My Dog is a Stalker (and that’s okay)

FOOD

Monday was a Thai lunch date where I had….wait for it….tofu green curry! I had a quick protein shake after my workout, and a tofu taco salad for dinner – sparse on the tofu since my brat children barely left me any. I guess that’s a good problem to have!

Yesterday was tea, spicy tofu soup with bell peppers, onions, green beans, and cauliflower rice. Dinner was a family dinner out. R and I split an order of edamame, and I also grabbed a side salad. Though to be fair, the side salad was pretty big. Though I forgot a pic of it.

FITNESS

Gym both Monday and Tuesday.

I really do love this HIIT program. Monday was full body + abs. Yesterday was chest + triceps. Today – everything is sore! In the HIIT room, they have a board where they post the week. Every day rotates each week, so if you never workout on Friday’s (which is my scheduled day off since I usually have Friday evening plans), I may miss plyometrics this week, but next week it could be legs and shoulders. That way, you’re never unbalanced. Though I hate plyometrics, so I’m not sad to miss it this week!

There’s always a warm up and cool down. And what they don’t show is the reps, the laps, and the times. For this month, the goal is endurance, so it’s 3 reps and 1 lap (there are 15 exercises). You work for 55 seconds, and then rest for 20. Last month was power, where exercises were 35 seconds and rest was 25. I have to say, I love the way it changes up every day and then again every month – can’t get bored that way.

Oh, and both days I got my locker 139 back 😏

Find it a bit disconcerting that my phone maps knew where I was going yesterday morning – despite me not telling it!

LIFE

Monday was low key at work. Meaning no meetings other than an impromptu call with a friend from another health system.

I left the office and went to the gym. Got home, showered, and made dinner. Then R and I went over to the library where we ran into an old friend S and her son. Of course I’m in my pajamas, but that wasn’t a big deal. S and I used to hit the bars in pajamas!

Me reading at the library while waiting on R to find her books

Tuesday I worked from home because I had a car appointment in the middle of the day. I don’t live that close to work, and I’d have lost more time driving back and forth than just working at home.

While I was waiting for my car, I was reading the news. Saw that there was snow in Charlottesville. I happen to be heading there in a few weeks and was texting my girlfriend who lives there.

My eldest and I picked R up from robotics at 5, and then headed to meet M, my boyfriend, and his boys for dinner. It was a nice time, as always.

Kuma always stands there like a stalker when we drive away without her…

But guess what I did?! I ordered my first whiskey drink ever! And you know what? It was good! My best friend and her husband were very pleased with me 🙂

Today I’m off. I have a bunch of appointments, so just took a vacation day to get it all done. Dentist, surgeon post op check, and letting Raven play with my hair 🙂

Odd Numbers are My Jam

FOOD

I only actually made one meal in the past 4-5 days. I had so much of the kitchen sink curry leftovers, that I had that for three meals.

I did have tofu green curry, but it was a work meeting and it felt a little odd to take a picture – then I’d have to explain that I have a blog, and while I normally don’t care, not everyone I have meetings with really needs this insight into my personal life 😏.

Friday night’s dinner was an olive tray at our wine bar, but I forgot to take pics.

Saturday brunch was a Bloody Mary, pointsetta mimosa (which was delicious), and half of a hummus and veggie wrap. The menu item was labeled vegan, and it came with some chips. I had one, it was quite good, and my bf tried one. Immediately told me they were likely NOT vegan. Waitress double checked – they were indeed not the vegan ones. They gave me sour cream and onion (no wonder I didn’t recognize the flavor – I just kept telling my bf that it tasted like garlic or something). She felt horrible – bought me another mimosa, and brought some salt and pepper chips – in the bag so I could check. I ate a few and took that bag and half the wrap home. Honest mistake. Not thrilled I ate dairy, but it won’t kill me. I don’t have an allergy, it’s a choice.

Last night I made a vegan ramen-ish dinner. Vegan ramen noodles, a broth made of veggie broth, miso, ginger, and soy, and then threw in peas, corn, green beans, and Morningstar farms fake chicken strips. It was really good, but way too much. Ate about half.

FITNESS

HIIT and a run. Packing for the gym after work is new to me. And I had my bag on Thursday – but forgot my shoes 🤦🏻‍♀️. So I went home and got into my gym clothes – shoes included – and then drove back to the gym. I always use locker 139. It’s strange, but 1 – I like odd numbers, and 2 – I guess I’m more a creature of habit than I like to admit. Getting there Thursday evening, my locker was taken! As were all of them in that row. So I had to use a <gasp> even number. 134. Oh the horror. Honestly though, odd numbers have always been my favorite. Pretty much every good thing in my life is related to an odd number. Most of the people I love (excluding my sister and her kids and dad, who were both in even years) were born in odd years. Graduations were ALL in odd years. Other milestones too. I tend to pick them for hotel rooms, movie seats, and yes, my locker damnit. What can I say? Odd numbers are my jam.

Today R had a 2 1/2 hour robotics meeting in Franklin, VA, which is just about an hour away. I knew I couldn’t use that time to study, so decided to use it to run and then read. Unfortunately the school she was at did not have a track, but it was in a residential area, so the run was still easy enough. Streets are nicely square, so I didn’t get lost either. Knocked out 5 miles and then sat in my car reading. Let’s just say that by the time I got home, I was more than ready for a shower after wallowing in my own sweaty mess for hours.

LIFE

Well, only two days of work after the holiday. Both were good days. Thursday’s focus was on a joint venture new company proposal downtown, and Friday was a lot of things, but the best one is with a start up I’m working with in the UK. It’s been a slow process, but things are really moving along now. I also had a work lunch meeting, and while the guy was late and mildly annoying, it was overall ok.

Thursday after work was the gym and writing. Friday after work was wine bar date with my boyfriend and staying at his place. Brunch in the morning, and then a nap in the afternoon with the floofs.

Today was the robotics adventure for 5 hours. Was chatting with my guy about my digital planner. I do a weekly plan, a daily plan (always planned the night before) – which includes my schedule and a separate page where I do bullet journaling to keep track of tasks for that day. This is what today’s bullets looked like. So far I’ve done them all except meditate…

I also do a weekly meal plan, but I created a OneNote template for that and groceries. I swear, I’m not nuts – I just like to be organized. And I like lists…

After I got home, I took a shower and snuggled with the floofs again for a bit.

Even after I got up, Kuma decided naps were really the best way to spend the afternoon

Then I worked on my edits for my dissertation for the rest of the day, until it was time to make dinner.

Will be strange to have a full and normal week. Work, family, school, gym. Rinse and repeat!

Au Revoir 2019, Bonjour 2020!

FOOD

Been a pretty good week. Not a lot of food, but what I did eat was yummy!

Bruch with my baby was delicious. Vegan burrito and festive drinks.

Grapes for dinner at Busch Gardens.

Morningstar Farms vegan chicken strips with greenbeans (I was hungry and this was fast).

Tofu green curry (of course)

Kitchen Sink Curry

Ingredients:

  • 1 block tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 can green beans
  • 1 package frozen cauliflower rice
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 1 sweet potato peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3 tbsp red curry powder or paste (I use the Spice House powder)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

Directions:

  • Throw everything in your pressure cooker (I used my Ninja Foodi)
  • High for 6 minutes. Natural release for 10.

It was really, really yummy! Makes 4 servings.

Family Mexican dinner night out – vegan bowl and margaritas!

Today was an Eastern Shore lunch date for a Beyond burger and beer flight (of which 1 I just couldn’t stomach – so he drank it for me!).

FITNESS

4 gym days for that HIIT class and 2 runs.

I really do dig this class. But saying it’s a class isn’t exactly accurate. It is a daily curated workout where there are 15 stations. You exercise 3 rounds at each station, and each round is 1 minute. There’s a timer that indicates when a round starts and ends (there’s a 20 second rest period after each round) Each day is a different focus. Like yesterday was arms and back. Today was full body and core. There’s almost always a trainer or two wandering around to motivate and correct. There are also videos for each station to show the moves, so when I’m there and there isn’t a trainer (like today), I’m not lost.

So – here was today:

10 minute warm-up on the rower.

  1. Sit in a V position in front of weighted ropes and, using your core, flip the ropes over your legs.
  2. Using a TRX suspension trainer, put your feet in them, and then walk into an inverted V as many times as possible before the buzzer rings.
  3. Leg raises on an inverted incline
  4. Skierg (love this thing. It’s essentially a standing rower – more to mimic cross country ski motions with your arms than any leg work)
  5. Walking dumbbell lunches
  6. Pulley rope pull. This one you sit and imagine tug of war, but the rope is silicone and going through a pulley to put tension on it.
  7. Barbell squat + overhead press
  8. Rower
  9. Hard to explain this one – you hold dumbbells overhead – but in an X shape. Then touch elbow to opposite knee. It was awkward and I felt highly uncoordinated!
  10. Cybex Arc Trainer on a forward incline
  11. Combo move of dumbbell curls to overhead press while stepping up on a box and doing a knee raise
  12. V sit ups while sitting on a 1/2 bosu ball
  13. Cybex Arc trainer upright (not forward incline)
  14. While lying back, raise legs and move in a half circle to one side, back, and then the other
  15. Oblique crunches

Total circuit takes 45 minutes plus whatever warm up. You wear a HR monitor that displays on the screen to let you know how you’re working. Today I was feeling slow, but still burned 612 calories, so despite the struggle, it was still awesome.

I also like that it changes every day. I don’t do well with monotony.

LIFE

It’s been a really nice and mostly lazy week.

Thursday my guy and I hit up our wine bar and I stayed at his place, and then we had brunch in the morning.

Friday was cleaning and mostly hanging around the house. Oh, and an emergency vet visit because Kuma got into A’s stocking and ate chocolate! She’s fine, and after getting home, we snuggled on my bed watching Star Wars.

Did visit the guy for a bit that evening and finished the last Star Wars movie in the series before the new one.

Saturday was The Rise of Skywalker! I actually really liked it. I was never a big Star Wars fan (I was always Star Trek over Star Wars), but having just watched them all in the previous week, I had a good appreciation of it. Stayed over again.

A very hippie book was recommended to me, and I promised I’d read it, so I glad I got it at the library (and didn’t spend any $ on it). I’m trying, but I can honestly tell you I am not really digging it. But I’ll finish it because I did make a promise. But ugh. Sunday morning was wonderful and lazy – coffee and reading on the sofa with my bf. Then home.

Sunday afternoon R and I hit up Busch Gardens for arcade fun and Christmas Town. Honestly, the lights were beautiful. It always does blow me away.

Was hoping for an air hockey rematch battle, but it was busted

Monday it was really warm out – so it was run fun and I honestly can’t recall what else 😳. Grocery shopping probably.

Tuesday I went to see my good friend M, who is moving to Nashville this weekend. Going to miss him and his wife very much, but I have friends all over the world I manage to see on occasion, and I have no doubt we’ll visit M&R over the years.

Then it was time to hit up the outlet mall with R to spend some gift cards and then meet up with all the fam, minus my eldest, for NYE dinner.

We went home, I rented a movie, and was in bed by 1030!

2019 really flew by. It was mostly a good year, but I’m not sad to see it go. The past decade has been really eventful! Obtained 2 degrees (and the majority of a 3rd), raised a family, got divorced, made some of the most amazing friends a girl could have, traveled the world, lost my Dad, discovered what drives me and makes me passionate, found love, and, more than anything, realize just how much I like me. Will I always strive to be a better person? Absolutely. But by and large, I like who I am as a person, what I stand for, my independence and strength, and who I surround myself with.

So 2020 is here – now what? For me, big focus is on graduating with my doctorate. No reason I can’t finish this year – just means a lot of work (not like that’s anything new – but this is now all self guided research and writing). It’s really exciting! And then focusing on what to do with it, which I’ve certainly been giving a lot of thought to.

One thing I will occasionally do is take on a “project food”. My dad always said that if you don’t like something you eat, it is because it wasn’t prepared in a way you like. I took that to heart, and over the years, I’ll tackle a food I didn’t like, but make myself try it and prepare it in various ways over a year. If I still hate it, then I know I at least tried. I’ve done this with blueberries (used to hate them unless in a muffin), beets, and mushrooms. Mushrooms I say are a partial success. I like portobellos, but that’s about it. This year’s project food – WHISKEY!

Yes, I know it’s not a food, but if you’ve read recent posts, you know I’m pretty obsessed with becoming a whiskey drinker. My eldest and son-in-law even bought me a nice bottle for Christmas. And I picked up one recommended by my best friend too. So – I’m not sure how it’ll go – I’ve always disliked it – but I’m going to give it a shot! Wish me luck.

First attempt….

Random pics from the week that don’t fit anywhere else!

Not bad, considering most my free time is spent on school! I love to read, and while I do a blend of professional and fiction books – I know there’s more fiction in here than non!

A Very Merry Time Indeed

FOOD

Friday I had a smoothie in my office for breakfast and a solo Thai lunch. Dinner was awesome though – the wine bar my guy and I go to now has a plant based menu section! Several months ago, the chef decided to be vegan for a month, just to see what it was like for me (which is epically cool). First, I hear he loves eating vegan – which is awesome. But even more so is the new menu, and I had the vegan po boy for dinner Saturday night (as did my meat eating friend I was there with), and it was delicious!

Other eats include brunch with my boyfriend, salads, beans and rice, and of course Christmas dinner of Tofurkey, mashers, corn, stuffing, mushroom gravy, and a bunch of other dishes I just didn’t get to.

FITNESS

Gym on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday for the HIIT class. And yesterday was my traditional Christmas run. I’ve done it 11 out of 12 years – missed last year because I was in WI and it was snowy and cold and ewww.

I rolled my ankle Saturday night – nothing fun, literally just stepping off a curb. But it was too sore on Sunday to do anything. It was swollen and I was worried I sprained it, but by Monday it was still sore, but I felt comfortable hitting the gym. I just modified any moves that required jumping. To be honest, it is still slightly sore, but it was fine for my run yesterday and I’m heading to the gym in a few where I expect it’ll be fine also.

LIFE

It was nice to be in the office on Friday and Monday. After work Friday, I went out with friends to celebrate the end of another term and that I am officially ABD! That means “all but dissertation”. Essentially, I’m done with classes and my focus shifts to research, analysis, publication, and graduation! My girlfriend I went out with is also in my program and knows just how hard I’ve worked to get to this point faster than anyone has before. So she and her husband treated me to a wonderful night of wine, food, and fun.

I was there about 30 min before S and A arrived. So Alex the bartender – who knows what we love to drink – kept giving me short pours of new things to try

This – was disgusting. Couldn’t even finish the sample, it was so bad.

A turmeric whiskey sour. Was quite good, though I let A finish it because I can’t really mix wine and booze

Saturday I spent the afternoon and night with my boyfriend. We ran some errands and then went to our fav Cape Charles’ spots for cider and cocktails (see now why I stumbled off the curb 🤦🏻‍♀️?).

The next morning was brunch at one of our 2 regular spots and then it was off to run errands on my way home.

Monday was in the office again, then the gym and more errands. I had to pick up some groceries and went to the store near my house. It was a madhouse, and the line looked more like a theme park rollercoaster line than a grocery store!

So Christmas. Normally one of my least favorite holidays – ever since I was a kid. This year was actually really nice. On Christmas Eve, the tradition in my family is to open pajamas and a game, and whoever wins the game gets to choose breakfast in the morning (which means I shop for what 5 people like for breakfast because you never know who the winner will be!).

My son in law spent it with us, and he ended up winning the game. I didn’t play because I was cooking – but it was fun to watch them.

Christmas morning was also nice. Coffee first, then gifts, breakfast, and my run. After cleaning up from breakfast, I put out appetizers and a Bloody Mary bar to snack on until dinner.

We spent the day at home. My boyfriend came over for a few hours and we did his gifts too. I got a Google WiFi mesh that he installed and it’s amazing!

I love maps and globes. Several weeks ago my youngest asked me where I’ve always wanted to go. Without hesitation – Morocco. She got me a framed 1800’s era map of Morocco – in French! I love love love it. I also got a book and a travel cord organizer from my sister, another framed print from my son, flavored vinegar and olive oil and a bottle of Bulleit from my daughter and son-in-law, and an Amazon gift card from my mom. Though honestly – it was less about the what (which was all lovely), and more about the who. I got to be with the people closest to me and have a great day.

What my travel cord “bag” looks like now – so what C got me really is perfect!

Only downside yesterday was the holiday light plan. We went to the Merry Mile, which is at the Virginia Beach oceanfront – you drive on the boardwalk of the beach and see the lights that are there, usually driving under them. It’s about 30 minutes away, and we wait in the long line of cars….to find out its cash only. THE WEBSITE DIDN’T SAY THAT. The kids didn’t want to hunt down an atm and then get back in line, so we went home instead.

Okay, Star Wars. To be honest, I have always been more of a Star Trek fan, but with the series concluding, I want to brush up on the series, so I’ve been working on watching them all in a lead up to going to see the finale on Saturday with my son, boyfriend, and his eldest. I never even saw them all, so it has been a fun education. Thus far, I have watched 5 of them.

And other miscellaneous shots of the week!

Please Don’t Make It Weird

FOOD

I’ll be honest, for the past week and a half or so, I haven’t had much of an appetite, so most of my eats have been boring, or I’ll have something and only eat a little bit of it. Oh well. Not like I’m going to starve or anything!

The past few days have been smoothies, tea, spicy tofu soup, popcorn, tofu eggless salad, Thai one day, and stir fry on a lunch date.

FITNESS

Went to the gym every day this week – more of that HIIT class I’m digging. It always starts out on the rower and then the weighted ropes – though what you do with them changes from day to day. Some days it’s alternating arms, some it’s both arms, some there’s a squat or jumping jack in between. Basically there are 15 stations, and you spend 3 minutes at each. Depending on the focus (like today was shoulders and back), the exercises vary, though there’s always some rowing and elliptical/glider thingy. The time flies, and I really like that about it. And it torches a ton – 400-600 calories each workout. Can’t complain about that!

Also got a long run in. Been stressed a lot lately – this is helping tremendously!

LIFE

Relatively quiet week. I didn’t go to NY, but still did those meetings, just remotely. R was out of school half the week. Her fever finally broke, and while she’s still coughing and feeling a bit run down, she’s light years better than she was. She missed her orchestra concert on Tuesday – which really crushed her – but she couldn’t go. Not only because of school policy, but she honestly just wouldn’t have had the stamina.

I was on my way home from the gym and sent the kids a text to walk the dog. The following ensued. M was playing a league of legends match, and A, well, apparently she had no pants…

I got a new sign for the front door. We did have one of those stickers from Home Depot, but it blew away (to be fair, I never stuck it on anything – just taped it).

Today was a productive and lazy day. Had to exchange something at the store, I worked out and showered, wrapped presents, baked a loaf of bread, washed the “pneumonia blankets” (aka, the ones R snuggled up under while she was sick), meditated, read, worked, but mostly feel like I did very little. Strange.

Tomorrow is back to the office though! Not sad about that, actually.

For my fellow French speakers. I try to watch something on Netflix or read something in French fairly regularly (though not regularly enough) just to keep the skill up. Saw this and about fell over laughing.

Floof snuggling while I read this evening.

Sneaky Pneumonia Sucks

FOOD

Not a whole lot to report here. Yesterday I had a piece of toast with sunbutter before going to the gym.

Lunch was some leftover spicy tofu soup (this one with lots of riced cauliflower).

Dinner was at my guys house – I brought a big ass salad from Whole Foods. I took a picture, but it was blurry. Bummer too, because it was awesome. Lettuce, tabbouleh, tofu eggless salad, tons of veggies, and dolmades. Couldn’t finish it, but damn, it was good!

Haven’t eaten much today. Too sleepy. Think I had some crackers and a smoothie that I didn’t snap a pic of.

FITNESS

Went to the gym yesterday for another HIIT workout. This is me in my car after.

Nothing today – I’m pretty much a walking zombie. I did meditate though.

LIFE

Been quite the weekend. Went to the gym yesterday and then to run some errands. Had a quiet night planned with my boyfriend, and went over there in the latter part of the afternoon. We watched two movies – Just Cause – and older flick with Sean Connery, and Takers – about 9-10 years old with Idris Elba. Both decent movies. Had dinner, and just a lazy evening. He’s feeling a bit under the weather, so we went to bed early.

A couple hours later my phone lights up – it’s the young one. She was not feeling well, so I went home. She had been sick earlier in the week – but so was her brother and he was fine after 2 days. I think we were masking her symptoms by rotating Motrin and Tylenol to keep her fever down (which was working very well). Ended up in the Emergency the rest of the night/morning where she was diagnosed with pneumonia. Honestly – I feel absolutely guilty for not realizing she was that sick. She was eating and reading, and clearly not feeling awesome, but no way I’d have guessed she had freaking pneumonia! But still, guilty mom time. Sneaky pneumonia…

Sweatshirt over her head to block the light so she could try to sleep. Never quite worked…

Good news is her older sister was working, so of course we went to her hospital and were well cared for. SO many people would come into our room, see the three of us (A, R, and I) interacting, and shake their heads about how we all act and look alike. The mops of curly hair certainly gave it away. It was funny, and apparently quite the topic of conversation after R and I left around 5am.

I was supposed to head to NY in the morning, but no way I’m doing that. So I’ll be working from home while she gets better.

Hanging out trying to stay awake today with Luna and some books. Brain was toast and couldn’t really focus on reading.

Got caught in some sudden rain while out on a walk