Tag Archives: Work

The Happiest Place on Earth is Home!

FOOD

Still mostly eating in vs going out to eat (with the exception of the last week where I was traveling).  I’ve been largely batch cooking on the weekends and eating leftovers through the week.

I’m still doing a lot of the Happy Herbivore meals, but have had a few fun ones thrown in.  Like this one!

Crissie’s Kitchen Sink Red Thai Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 packaged extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cubed
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 4 carrots, diced large
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced large
  • 1/2 onion, diced large
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. red Thai curry powder or paste (brand of your choosing, I order from The Spice House)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger root

Directions

  • Line a large skillet with a small amount of water and heat on medium high
  • add onion, garlic, and ginger.  Sautee for 3-4 minutes, until soft
  • add carrots and bell pepper.  Sautee for 5 minutes, stirring often
  • Add can of coconut milk + 1/2 can of water, tofu, and broccoli, and peas
  • Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes

Serve over rice, quinoa, or any other grain of choice (or plain, like I had it!  More soup than stir fry).

I used up all the veggies I had lying around (I was heading out on a week-long trip, so that was important), and the fun thing with curries, is you can use whatever you have.  Cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, corn, etc.  Doesn’t matter – it’s all yummy!

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I ate leftovers over quinoa I had batched cooked over the weekend

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Some other homemade eats

D is the total grill master!  He marinated portabellos and pineapple  in dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, grilled them, and used a hot pepper jelly as a spread on a burger bun.  OH MY GOSH.  So tasty!  And a side of grilled veggies.

D is the total grill master! He marinated portabellos and pineapple in dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, grilled them, and used a hot pepper jelly as a spread on a burger bun. OH MY GOSH. So tasty! And a side of grilled veggies.

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Tofurky night!

Tofurky night!

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batch cooking chowder

batch cooking chowder

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And my awesome eats from Ethos Vegan Kitchen in Orlando, Epcot, and Florida in general!

a cup of chikun noodle soup and sheep's pie!

a cup of chikun noodle soup and sheep’s pie!

potato broccoli soup

potato broccoli soup

BBQ Chikun Empanadas

BBQ Chikun Empanadas

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from a little place near my hotel where I'd stop for some fresh juice.  This was my favorite

from a little place near my hotel where I’d stop for some fresh juice. This was my favorite

smoothie selfie at Downtown Disney!

smoothie selfie at Downtown Disney!

of course I had to stop for tofu green curry at least once!  Wasn't as good as my place at home :)

of course I had to stop for tofu green curry at least once! Wasn’t as good as my place at home 🙂

FITNESS

Well, after finally reading about it for months, I broke down and bought Beach Body on Demand.  It’s honestly been awesome.  I’m working out every day either in my bedroom or my hotel.  Plus runs of course!

after a nice run outside in FL one morning

after a nice run outside in FL one morning

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after a long bike ride last weekend before I left - me and the wee one enjoying a gorgeous day

after a long bike ride last weekend before I left – me and the wee one enjoying a gorgeous day

looking sweaty and unamused.  5am is EARLY for exercise

looking sweaty and unamused. 5am is EARLY for exercise

lame attempt at a smile

lame attempt at a smile

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LIFE

Been a busy, but great two weeks.  New (and final) term for grad school started!  Lot’s of focus on entrepreneurial  processes, and it’s been really interesting so far.  As much an art as a business science.

R had her second peanut flour updose!  She’s now at 6% of 1 peanut.  Words cannot express how proud I am of her for doing this.  Her bravery shocks me – she knows how life threatening her peanut allergy is, yet this treatment protocol, if successful, will forever alter her life and take away that fear.  The process is a bit anxiety producing though.

before and during her does

before and during her does

and after as she has to wait 1-2 hours to monitor

and after as she has to wait 1-2 hours to monitor

I went to a conference for work in Orlando.  It was a really good show, but my favorite is always the volunteer work with military veterans who have recently or are soon to be transitioning.  It’s less about healthcare IT specifically and more about the culture shock.  For those in a long time, it’s learning to STOP using some language and terminology that doesn’t translate into the corporate world and to understand leadership nuance differences (such as people don’t do what you tell them just because you tell them!).  Nothing like that existed when I transitioned out of the Navy, so I love doing this for others.

I also took a side trip to Epcot and had a great time.  And while it was a great trip, the happiest place on earth is really just being back home!

they legit had a DJ!

they legit had a DJ!

how well they know us!

how well they know us!

Other than that, it’s been pretty typical.  Family, work, school, rinse, repeat.

And some extra pics of stuff, morning pictures, and fluffy buddies!

Ginny wrapped up in her toy

Ginny wrapped up in her toy

Bumble wrapped up in her blankets

Bumble wrapped up in her blankets

Kuma deciding Bumble's idea of hiding in blankets is brilliant

Kuma deciding Bumble’s idea of hiding in blankets is brilliant

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she just misses my suitcase...

she just misses my suitcase…

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I'm fairly obsessed with palm trees

I’m fairly obsessed with palm trees

Kuma put her toy against D's foot to use as a pillow

Kuma put her toy against D’s foot to use as a pillow

pure genius

pure genius

after a wet night out in Orlando

after a wet night out in Orlando

when you go to a Disney theme park by yourself and they're very curious as to why....they made me this button!

when you go to a Disney theme park by yourself and they’re very curious as to why….they made me this button!

what it looks like to hit up a theme park by yourself!  Glorious.

what it looks like to hit up a theme park by yourself! Glorious.

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cold morning walk

cold morning walk

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Have a great weekend!!

It’s Okay to be Obsessed with Cabbage

FOOD

I do have to say, it’s been non-stop eats of the whole non-processed variety!  Mostly gluten-free too (I have RA, and gluten makes it worse, so I try to avoid whenever possible).  I’m trying to be better about that!

Many of the dishes come from The Happy Herbivore, so I can’t take credit for the creation – just the eating!  As much as I like to design a great dish, I’m finding the demands on my time just don’t allow that as much as I’d like – and then I end up either skipping meals, or diving into wine, hummus, and crackers as an excuse for a meal.  So, largely letting someone else plan the dish, and all I have to do is cook and eat!

this is "chorizo" soup!  I made a huge batch on Sunday, and ate it 4 times through the week.  It's SO good.

this is “chorizo” soup! I made a huge batch on Sunday, and ate it 4 times through the week. It’s SO good.

Korean BBQ Lentils

Korean BBQ Lentils

Deep Dish Eggplant bake with tofu ricotta

Deep Dish Eggplant bake with tofu ricotta

a variation of a broccoli & hummus quesadilla.  Made the filling, but put it on a baked spud and topped with cabbage and hot sauce

a variation of a broccoli & hummus quesadilla. Made the filling, but put it on a baked spud and topped with cabbage and hot sauce

more soup, but loaded with cabbage.  Bit obsessed with that this week - digging the crunch

more soup, but loaded with cabbage. Bit obsessed with that this week – digging the crunch

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this is kale-fredo!  Made with quinoa noodles and thickened with chickpea flour to keep it gluten-free

this is kale-fredo! Made with quinoa noodles and thickened with chickpea flour to keep it gluten-free

Of course, still dig my smoothies!

I can't even recall what all was in this, but that it was super yummy and freakishly filling.

I can’t even recall what all was in this, but that it was super yummy and freakishly filling.

banana split!  I don't use protein powders often, but did yesterday.  Chocolate Vega powder, banana, strawberries, and spinach.

banana split! I don’t use protein powders often, but did yesterday. Chocolate Vega powder, banana, strawberries, and spinach.

And some quick miscellaneous eats too!

I keep a big bag of Bob's Red Mill rolled oats in my office for those days I'm REALLY rushed.  Tossed in some blueberries, and made breakfast at work.

I keep a big bag of Bob’s Red Mill rolled oats in my office for those days I’m REALLY rushed. Tossed in some blueberries, and made breakfast at work.

 

in a hurry due to exams and studying, so this is a simple baked potato topped with greens, hot sauce, and horseradish

in a hurry due to exams and studying, so this is a simple baked potato topped with greens, hot sauce, and horseradish

 

I discovered the joy of the "Steam" button on my Instant pot!  I actually had this unintentional mono-meal two days in a row!  I'm a sucker for a well done sweet potato and carrots :)

I discovered the joy of the “Steam” button on my Instant pot! I actually had this unintentional mono-meal two days in a row! I’m a sucker for a well done sweet potato and carrots 🙂

FITNESS

I pulled a muscle in my neck/shoulder, so I took it easy for a few days.  Once it felt mostly better, I added in some gentle yoga.  Eventually, it was back out for runs in the neighborhood!

LIFE

It’s been a pretty typical week, with an added level of stress due to exams.  I have one more that I hope to have mostly done today.  This one is a paper vs a sit-down timed exam.  But due Saturday, and I’d like to just get it over with!  That means Sunday marks the beginning of my last term before graduation in May!!!  And yes – I’m counting down the time.

Lot’s going on at work and on the professional front as well!

The weekend was really chill – mostly just me an R hanging out.  M worked and D was out having a spa evening on Friday, at a piano bar working on his book on Saturday, and doing all the grocery shopping and errand running on Sunday so I could focus on school stuff.

When R does her peanut flour dose, she has to be totally chill for 2 hours.  She can’t do anything that could elevate her heart rate because that can trigger a reaction.  Her chill of choice is to binge watch Hell’s Kitchen, so that’s what we do!  She totally loves Gordon Ramsey and her goal is to travel and eat at one of his restaurants.

I have the day off today because D has a colonoscopy this afternoon and I’m his designated driver.  Most readers know he has Crohn’s Disease, and this is just a check-up to see how he’s doing.  He has no symptoms of a flare or anything (which is fantastic), but it’s important to monitor every few years.

So, it’s time for me to get back to my paper before heading out to take D to his appointment!

Kuma keeping R company during a Hell's Kitchen episode

Kuma keeping R company during a Hell’s Kitchen episode

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the many naps of Kuma

the many naps of Kuma

Ginny demanding I take a break from my studies

Ginny demanding I take a break from my studies

Gin curled up on R's chair!  This is her special chair for her bass practice, but I think Ginny uses it more

Gin curled up on R’s chair! This is her special chair for her bass practice, but I think Ginny uses it more

bundled up for a cold morning walk!

bundled up for a cold morning walk!

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I got to do the #morningpicture today!!!  Of course that meant brining Kuma too :)

I got to do the #morningpicture today!!! Of course that meant brining Kuma too 🙂

 

Misadventures of a Delhi Market Trip

FOOD

I admit to not having many more food pics to share from India.  My second week there I got quite sick with “Delhi Belly”.  To be honest, it may be a very long time before I want to eat Indian food again!  More than a week later, and I’m still not 100%.  Since getting home it’s been super small meals – usually a smoothie for breakfast and a salad for lunch.  Haven’t been eating dinner.  Partly I think because my sleep is so off and I’m jet lagging hardcore.

there were a few days where I couldn't eat anything at all.  On the 4th day - I had some tomato/veg broth and plain rice.

there were a few days where I couldn’t eat anything at all. On the 4th day – I had some tomato/veg broth and plain rice.

I arrived home Sunday evening, and we were out of some of our basic groceries – and my creamy base for smoothies – bananas.  So on my way to work Monday morning, I picked up an acai green smoothie!

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After stopping at the market on my way home Monday, I was able to whip up my own smoothie this morning!  Orange, banana, pineapple, strawberry, and spinach.

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Lunch was a BAS (Big Ass Salad for newbies).  Taco style!  Romaine, iceberg, onion, cilantro, tofu, black beans, cucumber, and salsa.  Thank you Moe’s!!!

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FITNESS

I went for a run before work this morning.  Actually – my sleep is all jacked up, so I was awake at 3:30am.  After spending 45 min trying to fall back asleep, I gave up and threw on my running clothes.  I put on a pot of java and took off.  I wasn’t sure how I’d feel after not running for a few weeks and not eating much, but it was honestly fantastic.  Not sure I can make this early morning thing a habit, but I dug it this morning.

LIFE

Other than getting sick as crazy, the rest of the week was good.  We have great speakers and classes as always, but mostly it was just amazing to be with my classmates.  We don’t physically see each other except during these residencies, and I truly dig them all.

The last day, however, saw some Delhi misadventures that are funny to think about now.  It goes like this…

6 people set off to walk to a market.  Success!  Those same 6 break up into 2 Uber’s to find their way to an Old Delhi Spice Market.  This is where our heroes take an interesting turn….

BF and I were wondering if seeing dogs in clothes was a way to mark them as belonging to someone vs strays!

BF and I were wondering if seeing dogs in clothes was a way to mark them as belonging to someone vs strays!

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In Uber 1 (my uber), driver turns the wrong way down an alley.  We’re blocked in (people and cows on all sides!) and some start banging on the car.  The driver gets out, and my anxiety level starts to notch up just a bit!  Eventually, he comes back, everyone rallies around to clear the way so our driver can back out of the alley.

We get close (ish) to the market (none of us in the car actually know where we are), and traffic is so crappy he kicks us out and tells us to walk.  We have a vague idea of direction (actually, BF seemed to have an innate sense of how to get there), and off we go.  We find it, and the “spice market” is actually blocks and blocks of small shops selling tubs/bins of spices, beans, and pastas.  Lot’s of street food vendors too, and it was fun to watch.

We actually manage to find our other 3 friends (thank goodness for WhatsApp and Google Maps!) and start walking together.  We got to stop and watch a shopkeeper toss bananas in the air just to be swooped up and eaten by the baboons!

We decide that it’s time to head back.  Based on craptastic traffic and our hotel checkout time – we needed to go.  Finding a way out (i.e. – cab, etc.) started to prove impossible.  So…NS (who speaks Hindi, thank goodness!) negotiates with a gentleman to carry the 6 of us in his electric scooter/cart thing.  We are quite the spectacle as we’re all piled in something made for 4, and start bouncing down the street.  About 6 blocks later – the front tire pops, and we’re on foot once more.

After a few blocks, NS negotiates with 2 tuk tuk (auto rickshaw) drivers to ferry us back to the hotel.  We’re back in groups of three, and I think our drivers believed they were in some kind of Nascar/Death Race/Bumper Car mash-up.   When not stuck in traffic, we’re literally flying down the roads.  Keep in mind that there are very few traffic lights or signs, and it’s a “first come gets the right of way” type of environment.  And lanes are optional.

Anyway…as we’re entering a round about, JC starts yelling at me “DON’T LOOK LEFT, DON’T LOOK LEFT, HOLY S&^$”.  Of course I’m sitting on the far left and anything coming at us (which was everything from busses, trucks, cars, rickshaws, and cows) would smash right into me.  Our little rickshaw would be toast!

As we were stuck in traffic, all manner of people walked up to ask for money.  One was a particularly tenacious and hilarious little girl who kept trying to reach into JC’s inner coat pocket.

We make it back to the hotel, and EA, JC, and I immediately burst into cheers and applause.  The driver seemed both surprised and pleased.  I guess he’s not usually celebrated for getting his passengers to their destination alive…

My flight left that night.  15 hours from Delhi to Jersey.  7 hour layover there.  Then home – just to be diverted during our decent due to a disabled plane on the ground blocking the runway.  We went to Richmond, refueled, then headed home.  Finally.

I was back to work immediately the next morning, and I admit that I’m struggling with jet lag for the first time.  I’m falling asleep between 5-8, and up around 3-4.  Then feel like a zombie (other than the whole brain eating thing) by 1.  Alas, it can’t last forever!

So, just a few other miscellaneous pictures before I try to stay awake another few hours before going to bed!

one of the days I couldn't get out of bed and sent D a "feel sorry for me" selfie

one of the days I couldn’t get out of bed and sent D a “feel sorry for me” selfie

watched several movies that day.  This popped up after every commercial.  It was spoken in a highly dramatic voice.

watched several movies that day. This popped up after every commercial. It was spoken in a highly dramatic voice.

last day of class!

last day of class!

hell no.  My cats love me.

hell no. My cats love me.

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scarf shop in the hotel where more than a few of us picked up some beautiful scarves.

scarf shop in the hotel where more than a few of us picked up some beautiful scarves.

in the Delhi airport

in the Delhi airport

in the Jersey airport

in the Jersey airport

missed these two so much

missed these two so much

 

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??  🙂

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 🙂

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!)

Doofus

That’s me.  Blogging doofus.  I appreciate the understanding that life is just so hectic that I’m struggling with the blog regularly.  It’s not that I don’t think about it.  But when I do, it usually means I’d have to skip studying (which, sorry, but hell no) or sleeping (oh HELL no).  So – I’ll keep trying, but until I finish this whole grad school thing, I may continue to be a doofus.

FOOD

Happy to say that eats have been more at home and bringing to work from home than dining out.  D and I get into a pretty regular (and terrible) habit of eating out too much.  This is largely thanks to summer, because D can satisfy his urge to cook outdoors – and ends up doing most of the cooking!

first time ever actually having a veggie hot dog. Pretty darn good!

first time ever actually having a veggie hot dog. Pretty darn good!

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grilled tofu, asparagus, and corn!

grilled tofu, asparagus, and corn!

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And aside from that, lots of smoothies (current fav is vanilla, mixed berry, and fresh basil!), salads, and simple and quick meals like baked potato tacos (baked potatoes topped with beans and hot sauce), tofu stir fries, and pasta dishes.  Also – D and I are making #smoothieselfies a thing.  And yes – we actually text each other these.  He almost never reads my blog, so he has no idea you now know this 🙂

the morning of our anniversary on 6/25 as we were heading out of town

the morning of our anniversary on 6/25 as we were heading out of town

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made too thick so it became almost an ice cream breakfast!

made too thick so it became almost an ice cream breakfast!

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Of course I eat more than smoothies!  I made some pistou (similar to pesto, but no cheese or nuts and much heavier on the basil).  I used that pistou in a few dishes – my fav was just blending up about 1/2 a cup with a box of silken tofu and some nutritional yeast.  Made a creamy basil-flavored alfredo I mixed into veggies and pasta.

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I even made homemade tofu green curry for the first time!   It came out great!  Not as good as my fav Thai places, but definitely better than some I’ve had!

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notice - only pic of a meal out! Lentil soup and a vegan falafel wrap.

notice – only pic of a meal out! Lentil soup and a vegan falafel wrap.

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FITNESS

Typical mixture of running, workout DVD’s, the gym, and yoga.  To be honest, the RA is has been flaring a bit since China so the running has been less than I’d like, but I’m feeling much better and lacing up more!

I will say – I should start running in my bathing suit (or at least, having that as a base layer.  It’s been HOT and on Sunday afternoon – no kidding – I jumped into the pool in my running clothes.

just before hitting the pool in all this glory. At least I took my shoes off!

just before hitting the pool in all this glory. At least I took my shoes off!

And because I’m on a group that does post-working “prove-it” selfies, here are a couple more.  Because I know you always want to see me sweaty.

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And my little yoga spot in my bedroom.

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LIFE

Well, when you last left your heroine (okay, I’m not likely anyone’s heroine, but roll with me on this!)…

D and I celebrated our anniversary with a weekend in Williamsburg.  We had a blast and it was nice to get away (even though that was the weekend exams opened, which means I did NO studying at all).  It was worth it.

on our way home after a very good weekend

on our way home after a very good weekend

I then had 2 weeks to finish all my end of term exams, papers, and other deliverables, so I was literally in the office until 9-10 pm every day and all day all weekend after that.  Term wrapped on 7/9 and the new term immediately started.  Our school has no breaks – it’s 21 months of full time crazy!  But don’t let me fool you – I absolutely love it.  Hardest thing I’ve ever done, but everything I’m doing is exciting in some way.  And my family is so amazing that they understand why I go MIA for hours every day just to study.  Here’s the end of a chapter after a particular crazy chapter.  The first two sentences in the summary section made it all worth it though!

I went with a vodka cranberry only because I didn't have tonic water. Otherwise I'd have been all over that gin and tonic!

I went with a vodka cranberry only because I didn’t have tonic water. Otherwise I’d have been all over that gin and tonic!

R went to camp for a week and had (as usual) a total blast.  We took Kuma with us to drop her off and she promptly became the camp puppy.  D picked her up (I had class so couldn’t go), and the two of them passed out on the way home.  R and the dog.  Not D.  He was driving.

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pulling into camp!

pulling into camp!

the day before she left was just me and her having a great day together!

the day before she left was just me and her having a great day together!

And I always have to end with gratuitous pics of Bumble, Ginny, and Kuma.

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all 3. in the same space. at the same time. Ginny captivated by the ceiling, Bumble ignoring Kuma, and Kuma realizing she's being completely ignored by the two she wants to play with the most

all 3. in the same space. at the same time. Ginny captivated by the ceiling, Bumble ignoring Kuma, and Kuma realizing she’s being completely ignored by the two she wants to play with the most

rough life of a puppy.

rough life of a puppy.

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outside away from the other beasties, asleep on the porch sofa

outside away from the other beasties, asleep on the porch sofa

puppy kisses!

puppy kisses!

it was hot. I can relate.

it was hot. I can relate.

first beach trip! We couldn't walk 5 feel without people swarming her.

first beach trip! We couldn’t walk 5 feel without people swarming her.

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#fluffystudybuddy

#fluffystudybuddy

waiting for me to finally come to bed!

waiting for me to finally come to bed!

Making Eats for a Week at Once Increases Sanity

FOOD

Bulk cooking on Sunday’s really comes in handy!  I had salads and soups most days for lunch.  Lot’s of smoothies too.

I have a fridge in my office, so these are big containers.  The soup lasted 2 lunches, and the smoothie and salad in a jar were my bfast and lunch one day.

I have a fridge in my office, so these are big containers. The soup lasted 2 lunches, and the smoothie and salad in a jar were my bfast and lunch one day.

at the office and ready to start my day!

at the office and ready to start my day!

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BAS!  Romaine, tofu, lotsa veggies, and my balsamic dressing.

BAS! Romaine, tofu, lotsa veggies, and my balsamic dressing.

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Silk soy vanilla yogurt and fresh blueberries

Silk soy vanilla yogurt and fresh blueberries

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there's oatmeal buried under this dish.

there’s oatmeal buried under this dish.

I also made a home made black bean burger that was really good and has also been lasting me for days!  It was pretty simple – 1 can refried black beans, 1/2 cup cooked oats, 1/2 cup (ish) salsa, fresh chopped cilantro from my garden (about a cup), 1/4 chopped red onion, 1-2 tsp cumin, and enough coconut flour to bind it all without falling apart.  It certainly wasn’t an exact science, but I put the mixture in the fridge and have whipped up a yummy burger on demand!

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pre-cooked burger

pre-cooked burger

as a lettuce wrap topped with simple slaw (Just Mayo & rice vinegar) and a baked spud with plain soy yogurt and hot sauce.

as a lettuce wrap topped with simple slaw (Just Mayo & rice vinegar) and a baked spud with plain soy yogurt and hot sauce.

just the burger topped with more slaw and red onion.  Side dish is whole grain pasta with a green sauce of tofu, cilantro, garlic, and lemon juice, tossed with spinach, green onion, and red bell pepper.  Recipe courtesy of China Study Quick & Easy.

just the burger topped with more slaw and red onion. Side dish is whole grain pasta with a tofu-based creamy sauce, tossed with spinach, green onion, and red bell pepper. Recipe courtesy of China Study Quick & Easy.

FITNESS

This week was mostly DVD workouts because it’s been hectic.  I did get to the gym one day, just one run, and twice daily walks with Kuma.

post gym & run sweat bomb

post gym & run sweat bomb

LIFE

After my last post on Sunday, D went to the restaurant where both A and M work and hung out with them a bit.  So cool.

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and a quick one with R after he got home!

and a quick one with R after he got home!

Since it summer break right now, there’s no morning pics with D and R 😦

However, most days in the summer I’m up and gone before anyone else wakes up.  And D and I are total nerds so we send each other good morning selfie 🙂

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On Tuesday we went out to see the USA v Argentina game (we don’t have cable).  It wasn’t as painful as I feared it would be, but still sad we lost.  M and I got in our Chelsea gear to get in the soccer spirit!

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I got to see AC and E yesterday for a quick visit!  First time since AC moved to NOLA about 5 months ago.

The rest of the week was work and studies, cats and dog and general Clan mayhem!  It’s the end of the term for me at school and exams are starting through the next two weeks.  Wish me luck!

laying claim to the dog's toy

laying claim to the dog’s toy

puppy love!

puppy love!

enjoying my global economic research documents

enjoying my global economic research documents

a shot of Kuma last night to send to BF - a classmate of mine who's a major pup lover...and wanted me to name her Donut.

a shot of Kuma last night to send to BF – a classmate of mine who’s a major pup lover…and wanted me to name her Donut.

Mine and D’s anniversary is tomorrow, so we’ll be out of town most of the weekend having a good time – which I may or may not blog about 😉

Happy weekend everyone!

 

Home!! Best. Place. Ever.

Okay, so I’ve been away for the better part of a month.  Between over a week away working nights to two and a half weeks in China, I apologize for the lack of blog.  Didn’t have access in China, and was too bloody tired after working 12 hour night shifts the week+ before that!

FOOD

Let’s just say I’ve had a lot of meal’s out!  I fell in love with a little place in Harrisonburg called Clementine’s, and went there most days while I was on my work trip.

China was a mixed bag.  The concept of vegan is totally foreign, so I struggled some on the food front.  In the hotel in Shanghai, things were fine.  Beijing was a different story.  Breakfast and lunch were pretty good, but dinner usually was watermelon and pickled veggies (hey – it was in the lounge with the free drinks….don’t judge).

last meal I made before my crazy trips!  Vegan lasagna!

last meal I made before my crazy trips! Vegan lasagna!

My Harrisonburg meals…

the Harrisonburger - totally amazeballs

the Harrisonburger – totally amazeballs

cold soba noodle and tofu salad bowl

cold soba noodle and tofu salad bowl

Various eats in China!

my school made this for me - which was a lifesaver, despite the panic it caused everyone I showed it to...

my school made this for me – which was a lifesaver, despite the panic it caused everyone I showed it to…

my most typical breakfast.  A salad and rice congee.

my most typical breakfast. A salad and rice congee.

baked potato and asparagus at a western-style steakhouse one of my last nights in Beijing.

baked potato and asparagus at a western-style steakhouse one of my last nights in Beijing.

green tea soy frap.  This better be  thing in the US, because I loved it!

green tea soy frap. This better be thing in the US, because I loved it!

salad and grilled veggies

salad and grilled veggies

typical dinner - wafer cracker, watermelon, and pickled veggies.

typical dinner – wafer cracker, watermelon, and pickled veggies.

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fresh noodle bowl.  This was a regular as my lunch.

fresh noodle bowl. This was a regular as my lunch.

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veggie packed dumpling

veggie packed dumpling

more congee

more congee

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the purple thing is a steamed purple sweet potato dumpling. Kind of plain, but loved them.

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watermelon juice and coffee.  Had this every morning in Shanghai!

watermelon juice and coffee. Had this every morning in Shanghai!

FITNESS

Mostly hotel workouts – runs and yoga.  I did go for a few outside runs in Shanghai in the early mornings – which were pretty good.

I did go for one in the afternoon on the last Friday in Shanghai.  Upon which I was accosted by a man while at a stop-light (this was an area that would remind most of Times Square in NY).  He walked up, grabbed my boobs, and squeezed.  Not wanting to go to jail, I refrained from hitting him…but I did lose it epically.  I mean yelling, cursing, and cursing some more.  As one friend put it, I went “full Irish sailor” on him.  By the end of my tirade, I had about 60 expressionless Chinese nationals staring at me.

It took a few days for me to realize that this mans actions is not typical for anyone in China.  Thinking back on it, he may have been mentally disabled, etc.  In the heat of the moment though, it was hard to see rationally.  I imagine all those gawkers though that I was the one accosting him!

LIFE

Let’s see if I can explain the past month without getting too wordy.  Okay – work trip on night-shift to support a go-live.  It was great, and honestly put me on “china time” way in advance (China is 12 hrs ahead of my time zone)- to the point where I had no jet lag at all!

Then 2.5 weeks in China for my grad school residency.  Aside from classes, we had company tours, touristy tours (Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, The Great Wall), speakers (Frank Langfitt from NPR, the current chairman of the Chinese central bank, and many others), and general fun and mayhem (and hard work).

selfie in an alley market!

selfie in an alley market!

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a memory wall at The Great WAll!

a memory wall at The Great WAll!

The Great Wall!   I did yoga in a watch tower!

The Great Wall! I did yoga in a watch tower!

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mimosa's on the Great Wall because they threw up a cocktail party.  On the Great Wall.  How surreal is that??

mimosa’s on the Great Wall because they threw up a cocktail party. On the Great Wall. How surreal is that??

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me and JG in the gondola up to mountain at the Great Wall

me and JG in the gondola up to mountain at the Great Wall

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Tiananmen Square.  We were supposed to go inside, but it was shut down just prior to our arrival.  I was old enough (16 or so) to remember the massacre.  It was a heck of an emotional experience to be there.

Tiananmen Square. We were supposed to go inside, but it was shut down just prior to our arrival. I was old enough (16 or so) to remember the massacre. It was a heck of an emotional experience to be there.

marching soldiers.

marching soldiers.

Chairman Mao

Chairman Mao

The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City

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The Great Leap brew put after the Forbidden City!

The Great Leap brew put after the Forbidden City!

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Shanghai skyline through the rain and smog

Shanghai skyline through the rain and smog

Went to the Jade Buddha Temple with JG and OPR.  It was amazing.  Got to see monk’s celebrating some rite with their faithful.

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Other random pics

N's 40th bday celebration!

N’s 40th bday celebration!

Shanghai skyline through the rain and smog

Shanghai skyline through the rain and smog

the urban planning museum

the urban planning museum

a scale rendering of Shanghai

a scale rendering of Shanghai

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the marriage market where parents go to display the info of their marriageable children.  Posted on umbrellas are vital stats like height, weight, education, annual salary, and home/car ownership status.

the marriage market where parents go to display the info of their marriageable children. Posted on umbrellas are vital stats like height, weight, education, annual salary, and home/car ownership status.

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the national liquor that MM picked up.  Highly potent!

the national liquor that MM picked up. Highly potent!

it's a red Wi-Fi tardis

it’s a red Wi-Fi tardis

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train station - bigger than my airport!

train station – bigger than my airport!

me and JG on the bullet train from Shanghai to Berlin

me and JG on the bullet train from Shanghai to Berlin

D sent flowers to my hotel in Shanghai for Mother’s Day!  I took a selfie with them 🙂

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I got my morning picture every day too!  This became a highlight of a couple classmates and professors too!

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I missed my big girl’s birthday!  21!  D took her and the kids out to dinner where A ordered her first drink.  Vodka lemonade 🙂  She also moved into an apartment with 3 other people while I was away.  Not sad that I missed having to help on moving day though 🙂

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And…we got a puppy!  They brought her to the airport when I landed last night.  Her name is Kuma!  We batted many around (Rio, Coco, Freya, Shiro, Tsuki, and a few others).  Ultimately, my friend and classmate (and little brother if I ever had one) JN’s wife CN came up with the name!

as soon as D picked her up!

as soon as D picked her up!

trip home

trip home

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nap time!

nap time!

hi, I'm Kuma!

hi, I’m Kuma!

afraid of the dishwasher

afraid of the dishwasher

chilling on the bed

chilling on the bed

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And cats….

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And I’m going to stop you before I post any more pictures, and go to bed because I have to work tomorrow.  So far, no jet lag, but here’s hoping it doesn’t flatten my tomorrow!