The Best Vegan Iced Latte You’ll Ever Have

raw vegan almond iced latte

New York Times have dubbed the best iced latte in America a vegan latte. Hard to believe but true. Two coffee shop owners didn’t want to put an iced latte on their menu because it wasn’t something they would drink. But they knew about the demand for an iced latte, and searched for a way to bring up to their standards. The answer was a velvety nut milk.

Am I claiming my latte is better? Well, no. But it is still pretty dang good. My biggest complaint about non-dairy lattes in stores is that they get gritty when hot, and iced the coffee gets dulled. I like my coffee strong so I find myself making my own coffee often at home because of it.

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Fall Coat Roundup

I haven’t talked about fashion or clothing in awhile. But fall is coming up, and I am very excited about it. Although warm weather is nice, I much rather enjoy cold weather. If I had a million dollars, I would buy lots and lots of coats. It is something I fight since I know I really only need one for the winter. I use to have a wide selection but had to get rid of a bunch since most apartments I lived in had no coat closets.

Now I feel like I should add another coat to my collection, although I might not have enough money for some of them. That’s the problem with coats, they are so expensive and can only be worn for part of the year (and only part of the day too!) 

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1 : Swell Farewell Vintage / 2 : The Arbor Vitae / 3 : Fox Burrow Vintage

Can I say I am absolutely in love with this plaid swing coat with fur trim? If money was no object I would buy this coat right now. It looks so warm for the winter time, and would be great for layering. And I had a coat similar to this style, and that type of fur collar- simply amazing and snuggable. But I might want something that ties around the waste for flared skirts like this pumpkin spiced colored coat. It is much cheaper in comparison, and has a great color. Fox Burrow Vintage has a great green vintage coat with a houndstooth like pattern. Though, I feel like it would be the hardest to fit clothing underneath it, making it more of an errands coat, not a walk in the city coat.

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4 : Butch Wax Vintage / 5 : American Prospecting / 6 : Sartorial Matters

I am not a huge animal print person, but every so often I fall in love with it. I am not sure what makes me love this tiger print fur coat so much, but I want it badly. I was never a huge fur fan, and my vegan-like eating habits make it hard to justify wearing it. But I do love a nice vintage fur trimmed coat. Especially this mustard coat with dark fur trim. It looks nice a roomie for layering. I am also a sucker for capes. I know I shouldn’t since it is impossible to hold a purse with one, but I keep buying them. And I am loving this burnt orange plaid cape.

So is anyone else hunting around for winter coats already?

Sunday Reading 08-24-14 #3

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Sorry that I’ve been MIA these past few sundays. My goal was to keep a list of articles and videos that I wanted to feature each week, but my work schedule kept hindered my writing. It’s not that I work really late, but I am on my feet all day and just need a chance to relax. Pile on some personal life issues and working on the blog fell to the bottom of my to do list.

I didn’t want the Sunday Reading post to go for another week, so I’m featuring lighter reads that I enjoyed and could relate to these past few weeks. Sure, some of these featured posts are a bit older, but I’d still like to share them, especially since they are written by some of my favorite blogs. Although I don’t assume my favorite bloggers have perfect lives, you rarely see any of their struggles through the eyes of their blog. So, I am glad to see some of these girls step up and say “hey, I’ve been going through some tough stuff too.”

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Alexa goes to SmackDown

Screen shot 2014-08-05 at 7.38.05 PM I had the pleasure of going to another live wrestling event a few weeks ago and it was just as amazing as the first few times I’ve been. I know I’ve said this before guys…but…man oh man do I love wrestling.  We saw on TV that WWE was advertising a taping of their Friday night show “SmackDown” in Newark NJ, and since it’s so easy to get to we decided that we probably had to go. Sadly – I didn’t get a group selfie this time, I’ll have to make that a tradition from now on.  We hit a bump in the road on our way to the Prudential Center this time, the train heading that way which we had planned on taking was CANCELLED. At first it had been delayed and we figured it wasn’t a huge deal but once the announcement came over the loud speaker we knew it was too late. Mr. Ian and I couldn’t just hop into my truck and go – mostly because we were meeting Billy on the train and we would have to find parking for either us or him until after the show. The next train ended up coming on time, thankfully, we met up with Billy on said train and got to Prudential in one piece. It was then that we also met up with my friend Vinny! I got to know Vinny through working at Old Navy a year or so ago – and it wasn’t until after we both stopped working there that I found out he also loved wrestling. We both happened to be going to the same live event (also at the Prudential Center) and met up briefly during the intermission. I was just super happy that he could make it to SmackDown with us this time!  The trouble with being late to a taping though is that you miss some of the “dark matches” that may or may not happen before the show officially starts. We missed out on a match between two really awesome tag teams – The Ascension, who they seem to be bringing up from the developmental program and show NXT, and Goldust and Stardust. Mr. Ian was pretty bummed, he wore his brand new Ascension shirt and everything! I felt so bad but let’s be real, we were all just happy that the second train wasn’t cancelled too. 

Left: Goldust & Stardust      Right: The Ascension

 If I could just gush about the two men in black and yellow (urm…gold) for a moment. They are definitely two of my favorite wrestlers on the current roster – Cody Rhodes (Stardust) is a chameleon when it comes to wrestling in the ring. He’s had several different gimmicks within the last few years, and his newest one does not disappoint. He changed his move set slightly to mirror that of his (real life!) brother’s, Goldust (aka Dustin Rhodes). I don’t want to rant on and on…but I love them SO much. They are both very talented and I love watching them work!
Highlights of the Night!

Damien “Bruce Springsteen” Sandow

Damien Springsteen

Damien Sandow’s regular gimmick has been known as the “Intellectual Savior of the Masses”, he would come out in a blue robe and hold the microphone as if it were a snifter while telling everyone in the audience about how much smarter he was. It was a great character! He has currently been coming out as different people to try and confuse his opponent…part of me thinks it can be clever and funny, while the other part is just frustrated that they seem to be dropping his original persona. I don’t want Damien Sandow to turn into one of the wrestlers who just wears black trunks and gear and has almost no personality. I will admit though, this was hilarious! It was the week before 4th of July (…I told you this was a little while ago!) and WWE was in New Jersey – what better way to get a reaction out of the crowd than to have Damien come out as The Boss?

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Tomatillo and Chickpea Curry

Tomatillo and Chickpea Curry

It has been a rough few weeks. My work schedule has been totally flipped upside down, and I found myself working mostly night shifts instead of morning. Which means that I’ve just been unable to make dinner for half of the week. Now, just the idea of cooking dinner feels like a chore. At the end of each day, I think about how someone has to cook otherwise our ingredients will go bad.

Luckily, I have the best husband who will cook dinner even though he gets home around 7pm at night. I become an early morning sous chef and pre-chop veggies to make it easier.  I’ll try to gather or bunch ingredients together in the fridge or cabinets, so he doesn’t have to hunt them down.  Sometimes all he has to do is toss a casserole dish in the oven and bake. But one night I wrote down a totally new recipe and let him work it out. 

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Liebster Award

liebster2 We have been nominated for the Liebster Award! Awww I’m touched. For anyone who doesn’t know what it is, the Liebster Award isn’t really an award. It is structured game to connect to other bloggers and get to know each other. There have been various games like this when I started to blog 10 years ago, so I am kind-of psyched for some old school Q&A. I was tagged by Jamie from Cute Peach (whose new layout ROCKS!)

So what are the rules? 

  • List 11 facts about yourself
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by whoever nominated you
  • Nominate 5-11 bloggers* with less than 200 followers (excluding the blog who nominated you)
  • Ask 11 new questions for your chosen nominees

* I have seen this number be 11 (you know, 11 facts, 11 questions, 11 bloggers) but I was tagged with the rules being 5 so I am sticking to that.

11 Facts About Me

  1. I did color guard for one year in high school.
  2. I was in a music video for a band, I was just an extra though. (I have the short hair, blue shirt, and plaid pleated skirt for anyone who wants to look for me)
  3. I interned for Fox 29, the Philadelphia affiliate for the Fox network.
  4. My prom dresses were both sewn and designed by me.
  5. I built a cardboard car in college.
  6. I’ve been to only two countries, the United States and Canada
  7. At my jobs I have served Bruce Springsteen, Joe Flacco, and a bunch of Flyer players, whom I don’t know who they are but are famous.
  8. I really really love ice cream.
  9. I have been to three different Gwar concerts.
  10. I graduated from the University of the Arts in 2009 with a major in Finger Painting (just kidding it was in Video)
  11. I’m the youngest in my family.

11 Questions

How did you get into blogging and why do you like it?

I did it originally in high school. I remember starting out with a hosted blogs, sometimes updating manually, sometimes using blogger. I eventually made the switch to LiveJournal since it was easier to follow friends. But I dropped out of blogging for a long time, until recently. I found myself reading a bunch of fashion and food blogs and thought, why not?

What is your favorite book or book genre? Do you judge a book by its cover?

I think I judge covers in two ways. One is if the cover looks like a specific genre. I don’t think certain genres are bad, but when I look at a cover and it screams “historical fiction” or “horror” it puts me off. It isn’t that I won’t read them, I just feel like the publishers are trying too hard to sell a genre over the story. Then it comes off that the publishers don’t think anyone would like the book unless they love that genre.

I also hate covers with movies posters on them. I remember searching around nonstop to find a certain pressing of Raise the Red Lantern just because I wanted the cover with the lanterns on it instead of Gong Li sitting. I know it is suppose to help sell both the book AND the movie, but I am sorry I am READING the book, let it stand by itself.

What kind of music do you like?

Kind-of funny that Jamie asked this question since she knows my choice in music is ALL over the place. But I will summerize mentioning the two concerts I REALLY want to go to (but don’t have too much money) Perfume and Blonde Redhead. I definitely don’t have the money for Perfume, but possibly for Blonde Redhead… You can check out my last fm profile to see my top tracks, though my plays don’t always get tracked.

What are some of your other hobbies?

I went to art school so I use to make a lot of things. I’ve kind-of stopped and I wish I haven’t. Adult life have really blocked my creative juices. I use to paint, sew, film, photograph, block print, anything I could think of. Lately I’ve been keeping up with some photography, and I want to start sewing again. 

Do you have any fears or phobias?

Getting too old and getting Alzheimer’s or going into a vegetative state. I am a very proactive person, and I can barely sit still when I am sick. So the idea that I would forget who I am, or can’t do basic everyday functions freaks me out. Not only would I feel trapped, I would know it would really hurt people who love me. 

What is your favorite season of the year?

Fall. It is the best since you get to cuddle with a blanket at night, but it is still warm enough for long walks outside. It is also my favorite weather to go running in, breathing is super easy and sweating is minimal.

Are there any foods that you absolutely don’t like?

Steak. I can’t stand steak cooked in one big piece (like a steak house with potatoes)

What is the most interesting or delicious thing you’ve ever eaten?

Hmm… not sure how to answer this one. I am pretty game to eating anything. Heck I would break my ethical eating to try something new ONCE. But I think the most interesting thing for most westerners would be natto. It is soybeans that are molded and are slimy. They stink and are stretchy like melted cheese. Weirdly I love eating them and will occasionally buy them frozen from Asian food markets.

Most delicious thing? Would probably be from Franklin Fountain. I would visit when the owners would still work the counters. They were awesome because you could go in and say “I want a pumpkin milkshake.” Then the owner would chime in a say “Oh add some malt, and walnuts, and a little caramel swirl!” and it would be brilliant. So a Caramal Swirled Malted Pumpkin Milkshake is the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten. Best thing? They now sell vegan pumpkin ice cream and vegan caramel so I can almost recreate that milkshake again this fall.

If you could travel to any country in the world (either to live or to visit) where would you go and why?

I would live in Portland Maine. I visited the city for my honeymoon and I thought “I could live here.” I love mild summers and lots of snow. There is also a great local food movement in the area, which gave me lots of eating options. If I could visit anywhere it would be Korea or Japan. They are awesome countries, with lots of food that I want to try.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

I would want everyone to be more responsible. I wish people read more, kept learning, were more aware of how to preserve the earth, and ate a little less meat. I know everyone thinks differently, or have different priorities so it isn’t like I want everyone to be just like me. Then life would be boring. 

Nominees:

Alexa from One Raw Bite Okay this might be cheating but I wanted my co-blogger to also answer some questions! (no need to nominate someone bbcakes!)

Jenny from She Loves Dresses I’ve been stalking Jenny on Instagram and she just opened up her blog. She has such a cute wardrobe and wears vintage in a refreshingly different way.

Ursula from Ursula Goes She feeds my love of outdoors. Her blog features some cute photos from her hikes and trips.

Katie from Buddle and Squeak I love Katie’s positivity and feminist posts. She has such a cute and quirky sense of style.

Allison from The Mantis Princess I started to follow this blog right when she started it! She has super cute hair and glasses.

Miss Lixxie Lou from Miss Lixxie Lou Another instagramer I’ve been following who just opened up a blog! She also wear vintage styled clothing but in a very different way from Jenny (She Loves Dresses)

11 Questions for the Nominees

  1. What is your favorite food: One savory, one sweet?
  2. How would your describe your fashion sense?
  3. Which do you prefer dresses or skirts? (or pants or shorts?)
  4. Where are you from, and where is the furthest you’ve traveled from there?
  5. What would your consider the best day off?
  6. How do you take your coffee?
  7. Do you have any pets? Who are they?
  8. Are you more likely to watch TV shows or Movies? 
  9. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  10. If money didn’t matter, what would you be doing with your life?
  11. Other than what you feature in your blog, what are your other hobbies?

Snack Attack #2: New York Hipster Edition

califia farms and fine and raw snackies

Alexa is searching around for new healthy snacks, but sometimes I neglect to try out new things. When shopping with my husband I have a one track mind, get everything on the list. If I don’t I would bring home an extra $30s worth of snacks home each week. Which isn’t so great on my wallet. But while in New York last weekend, I let myself splurge a little. I saw two things I wanted to try in a small grocer, raw chocolate and Califa Farms’ almond milk.

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Tea Time Tuesday: Smiling Earth Elixirs “Head On!”

Head On! and mug

I visited Asbury Fresh again recently, and while I was there I got to take more time walking around the tents and noticed a lovely place named “Smiling Earth Elixirs” and the owner of the company, Stefanie was manning the table. 

 Stefanie had a bunch of home brews lining the table in little cardboard packaging, everything looked so nice that I couldn’t help but inquire! She had a bunch of different teas to try, and of course I chose the blueberry one. Blueberry has been very ‘in’ in many ways for the last few years and it hadn’t really hit me until I was of drinking age (but when was that? The mystery of my age continues…) when I had a blueberry beer in the Summer time. 

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A Day At the Met: The Charles James Exhibit

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Dress: Amanda’s Closet | Earrings: Gifted | Pin: Vintage| Sticker: MetMuseum | Shoes: Modcloth

This weekend I went into New York City with my Mom to go see the Charles James exhibit. I have to say this is one of the few specialty exhibits that really blew me away. Although I like clothing and fashion, I don’t actually know much history. So I didn’t know anything about Charles James. I only really wanted to go because of a video segment on Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing. I’m glad I went because there was so many cool things about the exhibit.

I thought the trip would be a great excuse to wear my new dress that I got from Amanda’s instagram shop from Junebugs and Georgia Peaches. (My dress is in the bottom right corner of this photo) I didn’t go too crazy since I knew I would be walking around a lot and the temperatures change often in museums.

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Sunday Reading 08-03-14 #2

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Another week went by. Been busy, but I really can’t say what I have done. Yeah, just one of those weeks. But we should have some fun posts coming up for you guys this week! So stay tuned. In the meantime, here is our next collection of reads (and a watch) for everyone to check out.

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It Takes HOW Much Water to Make Greek Yogurt?!

People rarely actually ask why I don’t eat dairy. Maybe people just assume I am some crazy hippie going through a phase. The biggest reason for not drinking milk is that it isn’t very sustainable. Mother Jones relates milk directly to the drought in California by asking exactly how much water is needed to make a glass of soy milk or your cup of yogurt. 

The article is a few months old, but I only recently stumbled upon it. It is pretty interesting to the visuals of water to compare each item to. But as I a vegan, I find it most interesting how much more water is needed to make almond milk. I love it, and it is so easy to make. But after reading the article I might want to cut back on it.

Vegans Are Not Annoying: Here’s 10 Reasons Why

I am sure you heard the joke- “How can you tell someone is vegan? They’ll tell you they are.” Working in food service, you hear this one all the time. The joke is sad since I do recommend that any vegans, vegetarians, or people with allergies inform us when buying food. That way, we can help and prevent any mistakes or help you avoid ordering food that goes against your diet. But I am getting off topic- vegans and vegetarians are labeled as annoying and preachy. In all my years, I’ve only met one person who fit the “crazy vegan” stereotype.

Kathy comes up with a pretty good list of reason why vegans are actually the opposite of annoying. She points out that vegans are compassionate and will make you food. I think the making you food part is the most important as I am always making baked goods for parties and get togethers. 

Welcome to the C.S.A!

The New Yorker has a humorous post about C.S.A shares. As a C.S.A member, I am glad to say that we never have too many vegetables that we can’t handle, although lately, it’s been a bean overload. I STILL have a frickin radish in the crisper. Oh and kohlrabi. Nobody knows what to do with kohlrabi.

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MetPublications

This isn’t anything new, but a friend recently informed me that there are many free e-books to download at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website. I am a HUGE Met fan. I’ve written a review one of their books earlier, and I will be writing about my recent visit to the Charles James exhibit. There is something for everyone at the museum, and they do so much to preserve art from the past and today.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art publishes many books relating to their art and their exhibits. Not every single book is available online. Most books that you can download in their entire form are older books currently out of print. New books, such as the new book about the Charles James exhibit, can be read online in a small excerpt (sort of like the previews on Amazon). The Met plans on releasing more of their books, possibly all of them. But for now there are close to 400 titles that are fully available online, so you have a lot to choose from including a book about Ingres that is sitting on my bookshelf.

A League of Condone

My husband told me about this story while driving me to my sister’s house, and I knew I had to post an article talking about it. But then Jon Stewart talked about it in his show instead, which I think does a great summery. I know most health food, book, or fashion nerds are not into football, but I enjoy the sport.

So in a nutshell the NFL is getting a lot of criticism about the minimal punishment they handed down to Ray Rice. The NFL takes great pride in trying to make the sport family friendly and sending positive messages to younger viewers. So hearing that players gets a smaller punishment for domestic violence compared to a misdemeanor such as smoking pot is unsettling. There seems to be more violence-related problems with NFL players than drugs, so maybe the league should start re-evaluating how things work. 

Uggg… what a downer of an ending! I’ll remedy that by showing a video from Eat Your Kimchi of their lazy cat.