Friday, December 12, 2014

i was scared of dentists and the dark

{ new favorite frozen treat - vegan gelato in sea salt caramel, too good }

{used to love Gnu bars but never seem to see them anymore - picked up this box from tj maxx and love it }

{ a little too excited that my pen matched my simple to impress Christmas card box; made writing them out more fun }

{ previously mentioned Christmas felt craft tree. I think it needs a partner }

{keeping with the Christmas spirit - new printables to take the place of the fall art }

Friday, November 21, 2014

So I guess it's kinda funny how I loved you so way back when

{ not only my favorite flower of sunflowers - but in a perfect red to add some fall flair }

{ supplies for my next west elm inspired Christmas craft }

{ old pink carpet is officially gone in the entire upstairs! love the new master bath tile in hopscotch pattern }

{ yesterday my last day in pre-student teaching and observation at the elementary school - next step = full on student teaching! can't wait }

{got these a few weeks ago from whole foods using my free coupons I won from Vegan Mofo! have to give them a try when it's not so frigid outside }

Sunday, November 16, 2014

there's this movie that i think you'll like

Last weekend we made our yearly trip up to Syracuse, NY for the SU football game. This time it was myself, Jason and my parents and it was a nice weekend getaway despite the outcome of the game.

We were staying in a hotel a bit away from the downtown campus area, but luckily there was a delicious vegan friendly diner, Deja Vu Diner only a mile away that we could grab a bite to eat before heading to the stadium on Saturday.

They had almond milk to add to my coffee and a full menu to choose from.

I ended up choosing the garden omelette, since I had yet to have a vegan omelette and used to love them during my pre-vegan days. Although a bit salty, this was a delicious way to start the day - plus they had Franks as their hot sauce, so they get extra points from me for that. :) My family didn't order off of this menu, but they all enjoyed their choices too so this was a good place to go with both vegans and meat-eaters.

The game was a lot of fun and it's always nice walking around the downtown main street afterwards with my family walking in and out of the shops. We also headed over to Destiny USA (aka the insanely large mall) and walked around for a bit. We had plans to go to Alto Cinco for dinner that night, and despite the long wait we were able to make it. I had read online they had a lot of vegan friendly options and it was mexican-type food - my favorite cuisine. It was very dimly lit, so the pictures I attempted to take did not turn up that great.

Bar view while waiting for our table. Note - it is a small restaurant so reservations would be a good idea or try to get there early!

My entree - I ordered the BBQ Tofu Plate, which included the tofu, steamed spinach, rice, black beans, and a salad. It was really good - not exactly the traditional mexican food I am used to, but still good. We also started with chips, salsa & guacamole which was also very tasty. My gripe though - they do not give you chips and salsa to start, it needs to be ordered - and it's not's pico de gallo. Otherwise, it was a good meal and a nice vegan-friendly place in Syracuse to go to.

Everytime we've gone to Syracuse, we always make sure a stop at Strong Hearts Cafe is included. Sometimes it is for a meal, sometimes just for their extensive milkshake list and cupcakes. We had never gone for breakfast before, so we planned on going there on Sunday morning before taking the long drive home.

This was the menu board for the new On-Campus location of Strong hearts. It was small and more of a take-out location, but still a delicious menu and awesome they have a new spot right on campus.

This was from their original location on Genesee Street where we ate that morning. 

I had the green tofu scramble - including broccoli, tomatoes and pesto. So delicious and with a nice curry heat to it. I loved their coffee and their soy creamer they had available as well.

Beautiful presentation of their daily special - Pumpkin pancakes! My mom ordered this and I tried a bite - they were perfect! The cinnamon cream cheese on top was a perfect addition to my toast as well :)

My Dad & Jason both ordered this - Peanut Butter & Jelly French Toast. This was one of the most delicious breakfast foods I have ever had. I was envious they ordered it and I did not - but luckily Jason was willing to share many bites of it with me so I was glad he ordered that! This was just too good - I have plans on recreating this at home soon on a Sunday morning!

We of course also brought home some to-go treats from Strong hearts - including a Chocolate Coconut cupcakes and a Peanut Butter Whoopie pie- both are gone by now but were great souvenirs from our trip. Can't wait until next year! :)

Friday, November 7, 2014

when things start splitting at the seams and now the whole thing's tumbling down

{a mild fall so far means a lot of exploring new trails. french creek state park is a new favorite }

{loved this broth from TJ's, I'll share soon what I specifically used it for }

{thanks to Vegan Crunk, I won this book! Interesting read and can't wait to try the recipes.}

{ went back to an old favorite this week -chickpea piccata with broccopots from appetite for reduction }

{sneak peek of our guest bathroom - so glad to finally have the tile done this week, now for the next project }

Friday, October 24, 2014

i'm in the wind

{ New Almond Milk brand to try - the packaging definitely drew me in! }

{ fun fall leaf project from IHeart Organizing }

{ had the chance to pop into newly opened V-Street for dessert, this waffle - unbelievably delicious! }

{ fun to see outside of reading terminal market turned into a hay-full fall fest }

{ perfect quick sunday dinner - vegan sausage and peppers with zucchini noodles and asparagus }

Have a good weekend!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Vegan in Nashville!

Over Labor Day weekend, I met my best friend Emily down in Nashville for a girl's weekend away. We were roommates all through college and have remained close, yet she is living down in Austin now so the time we get to spend face-to-face is limited. After our weekend away this year, we both decided each year we need to pick a new destination to meet to catch up for all the missed time

We both had never been to Nashville before, so it was fun to explore a new city together. We met late on Thursday evening at the airport both flying in and then took a cab downtown to our hotel. It was around midnight when we finally got to the hotel, but that didn't stop us from enjoying our first night on the town! It was great to scope out where we wanted to venture to over the next few days.

Since moving to Austin, Emily has been vegan for a bit now while living there, so we both were on the scope for fun vegan friendly places in Nashville. Austin is a great place to go vegan, so I'm jealous of all the options she has down there!

We started our mornings at a coffee shop right around the corner from our hotel called the Frothy Monkey. On Friday morning this place was busy, but not too crazy and we were able to order and sit quickly. However - on Saturday morning it was a mad house so definitely keep that in mind if you are in a rush! Luckily, we were not..and both mornings we had delicious vegan breakfast, tea, and almond milk with iced coffee! Their tofu is perfectly grilled and great over their salad or on a sandwich.

Our first meal I snagged a picture of was a late night on the town meal. Sometimes those are the best! We had intentions of eating dinner that night late at Pub 5, however by the time we were looking for something to eat they had closed. We found a place still serving food right down the street though and it was perfect for a quick late night vegan snack plate.

We grabbed 3 appetizers from Merchants Restaurant right on Broadway downtown. This was a great location since it is near everything and our hotel was just around the corner. To order, we picked Fried Green Tomatoes, hold the pimento cheese - Guacamole with lime and sea salt tortilla chips - and a side of their sweet potato wedges. I didn't see these on their online menu, but we ordered them so they must have been available. This was a perfect late night meal for us and the restaurant was really nice inside, I would definitely go back during normal hours and try other menu options!

A trip to Nashville is not complete without going to The Wild Cow. Although we were staying in the downtown area, we knew we had to make the trek over to East Nashville to visit this all vegan restaurant. The day we went there was an on and off rain, so it was a fun 3 mile walk there in the rain...but luckily the worst of the rain was when we already got inside the restaurant. It was well worth it and we walked by some fun/cute neighborhoods!

On our walk there, we passed by the Barista Parlor. I had heard a bit about it prior to going, but after walking through it and seeing more articles about it later, it would have been fun to grab a unique coffee inside. We wandered in just to see what it was like, and their coffee options looked great. Next time I will definitely try one of their unique coffee drinks!

We finally made it to the Wild Cow. After only maybe a 15 minute wait we were seated and excited to try their food. I had looked up their menu online prior to the trip, and knew that vegan queso had to be ordered.

This was awesome. I will admit the queso dip wasn't as smooth and creamy as I had imagined - but this was still really delicious. Although we did order this to start, we didn't receive it until after we ordered our meals...regardless it was still good. 

For my meal I ordered the Buffalo Beans and Greens. When a menu item has buffalo on it, I cannot help but gravitate to that and end up ordering it. I just love hot sauce. Even as a non kale lover, this bowl was still delicious. This included garlicky kale, pinto beans, carrots, and grilled tofu tossed in buffalo sauce, topped with home made ranch. I had the option of either brown rice or quinoa - I chose quinoa but they ended up giving me brown rice anyway... Was still delicious though.

Emily ordered the French Quarter Dip. This included homemade seitan, mushrooms and onions marinated in a creole seasoning, served on a wheat hoagie with au jus dipping sauce. I tried a bite of it and the seitan was awesome. I cannot say that I have had a french dip sandwich or au jus sauce pre vegan, but I think this version was really good.

Although we both loved the food from the Wild Cow and I would be back in a heart beat, I would say the service was not as wonderful as I had expected. With issues such as the appetizer not coming out, and then we got our entrees and asking what happend to our queso, and then getting it to ordering Quinoa with my meal which is an up-charge and yet still receiving brown rice...we were not so blown away. However, hopefully it was just a fluke and usually things go a lot smoother! :)

For our last meal in Nashville we had to make it back to Pub 5 which we had heard had awesome vegan tapas. They opened at 11 and we had a flight that afternoon, so we knew we had to get in right when they opened and eat quick! Luckily we were the first guests there so we got our food quite fast.

We ordered a few dishes to split. The first was the Quinoa Tabbouleh leave off the feta. This included pepperdew peppers, cucumber, tomato, pea tendrils, and herb vinaigrette over the quinoa. We both really loved this side salad. 

For someone that doesn't usually like kale, this was a kale-filled weekend for me! This kale was delicious, and made me rethink all things I have doubted before. This was just a side dish of their Garlic Kale, but it was cooked perfectly and the garlic gave it a great kick. 

We also split the small plate of the Seitan Corndogs. Not sure what we would expect, these did not disappoint! The sauce on top really made it come together and the seitan was perfectly seasoned. This was a perfect last meal together to end our Nashville trip!

Of course, we had to do the NashTrash tour, which I would highly recommend to any tourists looking for a fun and informative tour! We had a blast and I cannot wait to start planning next year's trip! :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It's like I got this music in my mind

This past weekend was a continuation of my birthday celebration. The first part was back on August 4th to try the sneak preview of V-Street. This weekend I requested since it was my "almost birthday" (2 days before it) to go check out the Bethlehem Veg Fest!

I had been wanting to go to this veg fest since it began a few years ago, but was never usually around for it. I'm excited I had the chance to experience it this year and everything that it entailed!

Although it was a cloudy day with a 70% chance of rain, that did not stop the crowds from coming. It seemed to be busier than I expected - and the university nearby was having its move-in weekend too which could have been a factor! Luckily the rain held out and only did spurts of light showers here and there.

{The ever lasting long line for the Cinnamon Snail Food truck}

{A delicious hot-sauce sampling stand while waiting in line for Cinnamon Snail}

{Mentioned hot sauce being TOO hot and needing to buy a delicious pineapple drink to cool down with!}

{Getting so close for the Cinnamon Snail! There were MANY awesome vegan options for lunch at Veg Fest, but I had my heart on finally trying the Cinnamon Snail food truck I had heard so much about.}

{My delicious lunch from Cinnamon Snail - Lemongrass 5 Spice Seitan - with curried cashews, argula, sichuan chili sauce and wasabi mayo over greens}

{Jason's lunch - Korean Barbecue Seitan - served open faced on a grilled tortilla slathered with chili butter, kimchi, and greens. Both were so delicious! }

{Cute pigs to pet :) }

{When I saw that Rachel from Miss Rachel's Pantry was doing a demonstration, I was very excited to stick around and watch! Although she cooked tempeh, which is not my fave, she did an awesome job explaining her steps and going through the demonstration despite the rain going on! }

{ One of the few times I enjoyed Tempeh. :) }

{Of course, how could I pass up the Vegan Treats table?! So many awesome things to choose from! Such as the vegan chicken and waffles donuts! The everything but the kitchen sink brownie won me over though - because I hadn't had a brownie in a much overdue time. Next time though - the donuts! }

I've had quite a vegan-filled birthday celebration and am so glad that my husband is willing to join me in these events. :) Cheers to 26!