Tag Archives: Wacky Pets

3000 Miles Later…

This is going to be a quick preamble because I don’t know how to actually write about things like this.  On October 16th, my father passed away very suddenly.  With my mom in the hospital for several months, it hit my family even harder than anticipated.  I don’t really have a lot to say other than my sister and I (and our extended family) are reeling right now, but still trying to keep life and the future in the most positive light we can.  Rest well Dad.  Love you.  Miss you.

this is a little over a year old - last time he came to visit me in VA.

this is a little over a year old – last time he came to visit me in VA

FOOD

So it may seem silly to continue with my “regular scheduled blog programming” in light of the bombshell above.  But….my Dad would likely be really pissed if any of us stopped our lives because he decided it was time to go.  So…here I go.  Onward the way I think he’d want me to.

I was only home for a week from my work trip before heading back home to WI from VA, so food pics were a little limited.  Also – not doing much cooking (nor eating) the past week+, so this will be a little lack luster.

last night in WI - out to dinner with my sister, niece, and nephew.

last night in WI – out to dinner with my sister, niece, and nephew.

tofu and veg curry at Beans & Barley in WI.

tofu and veg curry at Beans & Barley in WI.

our black bean dip app

our black bean dip app

a road trip dish in Toledo.  Bleh, but I needed to eat

a road trip dish in Toledo. Bleh, but I needed to eat

road trip salad

road trip salad

Tofu and veggie tacos with my cousin

Tofu and veggie tacos with my cousin

baked a pumpkin pie this eve

baked a pumpkin pie this eve

Tofurky, roasted maple sweet potatoes, and balsamic brussels.  Glad to be home.

Tofurky, roasted maple sweet potatoes, and balsamic brussels. Glad to be home.

FITNESS

Ha.  Sorry – nothing to report here.  Lot’s of cleaning, packing, moving and things like that.  No runs.  No yoga.  No bike rides.  No time.

LIFE

The past week and a half has been all about my mom and my sister.  D held down the fort (like he always does) back home in VA.

My bday was the 19th, and that’s the morning I packed up my mini-van (hello…I have 3 kids.  What did you think I drive?!) and started the long drive to WI.  Not the best birthday ever, but not too terrible either.  I spent it with myself, my thoughts, and the occasional blasting stereo (hey, no judging.  My mini-van can totally rock out).  I think I really needed it – to get through all the sad/angry thoughts before I was actually around other people.  I stopped in Toledo, had a drink, dinner, and watched the debates.

Some of my travel tunes!  As a bday present, D got me Sirius radio so I didn’t get stuck with crap tunes on the drive!

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I stayed in WI a little over a week, and left on Friday mid-morning.  I stopped in Cleveland with enough time to study (I had class Sat morning) before going to sleep.  I hit the road in the morning and stopped at a travel plaza with free Wi-Fi to connect to class.  It was touch and go, and I kept losing connection.  I eventually gave up and hit the road again.  As usual, DC traffic sucked, but I made it home by 730 last night.  3000 miles later and with a heavy heart, but also positive experiences with my sister and her kids, my mom, my cousin SP (who’s an incredibly special woman), and the love of family, I came back to my home in VA and the amazing love and support of my family and friends here.

I spent it snuggled on the couch with D.  Then slept in today, grocery shopped, and told stories about my Dad.

Good night everyone.  Be back soon.

Much love,

Crissie

Misc pics of the week…

borrowed a pair of my sister's socks.  Didn't know they had instructions until about 12 hrs later!  Ooops....

borrowed a pair of my sister’s socks. Didn’t know they had instructions until about 12 hrs later! Ooops….

study spot in Cleveland

study spot in Cleveland

the boys decorating the front yard for my fav holiday!

the boys decorating the front yard for my fav holiday!

skyline in Chicago as I headed out Friday afternoon

skyline in Chicago as I headed out Friday afternoon

me in Cleveland after a day of driving

me in Cleveland after a day of driving

D looking incredibly gorgeous that week!

D looking incredibly gorgeous that week!

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my baby got glasses!

my baby got glasses!

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Bumble in a box!

Bumble in a box!

Kuma busted digging in the back yard

Kuma busted digging in the back yard

bday flowers from AC

bday flowers from AC

condolence flowers from JG

condolence flowers from JG

my and my big sis

my and my big sis

Atomic records in Milwaukee!  SO many memories of this place

Atomic records in Milwaukee! SO many memories of this place

my mom when she was 19.

my mom when she was 19.

R all grown up last weekend!

R looking all grown up last weekend!

Kuma discovering the delight of the fireplace

Kuma discovering the delight of the fireplace

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passed out pups

passed out pups

me an R at dinner the night before my bday

me an R at dinner the night before my bday

Golf, School, and a Hurricane (and not the yummy NOLA drinks either!)

FOOD

Not as many pictures as normal, but there are a few!  I was out of town for work to support a project, so didn’t always get my green smoothies – but I did typically have a breakfast salad from the Whole Foods bar on my way into work in the mornings!

Green smoothie (of course!)  This was actually a lunchtime one.

Green smoothie (of course!) This was actually a lunchtime one.

my dinner with E on Saturday night

my dinner with E on Saturday night

my morning juice when traveling

my morning juice when traveling

breakfast BAS

breakfast BAS

and another

and another

white bean vegan chili from my hotel restaurant

white bean vegan chili from my hotel restaurant

Tofu green curry.  Not the best I've ever had...

Tofu green curry. Not the best I’ve ever had…

yummy java from Shenandoah Joe's!

yummy java from Shenandoah Joe’s!

a toasty tofurky sammich with a side of grilled broccoli and mushrooms

a toasty tofurky sammich with a side of grilled broccoli and mushrooms

last night's dinner!  RM made an amazing vegan chili (and had vegan sour cream too!).  Didn't take a pic of the mushroom appetizer because I ate them all...

last night’s dinner! RM made an amazing vegan chili (and had vegan sour cream too!). Didn’t take a pic of the mushroom appetizer because I ate them all…

roasted garlic!  Just because it's awesome in a lot of things (and this is destined for a winter squash alfredo)

roasted garlic! Just because it’s awesome in a lot of things (and this is destined for a winter squash alfredo)

One quick recipe for a simple mid-exam meal!  When I’m really low on free time, I have to admit that I get even more grateful for having pretty much every kitchen appliance out there.  This one was a simple rice cooker dish.  Throw it all in and then eat when it’s done!

  • 1 cup rice (doesn’t matter the type – I wanted brown, but am apparently out and used Arborio instead)
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger root
  • 2 tbsp. red Thai curry powder (here’s the one I use)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3-4 cups whatever frozen veg you have (today, I used peas and green beans)
  • 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas
it's got kick from the Thai spice, and is creamy and filling and awesome

it’s got kick from the Thai spice, and is creamy and filling and awesome

FITNESS

I went for a few runs, a bike ride, an online yoga class in my hotel room, and golf!

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Yes – it was the once a year charity golf event!  Both D and I want to actually play regularly, but I need to graduate first.  There’s so little free time as it is, so starting something new just isn’t in the cards for me.  Still – we had a blast (playing with our usual couple!) and I was literally sore for days!

at least we can DRESS like golfers!

at least we can DRESS like golfers!

LIFE

Big surprise – it’s been a wild week and a half!

First off, it’s Term 4 (of 6) exam time from Oct 7-22, so if possible, I’m even more head down and buried in my studies.  This also means I only have 2 terms left!!  WOO.  I have 5 courses per term, and each course typically has a 5 hr. exam.  There was an exception with one being a bit shorter.

Last Friday was golf, so that was an all day event.  Saturday morning I hit the road for work.  I got to see JN twice and have dinner with EA the night I arrived!  They’re both classmates.

me an EA!

me an EA!

Work took up all day every day until I went home.

Oh – and there was that pesky hurricane.  D’s car got water in the engine and my entire neighborhood was flooded.  D and the kids handled it all very well while I was dry up in the mountains.

that's my driveway and front yard!

that’s my driveway and front yard!

dude kayaking through the street

dude kayaking through the street

view from my front yard

view from my front yard

blackmail photo for later.  The storm was so crazy on Saturday night and R was a bit freaked out by the trees blowing outside her window, that she crawled in with D on my side of the bed.

blackmail photo for later. The storm was so crazy on Saturday night and R was a bit freaked out by the trees blowing outside her window, that she crawled in with D on my side of the bed.

Friday night (last night) was working on a group submission for one final (which also incorporated a significant amount of French wine, puppies, and a fire pit).

Today I took 10 hours worth of exams.  I’m surprisingly NOT as brain dead as I thought I would – though I am going to head to bed soon!

Tomorrow I’m taking what I think may be my toughest exam.  I doubt I’ll sit for more than one, so I will take my remaining final Monday night.  It gets me done 5 days early (which is nice so I can start to prep for next term), but mainly my goal is to not have any exams hanging over my head come my birthday on Wednesday,

Other than that – typical pics of cats, Kuma, the Morning Pictures, and any other random pics snapped!

Ginny jumped in my briefcase

Ginny jumped in my briefcase

and then decided that sleeping on my study materials was more comfy.  Shocker.

and then decided that sleeping on my study materials was more comfy. Shocker.

I took Kuma shopping!  We needed cat and dog food.  And of course like any shopping trip with a toddler, we ended up in the toy section...

I took Kuma shopping! We needed cat and dog food. And of course like any shopping trip with a toddler, we ended up in the toy section…

Spooky Puppy Toy!  It lights up in the ball when thrown.

Spooky Puppy Toy! It lights up in the ball when thrown.

spooky bone.  New kong.  Spoiled pups.

spooky bone. New kong. Spoiled pups.

that tongue...

that tongue…

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Gin knocking over the basket of laundry

Gin knocking over the basket of laundry

the many shots of Kuma napping on or by me when studying yesterday

the many shots of Kuma napping on or by me when studying yesterday

no clue what was happening here, other than D was cleaning the garage once the water receded.

no clue what was happening here, other than D was cleaning the garage once the water receded.

hanging in a box of stuff I'm sending to my niece

hanging in a box of stuff I’m sending to my niece

Morning Pictures

with big bro!  D and I had to be to the golf course, so M took her :)

with big bro! D and I had to be to the golf course, so M took her🙂

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Kuma tagging along

Kuma tagging along

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Random shots

picked up new shoes at the Converse store at the outlet mall!

picked up new shoes at the Converse store at the outlet mall!

silly good morning pic sent to D while I was away

silly good morning pic sent to D while I was away

me, JG and RM last night

me, JG and RM last night

 

 

Settling In Before Taking Off Again!

FOOD

I’ve been home a little over a week, and I’m (as usual), so happy to be back in my kitchen.

Smoothies are the breakfast of champions!  Well, maybe that was Wheaties.  But it should be smoothies🙂

it's a green smoothie, but blueberries win every time!

it’s a green smoothie, but blueberries win every time!

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not the only green smoothie lover in the house!  R loves hers with apple, dates, and cinnamon for an "Apple Jack" smoothie

not the only green smoothie lover in the house! R loves hers with apple, dates, and cinnamon for an “Apple Jack” smoothie

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The weather is starting to get all fall-ish, so I’ve made some warmer meals, like soups, chili, and (gluten free) pasta dishes.

still hands down my fav soup.  Post Punk Kitchen's Red Curry Soup.  Sweet potato, kale, and rice...what's not to love?

still hands down my fav soup. Post Punk Kitchen’s Red Curry Soup. Sweet potato, kale, and rice…what’s not to love?

black bean and sweet potato chili!  Leftovers for days (and days and days)

black bean and sweet potato chili! Leftovers for days (and days and days)

with sweet maple cornbread

with sweet maple cornbread

butternut squash and fresh sage pasta!  Recipe from Zsu Dever's Vegan Bowls.  Made with chickpea gluten free pasta

butternut squash and fresh sage pasta! Recipe from Zsu Dever’s Vegan Bowls. Made with chickpea gluten free pasta

Other miscellaneous eats.

beets cooked in orange juice

beets cooked in orange juice

on a salad with a yummy maple tahini dressing

on a salad with a yummy maple tahini dressing

taco salad!  Spicy tofu and topped with a vegan queso as a dressing

taco salad! Spicy tofu and topped with a vegan queso as a dressing

grilled lime and sriarcha tofu with BBQ sauce "dressing" and grilled corn!

grilled lime and Siracha tofu with BBQ sauce “dressing” and grilled corn!

leftover tofu as a wrap...

leftover tofu as a wrap…

and as a salad with garlic, lemon, tahini dressing

and as a salad with garlic, lemon, tahini dressing

a sad and icky plate of veg sushi that I just couldn't choke down.  Sad because it was from my fav sushi place.

a sad and icky plate of veg sushi that I just couldn’t choke down. Sad because it was from my fav sushi place.

FITNESS

Runs and rides!  More runs than rides though!

Two of my runs in the last week have found me in the middle of unexpected rain storms.  And when I mean unexpected, read it as “Crissie didn’t check the weather”.

Friday!

Friday!

Sunday...

Sunday…

Saturday (pre-ride).  It didn't rain :)

Saturday (pre-ride). It didn’t rain🙂

LIFE

I’ve been home a little over a week now, and it’s been glorious!  Busy – but in a really good way.  Catching up at work, getting back in the groove of things, and then having a major project many years in the making go live!

The fluffy family members have been awesome, as usual.  Except for the afternoon Kuma decided to steal my highlighter and sticky notes while studying!

puppy kisses!

puppy kisses!

had just put all her toys in her basket, and about 2 seconds later, she starts taking them back off again!

had just put all her toys in her basket, and about 2 seconds later, she starts taking them back off again!

first grooming appt!  Came home with a cute Halloween bandana

first grooming appt! Came home with a cute Halloween bandana

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Bumble doing what cats do best...

Bumble doing what cats do best…

Ginny loves shoes.  Mostly recently worn and slightly smelly ones

Ginny loves shoes. Mostly recently worn and slightly smelly ones

guess who just walked in the door?  (hint, size 14's...)

guess who just walked in the door? (hint, size 14’s…)

I was cooking.  They both clearly thought I had something they wanted.  Until they realized it was kale...

I was cooking. They both clearly thought I had something they wanted. Until they realized it was kale…

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getting ready for the best holiday!

getting ready for the best holiday!

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Speaking of studying…

for anyone who wants to really understand merger and acquisitions!

for anyone who wants to really understand mergers and acquisitions!  Or for anyone hoping to pass an upcoming finance exam🙂

Friday night my eldest and her boyfriend came over for dinner and Rock Band!

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And of course, morning pictures!

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And “others”

me and D while the kids were karaoke-ing!

me and D while the kids were karaoke-ing!

getting ready for Halloween!

getting ready for Halloween!

Friday D and I have a charity golf event, and then I’m traveling for 5 days to support that project I mentioned.  Of course there’s the whole hurricane Matthew thing brewing, which thankfully appears to be turning east of Virginia Beach, but we’ll still get rains and winds.  After last months flooding, that means our region is still in danger of falling trees and flooding – so here’s hoping everyone in Matthew’s path stays safe and dry.  Oh, and this Friday also begins our 2 week exam period.  It’s going to be a chaotic couple of weeks!  But what’s new, right?? 🙂

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!)

Independent Verification that Audiobooks Rock Runs

FOOD

The new Vitamix container is here!  The good news is it’s a BPA-free container (that wasn’t really a thing 9 years ago), but the bad news is that it feels totally cheaply made – especially the handle.  My last one had a nice cushy handle, and this one just…doesn’t.  I imagine it’s partly because they started selling in regular stores like Williams Sonoma, Target, and QVC – and mine version is still the hardcore commercial kitchen version.  No frills.

old one on the right; new one on the left

old one on the right; new one on the left

I certainly put it to good use with smoothies and soups this week!

beet and fennel soup - one of my favorites

beet and fennel soup – one of my favorites

soymilk, water, spinach, chia seeds, banana, and mixed frozen berry

soymilk, water, spinach, chia seeds, banana, and mixed frozen berry

ginger, carrot, lemon, and pepper soup!  Another favorite.

ginger, carrot, lemon, and pepper soup! Another favorite.

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coconut water, pinapple, banana, mango, and spinach

coconut water, pineapple, banana, mango, and spinach

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Also had a few other fun eats this week.

our green smoothie selfies!  D opts for the straight up Island Green.  Mine is the Detox Island Green (no sugar, add ginger)

our green smoothie selfies! D opts for the straight up Island Green. Mine is the Detox Island Green (no sugar, add ginger)

open-faced sammies with marinated tofu, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and mustard

open-faced sammies with marinated tofu, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and mustard

majorly on sale at the grocery.  Perfect mid-morning snack at the office.

majorly on sale at the grocery. Perfect mid-morning snack at the office.

BAS picked up from the grocery down the street from work.  Had a lemon-tahini dressing in the fridge in my office.

BAS picked up from the grocery down the street from work. Had a lemon-tahini dressing in the fridge in my office.

brownies.  Getting ready for school starting up!

brownies. Getting ready for school starting up!

tofu stir-fry.  General Tso's style (with asparagus because it's what I had on hand)

tofu stir-fry. General Tso’s style (with asparagus because it’s what I had on hand)

grilled corn and veggie burger - open faced on some Ezekiel toast

grilled corn and veggie burger – open faced on some Ezekiel toast

FITNESS

Just runs since my last post, no rides.  The days I was hoping to ride was either too late or too wet (thanks, Hermine!).

before 4 mi on the left.  After on the right!

before 4 mi on the left. After on the right!

Today’s was awesome though.  Not only was the post-Hermine weather cool and gorgeous, but I also discovered Serial!  I’m between audiobooks (and that’s my fav for running), and D’s been trying to get me to try podcasts for ages.  I have a few that I’ll pop in now and then (WSJ, This American Life, TedHour, and RadioLab) – but it’s rare I listen to them.

I had heard over the past year about a podcast called Serial.  So – I downloaded that and decided to listen to Episode 1 of Season 1.  I figured it was about an hour and my planned run was about 45 minutes, so I wouldn’t run out by the time my run ended.

Holy.  Cow.  It’s unbelievable.  The first episode is called “Alibi”.  It centers around the murder of a 17 year old girl and her ex-boyfriend who was convicted of her murder.  It’s already got me hooked (even though I know what’s happening with this case currently), and I can’t wait to lace up and listen again.

great run, though I saw some of the damage Hermine caused in my neighborhood.  Nothing tragic, thankfully.  Sadly, too cold to cool off in the pool!

great run, though I saw some of the damage Hermine caused in my neighborhood. Nothing tragic, thankfully. Sadly, too cold to cool off in the pool!

Oh, and I ran across this on my running app today.  HELLO.  I knew that.  Been saying that for many, many years.  Especially for a new runner, it’s a great distraction.  Music is easy to tune out, and you find yourself focusing on how much your legs or lungs hurt.  A good book draws you in, and you get lost in the story while you’re trucking along.  I like my music now and again, but I vastly prefer audio books.

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LIFE

It’s been a pretty normal week for the most part.  Family, school, and work.

yes, D and I send selfies when we don't see each other in the morning.  I was out way too early Thursday for anyone to see me first!  This was my "good morning".

yes, D and I send selfies when we don’t see each other in the morning. I was out way too early Thursday for anyone to see me first! This was my “good morning” from my office at 6am.

D went out for a drink with one of our friends earlier in the week and brought him home for dinner!  It was taco night, and we had a lot of fun standing around talking, eating, and just hanging out.  Oh, and Ginny took residence in his shoes (she loves shoes!).

face first, inhaling the aroma....

face first, inhaling the aroma….

D and I actually went out Friday night!  We grabbed dinner and went to see the latest Jason Bourne movie.  Great fun!

pre-movie dinner selfie!

pre-movie dinner selfie!

Saturday was a solid day of studies.  I made of goal of accomplishing 3 specific things by the end of the long weekend.  I got them ALL done on Saturday, so the evening was spent watching Terminator Genisys and cooking!

Today was up super early, cleaning, walking the dog, studying, and going for a run before anyone else woke up.  Then grocery shopping, more studying, a school team meeting, and a BBQ at home with all of the family and some of the kids’ friends too.

And now, I end with my typical random week pics and the intent of going to bed early🙂

snapped this while chatting with BF from school about the pups so he could see how much she's grown!

snapped this while chatting with BF about the pups so he could see how much she’s grown!

you can't see my cute little ballet flats I wore to work.  Because as soon as I got home, Ginny crawled over them.  She has a shoe thing.  I totally get that.

you can’t see my cute little ballet flats I wore to work. Because as soon as I got home, Ginny crawled over them. She has a shoe thing. I totally get that.

cats and bags.  enough said.

cats and bags. enough said.

I can just imagine Kuma pleading to Ginny to play with her.

I can just imagine Kuma pleading to Ginny to play with her.

Saturday night movie fun!

Saturday night movie fun!

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typically Ginny getting all over my homework.  This is forward currency contracts and interest rate parity.  My cat is the smartest cat is the world!

typically Ginny getting all over my homework. This is forward currency contracts and interest rate parity. My cat is the smartest cat is the world!

all 3 getting along....

all 3 getting along….

And the week’s a wrap!  Later gators🙂

Breaking My Vitamix (and Surviving)

FOOD

Okay, so I had a food related tragedy this week.  I have a chest freezer in the garage where I keep my frozen stuff (duh, that’s what a deep freeze is for).  Anyway, I had just put my water and my chocolate Vega powder into my Vitamix container and was walking into the garage to get my frozen fruit to add (like I do EVERY morning – though it’s not always chocolate), and when I set it down, I ended up dropping it and CRACKING my Vitamix container.  Seriously – I about became apoplectic.  I mean really – barely a day has gone by since I bought the thing 9 years ago that I haven’t used it.  And those were typically just days I’m not home!  After cursing heavily at mopping up the gooey chocolate mess, it hit me. No Vitamix.  No bitchin green smoothies and dressings and soups whipped up in a snap.  OMG.

Luckily, I have my Tribest personal blender, which does a great job.  Not always smooth on the greens the way my vita is, but if I skip adding the kale, it does a great job.  So – made my Choco banana pineapple smoothie (sans greens) anyway, and then ordered a new canister.  Which will be here Wednesday.  Anticipation is KILLING me.

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Otherwise I’ve had salads, stir-fry veggies on potatoes, green tofu curry (of course – perhaps more than once.  Okay, definitely more than once), and other simple eats.

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FITNESS

Runs and Rides!  Switching off every other day, though not today.  Thought about a bike ride, got wrapped up in work and studies, and suddenly it’s almost bed time!

one of my rides

one of my rides

one of my runs!

one of my runs!

LIFE

Well, I’ve been back home about a week.  And I leave for Paris next week.  Crazy how time flied, but I’m honestly not ready!

Last week was work and studies, doing wash, and getting ready for back to school fun for R.

just before dialing into my class last Thursday - clearly it was too early for either Kuma or Ginny to be anything but chill

just before dialing into my class last Thursday – clearly it was too early for either Kuma or Ginny to be anything but chill

D woke up on Saturday feeling like hell, and is just starting to feel better today.  He felt pretty well for a few hours, but is back to feeling run down.  Some crazy virus that causes a killer headache and general weakness/exhaustion.  He seems to be on the mend though, so that’s great!

A new grocery opened up near me (and yes, that’s actually a big deal in my world)!  It’s pretty good – similar to a Wegman’s, but not quite as cool.  Good hippie food section and, most importantly, fresh produce looks great.  They have a few specialty items I typically have to pick up at Whole Foods (like my toothpaste), so that’s pretty awesome.  And yes I’ve already been twice since I got back last week.

This weekend my friend/classmate’s baby girl turned 2 and R and I went to her party yesterday.  I’ve never seen a 2 year old eat cake so daintily before!  Totally adorable.  Was a beautiful day, and the part was in the park, so it was perfect.

This week is all about being sure I’m set up at work to disappear for 2 1/2 weeks on my European adventure (Paris, Berlin, & a brief pit stop in Helsinki on the way home).  It’s also about trying to work ahead in school so the residency doesn’t completely flatten me.  But either way I have the Louvre, Eiffel Tower dinner (twice), Disneyland Paris, and a soccer match in Berlin to look forward to!

Oh, and Chelsea is doing well so far this season!  3 wins (of 3 games) and currently 2nd ranked in the league.  Don’t get me wrong though – it’s quite early, and last year they tanked something fierce, so we’ll see.  Conte is fun as a coach and I love his awesome emotional outbursts.

he just happens to be my fav player

he just happens to be my fav player

Oh, and I have to likely call off my complete hatred of Manchester United.  Chelsea’s old coach (Jose Mourinho) is now their coach, and I absolutely love that man.  So…good on Man U.  Hope you do okay this season (but never better than my Blues!).

Sorry to get all soccer on everyone.  Back to regularly scheduled posts of pets and general life fun.

it was International Dog day last Friday, which for Kuma meant International Nap Day.

it was International Dog day last Friday, which for Kuma meant International Nap Day.

staying in the office late to get some studying done

staying in the office late to get some studying done

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selfie at the Oceanfront after a hair appt.

selfie at the Oceanfront after a hair appt.

 

 

 

Twizzler Drawers are a Thing (and I’m Getting One)

FOOD

Not a lot off food pics for ya this go around!  I flew out of town early on the 17th.  Most of my meals were dining out, including one meal at the hospital that had the most tasteless carrots I’ve ever encountered.

I did grab a cucumber out of my sister’s garden for breakfast one morning though!

Other than that, I had Mexican and Thai with my father, a Go Macro bar that was also incredibly tasteless, a veggie burger out with my sister, and I cooked one evening at my sister’s house for us and her kids, though my sister made the salad dressing (a stellar balsamic vinaigrette).  I had a great salad in the Milwaukee airport the day I flew home too.

Tofu green curry.  Naturally.

Tofu green curry. Naturally.

seriously tasted like cardboard.  So sad because I'm always on the lookout for a gluten-free, nut-free, vegan bar for my travels.  Sadly, this isn't making my list.

seriously tasted like cardboard. So sad because I’m always on the lookout for a gluten-free, nut-free, vegan bar for my travels. Sadly, this isn’t making my list.

we actually ordered veggie burgers, but this is C before it arrived!

we actually ordered veggie burgers, but this is C before it arrived!

my raspberry weiss

my raspberry weiss

salad at C's

salad at C’s

and our pasta dinner

and our pasta dinner

tomato toast the last day I was there

tomato toast the last day I was there

oh, and introducing the Bloody Molly.  It's a bloody mary, but with Jameson's Irish Whiskey instead of vodka.  I'm a fan.

oh, and introducing the Bloody Molly. It’s a bloody mary, but with Jameson’s Irish Whiskey instead of vodka. I’m a fan.

I’ve only been home a day, but I whipped up one of my long time favs – a beet and fennel soup – and had that today for lunch.  Breakfast was oatmeal with blueberries.

so not pretty....

so not pretty….

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there's a Bartolotta's in the MKE airport - they had a gorgeous Insalata Mista with red onion and fennel.  Good thing to pass the time as my flight got delayed multiple times.

there’s a Bartolotta’s in the MKE airport – they had a gorgeous Insalata Mista with red onion and fennel. Good thing to pass the time as my flight got delayed multiple times.

FITNESS

I got in two runs and one good walk while in Wisconsin!  More than I thought I’d be able to manage.

I went for a bike ride last night and a run today.  The temps have dropped some here (80’s) so they were both very pleasant from a temp perspective.  To be honest, I was exhausted by Monday night (too many flight delays), and didn’t have it in me to run.  My ride was only a half hour,  but it still felt great.  Run today had sprints incorporated, which I haven’t done in a long time!

 

I do need to make some time for yoga in the next few days.  The past week has been incredibly busy and stressful, and I know I could use it!  Yoga always makes me feel better.

LIFE

Ry had a great time at camp!  The site posts pics through the week, and I found these of her.  She apparently got a lot of tennis playing in – something I’ve always wanted to learn.  Looks like I found my tennis partner!

seriously, her expression is like "why the heck are you taking my picture??"

seriously, her expression is like “why the heck are you taking my picture??”

my baby girl is in the front row, far right!

my baby girl is in the front row, far right!

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I stayed late in the office a few days last week, and grabbed dinner on the way home.  Nothing like vegan pizza with a side of finance!

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D and I send each other pics when I’m away.  Honestly, we do it even when we’re NOT apart, but that’s another story….

sun was in my eyes.  I wasn't angry.

sun was in my eyes. I wasn’t angry.

the night D picked R up from camp!!

the night D picked R up from camp!!

And other random pics from the week for you viewing pleasure.

my sister has a drawer of Twizzlers, which is one of the most amazing things ever.

my sister has a drawer of Twizzlers, which is one of the most amazing things ever.

D kicking my butt at cribbage.

D kicking my butt at cribbage.

sent this to my eldest daughter :)

sent this to my eldest daughter🙂

got my first pair!  The vegan sunset stipe flats

got my first pair! The vegan sunset stipe flats

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every single time I stood up today (even for 30 seconds to get more water), Bumble just jumped into my seat!  Brat cat.

every single time I stood up today (even for 30 seconds to get more water), Bumble just jumped into my seat! Brat cat.

new mug for my Starbuck's collection!

new mug for my Starbuck’s collection!

Kuma!!

Kuma!!

And now – off to bed.  Last two nights have been crap, so I’d like to get a good night in!

Food from a Box

FOOD

Most of the eats this week are typical; smoothies, salads, etc.  We did get to shake it up a bit though and try something new!

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when you're at the office at 630, a chocolate smoothie for breakfast is necessary

when you’re at the office at 630, a chocolate smoothie for breakfast is necessary

A co-worker of my husband’s gave us a coupon code to check out Hello Fresh for free.  So we did!  It’s a program that drop ships meals in a box.  You can choose the # of people being fed and the type of food.  Naturally I chose the veggie box, and I whipped up the first of three meals last night.

I chose the mushroom primavera dish because my daughter is a huge ‘shroom fan, and I thought that if any of these dishes were going to fly, it would be this one.  Absolutely everything necessary to make this dish was in a little box, which was certainly convenient.

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I whipped it up in about 20 minutes by following the recipe card.  And while it was fun – the flavors were only “okay” according to my family.  Also, the meals are vegetarian, not vegan, so I’m sure we lost some of the intended flavor since I didn’t have vegan sour cream nor parm on hand.

So the verdict is – if you have a lot of extra money lying around and don’t mind having to insert your own vegan version of dairy ingredients – go for it.  If it helps busy people eat out of a box of fresh food vs a box of mac n cheese – go for it.  But – if you like to cook and control your own ingredients, it’s a waste of money.

FITNESS

So I’m not an early riser.  And I don’t like staying up all night either (though I’d opt for that over an early alarm any day!).  So my preference is usually to work out during what amounts to the hottest time of the day.  Not awesome.  I went on one run earlier this week and the pounding headache after was a sign of the heat.

So yesterday and today I went for bike rides!  Yes, it was over 100 degrees, but since you pretty much build your own wind, it doesn’t suck.  I miss riding – it’s one of my very fav things to do.  Thing is, in my area of Tidewater there are no safe places to pedal.  And I have a road bike (though I’m eyeing a new hybrid), so I can’t hit the trails.  I need paved surfaces.

Yesterday I went to the Great Dismal Swamp Canal Trail – which is fully paved.  Normally it’s teeming with people, but due to the heat, it was dead.  I came across maybe 4 other people the entire time I was there.  No bears though (that’s a common sighting), because they were smart enough to stay out of the heat!

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Today I went in loops in my neighborhood.  None of the roads in my section of town have shoulders and most don’t have sidewalks.  But, traffic is light and residential streets are the safest I’m going to get.

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It does look like my back tire needs a new inner tube, so D is going to fix that for me later tonight.

LIFE

The best part of this week was getting to meet my friends baby boy!  Baby J is two weeks old and is the cutest squeakiest little man.  J is one of my classmates who also happens to live close by, so the catching up was a ton of fun and nice to do outside of our residencies.

D and baby J got into a little bit of a staring contest!  J won :)

D and baby J got into a little bit of a staring contest! J won🙂

No complaints about Life, work, nor school – they’re all keeping me plenty busy!

my eldest A came home for the day and eve on Wed, and Kuma was thrilled.  Kept running back and forth to give all 3 kids a chance to play with her.

my eldest A came home for the day and eve on Wed, and Kuma was thrilled. Kept running back and forth to give all 3 kids a chance to play with her.

Ginny in her happy place (face first in a smelly shoe)

Ginny in her happy place (face first in a smelly shoe)

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that face!

that face!

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Today we took R back to camp!  Yep – we signed her up at the relative last minute for a second week since she had so much fun earlier this summer.  Seriously, this is her third year going, and we should’ve just booked two weeks to begin with!

This coming week is going to be a bit more hectic than normal.  Monday and Tuesday I have meetings from 8am – 7pm.  And I plan to stay late in the office both days to get as much studying done as possible, as I’m flying out a 6am on Wednesday for a 5 day trip to WI, and I’m not sure how much studying I’m actually going to get done.  I have a few big deadlines for assignments and proposals that I have to nail before I go.

So – hope you have a great week!

 

Sunday Living Up to It’s Name!

FOOD

Mostly simple eats like smoothies, stir fries, and salads.  Shocker, right?  But when I want to make a salad a little heartier, I like to add grains and beans too.  Early in the week I made a simple bulgur wheat salad to add to my greens instead of a dressing.  SO good.  It would be easy to sub the bulgur for quinoa or rice – pretty much any grain you’d like.

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Crissie’s Simple Bulgur Salad Topper

Ingredients

  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • 2 cups water or veggie broth
  • 4 ounce can sliced black olives
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 diced red onion
  • 1 diced bell pepper (I used an orange one)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  • Bring the water/broth to a boil.  Add the bulgur wheat, stir, cover, and move off the burner for 20 minutes
  • Blend the olive oil, dijon mustard, and rice vinegar into a dressing
  • Toss everything into a bowl

Smoothie Selfies!

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no judging that I’m in my bathrobe here. Just sayin…

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And tonight’s simple dinner of simmered tofu in a seasoned broth, spaghetti squash, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and brussel sprouts.

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FITNESS

We’ve finally dipped below triple-digits and I could run while the sun was actually shining!

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LIFE

The week started out hectic due to nutty storms stranding D half-way home from his weekend away.  Otherwise a relatively normal week of work and school and family.

This past weekend was mixed.  I was supposed to visit J and meet baby J on Saturday!  Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling well so we’ve had to reschedule.

Sunday, however I woke up with the headache gone and the day lived up to it’s sunshiny name!  D and I went boating with M and R.  In all the years I’ve lived in the Virginia Beach area, this was the first time.  Totally crazy, and awesome.  Of course not getting a boat some day is on the to-do list.

me & R

me & R

M & R

M & R

me and D

me and D

Kuma is a bit of a nut job lately, but still cute.  She goes through freakish bouts of energy and she can be a holy terror.  And then she’s snuggly, smart, and funny.  My favorite is how much she looks at me like I’m nuts when I get up in the morning.  I reach for her to take her downstairs with me, and most days she just inches closer to D and turns her head away to tell me it’s clearly too early to be bothered.

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But of course, yesterday was International Cat Day, so….

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Ginny getting worshiped from atop a trashcan...

Ginny getting worshiped from atop a trashcan…

All About Balance

FOOD

So I didn’t do an additional 3 days of all smoothies, but it has still been a gentle eats week for the most part.  Morning smoothies and fresh juices (they never get old), fruits, salads, and whole foods in general.

keeping the fresh green juice flowing!

keeping the fresh green juice flowing!

today's minty watermelon citrus frosty

today’s minty watermelon citrus frosty

enjoying said frosty poolside with studies

enjoying said frosty poolside with studies

vanilla/orange smoothie

vanilla/orange smoothie

BAS

BAS

poolside with some lemon water, fresh fruit, and studies.

poolside with some lemon water, fresh fruit, and studies.

BAS with fresh raw corn and a lemon-tahini dressing.

BAS with fresh raw corn and a lemon-tahini dressing.

quick-pickled some cucs, onions, and carrots.  I love just munching on these as a snack.

quick-pickled some cucs, onions, and carrots. I love just munching on these as a snack.

Pho!!  All veggies and rice noodles (no tofu in this one since it's usually fried and I wasn't feeling fried foods)

Pho!! All veggies and rice noodles (no tofu in this one since it’s usually fried and I wasn’t feeling fried foods)

picked a whole TON of fresh basil from the garden, dehydrated it  - and only got 4 ounces!  Still - smells amazing and I can't wait to use it (or gift it).

picked a whole TON of fresh basil from the garden, dehydrated it – and only got 4 ounces! Still – smells amazing and I can’t wait to use it (or gift it).

tonight's dinner - which was really awesome - brown rice with chunky mushroom gravy, green beans, and a garlicky-lemon white beans w/steamed kale

tonight’s dinner – which was really awesome – brown rice with chunky mushroom gravy, green beans, and a garlicky-lemon white beans w/steamed kale

up in C'ville at Brazos Tacos!  SO good (as was the watermelon margarita - not pictured)

up in C’ville at Brazos Tacos! SO good (as was the watermelon margarita – not pictured)

FITNESS

Honestly, the heat has been BRUTAL the past weeks.  >100 degrees most days, so I’ve been walking, yoga-ing, and treading in the pool.

LIFE

This was a fun week because I got to go out of town!  After the week I had last week, it was a welcomed trip because I got to do one of the best parts of my job, see wonderful people and friends, and go to bed STUPID early since it was just me and my hotel room!  I had meetings at one of our hospitals that just happens to be in the same town where my grad school university is!  So – I got to have a few meetings on campus as well as the meetings at the hospital.  Plus seeing classmates that live there is always a bonus.  All in all, this week very much balanced me.

in the PepsiCo forum on grounds meeting my professor.  Love the "firstcoffee tradition

in the Pepsi Co forum on grounds meeting my professor. Love the #firstcoffee tradition

To explain a bit about my program – there are 29 of us in my cohort, and while we have classes 3x per week, it’s virtual via Adobe Connect.  We meet in person in various global locations for 2-week residencies (US, Brazil, and China so far – Europe, India, and another US to come).  So my classmates are literally all over the world – it’s pretty freaking amazing.  We also meet virtually to study several times per week, so we’re all always in contact and often very close, even though we don’t see each other often.  So – when I do get to see any between residencies, it’s always extra special.

I was back late Thursday for budget meetings and then regular stuff on Friday.  Best of all, a friend (and classmate) had her baby yesterday (mom and baby doing great!) and I can’t wait to meet and spoil the heck out of him!

Always – fun pics!

Bumble - living a rough life lounging on the back deck under the ceiling fan on a hot day.

Bumble – living a rough life lounging on the back deck under the ceiling fan on a hot day.

because I think this is funny (and true!)

because I think this is funny (and true!)