Jambo Friends!!

FOOD

What a busy week! Mostly excellent on the food front too.

Of course smoothies, salads, and my sunbutter/banana sprouted grain toast. But I also had a vegan houseguest for the past 4 days, so that was fun too!

I made a big batch of rice and lentil stuffed bell peppers for the week.

Thursday I made red beans with vegan andouille sausage, rice, and corn bread. Forgot to snap a pic of it tho!

For a BBQ party on Friday I made a big batch of pasta salad and a southwestern spicy rice salad that both went over well.

Saturday morning NS (my friend and guest visiting all the way from Kenya!) and I went to Yorgo’s Bageldashery where I shared my fav quick vegan breakfast – the Peterman wrap – and some fresh juices.

Sunday morning a bunch of us grabbed brunch at Bay Local where we split a hummus appetizer and a hummus/veg lettuce wrap. He also had avocado toast – which I skipped due to the whole allergy crap.

Sunday night I made orange “chicken” with soy curls. It was amazing if I do say so myself.

Smoothies this morning, and then a last lunch outing before taking NS to the airport. We went to Orapax because they have a huge vegan menu. We got a pizza to split as an appetizer (it wasn’t awesome), the Athenian “chicken” wrap to split (which was very good), and the Mediterranean Beyond Meat burger (which was ok), rosemary fries, and Greek potatoes. Holy stuffed, Batman. The beyond meat burger was a request because it is not available in Kenya. Neither of us were thrilled with it, so at least he knows he’s not missing out!

FITNESS

Gentle yoga and that’s it. It seemed to be getting better, and then over the weekend it sucked. Ugh. I’m literally to the point where I’m just going to go for a run and if I make it without wanting to cry, I’m good.

LIFE

Well, the week started off really busy. I had to get all my work AND school work done by mid-day Thursday. That meant a few late nights and early mornings and zero free time, but it was worth it fully.

Thursday evening NS arrived! One of our good friends was retiring from the Navy after more than 24 years of service (plus his naval academy years) and the masses were gathering. NS came as a surprise – and it was priceless. He and I had been planning for several months, and it was just perfect.

Thursday evening was quiet at home. My boyfriend and BS came over (they met NS in Florida last year) and them, NS, and two of mine hung out for a bit. Not late since NS had just traveled for 30 odd hours to get here, but it was still awesome.

Friday was the retirement ceremony, a ship tour (which I skipped – been there, stationed on them!), then swimming and drinks at my house until going to MM (our naval retiree honoree) for the BBQ with 60+ people. We got home around midnight and crashed.

My girl touring the ship with my friends

Saturday was a beach day followed by a sunset dolphin watching cruise – and there were TONS of dolphins. No awesome shots because the ride wasn’t smooth, but it really was awesome. I skipped the after party (I was wiped), but NS got to hang a bit longer and just uber’d back to my house.

If you look really closely, you can see dolphins

Sunday was brunch with some of the crew and then NS and I went grocery shopping then back to my house where we watched two of my fav veggie documentaries. NS has been pretty much a lifelong vegetarian, but went vegan at the beginning of the year (and LOVES it). We did a lot of Amazon prime shopping for things he can’t easily get back home and just spent a lot of time talking about changing how he cooks, etc. It was really fun to share what I’ve learned after the long time I’ve been vegan.

Sunday night was just dinner with me, NS, and all 3 of my kids. It was a ton of fun and hilarious and I loved that NS could share what a typical crazy dinner in my house is like. Lots of stories, jokes, music, and laughter.

Today was low key. We had our coffee on the back porch and talked – like we had every morning he was here. It is my favorite part of the morning – just sitting outside early and drinking coffee. He brought me two bags of coffee from Kenya, so we definitely indulged in that (the “right” way in a French press and not the drip maker!).

Our friend BR came over with 3 of his kids to visit for a while. Then it was off to lunch and then the airport to say goodbye – for now. I’m really hoping to take R and go visit next spring. Will depend on a few things of course, but I really want to see Kenya.

So – this is why I’ve been a bit absent this last week. It’s been a very busy and wonderful time, and I cannot get over how lucky I am to have so many great friends in my life.

Back to business this week, but with an incredibly happy heart.

Crissie the Dessert Fairy 🧚‍♀️

FOOD

It has been a really good week, and I was better than I have been in months on meal prep. Helps that I’m actually home and didn’t have classes, but still. Yay me.

Lots of smoothies.

I don’t use my Tribest personal blender often enough – but my Vitamix was dirty from making cake batter. I forget how good this little thing is – as long as I skip the greens

And I’m a huge fan of this quinoa bowl with a splash of coconut milk, blueberries, bananas, and sunflower seed butter.

Any longtime reader knows of my love of Ezekiel toast with sun butter and sliced bananas!

Since I had made a big batch of quinoa, I also had a black bean salad.

And some chickpea “fakin-tuna salad” wraps too.

Wednesday night my boyfriend and I and 3 of our kids went out to eat and I had pasta arrabbiata that I ate for dinner again later in the week.

Friday I had popcorn and dole whip – I know – not the healthiest, but I was at a theme park…

Saturday my guy and I went out and we shared a hummus platter and then I got a vegan chicken parm. Not the greatest presentation, but it was yummy – though the veggie side looked like a sad afterthought. Definitely more than I could eat, so took the leftovers back to his place for lunch the next day…which I forgot about 🤦🏻‍♀️

This morning we went out for breakfast. I had the tofu scramble, vegan sausages, dry toast, and grits. Ate about 1/2 again, but it was tasty. Their Bloody Mary, on the other hand, was NOT tasty. Tomato juice and sake. Eww….

FITNESS

Yoga, and not every day either. It’s killing me how badly I want to go for a run. Ugh. Stupid back.

LIFE

Overall, quite an excellent week. Tuesday I had my doctor’s appt for my back. Basically – she thinks the muscles have just seized up so badly, nothing is helping (ie – Motrin), and it is not resolving on its own. She put me on prednisone and flexeril. Though I have not taken the latter because it makes me loopy and I have no time for that. However, after being admonished yesterday by the guy, I guess I’ll take it maybe around bedtime. Though I don’t like the idea of being out of it then either – what if something happens and I’m too loopy to deal with it? Ugh. Stupid back.

Wednesday morning I had my labs drawn (figure I may as well get all my normal yearly labs done). Let’s just say when I got to the office the admin had to get me the first aid kit since I was still bleeding. Nothing the phlebotomist did wrong, I tend to have a low platelet count for some reason.

Thursday was the 4th of July, and the guy and his youngest came over for some grilling and pool time. It was really nice. They left early though, and I was in bed by 930!

Friday I stopped at my guys house in the morning briefly for another cake delivery (apparently the youngest didn’t get enough the last time – or maybe any, I’m not sure if the other 2 ate it all or not!). I’m starting to feel like the dessert fairy, though that’s okay. They’re worth it.

My coursework opened, and I got that organized. It’s going to be a busy term, but I’m looking forward to it. Last term before it’s strictly just research & writing until graduation.

In the afternoon around 3, R and I went to Busch Gardens to have fun and watch fireworks. Apparently the 2 days of only taking half of my meds didn’t work as well as I had thought they were. A few hours in and I was starting to hurt. Pushed through, but perhaps it was a bit premature to hike around for hours and ride rollercoasters! But the fireworks were beautiful and the company wonderful and made it all worthwhile.

Funny though, we got home late – around 1130 – and I notice the bathroom door in my bedroom is closed. Odd. I open it…to find this….M apparently was having fun home alone 🙂

Saturday morning was a nail appointment and then a couples massage, dinner, and then an afternoon of drinks and walking around and ogling at sailboats. Quite the awesome day.

This morning we woke early and went to breakfast. Then I studied a bit until the match started. It was tense, but awesome to see the US take another World Cup! Then it was time to go, hit up the store, and grab my eldest from the airport!

Sent this to my sister – who is a law librarian. 🤣🤣

Can I Get a Hell Yeah?

FOOD

So awesome having my kitchen again. I feel like I neglect her some when I’m home, but when I’m away, I miss her dearly!

I know it’s only been two days, but I’ve been a busy bee in the kitchen

Breakfast yesterday was some overnight oats made with coconut, cinnamon, and mango.

Lunch was a simple quinoa and black bean salad, and for dinner I made Kung Pao tofu with orange sauce.

This morning I had a qunioa dish with coconut milk, blueberries, banana, and sunflower seed butter that was really delicious.

Lunch I made a chickpea “not-tuna” salad wrap. Dinner was a lentil and kale soup that was not soupy at all and more of a stew.

FITNESS

Still just yoga but I was literally twitching to go on a run. Good think I have my Dr appt tomorrow because I’m going bananas.

When all better though, the young one and I are going to do some Muay Thai kickboxing! I used to do it ages ago, but it is really pricey. Single mom, I try to cut down on things like that, but got a great groupon deal, so we’re both really stoked!

LIFE

I had a really great and chill weekend. Will be the last one of those for a bit! Saturday I did the meal planning and grocery shopping and stopped at my boyfriends house for a little bit to visit. M had some friends over and they and R played in the pool while A looked on and I grilled dinner.

Hoping I’d drop something. It’s possible I gave her a baby potato or two after they cooled down…

Sunday was also low key. Another quick morning visit at my guys house (to deliver dessert I made), but didn’t stay but a few minutes. I honestly spent much of the day either in or next to the pool reading (yay, Kindle Oasis!). Ran a few errands, finished laundry, and cleaned and meal prepped for the next couple of days.

I went to bed early because I needed to leave to take A to the airport at 6. Unfortunately getting into bed early does not = sleep. It was midnight before I fell asleep. 5 hours is usually plenty and I’ve been fine, but it’s still annoying.

Then I picked up java and had that with my boyfriend before getting to the office by 730. Busy day, but great. Flew by. Totally awesome and random though was my VP of strategy asking if I want to accompany him on a site visit – to the hospital system where one of my very best friends works! Um. Can I get a hell yeah? Excited for the reason to go, but not gonna lie – more excited that I get to visit her and her fam.

And I had better appreciate the last of the chill days for awhile since school starts up again next week and the following weekend tons of friends from all over are converging here to celebrate the naval retirement of one of our friends. But, there are worse problems to have then a bunch of really great friends getting together to celebrate!

Okay, so I’m not sure Luna always knows how to be a cat. Like I put an open box on the floor and she looks at it, sniffs, and walks away. I chalk this up to her spending her first year of life living in a cage at the shelter, and now that it’s been 6 months here (as of Saturday), she did her first real cat thing! SITTING ON MY KEYBOARD. In a strange way, I was proud.

Business humor, but I did sent this to my guy who thought it was funny.

ME EVERY DAY. FYI, I’ll ignore vendors who persistently spell it wrong.

A

Hey, What Are You Doing Down There?

FOOD

I was home for two days before another trip to Chicago. But honestly, it’s the last planned trip for months, which is nice. I enjoy traveling, but miss being home where all the people I love are.

Eats at home included smoothies, salads, a silken tofu-based Alfredo with peas, sunflower seed buttered Ezekiel toast with bananas, and a tofu stir fry.

While in Chicago, had some yummy Mexican food with the crew I was with and then a solo adventure at The Franklin Room, which I’ve been to before and enjoy.

Breakfasts were typical travel fare – bagels, oatmeal, and fruit primarily.

After I landed I had lunch with my boyfriend, and I had the red curry Thai bowl with hot peppers. Very yummy dish.

My guy and I are regulars at a particular spot on Virginia Beach. The menu is pretty decent, though not very robust on the vegan front. Well our bartender happens to mention that to the chef – who decides to basically go vegan – especially while eating out – to better understand the challenges. First of all, how cool is that?!? Anyway, it’s been 2 months now and apparently he’s loving it. He made me a vegan po boy that was amazing. So stoked to see what else he comes up with! After, we went for ice cream!

This morning was a fav – sunflower seed butter, Ezekiel toast and bananas!

FITNESS

Like I mentioned in my last post – just yoga. It’s mostly been fine, though my back is still bothering me. I have a Dr. appt on Tuesday, though I think I’ll end up going to a chiropractor. It’s strange because sometimes it is really painful, and sometimes it barely registers. Frustrating though because I want to run and kickbox and do other fun stuff.

But Luna enjoys it 😊🐱

LIFE

Another whirlwind week. Last weekend was pretty chill. Cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, and packing.

Monday I went to work for half the day and then went home to finish packing and head to the airport. Flight was delayed a few hours though, which sucked. But it did give me time to figure out the Harry Potter Wizards Unite game. Which I have to say I’m having fun with!

The flight itself was fine once we finally took off (and that was after an hour sitting on the tarmac). Free wine though, so bonus! At one point I opened my window and saw another jet flying to my left and going under us. And for some reason, all I could think is “hey, what are you doing down there?”. It was pretty though.

Landed in Chicago where we taxied in circles for an hour trying to find a gate to park at. All told it was a pain in the but and freakishly late by the time I got to my hotel. Oh well, can’t control weather (Chicago had some wicked storms) and I got there safely.

The meetings I was there for all went really well and I’m really pleased with the progress we’re making. We had beautiful weather and I got to walk in the city quite a bit. After meetings ended on Wednesday I walked over to another firm I work with and spent some time there before heading to The Franklin Room.

My guy and I are not-so-low-key obsessed with boats at the moment. Sail boats honestly, but took this anyway because she’s pretty

I flew home on Thursday, had lunch with my boyfriend, and then went home. Went to bed really early (slept like poo for several days – my hotel had the worst pillows!). Work yesterday, then to the bar for the game and dinner. Looking forward to several weeks at home!

School kicks in again at the end of next week, and I’m looking forward to it. Especially since I got some new statistical software!

Hi My Name is Crisis

FOOD

My first day home from being on the road started with a smoothie. Naturally.

Other eats at home included a creamy mushroom stroganoff dish and a big batch of Venezuelan black beans and rice.

I wasn’t home long before it was back on the road again! Eats out included tofu green curry (of course), pastas (because vegan while traveling usually means too much pasta!), and lots and lots of breakfast salads!

Also had a very unique veggie fajita dish, Tom Kar soup with tofu, and a latte with oat milk – which was really delicious. Now I have to make some!

FITNESS

When I was home, it was runs and yard work. This past week while traveling was yoga and two runs. I seriously did something to my back and I’m annoyed. It’s not freakishly debilitating or anything, but I think I’m going to do a ton of yoga in the coming weeks and see how it goes.

LIFE

First part of really awesome news. MY RESEARCH TOPIC IS APPROVED! I’m super excited (obviously). I have a couple week break before class starts up again. Next term’s focus is on research methodology and planning what my research approach will be, as well as continuing researching and writing my literature review. So yeah. Proud moment for me!

A couple weeks off doesn’t mean I’m slacking on the job though. I make a point to review at least one article/study per day as well as reading a book one of my execs gave me – and I’m really liking it. Pay no heed to the matching pen and highlighter colors (I’m cool like that).

Work was good this week. Got a lot done, which was nice. Also decided to brush up my French and have been reading or watching something in French for at least a little bit each day! Namely, Harry Potter for reading and a TV show on Netflix called Mauvaises Herbes (Bad Seeds).

I was taking an Uber to a yoga studio and when I got in the car, the guy called me crisis. Um. I get Cassie sometimes and maybe the spelling of my name is a bit different (thanks, ma), but crisis? Who would call their kid that?

We spent some time at a cute wine bar this week as well as an evening for Darden grads in what was supposed to be a rooftop party, but it was raining. 30th floor with a fun view was good enough! The best part though was the spontaneous arrival of a classmate from Taiwan who happened to be in town for just one night. Talk about lucky! Always great to catch up with classmates and meet new people too.

Of course there were other fun libations as well.

Then it was back home to these two snuggle bunnies.

And other fun things spotted out and about.

Sent a pic of this to my daughter – and we’ve decided on a LOTR and Hobbit marathon this weekend!

Sent this to my Irish fam – and yes, this is a vegan blog, and no, I didn’t go in or anything, but doesn’t mean I can’t find humor in it.

She Devil

FOOD

Lunch on Monday I went out and had tofu green curry! Shocker, I know. Dinner was beer and popcorn 🙂

Met my guy after work for a couple beers since we hadn’t seen each other much lately

Tuesday I had a day road trip for work. I stopped at Wegman’s in Woodbridge, VA for a breakfast salad. On the way home I admit – I stopped at Taco Bell. Traffic was a nightmare and I just wanted to get home! (It was 8 hrs of driving + 2 hrs of meetings). I generally dislike anything fast food quite a lot since there’s literally no nutritional value at all and helps contribute to the widening waistlines of the world, I do admit sometimes (tho rarely) it’s the only option. Had I used my normal purse, I’d have had granola bars in it that I would’ve had instead.

Wednesday I had a salad for brunch from our new Wegman’s. I have to say – I may not need to go to Whole Foods ever again! One of my big complaints about the Virginia Beach Whole Foods is that their salad bar rarely has any vegan proteins on it, like tofu or tempeh. Wegman’s does. It was awesome. While I didn’t snap a pick, I had a breakfast salad there on my way home this morning also.

Other meals this week were grilled fun, smoothies, pizza, and about half of this awesome burrito made with Impossible meat! Also baked some banana bread for the kidlets.

Never had this one before, but I really liked it

Quick lunch at Brixx pizza! Love they have vegan cheese options

FITNESS

Managed to squeeze in two runs and one bedroom yoga session (and no, that’s not a euphemism – I really did a yoga class in my bedroom).

LIFE

When I got home from my residency Monday morning (about 1am), I discovered that my boyfriend came over and installed my new dishwasher as a surprise! Mine died a bit ago, and I frankly got tired of hand washing them. It was an amazing surprise.

On the school front, it was a bit chaotic, but lower intensity than normal. My guess is our professors were giving our brains a chance to relax after residency last week.

On the work front, it was really busy, but good. Tuesday I had a day trip to DC to speak about blockchain in healthcare to a Federal Services advisory group. It was a really excellent discussion and a lot of fun.

Though, as I’m stuck on 395 trying to get out of the city, I check Facebook. And what do I see? This post from my sister. FYI, she lives in Wisconsin…

So I text her. And SHE WAS IN DC AT THE SAME TIME AS ME. Most disconnected sibling award goes to….? US. Ugh. Good thing I’ll be in Chicago in a couple weeks and will drive up to see her. Because I’m a good sister 😏. All kidding though, I live 3 1/2 hrs from DC and there’s no way she’d think I’d be there mid-week when she’s only there overnight. But still. Crazy.

Busy week otherwise. Work and a plumber to install a new kitchen sink. All good things though. Oh, and I also figured out how to use my pressure washer on Wednesday! Been sitting in my shed for 2 years unused. Last year I just hired someone, but its silly to have one and not use it. And I was sick of the pollen, so M and I figured it out (YouTube helped). Which means I was able to enjoy my coffee on the back porch this week!

Friday night my guy and I went out to one of our fav spots. Saturday morning I went home and worked on school stuff for most of the day. My girls went to some curiosity fair together in the morning and also picked up some plants for the garden. After they got home, we went out to get the remainder of the plants and then A finished all the planting!

Late that afternoon went back, we went out to dinner, and then up to the Eastern Shore to our fav cider place. It’s actually in Richmond, but they have a tasting room on the bay too, and that’s closer. Not as much selection since it’s not where the ciders are brewed, but still awesome.

And funny enough – we ran into one of my girlfriends and her husband! My guys son always says I have friends everywhere (I’m a lucky girl), but even this was funny. So they joined us and then we went to a distillery for a couple drinks before going back home. Awesome night.

My fav! The Resolution
The She Devil. Also good, and VERY spicy

I hit up the grocery on my way home this morning and have otherwise had a really peaceful Sunday and lovely Mother’s Day with my kids! I got a spa gift card for a Mother’s Day package (massage, facial, hair appt), and a beautiful crystal lotus. I have a love of them – after all I have a tattoo of one on my inner arm. It has a very personal meaning for me, so I’m totally thrilled with it.

Spotted on my drive to DC. I admit – I don’t get the appeal of trucks like this unless you have a business that requires hauling heavy stuff!

My morning java on my guys porch yesterday!

Lazy bear staring at us upstairs but not wanting to put in the effort to join us

BS made a playlist he shared – so I was jamming to it while making banana bread today!
I feel like I should make business cards with this and just hand them out to people when they learn I’m vegan

Will be another busy week. I fly out tomorrow morning for another blockchain panel discussion, but this time for a healthcare audience. I’m excited to see one of my girlfriends who lives where I’m heading – she’ll be my date on Tuesday night at an event at the Botanical Gardens!