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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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
Day 115: Made a quick and tasty dish of penne noodles lentils and kimchi. Will be posted on the blog.
Day 116: Cheated a little. I was in a rush with my house hunting endeavors that I forgot to take a photo with my SLR camera, but I did take a photo with my husband’s iPhone. And look, it is of my cat snuggling in a blanket making a cat-burrito.
Day 117: Alexa came to visit and we broke open this bad boy. Super yummy, though not sure if it had any other flavor components of Sriracha other than heat. But we would both drink it again.
Day 118: There was a cute little lady bug on the door at work
Day 119: Took my first Orangetheory class this day and came home super super hungry. Luckily I pre-chopped my veggies for alphabet soup, and quick took a snap shot since it looked kind-of cool
Day 120: Busted open my new apple cider. It was pretty good, but I felt like it could of been a little more dry.
Day 121: Went to pick up some comics for the niece’s birthday. The comic book shop, The Comic Station, has some really cool etchings in the window (probably to try and hide the cracks in the glass) But I’m down with Poe and cats.
I wanted to start this post off by addressing my absence from the blog for the past few months, not as an excuse but more as an explanation (this post had originally been started after the holiday season, and it has been a bit of a toughie to get out of my system). I have been diagnosed with Lymes Disease. I had been having a very hard time focusing on a lot of things, if not everything in general. It’s been difficult for me to keep in touch with friends and family and keep my head on straight. After many a long winded discussion with my mother about all of the things that had been upsetting me (lack of focus, forgetfulness that would seem comical to others, constant head aches/aches in my body, extreme lethargy and depression being the main symptoms) she decided to take me to get tested. She had just recently been diagnosed herself for similar reasons so it made sense for me to get checked out*. I was almost more frightened that I might not have Lymes, and if I didn’t that would have just meant that there was something else that was wrong with me. I felt broken and useless.
Once the official diagnoses came in for me it was almost a wave of relief. I had been suffering for months, if not years, with so many problems that I thought were just part of what made me me. It was and still is extraordinarily frustrating. My sense of direction was garbage (when you are having trouble figuring out how to get to the mall you’ve been shopping at forever and worked at for nearly two years you know something is off), I had no focus or drive for anything, my body was aching, and I was depressed. It was very trying for me to try and keep a schedule for art or blogging, sometimes even seeing friends. Every time I would think to myself “THIS will SURELY get done today” it almost never did. All I wanted to do was escape my current life and to know what feeling like a real person was like. Even as I continue to write this blog post itself I find that I am having trouble finding the right words to make sure I don’t just sound as if I am complaining – my end goal is to make a comic about it. It’s much easier for me to put my feelings into pictures rather than words most times.
I love hiking. As much as I love working up a sweat by running or lifting weights, there is something relaxing about walking for long amounts of time. I personally love hiking up a mountain since you get the visual confirmation of seeing how far you really walked. But there are two problems I face. One is that I live in South Jersey, and it is FLAT. No mountains near by. And to get to the trails in North Jersey it is a 2 hour plus drive.
My second problem is finding information. Hiking maybe free to do, but detailed information that doesn’t involve buying a book can be hard to get. It is definitely a hobby that is mostly written about in books rather than shared freely on the internet. I am not saying the information isn’t there, you just need to search a little. It isn’t as if I could just google “hikes” and common trails are going to come up in google maps in the same way as I could for book stores. Part of the problem are funds for government protected parks. Unless parks are as big as Yellowstone, they tend to have trouble in the publicity department. So I was really happy to find a personal blog called NJ Hiking. They have tons of great trails, and detailed information about them. I would recommend reading the whole description about a hike before a setting out, as I always find it helpful in the end.
NJ Hiking helped me find out about Wharton State Park. They listed this park as one of their top favorite hikes, and thought it wasn’t too long of a drive. So we went, and found out that the park was quite huge. In fact Wharton State Park is the biggest park in New Jersey, and is pretty much the largest park in the area (around Philadelphia, Delaware.) It provides lots of different activities, like biking, fishing, boating, off roading, and camping.
Also when we arrived at the park, we became aware that there are lots of different options for hiking. We planed on traveling in a loop, but there was a clearly marked hike from Atsion to Batso, which was only 9 miles one way. So we are hoping to have another trip where we go early in the morning and hike a total of 18 miles in one day. That’s the joy of hiking, you can pretty much do any length as long as you plan ahead.
We planned to take the Atsion to Quaker Bridge Loop found on the NJ Hiking website. We arrived at the parking lot and I immediately noticed how organized everything was. There were a few buildings, some were falling down, some were in use. One was an information center, which can help if you have any questions about camping grounds, fishing, etc. There is an outhouse that you use (yey!) and a small box full of trails guides, which you should grab regardless how confident you are about knowing the trail. Once you start down the trail you’ll find more abandoned buildings, a church, and even a graveyard. Eventually the path becomes more forested, and you don’t see any structures that remind you of the human population.
Wharton State Forest is part of the Pine Barrens, a stretch of land in New Jersey. These forests are still largely rural, probably because the ground is very sandy, making living conditions difficult. Because of the ground there are some unique flora. There are dwarf pine trees, carnivorous plants, and orchids. Aside from the pines, I didn’t get to see any of the pitcher plants or pink lady slippers yet. It is still too cold. And there are naturally the stories about the New Jersey Devil, which are always fun to read about.
- Although we went during early spring, the walk was beautiful. There many patches of water that are nice to stop the hike to admire. There were also many spots that you could stop to rest or grab a bite. It should be even more interesting in the summer when all the plants are growing.
- Aside from the plants, the buildings and rails are pretty cool. There are tours of the mansion at the beginning of the trail, but I think you need to plan ahead for that. There are also old train tracks that are being taken over by plants. There is even an old cemetery you can explore as well.
- The trail is flat and easy. There might be a few trees and logs to walk over, but in general the ground is level. If you are worried about a long walk, you can rest easy that it won’t strenuous.
- There are lots of options in the park. If you want a challenge, just extend the trail. You can plan for a hike and camping, just hiking, just camping, whatever. Part of the trails we used are actually used to connect one trail to others, making it easy to create your own hike.
- It’s a long hike. There are lots of little parks closer to where I live, but they only keep us busy for maybe 1 to 2 hours. So it is nice to be able to drive a little out the way and be busy for the whole day, or several more if you are interested in backpacking.
- Ticks and Mosquitos! I read the warning on NJ Hiking, and thought they might be exaggerating. But when talking to other hikers who’ve been on the trail told me that they consistently find ticks on them from the trail. So spray up with something. Heck, I even got bit by something during the hike, even though it was early spring.
- Cars and off-roaders have separate trails, but you can see and hear them from time to time. It kind-of sucks, but it makes sense for people who want to camp or kayak. I wouldn’t say it ruined the hike, but is something to be aware of.
- Speaking of cars, if you taking the loop, it is really hard to see the green trail. The trick is if you cross a bridge, you went too far. My husband and I got confused because the trail can lead to another green car trail… so we spent 3 miles on the wrong trail in sandy road. I could go on a rant, but I will spare you the boring details. Just look carefully for the green trail marker. (Note: We went down the yellow trail, walked down the pink/pastel purple trail then to the green trail, back to the yellow. This is the same direction as on NJ Hiking, but you can reverse it.)
Wharton State Park Official Site: gives information about the historically significant aspects of the park, and gives information about boating, hours, etc.
Batsto Village Home Page: Contains information about Batsto Village if you plan on taking a tour of the historic village.
Atsion to Quaker Bridge Loop: NJ Hiking page for the hike that I talked about in this post. I totally recommend reading the whole walkthrough.
Batso Lake Trail: Another trail in Wharton State Park with details on NJ Hiking.
Apple Pie Hill Trail: This is (according the Wikipedia at least) one of the most popular trails in Wharton State Park. There is a tower you can climb and get a sky view of the park.
Hey guys. Pretty weird morning. I’m a little anxious since my husband and I will be going to our first look at potential houses to buy. We went to open houses in the past, and looked online at houses, but this is the first time looking at houses with a realtor. Very scary.
But some cool things are sinking in, like being able to grow herbs, berries, produce, and flowers in a backyard. I could even workout and do stretches in the backyard. Or having plenty of running space for Toulouse (since her tummy rolls over her feet when she sits down). Maybe have two people in the kitchen in the morning and not compete for space. Or a garage to park cars in. OMG a dishwasher, I like doing dishes, but I would love to just put a plate and bowls in a dishwasher.
Anyways, I am trying to think of the good things, not the expensive scary things. Being an adult is scary stuff guys. Anyways, here are my favorite picks this week.
I am a little curious about trying out this Amaranth Granola cereal. Always trying to find quick fairly low cal/easy to digest pre-run breakfast foods.
New York Times wrote an article about how much exercise is just enough to reap the benefits. I’ve been thinking about this a lot since I use to walk to work almost everyday, or at least 20-40 minutes a day. Then I stopped and gained about 10 pounds. This article kind-of made my lack of walking make sense. Sometimes low-impact exercise has a bigger impact on you than you think. Lesson learned? I gotta start biking to work again. XD
The Fitnessista has some great tips on how to keep healthy on a budget. A lot of these tips are ones that I already do, hell yeah to running!
A cool article about the diet from Okinawa, a Japanese island with longest living population. What I find cool is that they have an almost vegan diet, with only 2% meat consumption. Funny thing is that unlike most vegans that scare people by saying how horrible meat is to your health, I don’t think that. But I think people should be eating a fuckload less meat than they do now.
Sayward from Bonzai Aphrodite was featured in a video by Eco Vegan Gal with her son, talking about what it is like to raise a vegan kid. Man she gives me lots of optimism about teaching kids about veganism, and gives me hope that maybe I could raise my kids on a vegan diet.
On the same note, Seitan is My Motor wrote about her struggles with raising a kid vegan- hell vegetarian. She talks about why her kid isn’t vegan, and I support her decision as raising a kid with another person means compromise.
I am not a huge mermaid person but I am loving this bathroom themed roundup from Offbeat Home.
This etsy shop has amazing photo prints of live flowers and drawings.
My husband’s dream has come true- Spirited Away will be released on BluRay. (no joke I got an email titled YES!YES!YES!x120 from my husband and I thought, what happened? Like did Spirited Away get released on BluRay… yup)
I can only hope to be this fabulous at this age while walking my dog.
Day 108: Toulouse naps on clothes on hangers… not sure if that is comfy.
Day 109: Abandoned building at the beginning of my hike.
Day 110: Cat stretches
Day 111: Quick shot of my owl clock
Day 112: Forgot to take a photo with my nice camera! But I did take a shot of my booze for my Untappd account. If you want you can friend me.
Day 113: That sky is filled with fluffy as fuck clouds.
Day 114: Third cat photo this week. I must be obsessing over this little fuzz.
This recipe roundup was a little tricky. Tempeh can be a vegan staple, but so many people are afraid to use it. It has a bitter taste when raw, and is a flavor that might take some time to grow on you. I also find that some people have a hard time imagining outside of the box for tempeh. A lot of recipes use it for a stir-fry.
I tried my best to find traditional and non-traditional recipes for tempeh. Some might seem traditional but is really a mix of cuisines. For example the gochujang tempeh with blasted broccoli might seem traditional but tempeh isn’t used in Korean cooking. It is still a great combination. Everything was pretty good, so read and pick something new to cook this week!
I am fairly big admirer of the No Meat Athlete. I like the guys sensabilities and he seems so down to earth. He makes vegetarianism/veganism seem so normal. Sometimes people make vegans seem like they are part of some specific subculture, punks, hippies, hipsters, etc.
The overall recipe is pretty much okay. Stir-fries are nice since you really can’t mess it up. BUT I am not a huge fan of using kale in a stir-fry. Although generally tasty, there are a lot of cooking technics I would switch up. I would of put more emphasis on browning the tempeh. I would of also toss the kale in the wok first and cooked it down for 3-5 minutes before adding the other veggies. The kale was too chewy, but if I cooked it any longer, the other veggies would of been over cooked.
Bottom Line: I would of used bok choy or nappa cabbage instead of kale, but very tasty.