30 Days of Vegan - What I Ate - Week IV

Breakfast: Granola with almond milk and earl gray tea with sugar
Snack: Pita chips and hummus
Lunch: Veggie burgers
Dinner: Stir fry with soba noodles and tofu
Sweet Treat: 3 Oreos with almond milk

Breakfast: Granola with almond milk and earl gray tea with sugar
Lunch: Whole wheat pasta with peppers, onions and tomatoes
Dinner: Baked vegetable egg rolls 

Breakfast: Toast with honey
Snack: Popcorn, pita chips and hummus
Dinner: Whole wheat Naan with Punjab eggplant and Pav Bhaji
Sweet Treat: Two vegan peanut butter cookies

Breakfast: Toast with honey
Snack: Tortilla chips with chili
Lunch: Lentil soup
Dinner: Pizza with garlic sauce, caramelized onions, butternut squash and apples
Sweet Treat: Two vegan peanut butter cookies

So, wondering what happened to the rest of the week? Well, although we set out to do 30 days of vegan, my birthday happened to fall on the 27th day. So, I decided that ending our vegan challenge at a nice even 25 days would allow me to indulge on my birthday guilt free. What did I indulge in? Well I didn't go out and eat a bacon double cheeseburger (even though I wanted to, and still might), instead we attended a beer and chocolate tasting with lots of chocolate (more on that soon).

I'll be back soon with another post to wrap up these 30(25) Days of Vegan. Including how we felt, if we lost any weight and how we're planning on eating from now on. Stay tuned.



image via Kiki La Rue
 It's my 26th birthday today, and I've spent some time reflecting on the past year. Sometimes when you look back on a year, it seems to have gone by so fast, yet so slow at the same time. Somehow things feel like a lifetime ago and like yesterday at the same time. I will definitely not forget how I rang in 25 with two buck chuck and Jameson followed by the worst headache ever and days of lingering nausea. But 25 has been great; met with new decisions, beliefs and opinions all shaped by different people and different experiences. It seems I've finally gotten to the point where I am able to freely create and maintain the life that makes me the happiest, that I'm able to "design" my life for me and my family. I've felt more than ever like I'm beginning to become the person I will be for the rest of my life. We all go through our 20s trying to discover ourselves, often with relationships and education, jobs and homes. I've had another blissful year with my husband, full of laughter, understanding, and love. Everyday Olive does something that makes me laugh and love her even more. Mike always says that if we could love a dog this much, imagine how much we'll love our children. This past year I started my nursing program, with the belief that it will be the one thing left to finish before I get my life to where I truly want it to be. I've learned that nursing is the best fit for me and it allows me to to channel my sometimes inconvenient emotions. Where I often care or dwell on things that don't matter, I'm able to instead be a compassionate and understanding nurse. I do my best to no longer wait for my life to "start", is if having everything where I want it to be will somehow bring about this inner peace and calm, a perfect place where my house is always clean, the laundry is always done and I look stylish and put together everyday. Instead remembering to enjoy and appreciate everyday. To live in the now instead of in the future. Here's to 26.


Everyday Style

Everyday style is about using everyday objects as an opportunity to use something beautiful and meaningful. It's not about buying the most expensive or trendy items, it's thinking about the purchases we make to really suite our style, values, and lives. From vintage, to green, from practical to pretty, I'm constantly finding beautiful things on the web and wanted a feature to share those things.

One of the features of everyday style is the use of objects in place of conventional items. Like a  vintage wicker basket instead of a plastic laundry basket. I used to love things "made for things", like a plastic onion keeper to store onions, when we could all just as easily use one of our many containers. That thinking always ends up with even more things. My thoughts now focus on multi-use items that have form as well as function.

For my first everyday style roundup: Pencils. Some are ecofriendly, while others are just whimsical. Enjoy.

Highlighter pencil - Stubby Pencil Studio

 Mini Wood Pencils - Beau Coup

Mustache Pencils - ModCloth

Mums the Word Washi Coated pencils - Maoiliosa

Recycled Newspaper Pencils - TreeSmart

If you have a request for a roundup of everyday style items, leave a comment below or shoot me an email: amynonymous@gmail.com


30 Days of Vegan - What I Ate - Week III

Breakfast: Two pieces raisin toast with earth balance margarine
Lunch: Leftover pasta with spinach in a lemon sauce
Dinner: Eggplant lasagna
Sweet Treat: Homemade peanut butter cup

Breakfast: Graham crackers and almond milk w/ earl grey tea with Sugar in the Raw
Lunch/Dinner: Panera black bean soup in a bread bowl (I always study at Panera)
Snack: Potato chips
Snack: Graham crackers with almond milk

Breakfast: Eggplant lasagna (don't judge)
Snack/Lunch: Chips with corn and tomatillo salsa
Dinner: Jimmy johns veggie sandwich
Sweet Treat: Two homemade peanut butter cups

Breakfast: Toast with honey, orange
Lunch/Snack: Tortilla w/earth balance margarine and sugar
Snack: Popcorn
Dinner: Pizza with white bean sauce and veggies

Breakfast: Granola and almond milk
Lunch: Whole wheat pasta with white bean sauce
Dinner: Chipotle burrito bowl w/iced tea

Breakfast: Granola with almond milk
Snack: Pita Chips
Lunch: Subway Veggie Patty sub with vinegar/oil and a Diet Coke
Dinner: Homemade pizza with grilled veggies and soy cheese and panzanella salad
Sweet Treat: 3 Oreos (yes, they're vegan) with almond milk

Breakfast: Granola with almond milk and earl grey tea with sugar
Lunch: Leftover grilled veggie pizza
Snack: Potato chips and pita chips with hummus
Dinner: Whole wheat pasta with peppers, onions and tomatoes
Sweet Treat: 3 Oreos with almond milk

*Protein brought to me by: black beans, cannellini beans, almond milk, veggie patties, soy cheese, peanut butter, whole wheat pasta, hummus, asparagus, and corn.


Etsy Love - Vintage

I've recently "discovered"  and fallen in love with all things vintage. I always had a fear of old, used items, but as I've grown up, become a bit more sentimental and focused on the merits of re-use, I've discovered that good vintage finds are not only unique and beautiful, but also contemporary in styling. Etsy has so many beautiful, found items for home accessories.

Vintage Seventy Five - Wood and Metal Dairy Crate - $32

Shaving Kit Supplies - Vintage Le Creuset French Oven - $60

The Old Red Hen - Vintage Milk Glass Compote - $18

The Creek House - Mid Century Platter - $32

Silenced DoGoods - Vintage Wire Egg Basket - $25

Cadavredeamour - Vintage Leather Camera Bag - $162


30 Days of Vegan - What I Ate - Week II

Breakfast: Toast with almond butter and earl grey tea with demerara sugar
Lunch: Pita chips with tabouli
Dinner: Stir fry with tofu and udon noodles

Breakfast: Toast with almond butter
Lunch: Panera Mediterranean Veggie sandwich with potato chips with an iced tea
Dinner: Udon noodles
Snack: Multigrain crackers
Snack: Popcorn with smart balance

Breakfast: Toast with honey*
Lunch: vegan chili
Snack: bowl of vegetable noodle soup
Dinner: Portobello burgers
Sweet Treat: Strawberry and Chocolate Sorbet

Breakfast: Toast with almond butter
Lunch: Vegan chili
Dinner: Greek pizza with hummus, red onion, banana peppers and beets
 Sweet Treat: Strawberry and Chocolate Sorbet

Breakfast: Raisin toast with earth balance margarine
Lunch/Dinner: Strawberry pancakes with hashbrowns
Snack: Popcorn w/earth balance

Breakfast: Peanut Butter and strawberry preserves on multigrain bread with raspberry tea w/demerara sugar
Snack: Multigrain crackers
Lunch: Quinoa
Sweet Treat: Whole wheat tortilla with earth balance and evaporated cane sugar
Dinner: Whole wheat pasta with spinach in a lemon caper sauce

Breakfast: Peanut Butter and strawberry preserves on multigrain bread w/Naked mango madness juice
Snack: Multigrain crackers
Lunch/Dinner: Falafel with hummus and pita
Sweet Treat: 1 homemade peanut butter cup

*Some vegans do not eat honey, and a quick Google shows it's debatable.

This weeks protein brought to me by; beans (black, garbanzo), mushrooms, peanut butter, almond butter, almond milk,  whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, alfalfa sprouts, hummus, quinoa, spinach, and tofu

This weeks calcium brought to me by; almond butter, almond milk, and calcium fortified OJ, spinach

Check out what I ate for Week I of 30 Days of Vegan

Questions or comments? Fill out the form below or send me an email: amynonymous@gmail.com


Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Happy Valentine's Day! This year, Valentine's Day happens to fall smack dab in the middle of 30 Days of Vegan, but I knew there was no way I could go without a sweet treat. So, after seeing this recipe over on Design Sponge, I knew it would be the perfect way to indulge in a decadent Valentine's day treat without cheating.

What you need:
1/4 c. crushed graham crackers
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 c. peanut butter
3 c. chocolate chips
cupcake liners

Melt 1.5 cups chocolate chips in a double boiler, or a metal bowl atop a pot, or a bowl in the microwave.

Using a spoon, dollop in about a tablespoon full of chocolate into each cup.

This part takes some finesse. While the chocolate is still warm, swirl it around the cup to coat the side. You could also use a spoon or pastry brush, but this way the cup is nice and evenly coated.

After all the cups are coated, pop them in the fridge for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining 1.5 cups of chocolate and mix together the PB, powdered sugar and graham cracker...

Until it looks something like this

Take out the cups out of the fridge, they should be nice and solid. Divide the peanut butter into 12 evenly sized bowls (we did this on a plate)...

Then put them in the cups and flatten them down with your fingers.

Cover them with the remaining chocolate and pop them back in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

They come out looking like this. I was surprised how easy they were to put together and how beautiful they turned out.

What sweet treats are you enjoying this Valentine's Day?


Valentine's Day

The blogosphere has been loaded with sugary valentines day sweetness for the past few weeks and although I prefer the surprise gift to the bought you a gift because it's a holiday gift, I've still found myself becoming enamored with some of the chic little gifts and DIY decor.

Glass Heart Necklace from Clayton Gray Home

Arrow Ring from Miju

Definitely feeling some homemade truffles, vegan, of course as Valentine's falls right smack dab in the middle of 30 Days of Vegan. I'm excited to try the ones below because they don't have any sugar, but instead use dates for sweetener. Now where the hell do I get dates?

Chocolate Truffles from Green Kitchen Stories

Some DIY decor and other loveliness

 Personalized Flower Wrap from Tokketok Via You Are My Fav

Heart Garland from Aesthetic Outburst

Valentine's Fruit Stickers from Twig & Thistle

Even more Valentine's Day Cuteness:
DIY playing card valentines



Sick Day - Noodle Soup

I noticed a teeny, tiny, scratchy throat during lecture last night and by this morning I felt all congested, sore throated and miserable this morning. Nothing sounded better than some soup, so I figured I'd whip up a batch. This is a simple soup, so this tutorial is not to insult anyone's intelligence, but to provide a guide for those who are not so inclined in the kitchen.

First, assemble your supplies. In French this is called a Mise en place and means "everything in it's place" it's makes cooking much more efficient.

The base of almost any soup is usually a mixture of celery, onion and carrot and is called a mirepoix. I didn't have any celery and used olive oil instead of butter as well as added some mined garlic which makes this a soffritto which is the Italian version of a mirepoix  

  • Mince about 3 cloves of garlic
  • Chop about half an onion
  • Peel and cut the carrots into little coins
  • Cover the bottom of the pan and add the carrots and onions. Let them cook for 5 minutes before adding the garlic so it doesn't burn.
  •  After adding the garlic cook about 2-3 minutes more
  • Season with salt and pepper
  •  Pour in the entire carton of vegetable stock
  •  Once it comes to a boil put in about 2 cups of noodles of your choice
  • Cook about 10 more minutes to cook the noodles to al dente
Hmm, look at that steam rising...
     Of course the soup can be made with chicken or beef stock as well as adding cooked rotisserie chicken.


    Growing in the Winter

    After eating some not so ripe strawberries this past week, I began longing for some fresh produce. But since I don't live in a place that supplies fresh year round produce and farmers markets, I have to make due with what's at the grocery store. However, there are some things that can be grown inside during the long frigid winter months. 

    Mushrooms: We eat a lot of mushrooms; in lasagna, enchiladas, and pastas, so the thought of having fresh mushrooms is appealing. This shiitake mushroom log produces 1/4 to 1/3 pound of mushrooms every two months for about four years.

    Shiitake Mushroom Log from Terrain

    Wheatgrass: My only experience with wheat grass as a shot at Jamba Juice. But I can see how you can throw a little bit in a fruit smoothie and get the nutrients but hide the grassy taste.

     Grow your own wheatgrass: Via Vanilla & Lace

    Sprouts: You can sprout all sorts of things; garbanzo beans, lentils, peas, barley, or Creed from The Office's favorite: mung beans.

    Michael: Ok, Ryan, you told Toby that Creed has a distinct old man smell.
    Creed: I know what's he's talking about. I sprout mung beans on a damp paper towel in my desk drawer. Very nutritious, but they smell like death.

    So if you're a fan of alfalfa (Jimmy John's anyone?), you can sprout your own beans for a similar, delicious taste.

    Sprouting Lentils: Via Honest Fare

    I think I might try the lentils. Happy Growing!


    30 Days of Vegan - What I Ate - Week I

    I made it through week one of 30 days of Vegan , and I have to be honest, it wasn't that hard. However, we've been eating primarily vegetarian for about a year, so I already have a large variety of vegetarian meals that were easily made vegan. I think that anyone who eats meat as a centerpiece to their meal, would have a hard time eating vegan. So, for anyone who is interested in trying it, I recommended the vegetarian transition phase. I decided to record what I ate for anyone who is curious about what a week would look like including snacks, desserts and tea (or coffee). Here's what I ate:

    Breakfast: Strawberries, blueberries and blackberry fruit salad with agave
    Lunch: Pita Chips and Tabouleh
    Snack: Chips and homemade corn and tomatillo salsa and Naked Green Machine Juice
    Dinner: 3 homemade spring rolls with sticky rice
    Dessert: 3 Back to Nature chocolate chunk cookies with almond milk

     Breakfast: Strawberries, blueberries and blackberry fruit salad with agave 
    Lunch: Spring roll and sticky rice
    Dinner: Spring mix salad with tomatoes, green onions and Annie's Natural (vegan) Goddess dressing and whole wheat spaghetti with homemade marinara
    Dessert: 3 Back to Nature chocolate chunk cookies with almond milk

    Breakfast: whole grain toast with almond butter
    Lunch: whole wheat spaghetti with homemade marinara
    Dinner: hot dogs with chili (both vegan) and onions on a whole grain bun with oven fries
    Dessert: 3 Back to Nature chocolate chunk cookies with almond milk

    Breakfast: Strawberries, blueberries and blackberry fruit salad with agave
    Lunch: Chips and homemade corn and tomatillo salsa
    Snack: Wasabi Peas
    Dinner: Chipotle (burrito bowl with rice, black beans, pico de gallo , corn salsa, lettuce and guacamole)
    Dessert: World Market Sea salt dark chocolate (2 squares)

    Breakfast: Toast with peanut butter and banana
    Lunch: Chips and Salsa
    Sweet Treat: Starbucks soy mocha
    Dinner: Soba Noodles with Oyster Mushrooms
    Dessert: 3 Back to Nature chocolate chunk cookies with almond milk

    Breakfast: PB&J on toast with a Naked Green Machine Juice
    Lunch: Soba Noodles with Oyster Mushrooms
    Dinner: hot dogs with chili (both vegan) and onions on a whole grain bun with oven fries

    Breakfast: Strawberries with Agave
    Lunch: Vegan Chili
    Dinner: Chips and salsa and popcorn (I wasn't too hungry, so we just ate some super bowl snacks)
    Dessert: 3 Back to Nature chocolate chunk cookies with almond milk

    P.S. Every morning, except for Saturday, breakfast was accompanied with a  variety of teas sweetened with Demerara sugar, and a glass of OJ.

    This weeks protein brought to me by; beans, avocados, mushrooms, peanut butter, almond butter, almond milk, veggie dog, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, and bean sprouts.

    This weeks calcium brought to me by; almond butter, almond milk, sesame seeds, and calcium fortified OJ

    Questions or comments? Fill out the form below or send me an email: amynonymous@gmail.com


    Eco Friendly Luggage

    With our pending trip to San Francisco, and some busted up luggage from our last trip to Mexico, it was time to invest in a nice new set of luggage. And, since you know I'll crazy about all things earth friendly, I searched the web from some eco luggage choices.

    Heys Usa Renovo 5 Piece Set - Made from 100% recycled polyester and is biodegradable - $390

    Patagonia MLC Wheelie - Fabric made form recycled plastic soda bottles - $229

    Ella Vickers Sailcloth Duffle - made from recycled sailcloth from yachts around the world- $178

    Heys Usa Eco Leaves 3 Piece Set - the shell is made form 100% recycled plastic - $450
    Matt & Nat Faithless Bag - Vegan leather and recycled suede lining - $147

    You might be put off by those hefty price tags, but rest assured places like amazon and overstock are selling these things at a nice discount. We picked up the Heys Usa Renovo in Charcoal for $250. Still seem like a lot for luggage? We weighed the options and it seemed comparable to other luggage sets plus it had some of the features we were looking for. Not only was it made of recycled and compostable fabric but it's frameless (our other luggage tore right along the frame on our flight to Mexico) and it's lightweight so we don't have to worry as much about weight limits.


    Design Day Dream

    As if I don't spend enough time on the computer already (8 hrs on a nursing care plan?), I discovered something new I love to do in publisher and that's create my own design boards. Inspired by the mood boards over at Young House Love, I took to scouring the web to try to find beautiful pieces to put together to create a virtual room.This is my first go at it, and I love the results. Taking a natural color scheme of navy, gray, linen, white and natural woods, I love the mix of dark and light and the rustic beauty of the natural elements. Some of the items are completely affordable and available locally: Ikea, West Elm, Crate & Barrel. Some things are purely inspirational: the $2,000 reclaimed wood table and the 4K painting. And of course, I had to include some stylish baby gear. Hey, this could be my future living room, and you know how loud my clock is ticking.

    Reclaimed wood dining Table: Sundance Catalog
    Grey Sectional: Ikea
    Ottoman: West Elm
    Tree Stump Side Table: West Elm
    Linen Octopus Pillow: Zen Threads
    Linen Window Panel: West Elm
    Eden Pendant Light: CB2
    Ceramic Owl: West Elm (no longer available)
    George Kovacs Mercury Table Lamp: Amazon
    White Dinnerware: World Market
    Hailey Knit Throw: Crate and Barrel
    Delta Side Chair: Crate and Barrel
    Bamboo Flooring: Available everywhere
    Canvas Home Storage Box: West Elm
    Recycled Canvas Cushions: Clayton Gray Home
    Zig Zag Rug: Calypso St. Barth
    Driftwood Hurricane: Anthropologie
    Bamboo Mirror: Mecox Gardens
    Teak Baby Activity Gym: Cariboo
    Bloom Bouncer: Land of Nod
    Octopus Triptych: Mecox Gardens

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