My Vegan Restaurant: Seed to Sprout

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Seed to Sprout

410 Main Street, Avon by the Sea NJ 07717
560 A River Road, Fair Haven NJ 07704
*Note: the Fair Haven location is in the ACME shopping center and isn’t visible from River Road*
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Finally, I have been able to visit Seed to Sprout. This place has been on my radar for awhile. Back in the day, I had the cool vegan places to visit, while Alexa had slimmer pickings. I remember scoping Happy Cow to try and find new vegan and vegetarian restaurants to eat at near Alexa. Seed to Sprout was one of these places. Then as time went on, their popularity grew. They aren’t massive by all means, but still they are growing. Terry Hope Romero has mentioned them in her Protein Ninja Book, they opened a second location in my hometown, and they are now selling some of their food at local Whole Foods. 

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Alexa is a pretty big fan of this place since they have a location across from her work (their Fair Haven location), giving her a vegan and healthy option on the go. Seed to Sprout is a vegan restaurant that models around the trendy healthy vegan movement. The foods are very light and veggie heavy. The store made me think of P.S. & Co in Philadelphia and Heart Beet Kitchen in Haddon Township. There are some raw options, salads, bowls, and grilled sandwiches. They also have a large selection of desserts to choose from, and prepackaged meals to grab to take home or to the office. And like any “healthy” restaurant there are lots of liquid options- fresh juices, kombucha, hot drinks, smoothies and shots.

The restaurant keeps expanding their options. They do a Friday Pizza Night serving both traditional pizza and raw ones. Note that the regular pizza you order by 12 inch pie, raw pizza you order by the slice (at a steep $7/8 per slice.) They have two featured pizzas each week, so you can always switch it up. They also do brunch Saturday and Sunday, where you can try their banana bacon pancakes that Terry Hope Romero talks about in her book. They also offer catering services for parties, and it seems their cakes are popular item.

So what did WE get?

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Jen: Well I got the cashew collard wrap because I figured I could use the veggies (but didn’t want a massive salad.) Even though I always see collard wraps and think about how small they look, this was rather filling. I can only assume it has most of it’s calories are from the cashew pate. What I like about this wrap is that it is super healthy but eat to grab on the go. It won’t get soggy, but still something I wouldn’t make at home. Instead of getting a smoothie I got their Live Soda Kombucha, because I love that stuff. They had my favorite flavor- root beer.

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Alexa: I ordered the Mexican Omelet breakfast sandwich! I love the millet & flax bread as well as Seed to Sprout’s tofu scramble. The scramble is always packed with flavor and the Mexican omelet version had added coconut bacon and fresh chopped tomato. It was delicious and the perfect amount of food for a light meal during the summer. It’s been so hot out that the idea of eating anything more than this has made me feel like forgoing food altogether. 

asksalexaAlexa’s note: I normally enjoy getting the salads from Seed to Sprout as they are HUGE and for a pretty decent price. While they normally range around $11-$12, I find that I usually have enough salad to split between two meals whereas every other place in Fair Haven has way smaller salads for about $9-$10.

While it is right across the street from work and only about a 10 minute drive from my house I try not to eat here too often because it is a bit pricey. I understand I am getting good food that is environmentally conscious and animal friendly but it’s a bit much on my wallet if I venture in more than once a week.

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asksalexaAlexa’s note: I did get to go and have breakfast with my friend and fellow vegan from out of town and I tried their daily special breakfast sandwich as well as one of their kombucha mojitos.

I have been craving this kombucha drink pretty much all summer but stayed away from it because it’s $5. I figured that since I was on a lovely breakfast date I would break and give it a try. My only gripe is that it isn’t in a bigger glass because it is SO refreshing and delicious (and definitely non-alcoholic). The breakfast special I got was a fig melt which included spinach, figs, cashew cheese and caramelized onions. I got this specifically because I’ve never had anything like it and I’m always intrigued by the endless options in vegan dishes. It did not disappoint!

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The biggest competition with Seed to Sprout is Good Karma. Sure Good Karma has some hippie-granola crunching decor, but both places offer an all vegan menu, raw food, gluten free options, and brunch. As Alexa mentioned, Seed to Sprout can be a little pricey, especially when compared to the portions to Good Karma. It is worth noting that Seed to Sprout is all organic, Good Karma is not (probably the cause for price differences.) Overall Good Karma is more stick to your ribs good, but Seed to Sprout has the best carry out options out there. 

Do yourself a favor- go to Seed to Sprout and grab their salad or raw burrito to go. Maybe add in a baked good or drink. Then drive out to Sandy Hook. It’ll be bliss- eating something tasty on the beach.

Sunday Reading 08-21-15 #73

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Boy I am pooped this weekend. I haven’t really done THAT much but again, the heat. Thank goodness it is going to start cooling down a little again. I am most excited about it being cool enough to open the windows at night. Jon and I had a crib sitting in our living room, but we took it apart and now we are painting my dresser since it got all dinged up during the move. So we now have a big blue dresser in the living room. We are also in the process of figuring out our fire alarms…. which might need to be replaced. Ugh. I just can’t wait to get our new office and nursery set up and have some organization back in my life.

Farm Round Up:

What I got:
2 cantaloupe (FINALLY!)
1 watermelon (either yellow or orange fleshed)
1 pint blackberries
9 oz green beans
7lb 4oz cherry tomatoes (golf ball sized)
10lb 8oz slicing tomatoes
1lb green peppers
1lb 8oz poblano peppers
3 red italia peppers
2 small eggplant
5 white onions (very small)

What I’m cooking:
BBQ Sauce (9lbs of tomatoes cooked down and frozen for future use)
blanche green beans and save in freezer
Blackberry Muffins (modified from Protein Ninja)
Chickpea Eggplant Hemp Veggie Balls in a Tomato Sauce (from Protein Ninja)
Bhindi Masala from Isa Does It (to use up the rest of the okra from last week)
Stuffed Poblano Peppers (using up the peppers mostly)
Tomatillo Tofu Burritos (using up tomatillos from last week)
Jajangmyeon Spaghetti Squash (cuz I never made this last week so I still have spaghetti squash)

Most of the meal planning this week was trying to use up things from the week before. This week was light on veggies, but man we have so many tomatoes still. It’ll only get worse because next weekend we will picking up our in-law’s share from the farm. o____o I will probably ask if my friend Justine wants to come with us and take whatever she wants. I just have a hard time saying no to things. XD But I know I will be eating all that melon IN THE RAW! 

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Why running is the world’s most egalitarian sport

I am not a huge fan of watching running parts of the olympics. I did enjoy watching the women’s 10,000 meter when I was sick last Friday, but otherwise I get bored with all the heats and such. But I am trying to watch it regardless after reading this article. I have noticed the largest range of nations being represented by running events. The Olympics is a pretty white sporting event, but it is awesome to see it start to diversify.

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Vegan Eats and Treats: Olympics Kickoff Party!

I love reading Amy’s blog, which I am a little surprised about. She rarely features recipes, but instead usually posts recipes from various cookbooks. And she loves to throw a party. I love this idea of an Olympics Kickoff Party where there are foods made from different countries and “sports” for everyone to compete in. Maybe this is something fun to do next summer Olympics.

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Rio 2016: how British athletes are challenging the Olympic tradition of junk food peddling

I thought this was pretty interesting. Junk food gets lots of advertising because there is a specific brand. For blueberries to get a commercial it involves several farmers banding together for form an advertising committee. So it is nice to see another way to get publicity for fresh produce! Especially when being promoted by athletes.

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Gastropod – Kombucha Culture

I love the podcast Gastropod. If you haven’t checked it out yet, it is a podcast all about food usually talking about it from a scientific and historical context. Their most recent episode is all about kombucha. It is really interesting to hear about it’s roots in the United States, and I can safely say I would NOT be drinking kombucha in the 90s… way too pseudosciencey. But it is interesting to hear how kombucha has changed over the years, and it is nice to hear about safe it is to make. It really makes me wish I still had my old mother culture to start brewing again.

My Vegan Restaurant: Greenplate

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Greenplate

202 route 130 N unit 5A, Cinnaminson, NJ 08077
website | facebook | instagram | twitter

So Greenplate has been on my radar ever since I saw a flyer for it in one of those coupon books. It said vegan selections, and it is rare that a place that offers vegan food would have discounts and coupons- even when they are brand new. But the restaurant is a little out of my way, so I always skipped it. But one Monday I was running errands and thought- why not check it out? It was only an 8 minute drive away. Sadly, I think this is the one time I have a bad review of a restaurant on this site.

Let me start with the good things about this place. The store was VERY clean and pretty easy to get to. I kind-of like how it is in a strip mall since it comes off as more approachable for some people. The store has a tablet ordering system similar to Honeygrow. I love this type of system because it makes it easy to know what you are ordering, or there isn’t any miscommunication with the staff, which I remember happening often when working in the restaurant industry. Plus it is easy to see what you are being charged extra for.

The staff was really helpful. I ordered a smoothie and asked for no honey, not noticing they were pre-mixed in a slushie machine (which is becoming more and more popular for healthy fast food places.) Someone came up to me and pointed out they couldn’t take it out, and refunded me the money. They knew what was in everything.

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Now for the bad stuff- the food. The food was super underwhelming. I am excited there is a place that has vegan options. Any of the stir fry or salad dishes you could sub the chicken with tofu or tempeh. Annoyingly the tofu was an extra 50 cents, which seems odd that soy beans would be expensive than organic chicken. The tempeh was a dollar extra, which seems about right knowing the current price for tempeh in the states. 

I ordered the Dragon Ginger noodles. You had the option for brown rice, wheat noodles, or gluten free noodles. I got the wheat noodles, which tasted like linguini pasta- which doesn’t work in a stir fry. The sauce was really thin, and sank to the bottom of the bowl. The veggies were pretty cheap, but at least fresh. It was just some green bell pepper, red onion, and shaved carrot. The tofu was NOT worth the extra 50 cents. It was raw, which being pregnant isn’t the greatest as it should be fully heated to kill any bacteria. Nor was it pressed or seared or had anything done to help with flavor. I don’t think the staff knows how to cook tofu properly, which made me extra happy that I didn’t bother getting the tempeh which probably was very bitter. 

I really want to like this place because I like how they are trying to encourage a vegan diet. But overall the place has a similar format and goals as other restaurants with much better food and personality like Honeygrow or b.good. If I was trying out vegan food and I got this dish I would of been really disappointed. I would probably assume tofu sucked, and there was something lacking from vegan food.

Even though everything was great- fast service, spotless kitchen, helpful staff, I can’t find myself coming back based on the food. If the food isn’t good, why would I come? I can easily make this dish at home, and it seemed pretty overpriced for what I got.

Pregnancy – Weeks 22-23

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Fitness

I was doing so well working out 5 days a week, and then heatwave came, and then I woke up nauseous, and then my husband woke up with a migraine. Let’s just say not much has been done. Oddly I have been expanding my running distance. Something I wasn’t expecting to do 6 months into the pregnancy. The biggest thing holding me back is usually having to pee mid run. I might try and run to a local park so I can take a mid run potty break.

Tummy Status

It’s official- I can no longer hide my tummy. Both photos for this post I had to make sure to pull my shirt all the way down. I went to H&M and got three shirts because normal shirts are just starting to get a little too short. I keep reading suggestions that you can size regular shirts up, but I really like the pregnancy shirts with the ruching. They are completely worth it. I probably will buy a bunch from Swap.com next month.

Jon keeps asking if anyone notices if I am pregnant. And I keep having to point out that I am not quite big enough to make people feel comfortable to ask. I think people don’t want to offend someone who might have a big tummy. But just last week, I was wearing my purple dress at work and helping a customer pick up her framing. She asked if I was expecting, and I was a little surprised since I thought my outfit, if anything, hid my tummy (I am trying not to hide that I am pregnant, just trying to put on anything that is cool and fits.) I had the one lady working at Fernbrook Farms ask if I was pregnant as well, and said she was happy I was since she gets nervous that she might be wrong. XD 

As for my tummy- it is starting to get itchy from the skin stretching. So I’ve been putting on some lotion. My belly button is still hanging in there. And I am starting to even see my tummy move from kicks. At first I thought I was imagining things because it looked like stomach was moving with the kicks when reading a book. Then when I stared at my tummy for a few solid minutes, I could see a little slight movement. It isn’t drastic enough to try and record, heck my husband still hasn’t felt any kicks yet. They are always totally random and all over the place.

Cravings/Adversions

Cravings? Hmm… still finding this the most blown out pregnancy myth. But then again, I keep having this problem where I sit around and don’t want to eat what I have, so I just get more and more hungry. Think I am kidding? Earlier this morning I was reading blog posts and thought “man, I am really hungry… but I really don’t want leftover harira…. but I should really eat that before it goes bad” Drove out to Whole Foods and got a pumpkin spice almond milk latte…. hot. Then finally got home and caved and ate the damned soup, about an hour and half later. I’ve been doing this with work too. I have been working on managing clients for a booster football club. And I always find myself thinking “WHAT THE HELL!? IS THE WHOLE WORLD STUPID?!” because someone asked a very dumb question or a very ugly ad. Then I look at the clock and find that I normally would of eaten lunch an hour ago.

But if there was “cravings” going on right now, it would be sugar and cold things. Smoothies, yes. Ice cream, yes. Cereal, yes. Seltzer, yes. Cut fruit, yes. Heck, I went to Trader Joe’s just to get a few vegan ice cream treats that I could grab and eat after getting home from driving in a hot car. I cry a little on the inside when it comes to dinner time and I need to turn the stove on to cook anything. Even hot leftovers are painful.

Baby Animals

Time for those cute animal comparisons. These past two weeks are animals that are very similar- a guinea pig and a chinchilla. One is  a domesticated rodent in South America, the other is an animal recently introduced into the pet trade. I remember wanting a chinchilla when I was little, but as an adult, I’ve only heard about how delicate chinchillas are. They apparently make horrible pets since they can easily get depressed. But I did have two Guinea Pigs, and they were very boring. Apparently people say they are much more active when they have another Guinea Pig buddy. Want some cute Guinea Pig pictures? Well here you go.

Cute Overload

Why is everything for babies so fuggin cute? I mean all colors are muted, ruffled, with doe eyed animals. Well, let me put it this way- there seems to be a nursery divide. If you look on Pinterest you would get the impression that everyone is shopping at Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware for their nursery. I kind-of prefer this look. I mean it isn’t my FAVORITE, but I like how everything is clean, sleek, and has some bold design aspects. And I think I have a soft spot for Pottery Barn because I get emails that say PB Kids or PB Baby, and I secretly hope there is a video of a baby covered in peanut butter having a puppy lick it off. And what do you know, that is cute

But as I put together my registry, I am finding that the people who actually make baby decor have little taste. Once I find something that is kind-of cute, I figured let’s see what else is from this brand or line. And sometimes I freak myself out. Like everything needs to match. I mean EVERYTHING. Oh that cute animal print on the fitted sheets- let’s make a crib ruffle with, and put in the curtains as well. And let’s put it on the trim of a quilt. And it just stimulus overload. Do these people not know of solid colors? Or worse- crib bumpers. They are shown to increase the risk of SIDS, and I keep seeing them for sale. All they do is make your crib look like a layered parfait of patterns.

Okay I get it- companies want to sell things, so they make them match. And they want a photo with everything together so they cram it all in one small space. But the whole patching together all the patterns just make me feel like a hobo clown decorated a room.

Sunday Reading 08-15-15 #72

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Dear god it has been hot. It has been in the 90s all week, and the humidity has been high. It isn’t helping that I’ve been making BBQ sauce downstairs and it has been boiling/cooking down for the last 3 1/2 hours. Yup, that is what happens when you make BBQ sauce from fresh tomatoes. The plus is that I now have a bunch of sauce that I can freeze and pull out as I need it over the winter. But it is making my house really warm.

I noticed something I’ve stopped doing. I use to keep a log of all the produce I got from my CSA and made a list of meals I was making with it. For example I got 16+ lbs of tomatoes and only used 9 of those pounds for that BBQ sauce. More mind boggling is that for the average price of organic tomatoes is about $4 per pound, that makes my BBQ sauce $36 for 3 jars! I have to say the tomatoes alone is the main reason why my CSA pays for itself.

Farm Round Up:

What I got:
1 quart of purple tomatillos
1 quart of green beans
1/2 pint blackberries
1 large spaghetti squash
8 lbs slicing tomatoes (about 12)
8 lbs big ass cherry tomatoes (more like tennis tomatoes)
3 asian eggplant
3 bell peppers (2 green, 1 mostly red)
3 red italia peppers
2 poblano peppers
4 white onions (very small)
1 lb 4oz okra

What I’m cooking:
BBQ Sauce (9lbs of tomatoes cooked down and frozen for future use)
Tomatillo Coconut Ice Cream (working on a new recipe)
Black Bean & Tomatillo Soup (using a few tomatillos, more tomatoes, and a poblano pepper)
Bhindi Masala from Isa Does It (tomatoes and okra)
Black Bean Tacos with roasted peppers and fresh salsa (peppers and tomatoes)
Jajangmyeon Spaghetti Squash (spaghetti squash, older zucchini, and maybe peppers)
Eggplant Stir-Fry with Green Beans and Cashews (eggplant and green beans)
Maple Cupcakes for Jon’s Birthday (using absolutely no produce ^__~)

What really stinks is that I was originally planning on making some Nacho Tots with some peppers and maybe tomatillos on top. Then as I started to make this list I saw that I never wrote down the planned recipe for the eggplant and green beans. *cries* I keep seeing photos of roasted potatoes and french fries and have a weird desire for them. Actually, I’ve been really craving processed starchy comfort foods but keep knowing that I should really be eating all this great produce. *sigh* I guess I shouldn’t complain. We got 16lbs of organic tomatoes, which at retail prices would of been $64! Better start eating.

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This old YA novel shows us how far women’s gymnastics has come — and how far it hasn’t

This is an interesting review of an old 70s book targeted for teenage girls. It talks about how much the sport of gymnastics have changed in pop culture and how the pressures on girls have changed. What I find funny is that the main character criticizes the Russian team for being TOO athletic, while today, Russian athletes have criticized the team USA for taking the grace out of the sport. I am all for taking some of the “dance” and “grace” aspects out of the sport, as they are starting to look a little silly. Don’t agree? Watch the men’s floor exercises and then watch the women’s. What is with all the these weird octopus arms ladies?

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The Secret Lives of Cadavers

My work is a little weird. I work with two people who are pretty open about death. We have talked a few times about how we would like be buried. Yes, I know what I would like done with my dead body, and Jon knows this too. It is his fault for making me watch Six Feet Under and made me aware of the funeral business. I am not 100% what I want to have done, but I am considering donating my body to be a cadaver after reading this article. 

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Simone Biles’s adoption defies a foster care system that punishes black families

This is a nice article talking about how the foster care system in the USA is broken and racially bias. They talk about Simone Biles because she was very lucky to be adopted by her Grandparents, as appose to being placed in the foster system. I’ve heard a lot of shady things about the foster system, and I remember reading a memoir about being placed in the system for school.

westwood-dr-entryway This “wacky wallpaper house” in Minnesota will assault your eyes with patterns galore

Totally a fluff piece but I am loving this. Offbeat Home features a house that is just so beyond matchy matchy. Would I want to decorate my house like this? Uh no. I actually was a little dizzy the day I read this post and just felt more sick from looking at all that pattern! But there is something admirable about being so over the top that it works.

Savory Pesto Zucchini Muffins

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It has happened guys- I am featuring a recipe on the blog! The last time I posted a recipe was in March– which I am a little shocked about. I thought my last recipe was from Vegan Mofo 2015. But part of me hiding away from recipe making has been because I’ve had a little mental block. When I first got pregnant I was just mentally and physically drained. Then when hunger started to kick in, I got pretty tired of sugar fast. Why? Sugar was in almost all snacks that were quick to eat on the go.

Snacking in a healthy manner can be hard. Especially since I have lots of specifics. I work in framing and it is important that my hands are clean. I work with lots of historical documents, works of art, and sometimes completely worthless junk. But something like an apple I have to sit down, eat, then wash my hands. Hummus and veggies? Oh please. Way too messy and time consuming! So I often will snack on a clif bar, crackers, or worse- candy. So I am constantly trying to think of something to eat that is dry but has no sugar.

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So I started to think about zucchini bread. Most zucchini bread in the USA are sweet. I have even posted a chocolate zucchini muffin on the blog way back in the day. I searched high and low for zucchini quick breads, and usually found savory recipes that used yogurt or different types of cheeses in them. I made one since I had leftover yogurt. But, I wanted to make a recipe that didn’t need a “fake” vegan food. Plus, the recipe made a whole loaf, and I figured if you are making zucchini bread, it is probably summer, and you don’t want the oven on for an hour. Muffins it would be.

I think I made 3 different batches before nailing this recipe. The biggest problem was that the muffins were too dry. The flavors were always amazing. But it would be painful to eat, and crumbs would get all over the place.

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So if you make these muffins, you can use cupcake lines if you are like me and are lazy about cleaning up. Or you can oil your muffin pans, which probably would give better results. Just make sure your muffins cool ALL THE WAY DOWN before taking off the cupcake liners. Otherwise they’ll just stick to the paper (ie. don’t do what I did for that photo. Wasn’t worth it for the sexy steam shot.)

Nutrition? Well, they are a great quick little snack. They are about 160 calories per muffin, and pack 5 grams of protein. If you used enriched all purpose flour and fortified nutritional yeast, the stats are pretty nice. 65% of B1, 54% of B2 (riboflavin), 30% B3 (Niacin), 45% of B6, 15% Folate, 7% Vitamin C, 17% Vitamin K, 10% calcium, and 8% of iron. You can see more of the stats here, I skipped the macros partly because it will be heavily influenced by what type of pesto you use. I used a avocado based pesto, so the fat content is different than the one I plugged into Cronometer (which is probably a traditional basil-olive oil based pesto)

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So what makes these muffins so full of B vitamins? A mix of flours. I bought a bag of kamut/khorasan flour awhile ago since it was on sale. This isn’t gluten-free, but an older variety of wheat. Which kind-of means it is packing a lot of natural vitamins that have been lost with modern varieties. But it does have a certain texture so I mixed it with some regular whole wheat flour and all purpose flour. And help give a savory flour I also mixed in some chickpea flour which helped give a more complex nutritional profile as well. Truthfully I think the flour is more nutritious than the zucchini.

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Vintage in Asbury Park aka How to Rock a Tent Dress

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Dress: 3 Generation Curation | Tights: Target | Earrings: Six Clothing | Shoes: Modcloth

Two week later- finally sharing these photos. It has been a pretty long time since I’ve done a fashion post- and it probably has been because I have gotten a little lazy with my clothing choices. Or it might be because I haven’t expanded my closet much. Sure readers haven’t seen most of my clothing, but it seems less interesting to share something if I’ve worn it 30+ times.

But I’ve noticed there is very little posted on fashion blogs about maternity clothing. Probably because 1) You only look pregnant for a few short months. And 2) Pregnancy clothes are a little…. uh…. meh. Don’t get me wrong there are some super cute things out there, but modern pregnancy clothing is both vastly better and worse than older styles. The tent dress definitely suffered over the years.

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I LOVE Rosemary’s Baby, especially the fashion. Rosemary wore pretty much nothing much swing or tent dresses, and they were so cute. I figured I would stock up on them and be fine for the rest of my pregnancy. Turns out no one really makes them. And when they do- they kind of miss some key points. Like the dress I bought recently from Maternal America. Sure it looks cute, but the darts, just don’t seem right.

So what makes an awesome tent dress? Well, in my opinion you need a cute statement at the neck line. It could be a cute peter pan collar, or in my case a big bow. The next tip are pleating the front of the dress. It gives a little room for expanding tummy, and you can even get an accordion fold going to make a bigger statement. And then my next tip, which is debatable- go bright. I think since there isn’t many pieces to the pattern you can really flaunt a bold pattern. Heck, Rosemary did it! In pigtails even!

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I got this dress from Etsy and I am VERY happy with it. I only paid $35 with shipping and the quality is great. I see no wears or tears, and it does look like this an actual maternity dress. I even risked it all and washed it in the machine and I am wondering if the dress was brand spanking new because it shrunk just a little bit. But I actually prefer the new fit, so it all worked out perfectly in the end.

Alexa took these cute photos while we were walking around Asbury Park. They have some great murals on the boardwalk that really make the dress pop. And for the record- no I don’t actually wear tights during the summer. It just happen to be fairly cool that day (in the 70s) and I thought I could wear tights. Plus it meant wearing cute shoes that looked nice with the dress.

My Vegan Restaurant: Cookman Creamery

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Cookman Creamery

711 Cookman Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
website | instagram | twitter

I’ve been dreaming about coming here. I am a little more inclined to visit Alexa and the “shore” during the off seasons- Fall, Winter, and Spring. I don’t like summer, and I don’t like traffic. But I do like Alexa and I do love food (Alexa’s Note: I’m so pleased to see that as much as Jen may “like” me she “LOVES” food. I’m feelin’ it.), so it is very frustrating when places are closed for the off season. This is one of those places. I’ve been wanting to check it out, but during the colder season the store doesn’t have as many hours.

Cookman Creamery isn’t 100% vegan. They carry regular old ice cream and vegan ice cream. And not just vanilla and chocolate, like good flavors. As you can see from the photo above, they have many flavors, and when we went there was a little more than usual. Heck they even have vegan soft serve in vanilla OR cookies and cream. Is this a vegan’s dream ice cream shop or what?

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Our favorites? Well, Alexa got the Twisted Tree ice cream, which used ginger cookies from another local vegetarian/vegan cafe and restaurant Twisted Tree. We also tried the pistachio ice cream, which was yummy and super natural tasting. I am sure some people have had the problem where the pistachio flavor becomes so intense that it doesn’t quite taste, well, like pistachios. Alexa and I really loved the Blue Lavender ice cream, but I recently made purple basil ice cream, so I passed on it. I went for the balsamic strawberry ice cream (another favorite of Alexa’s). The balsamic flavor is very subtle, which I personally like a lot. 

Their website says their ice cream base is coconut cream, which makes them super creamy and rich. Truthfully that is what I want in my ice cream when eating out. I don’t think I picked up on ANY coconut flavors in the ones we ate. But I am sure other ice creams like the Almond Joy and Pina Colada they will play up the coconut flavor. My only complaint, is that the vegan ice cream is a whole dollar extra compared to the normal ice cream. A little bit of a bummer, but still worth the price I think.

asksalexaAlexa Here! I also love this place and luckily have been able to visit it somewhat regularly this season as opposed to last summer when I too dreamed of the establishment. Something I noted on when I went for the first time was all of the different flavors, like Jen mentioned. I expected some cookie-based flavors, but never thought of seeing something like the Blue Lavender or Strawberry Balsamic. I’m always adventurous when trying ice cream but honestly a little naive when it comes to the massive amount of (good) flavors there could possibly be. I also think Cookman Creamery tries to switch out different flavors depending on the week – I know that at one point they had a vegan matcha flavor but I haven’t come across it when I’ve visited so far and it honestly makes me cry inside. That being said, everything I’ve had so far is amazing. 

Jen also mentioned the coconut cream base for all of their vegan flavors, and I think this is a huge benefit for their ice cream versus something you’d buy in a store. While the new vegan Ben & Jerry’s is very good they’re all almond milk based and you can definitely tell. As someone who is a connoisseur of vegan – and sometimes – non-vegan ice cream I can usually tell when it’s not a milk or cream based flavor, but with Cookman Creamery you wouldn’t even notice. I only say this because I could even convince someone who is a non-vegan to try some of these and they wouldn’t even have an excuse not to! 

I think my only gripe about Cookman is that the prices are a bit high. I understand when you’re using vegan and ‘organic’ products that it’ll hike the cost up a bit more, but I almost can’t justify buying one of the pints of vegan ice cream from them because the pints run around $8.50, whereas I can go and buy a pint of Ben & Jerry’s or *insert vegan ice cream that can be found in Whole Foods/Wegman’s* for $3-$4 less. However, if that’s my only complaint then I would still consider it an amazing experience! The staff are all really nice and are very knowledgeable of the product, I recommend making the trip if you are in Asbury!

Sunday Reading 08-08-15 #71

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Hey guys! Another Sunday Reading list that didn’t get out for Sunday. Surprise! There are lots of reasons for this, the main two being really busy and then my husband had to work some over the weekend so I spent more of my free time looking up information about baby mattresses. Enthralling right? I know you are dying to know more about how to buy a baby mattress, but I won’t go into the those details today. I’ll just jump right into the posts. Oh, and for anyone who wants more food posts, there should be three restaurant reviews coming up and possible *crosses fingers* a recipe! Yeah, I think I might of finally nailed the savory zucchini muffin.

Oh, I am also curious, would you guys be interested if I wrote a series about framing? This blog has never been so much about DIY nor have I really talked much about my job as a framer. I mean, did any of your guys know that? I really don’t know how many times the word “framer” has been typed on this blog. XD I have been talking a lot with my bosses about how our customers are largely people who have had their parents teach them to go to custom framing shops, or serious art collectors. I might do a few posts about what to look for in a framer, how to do your own frames/shadow boxes, and how save money on framing. 

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Millions of Women are Injured During Childbirth. What Aren’t Doctors Diagnosing Them?

I’m kind-of glad to be pregnant during the age of the internet since there are a growing numbers of personal blogs talking about the complications about pregnancy. I can also quickly google a bunch of wives tales like not raising your arms up too high because the umbilical cord will choke your baby. BTW that is total bullshit. Oddly Cosmopolitan (you know that magazine giving all those hot sex tips) wrote a pretty intense article about how little we treat postpartum injuries.

This is clearly a problem with the medical industry in general where we treat injuries with surgeries before doing physical therapies. What makes this case a little more interesting is that the side effects here might be so embarrassing that it would prevent women from seeking the help they need.  Or they get dismissed as just normal post pregnancy stuff like Sayward from Bonzai Aphrodite has written about.

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The world’s most expensive coffee is a nightmare for the animals who produce it

When you go vegan you get asked a lot of silly questions. You mean you don’t eat meat? Not even chicken? Well, what about fish? Reptiles? Bugs? Not even silk? When I get asked these questions I usually talk about poop coffee or kopi luwak. If you aren’t familiar it is an expensive coffee fruit that is eaten by the Asian Palm Civit (an animal in the Feliformia suborder aka related to cats, ferrets, weasels, hyenas, and meercats) then pooped out and brewed. It is a product that seems to not hurt the animal to get, I mean the civits aren’t needing that poop, right? But it is hard to find enough of this poop to fill a bag to sell. So people cram these animals into cages like how we cram chickens into cages. Pretty much, it is an example that if there is a market for it, the animals will get exploited.

I am glad that a news outlet is picking up this bit of information. But even the picture they used is pretty misleading. Most companies put the animals in worse conditions. Some companies outright lie and say they “forage” for the beans, which should be a big old red flag of bullshit- or civitshit.

Former President Bill Clinton salutes before speaking during the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Tuesday, July 26, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Hillary Clinton’s husband wore a fetching pantsuit to honor her nomination for US president

I thought this article was pretty funny. It goes through all the details of Mr. Clinton’s outfit in the same way we talk about the First Lady’s outfits. And if you are like my husband who said “I don’t get it, what’s a pantsuit? Don’t all suits have pants?” well I read up a little bit of the history of the term “pantsuit.” The term was first used for little boys who would wear blazers with shorts. As that style started to go out of fashion, women started to work more white collar jobs. Traditionally women would wear suits composed of a blazer and skirt, but slowly started to wear pants instead of skirts. To make a distinction from the traditional “suit” (read: skirt) from the newer ones with pants, they called them pantsuits (since they were already in the English vernacular.) So yes, pantsuits are just suits with a name that is more fun to say.

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Is Watching Gymnastics Worse Than Being an NFL Fan?

Hands down my favorite part of the olympics is the women’s gymnastics. I loved it when I was a little girl and vaguely remember begging my mom to let me take up gymnastics. I wasn’t allowed to because of the whole stunts your growth thing, but I am sure a large portion was because of money. I remember always not wanting to go to my dance classes when I had them, sorry Mom for wasting your money! I did like the classes, I am just a little brat about time management ^__~. But there is something different about gymnastics than some of the other sports I liked to watch when younger like rhythmic gymnastics and ice skating- it’s the muscle.

Now that I am more about some light weight training (though I plan on amping up my game post baby) I have a lot more respect for these girls. I find myself like more sports like Football (er.. American Football), soccer, and yes, embarrassingly enough American Ninja Warrior. Heck, I’ve even started to get into watching the men’s gymnastics, even it means there aren’t any lamé or rhinestones on anything. WTF guys? Jazz it up a little!

What I don’t like about this article is that it doesn’t go too much in depth. You would think by the end of the article everything is perfect in the gymnastics world. Plus they criticize the femininity of the sport as being anti-feminist… which might be true for 2nd wave feminism. 3rd wave feminists would argue that the pink and sparkles aren’t preventing the girls from being their physical best, so therefore the only thing preventing their respect is that the idea that femininity is bad.

I will be rooting for team USA, duh. But I am pretty excited to see Oksana Chusovitina who qualified to compete for the vault exercise for Uzbekistan. This is her 7th Olympics, and she is 41 years old. There is also Cătălina Ponor (Romania) who is 28 and has qualified for beam. I am excited to see these older women compete.

Pregnancy – Weeks 20-21

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Fitness
I’ve been pretty proud of myself keeping up with working out. I have been working out 5 out of 7 days a week, and even thinking about upping my weights. And then I found out that Larisa Latynina competed in the olympics for gymnastics while pregnant. This chick won 4 gold medals while 4 months pregnant! Thanks lady for making me feel like a big bum.

I also need another sports bra which makes me want to cry. My super duper awesome Moving Comfort bra had the strap un-velcro during my run. If you are above a cup size C- I totally recommend investing in Moving Comfort. They are pricey ($50-75 retail) but I have never paid more than $30 for a bra. It all started when I bought one at a sidewalk sale for – wait for it – fifteen bucks. So now that I have to buy bigger sizes, shelling over $30 for an on sale bra is painful considering I paid $12 for my recent new bras (they were originally $40, I just rock at finding bras on sale.) So, point of this long winded section- I can only run once, wash my one sturdy enough bra, then run again. Luckily I can still use the cheapie bras for weight training.

Clothing
Okay everyone here must think I am obsessed with clothes! And maybe I am, but I don’t know how many articles of clothing I bought last year. Not many. So being FORCED to buy clothes has been kind-of fun and exciting. I’ve been mentally mapping out things I want to make. For example I am still going make a dress from this pattern (or you can see an actual dress sewn from the pattern) but will wait till the end of August when we have the third floor set up for easy sewing.

I’ve bought quite a few new things now that my bump is starting to get too big for some of clothes- even the elastic-y stretchy clothes. I think I can make my goal of making it through the summer without having to buy shorts. I guess it helps that I have been buying some maternity dresses, which I think are more versitile since you can slap on some tights and a cardigan and boom! Your ready for winter. But the fall maternity clothes are being released and it is getting more so excited about cooler weather. I think this the first year I’ve been so excited about seasonal clothing.

Tummy

Okay, so some people have noted (and I have noted) sometimes I feel like my tummy hasn’t grown much when I take the photos. But it certainly has, I mean look at my post from weeks 18-19 or the announcement my tummy is smaller back then. But here is the thing, I think I keep forgetting that I am still planking, running, and standing all day, keeping my core pretty engaged. If I think hard to relax all my muscles, my tummy G-R-O-W-S. This kind-of freaks Jon out a little when I do it in front of him. So if you are wondering why these photos look my tummy shrunk from my Thred Up/Swap review, it is because I forcing my tummy out for those photos to fill up the clothes.

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And if you want a side by side comparison- here you go! I actually have to think pretty hard about relaxing my stomach muscles while standing, so I look pretty frumpy in the second photo. It’s kind-of a fun parlor trick, and I would like to think it is sort of like a mini roller coaster ride for the baby.

Baby Size

Come here only for the cute animal comparisons? Well, here you go. For week 20 the baby was about the size of an axolotl. If you are wondering what the heck that is, it is a Mexican salamander that never matures to it’s adult phase, or rarely at least. So they stay underwater all of their lives. They are originally from Lake Xochimilco located in Mexico City, but are now possibly extinct in the wild since the lake is continually shrinking. The axolotl is a cute looking guy, in a kind-of ugly way. Most photos you see of axolotls are ones raised in captivity, mostly being pale white/pink.

At week 21 the baby is about the size of a lesser weasel, or least weasel, or Mustela nivalis, or you know, just plain weasel. Weird little fact- did you know according to mythology, a weasel is the only animal that can kill a basilisk? If that sounds familiar it is because it was the monster in Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets. J.K. Rowling made her basilisk a giant snake not a big chicken-dragon-snake hybrid, so that is probably why Harry beat the basilisk not a weasel (spoilers- sort of.) Need more cute stuff? Here are photos of a weasel riding a bird, and various photos of weasels yawning.

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Ultrasound

Finally went for my first ultrasound and it took forever. I spent about an hour flopping around to get the baby to move in the direction the technician needed. Is that normal to take so long? We are planning to be surprised so we got photos of the baby’s top half. Little tip for anyone going for an ultrasound- wear workout leggings that go below the belly and wear sweat wicking undies. I keep forgetting how low the baby actually is, and our technician got that ultrasound jelly all over the place. It felt so icky until the stuff dried out.

To make the whole trip a little annoying is that we went at 5. Get there at 5, you go right into your appointment, but since I had a consultation after the ultrasound I had to wait as everyone made appointments after work. The ultrasound also messed up the usual flow of the appointment, so I spent about 45 minutes holding a cup of pee instead of the usual quick hand off. By the time we got into the consultation I was hungry and was plotting out which place would be the faster to grab food at. Luckily everything is peachy keen with the baby, nothing is showing up as unusual, and the baby is a healthy size.

Since we were so hungry, we headed out to a Chipotle on the way home, and it started to pour once we were inside. At some point we had to decide to sit around and wait till it stopped raining, or just drive in a big storm. We drove home when the storm “settled down.” It was still okay, the guy working there probably put just as much guac in my burrito as rice. Guac makes every situation okay.

Symptoms

I haven’t really had much to complain about. The first trimester had been much more notable than the past two months. I was tired, I had muscle pains (probably because my abs weren’t use to budging), acid reflux, tender breasts, all that fun stuff. The second trimester has been mostly centered around my nose acting like it is middle of winter. But recently I started to get calf cramps in the middle of the night. At first I thought I just ran too intensely, but then they would cramp up on rest days. I am trying hard not stretch in the middle of the night since that seems to trigger the cramping. But hey, I guess I shouldn’t complain right?