Sour Beers and Birthday Fun!

FOOD

I made a big batch of my spicy tofu soup that I ate several times during the week. My eldest loves it too, so I was forced to share.

Other eats included Thai green curry on a lunch date. I’m wondering if the quality of our normal spot is going down, or just a new chef maybe. It was honestly too thick and a bit too sweet for my liking, and his wasn’t as awesome as usual either.

I still had leftover Ethiopian stew, so I had that a few times too. Breakfasts were often oatmeal.

Friday was Indian lunch date and then an after work cocktail (lemon basil-tini for me) and for dinner was vegan pizza on a cauliflower crust.

Saturday was the most fun (of course) because it was birthday brunch at our fav spot with all but one of our munchkins (he had to work). The Bee and Biscuit is awesome not just for it’s food, but for the outdoor oasis you wait in before your table is ready. Jay is the best bartender, and we had some delicious drinks. Vegan Bloody Mary to start, a manmosa, and their summer solstice. That meant more coffee with my hippie wrap and fruit meal.

For dinner we checked a new spot off the list – Oiishi Burger in Virginia Beach. It was only ok, and not likely we’ll go back. Miso soup was bland, edamame was good, and the veggie curry was only ok. His meal was only mediocre too.

FITNESS

Started the week at the gym for some strength training and treadmill/dreadmill fun. Rest of the week was workouts at home, namely runs, walks, spin, and yoga.

LIFE

Sunday started with what should have been a quick drive to the gym. Alas, major car fire had the highway near me completely shut down for about an hour. Good news is it doesn’t appear anyone was hurt and that’s all that matters. Me sitting in traffic just means I’m lucky that I wasn’t the cause of it.

Always that guy who has to get out of his car to try and see the scene 🙄

After the gym, it was grocery shopping, meal prep, cooking, laundry, and homework. Typical Sunday!

It was a pretty busy week on the work and school front. Couple of coffee and lunch dates with my boyfriend as we could squeeze them in, but otherwise a really normal week (meaning I was actually at home!).

Thursday night R (who is a junior in HS this year) had a 2 hr event at one of the primary schools in our city called STEM&M (which I think that name is totally adorable). Her robotics team went to the event with last years bot and talked to the 3-5th graders about robotics. She had a blast. And I had 2 hrs to kill. I was going to hit up a Starbucks or something and study, but one really wasn’t close. BUT, a newly opened brewery was – so of course I had to hit that up! Texted a girlfriend of mine, and she met me there briefly. Really love their sour beers!

Saturday was my birthday and it was really awesome. It began with brunch with my 3, my boyfriend, and his oldest. That was several hours. After brunch, the kids and I headed to Ikea because R needed a new desk and M also got a new shelf. We had some fun karaoke on the way. After getting home, I packed up a bag and headed to my guys house. We hung out there for a bit until his youngest got home and got ready for a night out. Then we also headed out to our fav Cape Charles for some cider. Then off for dinner and back to his place. This morning was a lot of snuggling and then going grocery shopping on my way home. All told, about 70 people – friends and family all around the world – wished my a happy birthday and my heart is warmed knowing I have so many wonderful people in my life.

Necklace from my sister. When I thanked her (because it’s awesome!), she wrote that “the message is so you. You’re one of the strongest people I know and can do anything.” I cannot express what that means to me coming from my older sister – someone I’ve always admired and wanted to be like!

And of course, other random pics of the week, mainly of the floofs!

This week should fly by. I’m in the office only Monday, with offsite meetings and responsibilities Tues-Thurs and then a flight to Vegas Friday morning which kicks off a marathon trip of conference and residency!

When Eyelids Wear Hats

FOOD

Lots and lots of yummy eats! Since my last post I’ve had one trip (New Orleans), a few outings here at home, and some much needed kitchen fun!

Stopped at Whole Foods to grab an Impossible Burger with grilled pineapple and bbq sauce.

The next day, my guy and I spent the day out and about. First a brewery for some pretty darn good beer (I was shocked by the sour – one of the best I’ve had) and amazing food. Then our fav cidery. And then distillery where we had a few cocktails and chatted with E who moved to VA for the summer to collaborate on a pop up sushi restaurant – it was his last day, but he’ll be back next summer.

Then it was off to NOLA for a work/fun visit!

First night was a work dinner, so of course I couldn’t pick the place. Found out the day before where it was, and gave them a call. They made me an amazing dish! Farro, roasted veggies, and a spicy cherry sauce. Totally divine. Didn’t snap a pic because I really just met most of the people at the table and didn’t want to be TOO weird….

Sadly, most eats was grabbing a salad. Staying in the French Quarter, there’s little beyond creole/Cajun and seafood. One night though, A, J, and I went to an amazing placed called MoPho, and I had the tofu spring wraps and the vegan pho – both amazing!

The day I left, A and I met for brunch. Mimosa and a tofu po boy at Surrey’s! Quite tasty.

Then I got home and went a little crazy in the kitchen! In a good way, of course.

Indian feast! Red lentil and sweet potato slow cooker curry, garlic naan, and basmati made with cinnamon and cardamom for dinner my first night home.

The second day, I worked from home – I had 8 hr webex meetings both Monday and Tuesday. Have laptop – will cook!

Ethiopian Stew from Plant Pure Nation

Oil-free tomato salad

Sourdough starter for injera bread! Never made it before, so I’m excited
Shredded TONS of cabbage. Used 6 cups (barely any!) for some slaw

Homemade bread for lunches
Brownies. Obviously

Last night I made feijoada! It’s the national dish of Brazil – usually made with smoked meats. Mine is made with portobello mushrooms, soy curls, and some liquid smoke for that Smokey flavor. It came out great! Kids loved it, which is good because it made tons for leftovers. Also made rice and tostones (which I prefer with lots of hot sauce!)

Today was coffee and a banana for breakfast and then a ramen lunch date!

FITNESS

Well, in two weeks there have been several runs, yoga, long walks, and some spinning in my garage.

LIFE

Whew, where to begin?! The beginning, I guess.

The last Friday night I was home, I hung out with my girlfriend/classmate S and her husband. Wine and chatting for a few hours was nice.

Saturday was a long date day with my boyfriend to the brewery/cidery/distillery.

Wednesday I took off for New Orleans. But first…!

I went to Ulta. I’ll be honest. I’ve always wanted to try false eyelashes, but I admit to being totally intimidated by them. So I stopped in Ulta because I was out of hair stuff, and it turns out they’ll put them on for you! They also happen to have latex free glue (which is rarer than you’d think). So voila! I liked them. Though it felt like my eyelids were wearing little hats.

I arrived fairly late and went to my hotel and to bed. The next morning I was up early. Since my meetings didn’t start until noon, I wanted around the quarter for a bit and stopped for coffee.

I sent my kids the pic of the Lost Boys poster – it’s a family favorite. Anyway, the conversation got interesting and they called me bougie!

After meetings and dinner, A and I met up and hit the quarter for a bit. Then back to my hotel to sleep. I had more meetings in the morning and she had a conference until 3. Then we met up at a happy hour event, headed to her house, and then out to MoPho.

The State of Grace

I was done before A on Friday, so I stopped at a spot in the Quarter for a salad, a drink, and a reread of a classic! This is the Effen Amazing – which is some gin and cucumber concoction. Yum.

Saturday was a ton of fun. Met up with A and J to tour and drink in the quarter. It sounds like a lot, but it really wasn’t. First was Tableaux and the incredible Pimm’s cup. 3, to be precise.

Then it was someplace else to get a to go cocktail since that’s totally a thing so we could keep walking around and shop. This was the Cajun Cooler. Ended up drinking about half.

We eventually stopped at a Mexican place – after going through Jackson Square and the French Market – where I had a little bit of the pineapple cilantro.

This trip included stops in voodoo shops, art galleries, kitschy shops and an open air market.

J and A had to head out to get their kids. I went back to my room to chill a bit, and eventually wandered out again for a salad and class of wine.

Sunday I met with with A for brunch and shopping. Picked up 4 pieces of art, I’m really excited about!

Bathroom at Surrey’s…which honestly is one of the stranger one’s I’ve been in

Home and school has started up again! Let the extra chaos commence 🙂

Fast forward to today. Luna had a vet appt late this afternoon. She HATES carriers. After many scratches, I got her in. And she broke through it – literally – on the drive! We hung out in the car while waiting for our appt (I managed to hold her in the carrier until I arrived). The tech came and let me know when a room was open so we could go right in. She has a UTI and will be just fine. They gave me a box crate to get her home in – which was MUCH easier, and I’m keeping it!

And other miscellaneous pics

Road Trip and an Alt Animal Creation Story

FOOD

Been on the road most of this week, so the eats were as well.

Monday I had a banana and then picked up this oat milk latte on the drive to Baltimore. To be honest – didn’t love it and didn’t finish it. Not the oat milk’ s fault since I typically enjoy an oat milk latte. Think I just didn’t like the coffee they used. Cute place though in Salisbury, MD.

Rolled into Baltimore around 230 or so. Spent some time at the hotel then walked into Little Italy where we stopped for a happy hour drink and hummus appetizer and then moved on to a different place for dinner. Where we initially stopped told us in no uncertain terms that we were to be out by 5 since they were hosting a Dancing with the Stars watch party. Um. Ok.

Wasn’t hungry for anything more substantial than a bruschetta app

Tuesday morning we stopped at Teavolve for breakfast and I had a really yummy marinated tofu wrap. Good thing too, since I really didn’t have lunch (my “vegan” plate at the conference was about 5 noodles and big chunks of charred bell peppers – I picked at it, but didn’t mind skipping since I had a good breakfast).

Dinner was divine though. Papi’s in Fell’s Point for Taco Tuesday! I had the street tacos, vegan style, with Beyond meat. We also had a plantain appetizer that was killer. Sangria was mediocre, but I forgive them due to taco yum mines.

Wednesday morning was coffee and a banana with Chinese for lunch in Richmond. And when in Richmond, Buskey’s is a necessity! They actually weren’t open for business, but the door was open and in we went. Chatted with the owners where we got a tour of their canning facilities and were then asked for recommendations on places to go on tap in our area. And a great discount on a 4 pack of Matcha cider for M (and he LOVES it).

This morning for breakfast was….coffee and a banana! Really wasn’t feeling anything else. Lunch was veggie sushi and dinner was leftover veggie sushi!

FITNESS

Other than walks around Baltimore, not much Mon-Wed. Went for a run today though!

LIFE

Monday was largely spent driving to Baltimore and then hanging out until going to bed pretty early.

When I was a kid, my family (mom, dad, sister) went on a road trip to Colorado. My father had this old memory or something about how awesome Stuckey’s was and insisted we stop at ever single one he saw. I think we all got food poisoning at LEAST once each on that trip after breakfasts at Stuckey’s. Every time I passed one since, I’d send a picture to my dad. He’d get a huge kick out of it. He passed away 3 years ago, so I had to send this one to my sister so we could reminisce about our dad and his poor dining suggestions on that road trip!

Monday Baltimore sights.

Tuesday was the conference. I was there because I was speaking and I dragged a couple of co-workers with me as governing board members. Each has a really unique perspective that I find is partly overlooked in our industry, but also two of the hottest and in demand skill sets. I was glad they could participate as both are really tops in their fields.

Then it was dinner, more walking around, and to bed early again.

Wednesday was up and immediately on the road with the pit stop in Richmond. Got home around 4 or so. We were apparently out of Luna food so I took Kuma to the petstore on a Kumaventure where she was loved on by many at the store.

And today was back to business as usual! Work, some school work, and a run.

Saw this thread of pics from my cousin – couldn’t help it. I have to share as an alternative animal creation story.

Beware Parallelogram Season

FOOD

It’s been a lazy week, to be honest. I had bulk cooked so much last weekend, that we ate a lot of leftovers.

Tuesday I made baked Mac no cheese, which is always a family fav.

Luna was a fan too

Also diced up the homemade andouille sausage and put it into lentil soup to make it even heartier.

Lunch one day MAY have been popcorn and a pina colada at the movies 🙂

And there was toast, and smoothies, and pasta, and soups, and salads.

Quinoa with fresh blueberries and cinnamon

Made a big batch of slow cooker minestrone with gluten free pasta

I used to love egg salad when I was a kid. I do love my tofu egg-less salad more tho! Especially topped on a BAS

I had one lunch date with the guy, but didn’t take a pic. We shared some edamame and I had tofu pad Thai. This was my fortune though!

FITNESS

A couple runs, weights in the garage, a spin class also in the garage, and I finally checked out the BodyPump class I’ve been meaning to try. I liked it – will let you know tomorrow how sore I may or may not be as a result!

LIFE

This has been much more low key than usual. And honestly, not sure how I feel about that.

I had the majority of last week off. I was supposed to go to DC for the DC United game with a girlfriend and a military vet related event, but life and Dorian got in the way, so I didn’t go. BUT, I kept the days off to focus on school stuff and general reading, so that was highly productive. I also went to the movies solo one day to see Angel Has Fallen. I love this series and enjoyed this most recent one too.

A gift from NS in Kenya! Adding it to my list of fun things to read

Back to school for the young one went off without a hitch. All going well so far, though it was only a 3 day week because schools were canceled in advance of Dorian on Friday.

Dorian wasn’t a major event. Some power flickers and unreliable internet, and some yard and pool clean up, but we were lucky. There was flooding and downed trees all over – just not in my neighborhood!

The weekend I stayed home and did housework and school work and grocery shopping and other fun prepping for the week.

I decided yesterday that I wanted to learn more to do with Alexa than play music, the news, and check the weather (oh, and how many days until Halloween!). So I started playing with Drop In, and my sister “called” on it! It was fun. R and I chatted with her and my niece and nephew. Totally cool. She and I also spent significant time sending each other Trump related memes this weekend. All told, good times.

Yesterday was a mini spa day for me and the wee one. She got a haircut, and I got a facial. Fun stuff.

Post haircut R!

We have a family group chat with me and my kids and my guy and BS. Silly stuff ensues. This was my recent contribution.

This week should be busy, but not horrible. It’s the last week of the term, so I have ten tons of writing to do. But can’t complain. I’m getting closer and closer to being done!

Studying outside the day before Dorian visited

Post shower snuggles

My cousin in Scotland posted. Love it.
Too early in the morning for her to get up

Sent this to the eldest last night during her ED shift. She claims she will actually say this…

Wild Child With a Bedtime

Seriously, where the heck does the time go???

FOOD

Pretty typical. At home, lots of salads, smoothies, sunbutter toast, and tofu.

I made up a batch of beets in the Instant Pot, which I really love. And there was curry, a fav salad on a lunch date with my guy at a local Vietnamese place.

Saturday night we stayed in and grilled. He did most of the cooking – I made the salad. Everything was delicious.

Sunday morning we went to brunch – hummus lettuce wraps and a fun mimosa made with a scoop of sherbet in champagne! I’m a fan.

Dinner Sunday was a full family gathering, including my son-in-law, so the 8 of us went out to a Mexican restaurant that has a full vegan menu, which is awesome.

Then I hit the road for a 4 day work trip. The IBM offices have a chef, and he made me some delightful eats. Quinoa/beet cakes, and tons of roasted veggies, whole grains, and plenty of snacks too.

I met up with a girlfriend for margaritas (mine was the picante – of course) and dinner. I had a fun vegan Cobb salad, but the bowl is made of a cucumber! Tasty and fun.

This morning was toast and lunch was a bunch of lentils mixed with BBQ on a baker. Good stuff!

FITNESS

Several runs, yoga, and some HIIT workouts – which I think I need to start doing more of!

LIFE

Time really is flying by. R heads back to school next week! She’s super excited, so I am too.

It’s been a typical week or two. School dominates a lot of my time, but in a good way. Work, kids, and as much time as my guy and I can manage too. We try to spend at least one night per week together, which is always wonderful, even if it’s just watching a movie (which was last weekend!).

I had a work trip to Cambridge, MA for the majority of this week. Very productive and I love seeing all of my colleagues on this blockchain start-up. But it was also very exhausting. Flew up Monday late, Tuesday all day meetings, met with my girlfriend Tuesday eve, meetings all day Wednesday, big group dinner that night, meetings all day Thursday, and flew home that evening. I got in late last night (about 1130) and finally fell asleep by 130.

Today was sleeping in, working out, happy hour, dinner, then school fun! Looking forward to a long weekend of cleaning, school stuff, family, and time with my baby!

R bought this for me for finishing what SHOULD be my last math-based class ever!

View when I had cocktails with S earlier this week

So I’m a wild child with a bedtime!
This is me now. I used to stay up late and sleep in. But now I’m a morning person who wants to go to bed by 830 (though I don’t actually go to sleep until 10ish)

The Not Really a Detox Review

FOOD

First, the detox story. I did 5 days of what amounted to 2 smoothies per day and one gigantic salad using the Your Super superfood mixes. All told, it went fine. I wasn’t hungry or anything. Here’s the thing though. Food should taste good, and while I certainly am a fan of super foods – not when they taste icky. And I couldn’t get past the taste of some of these, and I’m doubtful I’ll use them overly much. The package came with a few other flavors I may check out, but for now – I’ll just stick to my normal healthy eats! And honestly – for a detox, I felt no different. That is either because my normal eating is pretty clean anyway or maybe because it’s more solids than I’m used to in a detox/cleanse (usually mine have been green juice fasts). So was it a detox? In the end – not for me.

Eats post-detox included a tofu green curry lunch date with my friend MM, a simple Mac n peas, and a dinner out with my boyfriend consisting of an Impossible fajita bowl! I also did try Burger King’s Impossible Whopper! It was good, though sat heavier than I like so won’t be a regular thing, but nice to know there’s the option!

FITNESS

Runs, yoga, and kickboxing! I went for 3 runs this week, a yoga class with my young one, and kickboxing today. Feels great to not have anything injured anymore!

LIFE

As predicted, it was a pretty awesome week. Also one that was incredibly social – much more so than normal.

Monday and Tuesday were pretty typical days – work, school stuff, dinner, etc. Wednesday and Friday I took off to do school stuff. While I am not behind any official schedule, I was behind on the pace I set for myself. I don’t deal well when things like that happen, so locking myself away for 2 days to focus was exactly what I needed. And it worked – I’m feeling so much better about everything.

Wednesday I went out for drinks with a coworker, which was nice. We had talked about it for months, and finally went out. Good times.

Thursday was supposed to be checking out a new brewery with a friend, but she’s under the weather and we’ll do it another day. Good though, because I was on a roll with school stuff that night.

Friday was out with my guy, first to our fav wine bar and then to get Tex Mex and his and hers margaritas! Strawberry jalapeño for me, cherry lime for him.

Saturday was yoga with R and then out with an old friend I haven’t seen a lot of. We went to a brewery near her house I had always wanted to check out (though I don’t like to drink much beer – too heavy). We then stopped at a place she’s a local and finished catching up.

Today has been school, laundry, the gym, and pretty soon, plan to start batch cooking for the week ahead. This week will be my last normal one for a bit – travels kick back up week after next. That’s okay though, I tend to like the chaos 🙂

You know, vs the BS being spouted about them causing mass murder…