Alexa Asks, Jen Answers #16: Why Should I Give a Fuck About Bees?

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Alexa is working toward a vegetarian diet, and is loaded with questions. Jennifer’s got answers. We talk about anything as long as it is vegan. Are tattoos vegan? How do I politely not eat Thanksgiving dinner? How do I order without pissing off the waitress? We know you are dying to ask!

asksalexaBy definition honey isn’t vegan, but I honestly have a hard time giving a crap! What are some good reasons to stop consuming honey and beeswax?

Those damned bees, being so damned productive and good at their damned jobs. Before going vegan I didn’t give two shits about honey or beeswax. I’d pass by stands and give a big yawn. For years I never check honey on my no-no list, and honestly I am sure I didn’t consume that much since I never actively bought honey.

Then I learned about mead and fermentation. I suddenly became obsessed about honey and making mead. It was a miracle drink, one could sweeten a cocktail with more booze! It was amazing. Till one day I asked myself, why should I care about bees? Do we really harm them to farm honey? And naturally I wondered about how “domesticated” honeybees and how they shape the environment. Now I am finding myself eliminating honey from my diet, which I am finding to be incredibly hard.

Vegans have very different views and boundaries, which can cause some arguments in the community. Bees, oysters, and many other invertebrates get the short end of the stick. Many people who adopt a vegan diet for health tend to include honey in their diet. Some vegans will eat oysters and other bi-valves since their nervous system is drastically different, and in theory don’t feel pain. Some vegans would argue that by not eating honey or bi-valves we are drawing clear and distinct lines. Some would argue that we truly don’t know how much pain we are causing to these animals. And some will argue that exploitation is still exploitation.

Humans like to think that the smaller the animal the smaller of a life it has. But insects can have incredibly long and complex lives. For example the queen bee can live as long as seven years while other bees live much shorter lives ranging from a few weeks to half of a year. Bees have complex social systems (like humans) and have a precise way of sharing information through dance. Their dance shares sources of pollen, and will calculate the change of the position of the sun.

What makes honey and bees wax a hard sell to stop consuming is that bees aren’t as adorable as puppies. But in many ways we should find bees very relatable. They have a complicated form of communication, they have a complex social structure, and they probably have a range of emotion. Yes, scientific research is showing that bees have emotions. And it makes sense for an animal to form emotions when they have a strict social structure. And if bees do have emotions, then maybe they don’t like having their wings clipped or being artificially inseminated.

Many people rationalize that bees don’t NEED the honey. Surely there is enough to go around, right? Well, the answer is not really. To put into perspective how important honey is to bees, some species die once they sting an enemy to protect their honey. If the hive is destroyed, the bees quickly gobble up their weight in honey so they can build up their reserves again in their new colony. Anyone who has done beekeeping and have collected honey will tell you that you have to feed the bees with a cheap sugar syrup– meaning we need to replace what we took from the bees.

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But what about keeping the bees alive? We are constantly hearing about how bees are dying off and it might seem that honey consumption would be a great excuse to help keep bees alive. But this isn’t necessarily true. At least in the United States, our bees used in farming are not native. They have been imported from Europe, and clearly the flowers and fruit that occur naturally in the US have pollenated just fine. In fact some produce cannot be pollenated by domesticated bees (such as early spring blooms like blueberries), and I am sure if you have been at a farm or CSA, you probably haven’t seen a bee hive. Keep in mind that pollination can be done naturally with bees, insects, mammals, reptiles, birds, and humans.

There is a difference between bee farming for honey production, and pollination. Honey farming is probably what you are picturing in your mind, but similar to cows, bees are farmed in different ways according to their purpose. When bees are raised for pollination, it usually implies that their colony will be shipped long distance to pollenate a crop. Sometimes the bees aren’t coming back. A lot of bees get shipped to pollenate almond trees, and they have had negative effects on bee colonies. The dependence of domesticated bees have actually caused a decline of native bees, which are better for pollination since they are less susceptible to diseases.

TL:DR; Honey isn’t vegan because

  1. It doesn’t fit the definition, it is an animal by product
  2. Bees need the honey to survive, and humans provide alternate foods to keep colonies going
  3. Bees colonies are incredibly complex and intelligent
  4. Bees may have emotions.
  5. Most produce don’t need domesticated bees for pollination
  6. Domesticated bees usually lead to declines to native bees, endangering native plants.

As far as I am concerned there are lots of reasons to reduce consumption of bee products. But it can be hard since we eat honey and use beeswax in many other contexts. We rub it on our apples, on our hands, and on our lips. It can also be used in lost-wax casting, candles, art, bow making, sewing threads, shoe laces, etc, etc. The list is so long that it will be featured in next week’s Alexa Asks.

Sunday Reading 05-17-15 #36

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I’ve been in a weird mood lately. I think it is mostly the weather and stress. The weather has been hot and muggy, and I am mentally not getting use to it. Is that weird? It is like my body and brain is just giving a big ol’ nope when it comes to productivity. Shopping around for a house has been weird. We don’t have much money, which means very little to choose from. And then there is the concept of resale value. My god, resale value. It is enough to rip out your soul and personality. I think that concept alone is enough to make me hate house hunting. Seriously.

BUUUUUT…… it is my birthday and I am pumped for that. I was able to go for a run this morning, we went to an open house (which is probably confirming our need for a house over a townhouse), and for dinner we are going into Philadelphia for a dinner at Charlie Was A Sinner. Yesterday, we made a chocolate 2 layer cake and pizza. So life is good in that sense. 

Art:

These photos of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park by Kaylah are awesome.

Some of these hotel rooms are amazing– I mean some are sleeping in little spheres in the forest!

I heard I’m Sorry by Inflatable Boy Clams on the radio on the way home on Friday and it just made my day.

For real, this bathing suit is art. Ugh, I hate loving one pieces so much. They suck when you have to pee.

For those who are into the culinary arts, and photography, I’m drooling over these Shiitake Bok Choy dumplings.

Kanaho’s Show has posted a bunch of posts with great photography. My two favorite collections are MIZUHO and TOKYO.

Science:

I love hearing about new species.

Reading this article that defends coffee is nice and refreshing. So many people and health nuts are quick to dismiss coffee as a bad thing, though I still think it can be bad if you are dependent on it for energy. I never feel “buzzed” when drinking coffee, and I only notice that my hand get jittery because I just keep drinking for the flavor. XD

Feminism:

So it is worth noting that I (Jennifer) am not a huge comic book SUPERHERO fan. It isn’t like I hate it, just never got into American comics in that way. But Alexa on the other hand is very into comics, and reads some of the superheroes. But even still, I don’t watch the new superhero blockbusters, but I knew there were some hubbub about Black Widow. I read a few articles and I think NPR wrote a great article, which sums up how I feel about what I HAVE seen with superhero women. The article made me feel inspired to write a post of one of my favorite comics, Ray. So hopefully that will be up later this week.

Huffington Post wrote a small piece playing off the phrase “gives zero fucks“.

Flashback Summer writes two interesting posts about people of color wearing vintage clothing. I love vintage, and I love vegan food, both are online communities that are associated with white people. Emileigh sets it up by interviewing pinup girls of color and ask them about the issues they face and why they think there are less people of color that are into vintage clothing.

Project 365: Days 124-130

Day 124: Jon and I went house hunting, and I had been forbidden from bringing my camera since that might be a little overboard. So I snapped a quick shot of this cool luna moth with Jon’s iPhone. Apparently they are a common moth, but it is rare to see them in their adult form since they only live for a week!

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Day 125: Spent Mother’s Day with my Mother in Law, who recently planted new flowers. This one is a variety of columbine. I also took close up photos of their “junk” bird sculpture by Sugar Post.

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Day 126: Some flowers in my apartment complex, figuring out photography of flowers. It has been surprisingly hard!

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Day 127: Some moodly looking tacos after a super hard work out from Orange Theory.

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Day 128: Took a photo of one of the gargoyles that my boss collects at work.

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Day 129: My boss has been busy gardening and landscaping lately. So far the only flowers that are in bloom was this guy. I am pretty excited to see what grows since he is a certified master gardner.

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Day 130: Photographed the flowers in front of my apartment.

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Sunday Reading 05-11-15 #35

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Hey guys, sorry to the delayed Sunday Reading post. I mentioned how my husband and I are looking for a house right? Well, things have been tense and stressful since this is HUGE FUCKING DEAL! I feel like the typical American steps are to go to college, then buy a car, get a paying job, rent an apartment, then get a house. Sure there are odd steps in between or you might go to one step before the other (both Jon and I got apartments before getting a car) but each time to do it you get a big heavy weight on your chest as you are signing the papers and handing money to strangers.

Well, my point is that yesterday my husband had a panic attack of “OH GOD WE CAN’T AFFORD THIS!” which he never does, so I started to freak out. It isn’t hard for me to freak out since I am usually the first to start to freak out about our income. But luckily we sat down with his father, hashed out our income and found out, yes we couldn’t afford the houses we were looking at, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as what we thought. The biggest blow? We COULD afford our dream house if we lived in another state, the taxes in New Jersey are just colossal. 

Speaking of houses, the picture above is from one we were looking at. It was a pretty sweet house, and I just wanted cut off some of it and drop it into a different house. They had a cool sun room that had french doors that led into the kitchen (which was AH-mazing)  and it had this funny mini statue of liberty lamp. But the house was 1) totally out of price range, and 2) not very kid friendly so it was booted from out shopping list.

Well, we got over our “it sucks to be a millennial” freakout and we are happily enjoying ourselves again. Thought I can’t wait till we buy this house and start saving money again… one of the things we aren’t buy to save money is beer. It is driving me a little nuts. But on the plus, I am sober and learning a bunch, and loosing some belly because of less calories consumed. Anyways, here are some fun things on the internet.

Recipes:

Um… these beetroot tartlets look AMAZING! I am thinking about making them when we get our first harvest of beet at my CSA… just three more weeks. Can’t wait till the end of May!

A super short article about how people are trying to preserve the cacao plant.

Jon is making me a cake for my birthday, and I have been craving a good old fashioned layered cake. I don’t know how long it has been since going vegan. I just can’t decide on which cake I want though! Any help guys?

Health:

An interesting article about stress and sugar cravings, basically saying that sugar helps reduce the effects of stress. BUT they don’t mean it in a good way. The funny thing is that I know someone who eat LOTS of sugar, and all the symptoms made me think of this person.

A great opinion blog post from Sayward about chilling out about nutrition. I use to work in a healthy based fast food restaurant and I was constantly being bombarded with facts and opinions about health. It became clear pretty fast there was a lot of facts that contradict each other. Or people who would make bad decisions because they wanted the “healthiest” option without weighing their options. So many times I’ve been asked “What is the healthiest drink?” The real answer was “depends on what you body needs” but no one wants to hear that. 

NPR wrote a great article about miscarriages and their stigma in society. I think people need to be more open about it to prevent any misconceptions, and provide emotional help.

Gertie is going to release a body positive sketch book for designing clothing. I am loving it since she is making it possible to add or take for each individual body types!

Art:

Any noise fans out there? I know I am in the minority, but I found this article really interesting. As a fan of experimental music, and noise music (which is pretty much just a type of experimental music) I was drawn into this article about Japanese Noizu. Oh boy… it is definitely noizy

I wish I had $140 to drop on these cute Margot and Richie dolls! It makes me think of my engagement shoot.

Don’t want a box of chocolates? Try out these box of succulents!

Kaylah has some great photographs of a bunch of cute little guys. One being a tiny little flying squirrel, so cute!

Jamie is having a fun reading bingo game! I might try it out.

Any cake suggestions for my husband to make for birthday? I can never get sick of a classic two layer cake.

Project 365: Days 117-123

Day 117: It was my nieces “unsleepover” birthday party. Which pretty much meant everything was breakfast themed. People wore PJs, ate scrambled eggs, and played this weird donut on a string game.

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Day 118: I have fallen in love with this huge bow from Target

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Day 119: So excited to give my Mom-in-law this Vegan Cuts Mother’s Day Box. I am also falling in love with the new wrapping paper I got from Target. 

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Day 120: Tummy rubs please?

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Day 121: I made some tofu scramble for niece’s birthday and had tons of leftovers. So we made scrambled egg sandwiches with curry mustard spread and lightly pickled cabbage.

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Day 122: When my boss goes on vacation to Virginia he lovingly brings back pork brains in milk gravy… yum?

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Day 123: Took some photos for my Mother’s Etsy shop of Tobacco silks. Is this just an American sort of thing? It seemed like her knitting/sewing friends from Europe found these super fascinating, but they were kind-of just like Victorian baseball cards for housewives of the time.

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Kimchi Lentil Pasta

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I am officially pooped today. My work is located in a housing development, which is weird since it is zoned as commercial. Well, the development has a yearly yard sale, and my boss decided to unload all his family inherited stuff. So I went to work an hour early and just spent the days… doing something… I just couldn’t tell you. Oh wait, I remember listen to sexists jerk make comments about those “poor women” who had to use the old irons as they were so heavy that they wouldn’t have energy to make dinner for their men. No. fucking. joke.

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Needless to say all my mental energy was used on making sure I didn’t clobber the guy, and now I am ready for a nap. Which this meal would be a perfect dish to make on day like this. A lot of these ingredients I always have on hand, though I can see why people wouldn’t always have kimchi in their fridge. I am always trying to think of ways incorporate kimchi into meals. Most kimchi, pickles, and relishes are great for cooking, but sometimes can be hard to actually find recipes. I am always trying to find ways to save my produce during the summer, and brine-pickling is a easy way to do it.

Other cool things about the recipe? You can pretty much use any type of kimchi, even sauerkraut would be a great substitute. I personally mixed my kolhrabi kimchi and traditional nappa cabbage kimchi together for the recipe. But you can get a little crazy, try out a beet kimchi or daikon radish kimchi, I am drooling just thinking about it.

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Like I mentioned it is fast to put together. There are two plans of tackling the dish, one to make the least amount of dishes, or the other is to make it as fast as possible. If you get two pots going, you can have everything done in 30 minutes, easy. Just boil the pasta in one pot, then make the lentils in another, then toss. But if you are like me, you can boil your pasta, drain, then use that pot to make the lentils. It might make the dish take 45-50 minutes, but you get lots of down time to get some things ready or make other sides.

Another time saving trick is to use small red lentils. They cook up in 10 minutes, but if you use larger brown lentils, you’ll have to add more water and cook for longer, which is fine if you have the time. Just don’t skip over the lentils, the added protein makes the dish, and they really work well with the kimchi.

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Kimchi Lentil Pasta
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb dried penne (or other pasta)
  2. 1 tbsp oil
  3. 4 cloves minced garlic
  4. 1-2 tbsp minced ginger
  5. 2 tbsp red miso
  6. 1 tsp korean chili powder
  7. 3/4 cup red lentils
  8. 2 cups chopped kimchi of choice
  9. 1/2 cup juice from kimchi
  10. 1 cup water
Instructions
  1. 1 Cook pasta according to directions. While the pasta cooks prep the garlic, ginger, and kimchi.
  2. 2 Once the pasta is cooked and drained, heat oil in the pot used for the pasta. Saute the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  3. 3 Add the miso, chili, kimchi, juice, water, and lentils. Stir, making sure the miso mixes into the liquid. Once water boil cover with lid and simmer for 10 minutes. Check every so often, adding more water if needed.
  4. 4 Once the lentils are cooked add the pasta and stir until well coated. Serve immediately.
One Raw Bite http://one-sonic-bite.com/

Fashionable Mermaids

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Shirt: Old Navy | Skirt: Hot Topic | Tights: Hot Topic | Necklace: Target | Shoes: Modcloth

I’ve realized that I haven’t posted in quite a bit, but I had also completely forgotten about the cute outfits that Jen had been and angel to capture for me! So the good news is…here’s an outfit post! 

The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite Disney films. I just love the character designs, music, and animation. I would also argue that Prince Eric is one of, if not the best, Disney Prince. When Hot Topic began releasing all of their adorable Disney themed items (ranging from a clothing line to Disney inspired jewelry) I got pretty excited. It unfortunately falls under the unfortunate circumstance of having a 50% chance of being really cute or really tacky, but for the most part I think they’ve done a pretty decent job. 

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I had purchased the skirt on my own after pining for it for weeks. I love skater skirts because they can be paired with pretty much anything and are a simple and easy choice. The only thing I would tweak is that these ones in particular seem to run a bit small and quite short. The shortness doesn’t bother me all that much because I’m short myself…but I definitely can’t wear this to work if we’re expecting to get shipments in. This one was a size medium, but I almost feel as though I should have gotten it in a large because it’s still a smidge tight – not so tight that it’s unflattering, but I immediately want to change after I’ve eaten anything and that’s no fun!

The rest of my outfit came to me as gifts in one way or another (for the most part). The tights were given to me by my friend Bridget for Christmas and I was SO excited to pair these two pieces together. I don’t care if it’s cheesy, look at how cute they are! I love the trend of “silhouette” tights that is going on right now because there is just so much you can do with them. 

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I really liked the idea of putting my hair back in a bow like Ariel has it in most of the film, and I was lucky enough to have a cute little bow that matched my shoes! I got these for Christmas as well, but I do know that they’re from modcloth. I love the deep red color of them and they keep my feet nice and warm. I also love the fact that they have a bit of heel to them, but not too much, so I can even wear them to work. 

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I even put cute little bows on my ears too! I got the mint bow earrings from modcloth quite some time ago and I find that they go with almost everything I own…I wear a lot of mint. I acquired the necklace from Target around Christmas time when I had been shopping for family and it caught my eye. I’m not usually into the big jeweled “statement” necklaces but after watching a ton of Grace Helbig videos over the winter I finally started to understand them. In a way it reminded me of her and I just adored the color palette and design. I would even go as far to say that this outfit (the upper half anyway) is just me trying to channel Miss Helbig, so thanks for the inspiration gurl. 

My Vegan Restaurant: Honeygrow Cherry Hill, NJ

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Honeygrow

1588 Kings Hwy N, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
More locations in Radmor, Philadelphia, Bala Cynwyd, PA
Upcoming Locations: Hoboken NJ, Newark & Wilmington DE
website | facebook | instagram | twitter

Working at a restaurant, I know the frustrations between customer and cashier. There is a lot of space for confusion. Sometimes the person ordering is misinformed, sometimes it is the cashier. You wouldn’t believe how many times people order the wrong thing and blame the cashier, or have the situation totally opposite. Which is why I am totally in love with this new emerging chain named Honeygrow.

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I knew of the name Honeygrow because it was on my list of potential places to check out in Philly. At the time it was a cool idea since my husband was still fairly omnivorous, and I was always seeking very veg-friendly restaurants. But on my way to work I noticed how a local shopping center had totally turned around once Whole Foods opened up. One of the shops was a new branch from Honeygrow. I eagerly watched for the shop to open since it would be a great stop for dinner on late nights. Once the store was opened, I excitedly went in, not know really what it would be like.

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What makes Honeygrow so different is how automated it is. Basically they cut out the cashier, so there is no confusion if I said “egg noodles” or “rice noodles.” And it is pretty easy to navigate, stir-fry, salad or other. Then the menu gives you options all along the way, giving some premade options, or letting you choose veggies, protein, sauce, and noodle. This means that you have full control of your dietary restriction. All items are labeled clearly if they are vegan or gluten-free and there are lots of workers around to help with questions.

What else is really cool is that while waiting I could make out a general system that was going on with the line chefs. It looked like there was one guy who would prep the veggies, then got passed to a person who did the grains, then to someone who did the proteins and frying. This down the line system really makes it fairly fool proof to mess up what you ordered. And since there is such a large volume of custom orders you have less mess-up from habit. For example if you order a veggie burger with no cheese, sometimes you will get it with cheese on top not because the chef is trying to be an asshole. Sometimes it is just one of those things where if you are making 50 veggies burgers in a day, you just get accustomed to adding the cheese. Having a checklist of ingredients instead of set menu items minimizes forming bad habits like that.

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So for the first day I tried to keep it simple. I got my husband and I the vegan set menu item, the red coconut curry. It has tofu, red onion, red bell pepper, carrots, and rice noodles tossed in their red coconut curry. The item is listed as “spicy” but that is deceiving. It has a light kick, so if you like spicy, grab some sriracha. But the dish was delicious, and both my husband and I were wanting more.

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We went back a second time for take out, this time we tried to make custom orders. We stuck to the veggies, tofu, and rice noodles option, but switched around the sauces. I got my husband the sour cherry BBQ, which wasn’t vegan (I think because it has honey, but I forgot to ask a worker) which he said was pretty tasty, but wished it was spicier. I got the sesame garlic topping, which was delicious. It made the dish taste like chinese takeout only not as greasy and with fresher ingredients.

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When Alexa came to visit I knew we had to check the place out in person, see what it would be like to eat there. The second trip I tried their lemon-miso-tahini with rice, which was amazing. The rice is a mix of black and brown rice, which gave a nice chewy texture. I think the rice probably would of paired better with sesame garlic sauce in the end though. Alexa tried out the egg noodles (as a vegetarian friendly option) with the coconut curry and got her seal of approval.

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Pros:

  • Easy to customize orders and hard to mess up. Making it ideal for dietary restrictions.
  • I also find that the wait isn’t very long regardless how busy it is, and probably have to do with their line system. 
  • Ingredients are super fresh, so fresh you can taste it
  • Everything is pretty much well cooked, tofu firm, spinach not over cooked etc.
  • Multiple locations, so you have more chances to give the place a try
  • The Kitchen is peanut free, making it great for people with allergies.

Cons:

  • It is always busy. I mean ALWAYS. I keep trying to come during off hours and they are still packed.
  • Seating is alright, since it is so busy you might find yourself eating at the stool and bench, which isn’t very comfy. This complaint may be exclusive the the Cherry Hill location.
  • Cross contamination is a big possibility. It doesn’t seem to be any special woks just for meat, gluten, etc. Some people might be freaked out by this. The company contacted me about cross contamination and wrote this back: “We use a separate wok and equipment for rice noodle requests and the wok is thoroughly cleaned/burned between each stir fry to avoid cross contamination for vegetarians and vegans – we also change gloves when noted vegetarian or vegan. When a guest states that they are gluten free, we make a point to change gloves, aprons, clean and sanitize the ladles, and burn the wok. Lastly, there is a separate wok that is used whenever an allergy is extremely sever and it is needed.”

Pro OR Con: It isn’t vegan exclusive. This can make it great for eating out with stubborn relatives, but stinks that you can’t expose people to delicious vegan options. But because they have so many vegan options means it gives a friendly enviroment for people who are interested in cutting back on animal products. Take what you will from this concept.

Birthday Wishlist 2015

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I have un officially decided I should make a wish list for my birthday every year on here. I think every year I want more abstract things in my life over materialistic ones. Like I just want to go for a long hike, a BIG layered cake, eat out with my hubby, a house to move into, and a say of a really long nap with my snuggle buddy.

But my friends and family can’t gift me a nap. Sadly. So people give each other material things. So if I have to choose some actual things to get, these would be it. Some are bordering the line of stuff I like and stuff I NEED. I am truthfully a horrible person when it comes to buying things I need.

1. Princess Knight Vol 2. & Creepy Comic Collections

I’m a hard person to pin down with comics. I liked reading mangas but I never connected with the “manga” crowd since I loved scary mangas, or ones with different styles like Paradise Kiss. But as time went on, I expanded to American comics, but mostly from the indie scene. I just can’t be normal huh? So I picked up Creepy during my bachlorette party with Alexa. It was recommended since I dug some horror comics. I love it since they are stories by various artists, different drawing styles, and different types of story telling. 

Princess Knight I got for Christmas, and finished up reading it. The story was written by the manga master Osamu Tezuka. It is an interesting read since I’ve read most of his adult mangas, so picking up Princess Knight was a completely different point of view.

2. Who Could Be Saddle Shoes?

I still need shoes guys. Some of my shoes are starting to tear, and I am trying hard to hold out longer and longer till I buy my home, and start budgeting money for myself again… or until I can ask someone else to buy them for me.  But these look super cute, vegan, and comfortable.

3. Vegan Knee High Socks

So I recently posted about Wharton State Park, and gave a warning about ticks. Well, I need some knee high socks to help protect myself from ticks. So why not say I’m vegan in the process? 

4. Puppycat Mug

I actually hate mugs. Or rather I hate how many cool mug options there are, because I don’t need them all. In fact we have so many mugs that it drives me nuts how much space is wasted on them. But this one is pretty darn cute. I am sure there is a way I can do that to my mugs, so I can try that out.

5. Star Crossed Darling Brooch

There are so many cute pins and brooches on etsy. This guy randomly caught my attention. He would look super cute on some cardigans, dresses, or jackets. 

6. New Bras

The bra depicted above isn’t what I’m actually looking for. I am trying to find some eco-friendly bras, which can be a tricky thing. Actually finding any fashion forward eco-friendly fair trade clothing can be tricky. I found a few cute ones from Faeries Dance.com, which may get an order from me in the near future.

7. Coyote Skull Zipper Pouch

I have a weird obsession with animals bones for a vegan. At least it is cool knowing the photographer never harms animals for the bones (she cleans them herself and usually finds or is gifted found bones). I don’t really need a pouch, but I love the photo on it, and truthfully, I always find uses for little pouches and bags. 

What do you guys want for your birthdays? I betcha it is just a big old cake. I haven’t had one in such a long time!

Sunday Reading 05-02-15 #34

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Aww! It’s Alexa werkin out with her little bb brother!

This week is pretty mellow, I guess. I haven’t felt very passionate about what to share with everyone this week. Or maybe it is because so much of the articles I felt were important this week have been about Baltimore and Nepal. So maybe this week I feel a little like I should share happy stuff, and hopefully everyone has been keeping up to date on the other events.

I will be spending my day prepping hubs lunches (chopped veggies and cookies), making homemade peanut butter, and doing some spring cleaning. What about you guys? Any weekend plans?

Good News:

I don’t eat Nutella anymore because of the dairy, but there are tons of fun ways to use nut shells in an eco friendly way.

This is an interesting article about how Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi are working to build a healthy fast food restaurant for lower income families.

I love Kaylah’s super inspirational article about biking everyday for 30 days

Vegan Stuff:

Bite Size Vegan does a great post and video about vegan tattoos. She was so much more thorough than I was, and she gives great links to various products that are vegan.

Jon Stewart is opening up a sanctuary for animals? I forgive you leaving the Daily Show.

Oh and his wife is writing a book about how to live with animals. I am interested in this as well.

My birthday is coming up and I wish I could go to this Vegan Beer Festival that is happening the day before my birthday!

Vegan Shit At Franklin Fountain:

Okay so one of my favorite stores isn’t all vegan, but it offers a lot of customization for vegans. Franklin Fountain is an ice cream parlor that is gives a nod to soda jerks. They feature seasonal treats, rotating coconut milk ice cream, and tons more. So their recent blog post features these vegan snacks:

  • Dairy-Free Strawberry and Green Tea Ice Creams (I am thinking of a rose soda with a scoop of green tea? Rose Matcha float anyone?)
  • Looks like their Wiener Eiskaffee can be veganized (with their vegan vanilla ice cream and coconut whipped cream)
  • Pinolero is the new soda drink… which looks super interesting- cornmeal, coconut cream, cocao and cinnamon

Oh yeah, anyone recognize Alexa’s brother? My hint is that if you recognize him, you probably are a die-hard crossfitter. xD