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Snowed In and Some Winter Soup

Snow Day!!!

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On Wednesday we left work early because daycare was closing early–which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We picked up the baby and got home in no time at all and I was able to work from home for a few hours. Unfortunately, a lot of people I know, and some coworkers, didn’t get as lucky. Lots of people’s commutes were 2-4 hours!! Lots of cars got stuck, crashed, people abandoned their cars and walked, some people took cabs and got gouged for outrages rates, a school bus with kids inside slid down an icy hill and crashed (everyone was ok). It was chaos! For only a few inches!

To be fair, it doesn’t snow often in Portland–usually we get hit with ice and that’s worse. But not many of us local PNW-ers are experienced driving in snow AND it’s so hilly that roads get icy and treacherous, and so the city pretty much shuts down.

Thursday work was closed and so I did a little bit of work on my laptop (when I had some, which wasn’t much) but basically I had a snow day too! YAY!

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Logan let us sleep in a bit, which was a nice bonus, and Michael made breakfast burritos. Then I worked out in my living room.

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Snowed In Workout

Warm-up with resistance bands

Push-ups: 2 sets of 10

Bicep curls with resistance band: 3 sets of 10

Chest press with 2 15 pound dumbbells: 3 sets of 10

Overhead Triceps with 2 15 pound dumbbells: 3 sets of 10

Mountain Climbers: 4 sets of 20

Kettlebell Swing with 20 pound KB: 4 sets of 10

Squats: 3 sets of 10

Plank Jacks: 4 sets of 15

Abs:

V-ups: 3 sets of 15

Toe touches with 8lb ball: 3 sets of 20

Bird Dogs: 3 sets of 10 each side

Cobra: 4 sets of 10

Glute Bridge: 4 sets of 12

Plank: 30 second hold twice

Finished up with PT exercises for back and stretching.

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Logan’s playmate works great as a workout matt, too! đŸ˜‰

I’m super happy with my home workout! Even though I was snowed in and couldn’t get to the gym–I was able to get some fitness in. I immediately felt better after working out. And trust me, it’s been a rough month and a half of being sick and my fitness being super spotty. So it was an extra bonus to work out consistently this week (despite the weather!).

Later, Michael braved the weather and picked up some groceries. He got some tomato bisque and made us grilled cheese sandwiches to go with it.

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It really hit the spot!

The rest of the afternoon I did some work, took a nap (I wasn’t feeling great still) and Logan took a nap and then I made us dinner.

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I was a vegetarian for about 10 years a long time ago. I’ve talked about it before, and how I was a terrible vegetarian. And while I’m no longer a vegetarian, I do tend to lean more towards vegetarian meals when I have to cook for myself. Thankfully I’m a little better at it these days and don’t just eat crap AND there are much better options out there for vegetarians than when I was one.

I really love Angela’s recipes at Oh She Glows. Not only is her website gorgeous, the recipes I’ve tried have been really good–even if they ARE vegan/vegetarian.

I’ve had this particular recipe for a few months now and finally made it. The snowy, cold weather just seemed fitting for a hearty soup.

Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 7 cups

Calories per serving: 282 calories

Note from author: I tried a version using light canned coconut milk and one using full-fat canned coconut milk, and I greatly prefer the full-fat coconut milk version (shocker, I know). I recommend following suit, but if all you have on hand is light canned coconut milk that’ll work in a pinch—it just won't be as rich and creamy.

From: http://ohsheglows.com/2016/04/03/glowing-spiced-lentil-soup/

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups (280 grams) diced onion (1 medium/large)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 (15-ounce/398 mL) can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 (15-ounce/398 mL) can full-fat coconut milk*
  • 3/4 cup (140 grams) uncooked red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 3 1/2 cups (875 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, to taste (for a kick of heat!)
  • 1 (5-ounce/140-gram) package baby spinach
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, or more to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, add the oil, onion, and garlic. Add a pinch of salt, stir, and sauté over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes until the onion softens.
  2. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and cardamom until combined. Continue cooking for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), entire can of coconut milk, red lentils, broth, salt, and plenty of pepper. Add red pepper flakes or cayenne, if desired, to taste. Stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a low boil.
  4. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium-high, and simmer, uncovered, for about 18 to 22 minutes, until the lentils are fluffy and tender.
  5. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach until wilted. Add the lime juice to taste. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired. Ladle into bowls and serve with toasted bread and lime wedges.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=51207

The recipe was REALLY easy. Like seriously. You can easily make this on a work night when you don’t have a lot of time. I prepped stuff (chopped onion, garlic, got all the ingredients out) and that took about 10 minutes and then I played with Logan and when it was time to really start cooking Michael took the baby and got him ready for bed.

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I used chicken broth instead of vegetable broth because neither of us are vegetarian and I kinda wanted a little more flavor in it. Other than that, I followed the recipe completely. She said you could add chard, kale or spinach. I used kale and baby spinach.

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I opened a bottle of wine and toasted some asiago bread, topping it with the garlic Irish butter.

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It was so good! It was the perfect dinner for a snowed-in day.

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It was hearty and filling and completely satisfying. I really enjoyed the dinner. (Even though I was congested from yet another cold.) Michael said it would be better with some sausage in it–maybe so. Like I said above, I am usually cool with vegetarian meals. So I don’t necessarily feel like the dish was lacking because it didn’t have meat. But you can easily add something to this and I think it would still work.

I think our dinners were about a serving and a half. I have about 3 or 4 servings of leftovers and I think it will taste even better after sitting overnight.

After dinner we watched a few episodes of WestWorld. đŸ™‚

Back to Life

…Back to reality…

Sort of! A new reality. Well, I survived my first week back to work! It was actually pretty good. Like I said before, I’m working from home three days a week and in the office two days a week for the next 90 days.

Working from home is nice. The flexibility and quiet is nice. I get a lot done. On the downside, I tend to work longer hours at home than I do when I’m in the office. But I think that’s the nature of it. Also, in some ways it’s kind of lonely at home. So it’s nice to be in the office chatting with people!

Last Wednesday was super crazy in the office. I was playing catch-up after being gone, going through the work that my temp did for me, trying to familiarize myself with cases…it felt weird to be so out of the loop on my caseload. The next day I was in the office was much better and less crazy-hectic. A few things: pumping at work is still a pain; I need to be better about eating during the day and at normal times; I did not do well with drinking water Friday like I did Wednesday; and I think part of my back issues are lugging around my pump and all the crap I have to take into work (plus picking up Logan). I need to find a better solution.

Solo Mom Life

Good news: last week Logan slept all night almost every night!

Bad news: he’s outgrown his bassinet and it’s time to move him to the pack n’ play. That was going to happen this weekend but Michael had to go up to Seattle for work at the last minute.

{Cue scary music}

I was only slightly nervous about being a solo mom all weekend for the first time. Most of me was confident. I mean, I’ve spent the last 10 weeks taking care of him all day while Michael was at work. Easy-peasy! But then a little part of me got nervous because that meant I was the solo caretaker 24/7. No breaks to go to the gym, take a nap or go grocery shopping. But it was only for a weekend.

So I guess next weekend we will try the transition into the pack n’ play.

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Saturday Logan and I went for a walk (since I couldn’t go to the gym). We did 2.78 miles and I burned 265 calories on our walk.

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Then we went to my cousin Anna’s house for some social time and snacks. She recently moved and I wanted to see her new place and she recently got engaged and I wanted to see the ring!! And have some girl talk.

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She made some delicious snacks with strawberries she picked on Sauvies Island– goat cheese, basil, balsamic reduction and strawberries on toast. It was a really tasty, light summery treat. Then we went for a walk to a nearby park and rose garden.

It was such a pretty park! And a great spot to take photos for their engagement pictures. We went for a nice walk around the park and neighborhood and then Logan and I headed home.

Sunday Logan and I went for another walk. Michael was going to be back later than expected from Seattle and it was so nice out (sunny and a warm 70) and I wanted to get out of the house (and away from social media in light of the tragedy–it was just becoming too much and I needed a break from it). So instead of doing our usual loop, we did a nearby neighborhood of hills.

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It felt good to be outside, moving, and away from the computer for a little bit. I was feeling really sad about the shooting and it breaks my heart that my baby is growing up in a world where this stuff happens. It’s all too much to take.

Anyways, Michael got home and I could have gone swimming but I decided to opt for an epic 2.5 hour nap and then went grocery shopping instead. Exciting life here! Dinner was lazy–potato salad and a rotisserie chicken from the deli.

It was nice to have Michael home again. Especially for mama’s nap time. đŸ™‚ But Logan and I survived our solo weekend and it wasn’t as hard as I was expecting!

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And Michael was clearly missed!