) had the top version. Baked spud – but in the air fryer! Hello – life freaking changing – topped with refried beans, vegan cheddar cheese shreds, and sautéed mushrooms (in broth with liquid smoke, maple syrup, and soy sauce).The one on the bottom – mine – had the refried beans and vegan cheese, but no ‘shrooms – instead I had lettuce and a spicy coconut yogurt topping.But back to this air fried baked potato. Not going to tell you how to do it – because I learned it in JL Field’s book today! If you have or want an air fryer – you legit need this. The Vegan Air Fryer is so worth it.

FITNESS

I canceled the gym membership we rarely use (I really just like running and yoga anyway), but have been slowly building a home gym in the garage. Pretty new to weight training – to be honest, I think it’s SOOOOO boring – but I also know how important it is. I’m not getting any younger ;). Not that I’ll ever feel my age!

As much as I hate mornings, I’m trying to adjust to workouts before work vs after as I increase my social calendar activities! No more school and recent single life, means more time for friends and fun. That means it gets in the way of my normal evening workouts.

So 2-3x per week of weight training, and runs and yoga the other days. Runs are more like jogs (except today – had a bit of extra energy to burn) as my right quad keeps healing.

Not the cutest, but it’s functional. In the box is a power tower that I’m waiting for my son to put together (ahem – if you’re reading this M….please put this together!).

LIFE

The week started out with a Witch’s Tea with my eldest, her best friend (my D3 – aka, third daughter) and her mom at a Victorian museum in Norfolk. It was a lot of fun, the tea was yummy, and since the snacks weren’t vegan, A actually packed a picnic basket for me! She made a totally yummy pinwheel wrap of spicy hummus, tofu, cucumber, and tomato.

Monday night is bowling night, and of course my team dressed up. I kept up with the witch theme, and we had a total blast!

Of course the next day was Halloween! It is my absolute favorite holiday (followed by St. Patrick’s day!). I naturally wore a costume to the office. Which included a big meeting (about 40 people or so) at our largest hospital – to which I was the ONLY one in costume (they were all in suits). It was totally worth it though.

The rest of the week was pretty chill. Work, family, friends, a movie, brunch, furniture shopping, and sweet fluff balls. Can’t complain about life at all!

My now 14 yo daughter found this in her room this week – from a mommy and me trip we took to Florida when she was 8.

R had a scary allergy attack – covered in hives from her ears to her waist – and what made her better (besides a high dose of Benadryl) was a Kuma bear, blankets, tortilla chips, and movies! And at night, a snuggly Bumble while she’s trying to read in bed.To be honest – I don’t actually think her hives were related to her peanut OIT therapy. When I’m freakishly stressed, I get hives. She’s had a rough week, and I think that’s what it was. Her hives weren’t on her face or throat, nor did she struggle to breath – all things one would expect from a food allergy reaction. Regardless, we’ve moved back to evening doses for a week or two just to be sure.

Just some fun fluffs.

Today was literally the only day I had time to sit out on the back deck and enjoy my java in peace (in my Depeche Mode mug from the concert!).

And I’ve decided to end my Saturday with a bit of a Harry Potter movie marathon! And if you notice the title of the first one – you know it’s the British set. There are a few more scenes in these, and it’s the original Philosopher’s stone vs the American Sorcerer’s Stone. Getting the first 3 in before bed, and then try to get as many as possible tomorrow before heading out boating with friends! 80 degree weather in November? Hell yeah.

Guess I’m No Quitter After All

Okay guys, I really came close to quitting blogging.  Part of it was because I know how sparse my posts have been, and I also started to feel I lost my blogging mojo.  Since becoming single, I’ve spent so much of the past few months finding my “new normal”, that I just felt a little out of touch with how I’ve blogged in the past.  But today I realized I’m not actually done, so I guess I’m no quitter after all 🙂

FOOD

There’s literally no way possible for me to show you the eats of the past 6 weeks.  Actually, I probably could, but that would just be way too long!

It’s been pretty typical fare: smoothies, soups, curries, baked potatoes, and the like.  A lot of traveling too, so some more fun eats as well.

made some homemade soy yogurt! Love this stuff. I make it super tart so it can be used in place of things like sour cream too

nice krispies!

spicy tofu soup!

Of course I had a TON of meals on the road the past month.

my survival basket from Whole Foods in San Jose (wine, fruit, etc).
this, my friends, is called a Paffle. It’s two waffles, with tofu scramble in the middle! A bit challenging to eat, but so creative!
can’t go to Florida and NOT go to Epcot. Well, I guess maybe you can, but I know I can’t! It was the international food and wine fest, which was just perfect

I was in Tampa for my bday and the group I was with sent this to my room. Very sweet (even though I didn’t eat it, it’s the thought that counts!)
Dallas had the BEST Mexican and Tex-Mex fare ever.
ugly pic, but amazing fajitas!

oddly super-green curry. But yummy.
got to see my good friend JG in Dallas! Lovely evening with wine and Thai food!

typical hotel vegan food offerings….
so the conference in Dallas specifically asked for dietary needs. I said vegan. NOTHING they served was. So they went and got me two bananas one morning. Ugh.

FITNESS

As it happens, I tore my right quadricep in that soccer game in mid-September, so I was sidelined for weeks!  I was allowed to eventually do gentle yoga, but otherwise it was walks and upper body workouts only.

Just yesterday I finally felt fully ready to get back into some of my normal routine.  So – I went to Hot Yoga!  Hopefully this week there will be more of that, and some runs and boxing too.  Being still just never works well for me.

hot, sweaty, stinky (I imagine anyway), and incredibly happy!

 

LIFE

Well, let’s see.  Lots in the past 6 weeks of course.  I had trips to San Jose, Tampa (with a side trip to Orlando), Charlottesville, Williamsburg, and Dallas.

me an my soon to be ex brother in law (but will ALWAYS be family) in San Jose!
hands down my fav theme park

Also, my youngest went to her first school dance!  Homecoming – and I wonder where my little girl has gone.

hair appt – where Raven the miracle worker actually tamed her crazy curls

And other fun stuff!

bought this at Epcot. Couldn’t help myself (Disney junkie that I am!). Micky heads with the epcot ball design
waiting for my flight home from Tampa
part of my 7 hr delay on my flight to Dallas
me and the oldest cabbage at Howl o Scream!
out with HT for wine flights, olives, and hummus
silly selfie out walking Kuma
me holding my baby boy (okay, JG and KG’s baby boy) and R’s 3rd bday party.
at our IT charity Nerd Golf event
all three in the same space without trying to eat each other. Clearly I’m cooking and they each think I have something they want
came home from some travels to find this on the fridge. Man, I love my kids…
carpooling with the eldest as her car was in the shop

Ginny wanting to come with me
with friends at Wine Fest!
and by FAR the best bday meme I got! This from OPR (who I also saw at Howl o Scream)

 

 

 

Beer, Trivia, and Legolas’ Awesome Cheekbones

FOOD

Part of the fun of bulk cooking on Sunday’s is it makes my weekday lunch life much easier.  The down side is it’s all the same, so taking pics is kind of redundant.

Nevertheless, soup and salads are pretty much always my favorite go-to lunches, and that was definitely this week.

pasta e fagioli soup
GF pasta salad with herbed tofu and veggies

Had my typical smoothies for breakfast most mornings, watermelon with my lunches (and R’s because it’s her fav too), and whipped up a batch of spicy tofu soup on a rainy Friday night.

R insists on being able to eat the watermelon “stick” in the middle
Moe’s Close Talker with tofu, black beans, brown rice, and all the veg and salsa that can fit
spicy tofu soup!
blueberry green smoothie

This morning breakfast was an old fav – gluten-free toast, sunflower seed butter, banana, and a little agave.  Perfect before I lace up for a wet run in a few!

FITNESS

Same as last time – hot yoga and runs!  I try to alter every other day, but that’s not always possible.  Either way, it’s about 6x per week, and that’s perfect.

As soon as I’m done here, I’ll be lacing up for a wet run.  Hoping the rain stays light – but if it doesn’t, I know my pace will kick up!

need to remember to use eye makeup remover BEFORE hot yoga! Still – not supposed to look cute when working out, right?

LIFE

Been another busy but fun-filled week.  Work seemed full of one crisis after another, but nothing that couldn’t be conquered.

Found out I had poison ivy!  The prednisone has been fun (not), but I’m still grateful for it.

AM and I got together a few times this week.  One for drinks at the Young Veteran’s Brewery in Virginia Beach, and one at Benchtop Brewery for beer and trivia night.  One of those was supposed to be a run date, but hard to pass up beer and trivia 🙂

The H Hour Sour at Young Veterans was the bomb! Bought some to take home And since I’m a vet, I got a discount. How groovy is that? 
Benchtop build your own flight. I stuck with the second from the right – a beet based mildly sour beer called the Fall of Dimitri (or something like that).

trivia fun!

After yoga last night, it was dinner and then watching Lord of the Rings with R.  At one point she freaked out when I told her Orlando Bloom (Legolas) was not blonde.  Showed her a picture – she completely freaked out, and then proceeded to tell me that “at least he still has those amazing cheekbones”.  Seriously?  What the hell?!  #teamlegolas

movie partners

Other fun shots to wrap up with!

me and R
me and JG – one of the most amazing peaches ever!
R and I are hitting up the library a lot lately. Single mom finances 🙂 Enjoying it a lot though. I forgot how magical a library can be.
playtime with Kuma before work
M visited me during my coffee ritual yesterday. He works late and sleeps late, but had a 530 am road trip this morning to Canada with a bunch of his friends and he was trying to flip his sleep schedule
Kuma hates mornings. That’s my girl!
had to pick up java at 7-11 this morning

dogs and fire hydrants. It’s a thing.

The rest of today should be pretty groovy.  Meeting up for lunch at noon with a friend, and then having more friends over tonight for dinner.  It was supposed to be the “teach Crissie to grill” adventure from my friend’s hubby, but it’s pouring so we’re turning it into a taco party instead.  I mean seriously – you can’t trust someone who doesn’t like tacos….

 

It’s Just BANANAS

FOOD

Ha, I bet by the title you thought I’d talk about all the bananas I’m eating, right?  NOPE!  More on that later.

But, the fun eats have been pretty standard.  Green smoothies, gluten-free pasta dishes, salads, tacos, and green curry (of course).

left over beans and rice with lettuce, hot sauce, and vegan queso

simple and quick – brown rice ramen noodles, chickpeas, green beans, pepper, and tamari
vegan pizza!
mmm. fav dish. Tofu green curry.
sour flight – not food, but let me tell you the beer second from the right tastes like ass.
nacho mac! brown rice pasta, black beans, corn, peas, salsa, and vegan queso
cheater smoothie (meaning I bought it)

I did a twist on my normal tofu/potato tacos and made them in the air fryer.  That was pretty fantastical.

Same marinade as always – beer, cumin, garlic, chipotle peppers, oregano, olive oil, adobo sauce, and pressed and cubed tofu.  Marinated about 5 hours.  3 peeled potatoes, soaked in water for about 30 minutes.

Literally tossed it all in the air fryer, put on 370 for 15 minutes, checked, then did another 7.  Freaking perfect.  Taco Tuesday lives on.

mine in the form of a taco salad. Kids did the full deal with shells.

FITNESS

Running most days, and hot yoga on others.  And if I missed it, I felt I was suffering.

Honestly, lately all the workouts have been fairly intense and I’m loving it.  Kick my ass, wipe me out, and I’m happy.  Extra energy to burn 😉

LIFE

BANANAS!  It’s become my favorite word in the past couple weeks.  My kids pick on me for it, but it’s appropriate in almost every situation.  Observe:

“How’s your day been?”  Instead of saying “it’s been a crazy busy day full of meetings, deadlines, ridiculous customer expectations, and I haven’t had time for lunch” all you need to say is “it’s been BANANAS”.

Coworker or family member being a PITA (pain in the ass).  They’re acting bananas.

Cut off in traffic, but have kids in the car and you don’t want to cuss?  Scream “Are you totally BANANAS?!?!” instead.

There is literally no wrong way to use it.  Try it out and get back to me.

Well, it’s certainly not been dull!  I think I worried about how I’d fill my time after grad school and newly single life, but I’m telling you all now – I’m not bored at all!

Lots of time with friends, neighbors, involved in local activities, and suddenly finding myself on a bowling team AND a soccer team.  On top of fun with my kids whenever they let me, my life is full and awesome.

But to some recent specifics.  A fun weekend with friends that I mostly remember 😉 , birthday for my friend’s little monkey, a couple evenings out each week, and just having fun and winging it as I go.

can’t believe he’s 1!!!
big sis enjoying the cupcakes

Much of the home entertainment is provided by the Fluffballs, as these shots show.  Some just cute, some funny, but mostly they’re all so groovy in different ways.

please mom, can I come??
air mattress for your friends? Thought you just got me a new bed….
we can snuggle you on your “recovery” day
may not look it, but I’m totally comfy
honestly, they’re practically snuggling. The magic of an air mattress

she insists on taking a new toy outside every time she goes out
the toy carnage of Kuma
snuggly coffee buddy
dogs and fire hydrants are not just for cartoons
my kids were better about not leaving a mess…
took 4 years, but they actually played the other night. Or they came to some agreement and are shaking paws over it
morning snuggles with the wee one
laundry day!

 

Other fun random crap

me in the office yesterday replying to a friend taking the day off and drinking in the sun. I’d have flipped her off if I thought of it…
admittedly felt like this one day…
quiet breakfast
advice from my friend NS. Totally agree
me and the young cabbage taking a break while shopping
unamused by the early morning pic apparently
post girls fun. I spent a LOT of time on the sofa watching TV and cuddling with the fluffs

 

 

 

 

A Jingle Ball to the Face

FOOD

Breakfast yesterday was a stuffed pepper, which was awesome.

Lunch was just some fruit, and then dinner was some tofu green curry.

Today was smoothies for breakfast and lunch.  Not planned, but just sort of happened that way!

coconut water, clementines, kale, strawberries, and raspberries
lunch veggies smoothie! Tomato, carrot, kale, cucumber, bell pepper, & celery

Dinner was a simple dish thrown together.

gluten free pasta, corn, peas, Gardein chicken, and that creamy pesto I made the other day

 

FITNESS 

Friday I didn’t work out, but today I hit up my first hot yoga class in months!  It honestly was exactly what my mind, body, and spirit needed.

I do yoga on a regular basis at home, but there’s something very magical about a classroom environment.  I’m hoping to make more time to do so.

Hot yoga leaves me simultaneously feeling like I can kick ass/take over the world, but with a clear head and peaceful heart.

not cute, but you’re not supposed to look cute after working your butt off! I am peaceful though 🙂

LIFE

No one slept well Thursday night due to the heat.  M slept outside on the back porch!  Needless to say, I was really hoping the AC guy would show up closer to the early part of his 8-1 window!

I worked from home to be on deck, but had conference calls all morning.  It was good for me though, because it made the time pass quickly!

None of the fluff balls were handling it well either.  I had pet friendly hotels on standby if the AC couldn’t be fixed.

her “screw this heat!” pose!
and finding the coolest place in the house is in a dark room under the ceiling fan
Ginny stayed parked on a wet pool towel in my bathroom to keep cool

AC technician showed up at 12:50 pm and had everything fixed by 1!  It was just in time too, as R and I had to boogie to her OIT updose appointment!

It went well!  Which is awesome because this was the dose level she had back in early April that she didn’t take so well, and we not only took a major down dose, but have restarted more slowly.  Slow and steady wins the race!

After the doctor we hit up the library to load up on good reads and then went home.

Temps came down slowly but surely!  We all slept well last night 🙂

Today I actually slept in (8am), but not until after Ginny woke me up at 630 with a jingle ball to the face.  You know – one of those small plastic balls with a bell in it.  Perfect for cats who want to get you out of bed, so they play with them when you sleep?  Yeah.  That kind.  I ignored her playing with them, so she jumped on the bed and dropped it on me.  Brat cat.

super hot day, but I have AC, a pool, and a book! Only decision I had to make today was to go for a run or to yoga 😉

But, all that aside, all the fluff balls got their spunk back when the house temps went down, so I can’t really complain about a ball to the face if it means Ginny feels playful again.

And I will never take AC for granted again!

cool enough to sleep on a blanket!
and between pillows
Bumble snuggles on the back porch with R
even Bumble got into playing this morning!

Life Moving Foward (kale and sweaty runs help!)

FOOD

Simple eats for the week.  Leftover soup and kale salads I made on Sunday (lovely thing about kale – so hearty and holds up to dressings for days!).

Also had tofu/pineapple stir fry, smoothies, and salads.  Nothing overly taxing – I’m in a “I don’t feel like cooking” rut this week.

My best meal though, was made for me by my friend SC!  He came over, brought yummy wine and made this incredible cauliflower and potato Afghani dish (and left me TONS of leftovers, yay!!!)

FITNESS

Runs every day!  Some boxing too, and R and I have our first tennis lesson tomorrow at 7pm!  We are both totally excited.  I picked up some cheap starter equipment, and we’ve been goofing off in the driveway bouncing the balls on our rackets.

one of those runs that was just epically awesome. Felt great, went long, and sweated my butt off.
this was after a 2pm run yesterday. Which was just stupid to go out that time of day in heat & humidity like we have here.
decided to skip the potential heat stroke today and run at the gym. Hate feeling like a hamster on the dreadmill, but it’s better than my outdoor options.

While I’m a total noobs, R took some tennis at camp the past few years and was “instructing” me on some of the drills they did to learn control.  Basically bouncing the ball on the racket without letting it fall or get too high.  It was actually cute.

LIFE

Been a good week.  Kuma had a vet appointment and, other than being a bit pudgy, received an excellent bill of health.

everyone at our vet loves Kuma. I walk in, and they take her for visits with all the staff. I pretty much don’t see her the whole time. It’s cute – she has a fan club.

R had a therapist appointment which also went well.  I got a new drivers license since the name change is done, and otherwise, it was a regular week of work and life.

Thursday was a hot one, so it was totally pool time after work.

happy and beautiful evening!

Friday I went out with an old friend to catch up and have a few drinks.  Great night.

waterfront happy hour!

Saturday was SC coming over, eating yummy food, catching up, and introducing him to Orphan Black (my favorite show thanks to my sister!).

Today was an easy day.  Laundry, cleaning, gym, and TV.  I watched What the Health documentary on Netflix (has been on my to do list for awhile now).  I enjoyed it.  I watch a lot of vegan documentaries so the science parts weren’t new, but I did like the detailed information on the corruption of the food industry and government and how they misinform the public on what’s “healthy”.

Will keep you posted on our tennis adventure tomorrow!!!