HIIT Me Baby, One More Time

FOOD

Good week on the food front with a fair amount of cooking.

Sunday I made a batch of spicy tofu soup and butternut squash soup.

I also made two loaves of bread this week – I have a bread machine and my youngest says it looks like I 3D print them. So they’ve become the 3D printed breads.

Lots of tofu eggless salad this week too. Some on sammiches and some mixed into big ass salads.

Tofu eggless salad AND a Beyond Meat patty for a super filling salad

Monday was a ramen date with my guy, which was really nice. Had Thai one day and smoothies, of course.

Actually had this for dinner one night

And another big batch of spicy tofu soup today!

Coffee date yesterday

FITNESS

HIIT me baby, one more time! Lots of activity this week. Several runs (we had a couple really nice days), and HIIT workouts at my gym. They have this thing that, during certain hours, you can walk in and a trainer puts you through a HIIT workout. I did that a few times this week. Lots of rowing, those crazy rope things, box jumps, deadlifts, squats, ab work, etc. I wear a heart rate monitor, and these 45 minute or so sessions are burning around 500 calories or so each. Can’t complain!

Also, you can tell the holidays are upon us because the crazy wreath people are back! If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know I tend to comment on people during the holidays who feel the need to put a wreath on every window, door, garage, etc. I think because I grew up in the north where it actually snows, most houses decorate with lights and maybe one wreath. Here it almost never snows, and people show their festivity in a very different way – which includes LOTS AND LOTS of wreaths. I’ve certainly gotten more used to it, but it still makes me smile when I see it.

As spotted on my block during this morning’s run

LIFE

It has definitely been a busy week. Monday and Tuesday in the office. Lots going on and it was nice to be there.

Tuesday night was spirit night for R’s orchestra class at a local pizza place, so we all went there.

Wednesday I was working from home because a contractor was coming by. Almost a year ago, I had them come in to finish work in my downstairs bathroom. We had just finished the new floors in my house, but noticed water damage in the downstairs bathroom. Anyway, hired someone to come in and fix the subfloor, fix the leak (it was a bad wax seal around the toilet), and put in the floors. Well a couple weeks ago the city was doing smoke tests looking for leads in piping. We got a notice that seeing smoke outside is no cause for alarm, but smoke inside is. Well I’m working at home, my eldest is home studying and suddenly smoke comes pouring out of the bathroom. I’m not so low-key freaking out starting to wonder where the heck my house is on fire from. A is cool as can be, calls the city, and sure enough it’s the smoke test. So long story – contractors came out. There’s no leak and everything is fine.

Thursday was at work for half the day, then went home. R was home sick, but when I talked to her, sounded like she had a fever, so I went to go check on her. 102.8. Today she woke with a 102, so I worked from home with the exception of one late meeting I had to do downtown. Cycling Motrin and Tylenol is keeping the fever down and she’s actually eating and acting relatively normally.

R bundled up in front of the fireplace trying to stay warm

So last night my sister texts me to tell me about Keanu Reeve’s day. The following commenced where she fully shamed me. When I told her that, her reply was “Then my job is done”. Guess siblings never change 🙂

My old insomnia has raised its ugly head lately. The past week or so, I haven’t slept well. Thankfully last night was a good night, so I hope the no sleep silliness has passed.

Tonight will be tons of school work. Tomorrow I’ll HIIT the gym again and then come home and do school work. If all the stars align, will head to my guys house for dinner, movies, and to stay the night.

Wednesday morning Kuma really didn’t want to get out of bed

Is That a Chardonnay in Your Pocket, Or Are You Just Happy to See Me

FOOD

One morning last week (Wednesday, I think) I made oatmeal and put a scoop of protein powder in it. I’ve done this before and it was fine, but this was just nasty. I choked it down but wish I hadn’t!

I had Ezekiel toast with sunbutter two days. No other breakfasts in the past few days.

I haven’t had much of an appetite since Friday morning, and honestly – haven’t eaten much. W was not happy with that, so we went out to Fancy Radish in DC and shared a few plate. Still couldn’t eat much, but did have a bite or two of everything.

FITNESS

Worked out every day last week, either a run, a spin, or a strength training session. Saturday I was in DC and did a ton of walking. I do wish I had packed workout clothes. A run in the city would’ve been perfect. Today we’ll see. Could probably use a run or a hot yoga class honestly, but I just got home from a weekend away and am not sure yet.

LIFE

Been a fairly rough week, but it is what it is. Friday I headed up to DC for a weekend and holiday party with friends. It was a much needed weekend.

Friday I wandered around Old Town Alexandria for a couple hours. I was planning to stop at this one wine shop, but it was closed. Stopped at the Majestic for a glass of wine and reading before heading over to W’s house.

W and I hung out at his place for a bit, then walked the couple blocks to Fancy Radish for dinner. Then back to his place for a few hours, then back to my hotel.

Saturday morning was a little rough, but then I met up with A to grab coffee and watch the Scottish Day parade. It was awesome, I can’t believe I didn’t get any shots of the tons of dogs in tartan in the parade! But it was a really great time.

My girl A taking pics!

After the parade, I walked to the metro and went to the Natural History museum for a bit. Then back to my hotel. I was supposed to meet up with friends for the parade of boats with Christmas lights, but I dozed off. Did make it in plenty of time for the party though, which was really nice. There were about 15 or so of us. Grad school buds and their other halves mostly.

For the past several years, my friend D and I pick on Chardonnay drinkers. It goes back to an experience with an ex-girlfriend of his, and has turned into a bit of a running joke. So he got to the party, came over to give me a hug, and pulled out a bottle of Chardonnay! It was hilarious. Obviously left for other party guests if anyone wanted it.

Just the Darden classmates!

This morning I woke up and drove home! Got home about an hour and a half ago. Not sure what the rest of my day will look like, though likely cleaning, some cooking, school work, and maybe a movie.

Trying to see if I can like bourbon. A and K happened to pour a class of Pappy van Winkle – a $700 bottle – and I only had a tiny sip, but it wasn’t bad!

Picking the wee one up from robotics

Death to Death Lettuce

FOOD

So I may actually be done with any romaine lettuce bought at a regular grocery store. May have to stick to any I grow myself or get from a local farm. My daughter has called it “death lettuce” since last years outbreak, and with another one again, it is apparent that it is simply too easy for animal waste to contaminate on a commercial farm.

So Sunday I made salads with spring mix. I’m just going to say it – I don’t like it as much. I like crunchy lettuce damnit! I also made tortilla soup. These two were my lunch.

I also made a homemade BBQ sauce and then decided to mix it with some pasta, corn, and black beans. It was good. A little odd, but good.

Yesterday morning was a quick smoothie (though saying “smoothie” is a stretch – it was just Garden of Life powder in water in my blender ball after a workout). Lunch was a Thai food lunch date with my guy. Dinner I skipped.

This morning was sunflower butter and banana on toasted Ezekiel bread. Lunch was a Moe’s salad on the way to my Dr appt. Dinner has yet to happen (this is a bad trend this week).

Nutritionally devoid iceberg lettuce, but hey, at least it is not trying to kill me

FITNESS

It was raining yesterday morning, so I was bummed I couldn’t go for a run. I did an upper body workout in the garage instead.

Today it was NOT raining, so after a 25 minute core workout, I went for that run!

Runs are definitely my fav workouts, but even more so when I’m feeling stressed or worried or worked up about something. So – glad to lace up and get out there this morning.

LIFE

Pretty typical early work week. Working from home, though this will be the last week of that. The bruising on my face is at a tolerable level, and I’m cleared to wear makeup, so I can largely cover it. My idea of makeup is usually tinted moisturizer, so it doesn’t fully cover it, but it dulls it enough. The scar will take much longer to heal, but even that is looking good. Hard to believe that 2 weeks ago my face was sliced into. I do believe I have magical healing powers! (Or a damned good plastic surgeon….my money is on that one).

I had a fair number of meetings yesterday and today. Not so many that I couldn’t get anything else done, but enough to keep me busy. I made a bit of a dent in my to do list this week. Not as much as I’d like – I’d really like it clear before the end of Thursday.

Today I also had my yearly mammogram. I normally do that in October (birthday month – old habit from military days where we did all our health screenings in our birth month). I had it scheduled in October, but ended up having a personal conflict and needing to reschedule it.

On my way there, I went shopping for the holiday gift exchange for the party my boyfriend and I are heading to this weekend. We’re DC bound for the yearly party with friends, and we do a white elephant gift exchange. I stopped at the ABC store, and while the pickings were slim gift-wise, I did find one thing. It was a little sad – the man in front of me was checking out with just the little airplane bottle of vodka.

So the Nextdoor app – basically Facebook for neighborhoods. Typically it’s posts about lost pets, people complaining about those “darned kids”, and other annoying things (like my neighborhood wanting to have our city declared a 2nd Amendment sanctuary city…ffs. That’s just crazy). I do appreciate some of the recommendations for things when I’m looking for home services, like a lawn service and pressure washing. But today – today warranted sharing the stupidity of others. You see, this coming Saturday – the 7th – is the Christmas parade where I live. To be honest – I’ve never actually been because I dislike crowds, but that’s not the point. The point is this man left came chairs….monogrammed camp chairs….out on the public street….15 FULL DAYS BEFORE THE PARADE to “hold their spot”. And then is outraged that the chairs have thusly been stolen! Seriously? What happened to just showing up a few hours early to snag your spot? It’s not like I live if NYC or Chicago or something. Yikes. People are dumb.

The rest of the day has been working and school work. I got feedback from one of the 2 primary reviewers/approvers of my research, and I have a lot of work to do to incorporate that.

Celebrating that I’m doing qualitative research and not quantitative!

I’m really looking forward to that weekend getaway. It is much needed.

Kumaventure this eve to pick the wee one up from robotics

Thanksgiving, Lazy Days, and Chess Wars

FOOD

The food highlight of the week has certainly been Thanksgiving. I made a Celebration Roast (I couldn’t find Tofurky anywhere this year, so when with the Field Roast brand – I didn’t like it nearly as much), green bean casserole with a homemade creamy mushroom soup, stuffing, mashers, mushroom gravy, tofu pot pie, fresh bread, cranberry/orange/cinnamon sauce, and pumpkin pie.

Other eats this week included smoothies, oatmeal, a bizarre meal with two of my kids, an Impossible Whopper, and plenty of leftovers.

I very much appreciate BK having these. But tbh, it just sits SO heavy. I think my stomach hurt until the next day…

Eggplant and as a side I picked asparagus. Not realizing it didn’t automatically come with pasta. I choose poorly – it was a strange combo of flavors that was not awesome

FITNESS

I was cleared on Monday at a post-op appt to work out again. I ran Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and just finished a cardio spin workout in my garage. Feels good to move.

LIFE

Well the week started with me getting my stitches removed. Doc came into my room 50 minutes after my appt time and asked how I was. “Annoyed” was my response. He was taken aback a bit, but just because he’s a doctor, doesn’t mean my time is less valuable. It really did screw up some of my schedule, but is what it is. But it is annoying. Anyway, stitches are out and the bruising is really fading. I have some gel I need to use for the next 3 months that will hopefully minimize scarring and help it heal normally. If not, then laser treatment, but so far I think it’s looking pretty good.

I worked from home and, admittedly, didn’t do a whole lot school wise. Guess I just needed a mental break.

Tuesday everyone played chess. M and I played an online Game Pigeon version. That evening, R played M and beat him. A played the winner (R) and beat her. Then A wanted to play M. While that happened the next day…this thread ensued first. This is how my children fight….

Wednesday R, M, and I went out for a very late lunch (around 230). After cleaning much of the day, really didn’t want to cook!

Thursday was Thanksgiving, so I spent the day cooking (R had done the cleaning the day before). It was my kids, a couple of M’s friends, my boyfriend, and his boys. It was a nice time – I do enjoy having a full house.

Friday was literally the laziest day I may have ever had. Ever. Kuma and I sat on the sofa and watched two episodes of Mandalorian. Then R and I (and a lazy Kuma) watched Finding Dory. I folded some wash, and then watched several NCIS episodes upstairs with Kuma and Luna. I can’t remember the last time I watched that much TV in a month, much less a day! It was kind of nice, though I did feel like a bum.

Yesterday and today the plans I had fell through, so it’s been fairly low key. Went to see Knives Out with two of the munchkins yesterday – it was SO good. Did a bit of school work and finished a really good audiobook. Today has so far been a workout and starting on school stuff. Imagine I’ll do my weekly meal plan, shop if I need to, and do some bulk cooking for the week.

Book I’m currently reading

Got this for my bday from my boyfriend. It’s cute – he said he liked to get silly things that make me think of him. And I do – every time I use this cup. It’s normally just black, until I pour tea or coffee into it and the album cover comes up. I love it.

Oh Honey, Who Hurt You?

FOOD

Been nice being home for the past week! Eats have been pretty typical while home. Salads, stir fry, rice and veggies, oatmeal, soup, and smoothies.

My fav red Thai curry soup with white sweet potato

I also made three batches of homemade soymilk. One is a soy/oat/date blend which came out way thicker than I wanted. Will play with that and reduce the amount of oats next time. One super thick batch (double the soybeans) in order to make homemade yogurt (my first time making it from homemade milk), and a batch of normal everyday soymilk. Really happy all around.

A few meals out with my guy too. One was a Tex-Mex place we’ve liked, though it appears the quality (both of service and food) have been declining. Sad since they’ve only been open a year or so.

Fajita bowl with Impossible burger chopped into it

One of our fav brunch spots where I get the hummus lettuce wraps and sorbet mimosa!

And grilled cheese (vegan for me of course!) and fried pickles after a movie date.

FITNESS

A run and some kickboxing when I got home from Chicago. I’m banned from working out now until cleared by my doctor. More on that later.

LIFE

So I got home late Friday evening and immediately went to bed. The rest of the week has been pretty darned eventful.

A brunch date, a wine bar date, two movies, and lunch date were definitely the highlights. Included a total of three coffee shop stops as well as a wander through the Old Beach farmers market (very bougie). All packed into about 3 days!

We do love being regulars here. They know what we like. Saw us come in and the sommelier runs into the back to bring this out, having saved a bottle knowing we’d like it – and we did!

Charlie’s Angles and Joker were the movies. One was fun. One was disturbing. A coffee shop near me, one closer to his place, and one near the farmers market.

Between the rest rooms at our brunch spot

From Three Ships coffee spot

Monday night I met up with an old co-worker (he left the company 8 years ago!). He’s become involved in the start-up world and has recently joined our local angel investor group. I happen to know them, so it was fun to reconnect. We met for a glass of wine and just caught up and made some plans for future business collaboration. I’m going to be a guest on his podcast and he sent me a book, which is one of my favorite types of gifts!

Tuesday was not a fun day. So back in August I was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma on my left cheek. Small, but had to come off. Good news is it’s not the super scary type of skin cancer (that’s melanoma). This one is usually caused by some bad sun exposure from sometimes decades earlier. But it has scared me into being more diligent about sun screen than I really ever have been (here’s your PSA kids – WEAR SUNSCREEN EVEN IF YOU DON’T BURN EASILY). Due to my crazy travel schedule, I really needed to wait until I knew I could arrange being home for a few weeks to heal. Hence the surgeries (yes two) on Tuesday. My girlfriend AJ picked me up and was my chauffeur and friend for the day. Step one was to the dermatology surgery office. That involved torture by Christmas music, needles to the face, discussions of temporary blindness, and the eventually excising of the cancer. Then they patched me up and sent me to the waiting room with AJ to kill an hour while they went to verify they got it all. They did, so then we had a few hours to kill before going to the facial plastic surgeon to sew me up and minimize scaring. That one was low-key horrific. Much more painful and invasive and numbed half my face – including my teeth! But, he was great and from my hometown of Milwaukee, which was fun, even though I really couldn’t speak once they got going (he had a resident).

I was offered stronger meds than Motrin and Tylenol, but I refused. Didn’t end up needing them anyway. Sore, but tolerable. Can’t really get it wet, can’t workout, etc.

The rule was to keep the bandage on 24-48 hours. I made it 24 hours and 30 minutes. I sleep on my stomach and the bandage started bunching. Drove me crazy!

By Thursday, I was totally stir crazy and needed to get out of the house. I was out of tofu, so I figured a quick trip to the grocery was needed. So here I am wandering around the store, and a woman comes up to me, puts her hand on my shoulder, and says “oh honey, who hurt you?”. UM… CANCER HURT ME. At first I was a little taken aback by someone approaching me like that (I have a black eye and stitches going down my cheek – so I did look a hot mess), but since it’s really restored my faith in humanity. She cared enough to make sure I was okay, and if I wasn’t – not sure what she’d have done – but it still warms my heart. We chuckled when I explained it to her.

That was early. The black eye and swelling got MUCH more impressive…

Since I couldn’t take a shower and get my face wet, it was definitely bath fun. I’m a huge fan of bath bombs, and my youngest bought me a ton of great spooky ones for my birthday! Luna really enjoys bath time too.

So – that was my week – plus quite a bit of time on my doctoral research stuff. Great times and not so great times, but in the end, I can’t complain. No more cancer. Fun with my love. Caught up at work. Research humming along. Seriously no complaints.

New throw blanket is VERY much Luna approved

She enjoys when I change the sheets. Even though she gets in the way

Flight Club

FOOD

Mixed bag of home and road eats this past week. I was home for four days, and then back to Chicago for a few.

I made a butternut squash sauce for pasta.

I swear, there’s a baker under that mound of green beans and chickpeas!

Brunch Sunday with the boyfriend – my typical wrap.

Lunch on Monday was with a co-worker and I had a veggie burger

Tuesday late lunch/early dinner was with my sister and mom. My sister and I split an Impossible burger. She had never had one before, and hadn’t had a hamburger in 30 years, so it was a fun treat! They’re very filling, so splitting that an an app was just fine.

Chicago eats were a mixed bag this time. I was “captive” and the vegan eats were slim pickings, at least until the last day. So I picked up stuff at Starbucks or had oatmeal in my room. No lunch for 2 days, and I think I can’t look at another Clif Bar for awhile…

FITNESS

Spin class, runs, and yoga while I was home.

LIFE

Well, been busy for sure. Last weekend was fairly low key. Spent most of it at home with the kids and doing all the home front fun stuff like cleaning and grocery shopping.

Sunday was brunch with my boyfriend and hanging out at his place a bit.

Love the fire pits at our fav brunch spot

Monday was work and then shopping the veteran’s day sales! Then packing for a morning flight to Chicago.

Tuesday morning I hopped a flight to Chicago and then headed up to Milwaukee, where I picked my sister up from work. We then went to her house and then to pick up our mom for lunch. All told it was nice.

Though – on Monday Wisconsin got a ton of snow and I may have been a bit worried about the roads. Texted C from the airport to validate the roads were ok. She then went to social media to publicly shame me. Brat sister.

Picked up C, after some directionally challenged moments, and were on our way!

After lunch, spent some time at her house visiting my niece, nephew, and brother in law. Then it was back to Chicago.

View from my room did not suck

By the way, if you don’t have WTForecast, you’re missing out. It makes crap weather at least funny.

Lots of very informative meetings and presentations for 3 days I have been in Chicago. Got to meet up with several people I’ve met over the years in the innovation space, and met a few cool new ones. One of the new people I met actually used to work with one of my girlfriends back in DC. We took a selfie and sent it to her. Small world.

Wednesday night I couldn’t join the party because I had class, but that was ok. I joined it last night at a place called Flight Club. NOT Fight Club, which made me completely reevaluate my expectations of the night! It’s a nightclub with darts. I played. I largely sucked. But had a great time.

And now, I’m airport bound and ready to be home with NO work travels for about a month! I’m quite excited 🙂

Until then, random pics for your enjoyment.

M and I made Vesper’s to celebrate watching Casino Royale. They were WAY too boozy, so basically turned them into Cosmos

Totally forgot about this building in Milwaukee that has ladybugs on the side.

My munchkins went out to dinner together last night.