Stressful week? Watch Sister Mary Frances rub her belly on the fence!

WOW it’s been a hectic week! How have you guys been??

The big annual event for the Sanctuary that I work at, Catskill Animal Sanctuary, is on this Saturday and this week has been a whirlwind preparing for it!

For any of you in the NY/NJ/tri-state area in general, you should come to the event! It’s called Shindig and it is going to BE. A. BLAST.

Seriously, I went 2 years ago with my boyfriend Jon and I actually think it was the happiest day of my life…

Working to prepare for Shindig has been quite a lot, as to be expected, so I wanted to share a video with any of my fellow stressed out friends that will ABSOLUTELY put a smile on your face and make you forget about all the work you have!

The video features Sister Mary Frances who is one of the free-rangers at the Sanctuary. She is a gem and a half, and is a SUCKER for belly rubs. Seriously, I have never seen anyone love a belly rub more. Which is why she also loves a fence rub!

(Yes I did create a YouTube channel just to post this… It’s the price I was willing to pay to share this darling video with y’all!)

There is something about the pure joy that Sister Mary Frances gets out of scratching her side on a fence, and watching her precious belly swing side to side that really takes all of the stress out of me!

Sister Mary Frances is a pot bellied pig, the same breed as “mini-pigs.” As we can alllll see, there is nothing mini about her! She’s quite a big one, and a beauty at that!

So good luck with the end of your week everyone, and I’ll talk to you all soon! ūüôā

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Let’s hear it for… GRAPE SALSA

Last summer in Cape Cod, my boyfriend Jon and I went out to eat at a cute little restaurant by the bay. Little did we know, this dinner would CHANGE OUR LIVES.

Okay, maybe not soo dramatic, but we discovered a pretty fantastic and life changing thing! That thing?

Grape salsa!

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Never had I ever heard of such a thing as grape salsa before this dinner, and we were both¬†very intrigued. It ended up being SPECTACULAR, so we asked the waitress what was in the salsa and she told us the chef’s recipe. Ever since, we’ve been making our own version of this salsa and after eating a whole batch of it recently, I realized I had to share it with y’all!

Ingredients:
2 C whole grapes
1/2 C minced cilantro
1/4 C diced jalepe√Īos
2 TB apple juice
1 tsp lime juice

So this is an eaaaaasy peasy recipe, let’s start with the grapes. Cut your grapes into¬†four pieces, I do them into quarters but you can honestly cut your grapes however you’d like! Add your minced cilantro, diced jalepe√Īos¬†, apple juice, and lime juice to your cut grapes, and mix. And then you’re done!

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One thing I love about this salsa is that it’s sweet, and compliments a nice salty tortilla chip so well.

In my photos, I only used green grapes (that’s because it would have cost me¬†$7.50 to buy a bag of red grapes. $7.50!!!! And they weren’t even organic…!) so I settled for just green instead. In the past, I’ve made this with both red and green grapes, and it not only looks pretty but tastes DELISH.

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I wonder what this recipe would be like with cotton candy grapes? Speaking of, have any of you ever heard of cotton candy grapes? I hadn’t until last summer and now they’re pretty much all I think about. They’re to. die. for. I kinda feel like they came outa nowhere and came in HOT cause first I had never even heard of them, and then next thing ya know they were all over!

Once when I made this salsa, I was dealing with some¬†really tiny grapes, so I only cut them in half once. I’m curious to see other ways that the grapes can be cut though, I’m sure some of you could get really crafty with it!

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This salsa has been a big success when bringing it to BBQ’s and other summer-y events. It travels well and is just as delish, if not better, the next day. Plus it’s SO easy to make on a whim, yet is pretty different and a convo starter. I once brought grape salsa and cauliflower wings¬†to a BBQ and they were quite the dynamic duo to bring to a non-vegan BBQ, because they’re both SO YUM¬†and showed the non-vegans that vegans eat delicious food too!

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What would you add to this salsa recipe? I’m very curious to see if there’s anything that y’all think could spice it up a bit!

Enjoy the salsa! xo

Kylie Jenner’s Ramen Recipe…VEGANIZED!

So who here follows Kylie Jenner on Snapchat?

I’m sure we all have our personal reasons for following her, I for one enjoy seeing what color hair she has at any current moment. So she recently snapped a picture of what she puts in her ramen noodles, and her post got me thinking.

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I am a ramen LOVER. LOVE LOVE LOVE those curly noodles that stick together no matter how many veggies you try to stir in with them. I know they have no nutritional value, but I don’t care,¬†I love em.

Fun fact about me, I’ve actually never added the included spice packet to my ramen! I love using the noodles as a base for spicy peanut noodles, stir frys, and other Asian noodle dishes, but that spice packet is¬†so not appealing to me. Too much sodium! But if it’s your thing and you enjoy a good spice packet addition, then whatever floats your boat!

So vegan wise, ramen can be tricky because of the spice packet. Obviously, the chicken, the beef, etc., are not vegan, but what about the oriental flavor?

Nissin Top Ramen¬†oriental flavor is vegan (woot woot!) but¬†I gotta warn you! Maruchan, the other very well-known ramen brand’s oriental flavor contains “beef extract!” Whatever beef extract even is, I will never know/want to know, but how not cool! So stick to Nissin brand if you want to be cruelty free, and don’t be fooled by Maruchan.

So back to Kylie’s “inspirational” and “life changing”¬†snapchat. I got to thinking how I LOVE ramen noodles, and equally LOVE buttery garlicy noodles, and ALSO equally love Follow Your Heart’s VeganEgg. So what’s not to love about Kylie’s ramen recipe?

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I gave her recipe a go, vegan style, and guys… I’m HOOKED! It’s only been a week and I think I’ve made this dish 5 times now? Not the healthiest cause of the whole no fresh veggies thing and all, but I don’t care cause it’s ALL I want to eat!

So obviously I had to share this recipe with you guys, because I NEED to share the quick, easy, and cheap dish that has seriously changed my life/past week.

Kylie Jenner’s Ramen Recipe, Veganized!

Ramen Ingredients
1 pack oriental Nissin Top Ramen
1 TB melted vegan butter
1/4-1/2 tsp garlic powder, depending on how garlicy you like it
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

VeganEgg Ingredients
2 TBS VeganEgg powder
1/2 C ice cold water
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Pepper to taste
Vegan butter for pan

Alright, so let’s start with the noodles. Boil some water as you usually would, and cook the noodles for about 3 minutes, or until they are as tender as you like them. Strain the noodles, and pour (is pour the right word? Feels weird to say “pour the noodles”…) into a bowl. Drizzle melted butter over the noodles, and sprinkle the garlic powder and red pepper flakes over them as well. Stir to incorporate all the buttery-garlics-spicy goodness!

Now it’s time for the VeganEgg! Melt vegan butter in a pan over medium-high heat. ¬†Whisk¬†your 2 TB VeganEgg powder with 1/2 C ice cold water, and pour into pan when you think the pan is good and hot. The VeganEgg should sizzle when it hits the pan, so don’t do it tooooo early. Sprinkle the garlic powder and pepper over the freshly poured VeganEgg, and SCRAMBLE! They say you should cook the VeganEgg for about 8 minutes, but I like to do it a little quicker. My method is to do a quick high-heat cook so the outside gets¬†super crispy, and the inside is still a little creamy. Either way, cook for however long you’d prefer.

Once the VeganEgg is done cooking, stir into your already prepared noodles and there ya go! You have yourself an A+ din.

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I LOVE buttery garlicy noodles. YUM. Nothing better. Seriously, are you guys as big of a fan of butter and garlic together as I am?

ALSO. Just to throw this out there, from the looks of her picture, I’m pretty sure Kylie makes hers into a soup. I like mine to be more stir-fry-y, but I’m sure it would be just as good with some added veggie broth!

Ramen has a weird way of being sticky and kinda creamy on its own, do you get me on that? So the added butter makes them¬†luscious. Jeez I’m like drooling over here talking about these noodles…

I LOVE the addition of the VeganEgg too, for a few reasons. Reason 1 is that I think the VeganEgg is freaking DELICIOUS (not to mention brilliant!) Another reason is that I love anything that replaces the cruelty of the egg industry with a cruelty free alternative. Such a win/win!

Additionally, this meal is one of the cheapest things you could make so that’s always a huge bonus for those of us on a budget!

You can add whatever you like to it also! When I made this for my boyfriend Jon, he asked me to add sesame oil to the VeganEgg. You can add fresh veggies (scallions perhaps?!) different spices, different oils, whatever tickles your fancy!

Try this bad boy out and lemme know what you think! As always, I’m always open to many, many suggestions.

Gonna go fall asleep and dream about this ramen, goodnight y’all!

 

“You don’t LOOK like a vegan!”

Hey everyone!! Happy Monday!

So last Friday night I was out with my friend Bianca, and had a semi-strange encounter with someone that¬†I wanted to share with you guys for a few reasons. One reason is that I think what happened was pretty funny, but another is because I want to see if this has ever happened to any of you before…

SO!

Bianca and I were at a bar chatting with some people, and I mentioned how earlier that day, a goat had made his way into my office. (Pictured below!)

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(The photo is a little blurry cause he was on the prowl! Trying to eat paper bags and such, so I could only snap a quick one of him!)

After I mentioned that this sweet goat made an appearance in my office, everyone asked where exactly it was that I worked, and I told them the whole spiel and that I worked at an animal sanctuary.

Okay, so next part of the story…

A few hours later on in the night, a guy who was in this initial group of people who I told about my goat pal, we’ll call him “Bar Guy 1,” asked me how exactly I got to work at an animal sanctuary. I explained to him that my last 3 jobs have been in animal rights/for vegan organizations/companies, and that it’s the only movement/field I want to work in.

Okay, so he knows that I work for an animal sanctuary that rescues farm animals, and that I have worked in the animal rights field before and that it’s the only area¬†I want to work in for the rest of my life. Wouldn’t you at least be a¬†little clued into the fact that I’m vegan? Even if not so,¬†open to the idea that I¬†could be vegan?

So a little bit later, my blog got mentioned. He asked the name of my blog, so I (obviously) replied “Conveniently Vegan!”

So here’s the kicker.

The look on his face after I told him my blog’s name was¬†pure shock. He then said to me, “Oh, you’re a VEGAN?!” like I had just told him that I was a murderer or something.

So when people say this to me, it’s so easy to get defensive, but I prefer to view this as a lil educational opportunity! (Plus, it usually is pretty funny!)¬†One of my favorite things to say to someone is to casually mention that I’m vegan, because it shows them that most¬†vegans aren’t super IN YOUR FACE about the lifestyle, like the stereotype paints us as. So after I explained super nonchalantly that I am, in fact, vegan, and that¬†since I¬†want to devote my life to the animal rights movement, I don’t contribute to the injustices I’m against, he said one of my FAVORITE things anyone can say to me.

“You don’t LOOK like a vegan!”

First off, what exactly does a vegan look like?

I couldn’t tell ya, cause all of the folks that I know who live a vegan lifestyle look so different! Second off, this always comes as a bit of a shock to me. It’s a shock because¬†as bad as the world is, it still genuinely surprises me that some people literally have no clue what a vegan diet is or that it is actually possible to be vegan.

And that’s not their fault in the least bit!

They just don’t know! And it’s our job to politely inform people and show them that it’s soooo easy, heathy, fun, all that good stuff, to be vegan.

So when I meet someone who has never encountered a person¬†who lives a vegan lifestyle before, I love to do a little bit of “research.” I asked Bar Guy 1, “Did you think I’d be pushy and all in your face?” and he very quickly replied, “Yes!”

And that was the golden ticket.

That’s when I¬†really lay on the cool girl attitude just to reallyyyyy show people that you can be vegan and not contribute to the typical stereotypes that everyone seems to have in their head.

Bar Guy 1 actually ended up being quite lovely and even referred to my lifestyle as “compassionate,” all on his own too, I must add. He seemed to really get the gist¬†of it, and that’s sometimes all I can ask for.

So this post is NOT meant to be mean or to make fun of this Bar Guy 1. He was very lovely and receptive about a vegan lifestyle, though we didn’t talk about it much cause I don’t particularly¬†love preaching to strangers at bars about why they should be vegan. I just wanted to share this with you guys to see if it’s ever happened to you before, people being¬†shocked that you’re vegan and all!

As crazy/funny as I find these instances, they happen less and less to me as the years go on! (LOL I just sounded SO old.) Of course we are going to encounter people who have never even heard of what the word vegan means, but there are SO many people who understand that the lifestyle is super accommodating and easy to follow, even if they themselves are not vegan.

HOW COOL is it that people are getting to know more and more that vegan simply means compassionate?

So I wanna hear your stories about when someone told you that you didn’t “look like a vegan,” cause those stories can sometimes, quite frankly, be the best.

Now let’s just hope Bar Guy 1¬†didn’t miraculously remember the name of my blog¬†and is reading this as we speak¬†ūüėČ

In the rare event that this is happening, hi Bar Guy 1!

Goodnight all you lovely bunnies ‚̧ xo

Easy breezy 2-ingredient homemade hair mask

Hello everyone!

How has this week been treatin’ ya? Do anything new and exciting?!

So how many of y’all do frequent hair treatments? I’m someone who prefers to always use deep conditioner as opposed to regular, has a few spritzes of hair oil in my hair at all times, and takes biotin vitamins like it’s my job. Soooooo it should be no surprise that my new beauty obsession is currently my

2-ingredient homemade hair oil mask!

I’m definitely not breaking ground with this hair mask because it’s¬†quite simple, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it is AMAZING for your hair.

It’s super simple and easy to make, and I would pretty much bet each and every one of you money that you already have these ingredients in your house! Plus, making your own masks and such guarantees that they’re cruelty free, which is always the biggest check plus in my book!

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(Yes I know this looks like a jar of pee, get your minds out of toilet people!)

So the two main ingredients are:

2 parts coconut oil
1 part olive oil

And some optional added “flare” that I sometimes like to throw in:
3-5 vitamin E capsules

So the base of this mask is just 2 parts coconut oil and 1 part olive oil, so 2/3 C coconut oil and 1/3 C olive oil is an example of the measurements you can do. The vitamin E capsules are just a little “added flare,” but they’re SO great! Sometimes I use them, and sometimes I don’t, so it’s up to you!

(I’m sure you all know this, but you have to¬†poke a pin through the capsule to¬†get the liquid out, don’t just add the capsules to the other oils. Just an FYI!)

Vitamin E is so good for repairing your skin and hair. When I was a kid and would have a bad sunburn, my mom would always put vitamin E on my burn and it would go away SO fast.

In terms of applying this mask, I apply it to my dry hair with my hands, comb it through, and you’re good to go! I like to leave it on for as long as I possibly can, so honestly there is noooo time limit on this bad boy. You can also apply as much or as little as you want. Sometimes I just want to hydrate my hair a little, other times I literally pour it all over my head and hair until my hair is actually dripping with it. When I choose the latter dousing method, putting my hair up in a bun while I leave the mask in is¬†necessary, or else it would be messyyyyy!

Then, shampoo and condition as you usually would do and enjoy your new silky locks!

One of the many¬†things I love about this mask is that after you shampoo it out, there is no reside or oil left behind. As penetrating as it is, once you shampoo, it is¬†out¬†of your hair. Which I prefer because I hate doing a hair mask, and then the next day having it be soooo obvious that I deep conditioned the night before because my hair still looks like it’s soaking wet. ¬†Happened a few times in high school when I was going through an “experimental” hair phase….

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It’s liquified in these photos because it’s a fresh batch that I had just made before taking the photos, but when I store it in the fridge it solidifies because of the coconut oil. I like to keep some of this in a glass jar in the refrigerator at all times so that I can throw the whole jar¬†(lid excluded) in the microwave when it’s time for me to use it, that way it’s all always in one container as opposed to a plastic container that can’t go in the microwave.

Plus, heating up the oil is always GREAT because hot oil treatments are soooo penetrating and good for your hair!

Added bonus: Throw on a shower cap over this mask for good measure, it keeps the heat in and makes your hair absorb even MORE of the benefits these oils have to offer.

Do you have any oils that you swear by for hair care¬†that you think would be a great addition to this recipe? Any “added flare” that you think could really spice up this simple recipe and make it all the more fab? Let me know and let’s collab to make a mega mask!

Enjoy your night everyone! xo

 

Anita Krajnc and the Pig Trial

Hello all!

A few months back I did a post on Toronto Pig Save, and today I wanted to circle back to that topic because of the “pig trial” that is currently going on. Have you guys been hearing all about¬†the trial¬†lately?!

It’s all I’ve been seeing on my social media feeds! There’s a lot of organizations posting about¬†“Stand with Anita” and “Pig Trial,” and I think it’s¬†great that TPS, specifically Anita Krajnc, is getting so much attention.

Basically, the very short story of the deal is that back in 2015, a truck driver got mad at TPS for giving¬†the pigs water. The whole ordeal was caught on tape, and it’s been an ongoing trial of Anita being charged with criminal mischief.

I feel like we’re fighting logistics and ignoring the bigger problem, that problem being that society is totally fine with the enslavement of living beings. Just because they don’t speak our language doesn’t mean they don’t have languages of their own (scientifically proven!) and are intelligent beings that we should be exploiting.

Actually, I don’t even care how intelligent they are. Whether they are smarter than us or not, we should not be exploiting living, sentient beings for profit. Imagine if the status of our lives, whether we got eaten or not, depended on our intelligence? It would be a barbaric world to say the least.

So Anita is not only one of the most compassionate people I’ve heard of, but she’s also a totalllll badass.

“The activist has said her only crime was compassion and that she would do it again.”

Seriously, go Anita, girl!

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I admire the work that Anita and all of TPS¬†does. They are all¬†EXTREMELY brave and I don’t know if I would have the courage to do what they do.

That being said, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. I feel that my strength does not lie in my activism in terms of protesting and live demonstrations and vigils, but in my communication skills, for instance, writing this blog. I think that if I did what Anita did every day, I would constantly be getting caught up in my emotions and not portray myself professionally. Do you feel me on that? Maybe I’m just an emotional mess over animals all the time tho…. HA.

Anyway, that’s one thing that I love about the animal rights movement, there is virtually a million different ways to help. No matter what you’re good at, chances are you can morph that into your own form of activism. When I started my first year of college, I remember not having a clue what I wanted to do, other than help animals. I remember googling “what to major in if you want to help animals” and learning about public relations, and realizing that it was a perfect fit for me and the field I was interested in. At first, it can feel discouraging, as if there are no jobs in animal rights, but I¬†assure you that there are! The last 4 jobs I have had all have been in the field, so keep looking to any of you who want to work to help the animals! (Also always feel free to contact me for job advice, this girl has done her¬†fair share of searching around for jobs!)

Back to the trial tho!

One thing that¬†really gives me a gross feeling is a statement from an article that the Chicago Tribune posted. The article states “Eric Van Boekel, the farmer who owned the pigs in Veldjesgraaf’s truck…” and then goes on to talk about what this man thinks of animal rights activism. The part of this statement that irks me SO much is “the farmer who owned the pigs,”part.

This is our problem. Society views living, sentient, intelligent being, as property.

We can do all we want to try to get people to see animals as more than just property, but it all comes down to the fact that the law views these animal as property. Property! We have all learned from history¬†that¬†considering¬†a living being as “property” can be quite controversial.

Well I wanted to keep this post short and sweet because I have a LOT of opinions on this trial, and quite frankly, I don’t know if anyone actually wants to hear them! LOL but what are your opinions on Toronto Pig Save and the trial in general? I encourage everyone to read up on the issue as much as possible because even though not directly, this affects us all as activists.

Have a great night everyone and never be afraid to speak up for what you believe in! ‚̧

My simple sassy vegan beauty morning routine

Helloooooo everyone! How’s Thursday treating you today?

Today’s topic is something that I’m sure we all have a lot to say about, because it’s something that we all do!¬†That thing that we all do? Get ourselves ready in the morning! Whether you’re a throw your hair up in a pony and go kinda gal, or a spend over 2 hours on hair and makeup, we all have a morning routine that we stick to.

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Since starting my new job¬†at Catskill Animal Sanctuary, I have developed a quick and easy morning routine that I really want to share/compare and contrast with you guys! While I do consider myself to be a morning person, I do¬†not love getting all dolled up at 8:00 in the morning. I like to wake up niiiiice and slow, so putting on multiple coats of mascara and contouring my face just isn’t on the itinerary.

I do not, though, want to show up to work looking like a complete mess, so I’ve got a few quick and easy cruelty free and vegan beauty steps that I take.

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So let’s start with my new favorite,

Jade Rolling!

I bought this jade roller at the beginning of the summer after doing a little research on why we should all jade roll our faces every day. Jade rolling is basically just rolling jade across your face, and people swear by it because it “revs up circulation, de-puffs the eye area, and improves skin elasticity‚ÄĒand since it¬†promotes lymphatic drainage, it‚Äôs detoxifying.”¬†I hadn’t even heard of jade rolling since before this summer, and it has reallyyyy changed the game!

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I keep mine in the freezer so that it mega-de-puffs my eyes and face because of how cold it is. Ever hear of an ice facial to reduce puffiness? This is basically a less-painful version of that, with all the added benefits of jade and lymphatic drainage! Along with my jade roller, I always

Ice Roll

I bought my ice roller around the same time as my jade roller, for mostly the same reasons. I love this ice roller because the head of it is an icepack that you keep in your freezer. It’s a lot bigger than my jade roller, so it covers more of my face and is fun to use not only on your face, but also on your neck and any other part of your body that you want to keep firm and non-puffy.

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Ice rolling and jade rolling is SO relaxing. It is not only part of my morning routine for beauty reasons, but for relaxation reasons as well! It wakes me up, but in a non-obnoxious way. It’s like a cooling summer’s night breeze that feels good and wakes up the senses!

So after my face gets woken up, de-puffed, and is nice and firm, the next thing I do is use

Oil Blotting Sheets!

I LOVE oil blotting sheets. Is anyone else obsessed with them as well? They leave such a nice matte finish and are also super cheap, so that never hurts. I buy store brand oil blotting sheets because they’re cheaper and don’t test on animals. I would have an up close picture of the ones that I use, but I got a littleeeee distracted when I was taking pictures outside… This GORGEOUS cat walked right up to me and completely took up 100% of my attention for the rest of my time outside, oops!

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Look at that lil smile, she must have known that I was taking pictures for my animal-friendly blog! ‚̧

(Pardon the hair-do, I had an oil mask in! I don’t know what my excuse for my derpy face is though…)

Back to oil blotting sheets, there’s something about getting my face super cold, then soaking up all the leftover oil from last night’s oil application¬†that just gets my face looking fresh and ready for the day.

So once my face has been prepped, next thing to focus on is my hair. As you may or may not already know, I don’t wash my hair that often!¬†The first day after a shower, my ends are always super soft and my roots aren’t greasy. The longer I go, the greasier my roots get and the dryer my ends get. To fix these problems, I use dry shampoo on my roots to freshen that up, and oil and leave in conditioner on my ends to make them nice and soft. Then I use my Wet Brush ( ‚̧ ‚̧ ‚̧ ) to comb through my ends to distribute the oil and leave in conditioner. So let’s first talk

Dry Shampoo

I recently talked about my LOVE for Batiste dry shampoo, but I’ve recently branched out to Not Your Mother’s brand!

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It is VERY different from Batiste for a number of reasons, but I still like it a lot! It gives my hair way more volume, but is almost impossible to fully rub out of my hair so my hair always looks a little duller and matte when I use this brand. Either way though, all I do in the morning is do a quick spritz of it on my roots, work it through with my hands, and try to rub the whiteness out with a washcloth. After my roots are looking super clean and fresh, I focus on my ends with some…

Hair oil and leave in conditioner!

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I am REALLY into this hair oil. It does wonders for my ends and keeps my hair smelling a.ma.zing! I use it every day so I go through a bottle¬†pretty quickly, but it’s only like $6 so it’s no biggie to have to buy it more often than usual!

This leave in conditioner is a new addition¬†to my hair¬†regimen, and it is here to stay! It smells like HEAVEN and makes my hair so silky it’s insane.

So last but not least are myyyy

Eyebrows!

I don’t wear makeup to work, but I ALWAYS wear eyebrow gel because it has been a staple in my life since growing my eyebrows in! All I do is quick swipe over my brows, and then comb them up with an eyebrow brush. Easy-peasy!

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Excuse my product’s ratty appearance, I use them everyday so they’re a little worn and torn!

So there ya have it, my morning routine!

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What’s your morning routine like? Do you use any of the same products as me? Most importantly, is there a to-die-for product that I’m missing out on? Fill a girl in!

Have a great night everyone and talk soon! xxx

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s get some positivity up in here and give ourselves a HUGE pat on the back!

Hey everyone!

I have been feeling SO happy lately, and I really think it has to do with the fact that I’m realizing that the world is changing.¬†

In such a beautiful way.

People now seem to care more than they ever did before, and that’s all we can really ask for.

While we can look at the world and point out every horrific thing that is happening, we can also point out every amazing change that has been made. Compared to other generations, we are making so much progress!

Lately, I have been feeling more than ever that animals soon will see justice and will no longer be exploited by humans for money, for entertainment, for food, for our benefit.

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Think about 100 years ago. SO many people didn’t even know¬†what the word vegan meant. Yeah, there’s plenty of people like that today too, but still. Today is so different! The amount of progress that this movement has made is HUGE, and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.

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Recently, two of my friends (hey Cait and Bianca!) both separately told me that they wanted to try out a vegan lifestyle, and that, to me, is huge. I know that we all care so much about different things, and most of us do care about animals, but to decide to move towards a plant based life is such an amazing choice to make!

The amount of vegan friends I have is really encouraging to me as well. I am so so so lucky to have so many gorgeous friends who also have the same set of morals in regards to the treatment of animals as I do. When I first went vegan, I thought I would constantly feel alone, but I feel more comforted as a vegan than ever before. 

Today at work, I was talking to one of my coworkers about how long she’s been vegan for. When I asked her how long it has been, she so nonchalantly went “over 40 years.” 40 YEARS!!!! That’s insane, guys!! She was saying that she’s noticed such a change in the movement since she’s gone vegan. She said 40 years ago no one was vegan, and now it so amazing how accepted it is.

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Which leads me to my next point, which is people being accepting of a vegan diet. So what I’m about to say is not meant to be harsh or judgmental in any way, I’m just saying how I feel. I hate¬†how many people don’t accept others for being vegan, when it simply means a compassionate lifestyle. A lifestyle that doesn’t hurt others. A lifestyle that doesn’t take the lives of living beings just for our pleasure. You would think it would almost be the other way around, that it would be more typical for vegans to not¬†accept an omnivore’s diet. It bums me out that I have met SO many vegans who feel the need to silence themselves about their veganism just to please others who don’t accept it.

So to sum up that little paragraph of negativity, I hate that I even have to say that “so many people are accepting of a vegan lifestyle nowadays,” because people already should be accepting of it. That’s like being like “hey, that person is just too considerate of others, and therefore I don’t accept their lifestyle choices.”

BUT! People are changing and the world is getting more and more beautiful each day.

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For instance, the amount of positivity I receive in my life just from being vegan is so wonderful to me. Being vegan makes me so incredibly happy. It makes me feel SO healthy, so positive, so pure, so whole. If there is one thing in my life that I could absolutely never give up, it is being vegan, because it is so very much a part of who I am.

Don’t we want to be better than past generations? Don’t we want to be kind? I know few people who are actually cruel at heart, and I think that’s such a sign in itself. I personally believe the reason we still exploit animals for food as a society is because it’s the way it has always been. People remember their mom’s meatballs and their dad’s hamburgers and think that going vegan would make them abandon everything about who they used to be. There are (in my opinion, MORE) delicious food options out there than most would expect.

There’s nothing holding us back from making a positive change but ourselves.

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One thing that blows my mind is that¬†400 million fewer animals were killed in 2014 because people are eating less meat. Wow. Just wow. ‚̧ ‚̧ ‚̧

I know it can seem like the world is full of horrible things, but I think it’s crazy that so many of us are vegan/care about animals. IT‚ÄôS AMAZING!!!! Seriously, I know the numbers aren‚Äôt as great¬†as we‚Äôd all like them to be, but there is still an ASTOUNDING amount of us who care and want to make a difference.

Do you guys think that things are changing for the better? I would love to hear any stories of when you realized that veganism is actually changing the world.

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All of this makes me so incredibly happy. I love you all.

 

 

 

I now work at Catskill Animal Sanctuary and it’s LOVELY.

Hey hey! What’s new everyone?

I wanted to tell you guys a lil bit about my new job today! I recently left the wonderland of Lagusta’s Luscious (SUPER SAD about it cause I loved¬†working there) but am now working at¬†Catskill Animal Sanctuary¬†as a Communications Associate, and I LOVE it. This job is heaven on earth and I am¬†soooo happy to be¬†working with them! Have you guys heard of/been to Catskill Animal Sanctuary?

The sanctuary not only rescues animals and takes them in, but it also promotes a vegan lifestyle, which is why I am¬†thrilled to be working with them. There’s a bunch of fun stuff to do with the sanctuary, too! There are cooking classes, weekend tours, yoga classes, a gorgeous b&b to stay at overnight, and even a kids camp during the summer called Camp Kindness. Heaven. On. Earth.

As a communications associate, part of my job is to walk around the sanctuary and get lots of photos and videos for the various social media channels.¬†It’s so great! Never did I ever think that part of my daily work would be interacting and getting footage of some of the most beautiful animals I have ever seen, and I am not complaining.

I’m someone who loves a lot of the different aspects of social media, although that may be obvious because I run this blog just for fun (haha,) but I also love doing everything I can to help animals, so the two together make this job absolutely amazing. Plus everyone¬†I work with is WONDERFUL. They are all so kind and talented and I feel so lucky to be working among such an amazing team!

So I figured I’d share some photos and stories of the animals I’ve gotten to know so far, because who doesn’t love cute animal photos…. Literally no one.

To my (semi)surprise, I really love the roosters at the sanctuary. I’ve always thought that they were cute, but never had any real interaction with a rooster before. ROOSTERS. ARE. AWESOME.¬†They each have such different personalities and are such curious little guys. My favorite rooster is Chad, he is soooo friendly. His crow is so distinct and really easy to tell him apart from the others, so I love hearing him all over the sanctuary and thinking of my little Chad. ‚̧

This is not my beloved Chad (I only have videos of him because I love his crow!), but another roosters (whose name I do not know!) that I always see every day when I walk around to take pictures. He’s SO photogenic.

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Here’s another Rooster who I think is GORGEOUS. Look at his eyes! His name is Vito ‚̧

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All of the birds at the sanctuary are amazing, actually. The turkeys are beautiful, their calls are soooo soothing to listen to. This is my favorite picture of all time, she was so curious and came right up to me (and also gave my phone a good peck! Haha.)

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The goats are FUN. Most of them are so outgoing and a little kooky, which is how I like my goats! Ha, kidding cause I’ve never really been around goats before! There’s this one goat, Bartleby, who is RAM.BUNC.TIOUS. He is known for knocking little kids over because they are his same height, and has such an energetic look in his eye like he can’t wait to go wild at a moment’s notice. He is super affectionate and reminds me a lot of my old dog, Buddy! AKA that means that I LOVE him.

Here are two of the younger goats eating some willow as one of my coworkers feeds them, loooook at them! They’re so beautiful ‚̧

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Also, here is Violet! She is one of the more “famous” goats at the sanctuary because of a video that was posted of her as a baby.

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She’s such a cutie!!

The pigs are something else. I have been a HUGE pig lover since I was a kid, so saying I was excited to work with pigs is an understatement. As a kid, I even had a spot all planned out of where my future pig would lay in the mud in my parent’s backyard. I was SERIOUS about adopting a pig, but obviously didn’t know how much work they really are to live with!

Sister Mary Francis is this PRECIOUS pig who is usually free-ranging the sanctuary. She’s a sucker for belly rubs, so if you rub her belly when she’s standing up, she’ll usually come crashing to the ground to give you easier access to her belly. Here is a video of it, I watched it abouuuuttt 20 times when I first saw this because she’s SO CUTE.

LOOK AT THAT PRECIOUS GIRL. HOW IS SHE EVEN A REAL LIVING BEING, SHE IS TOO PERFECT.

Sometimes when you’re petting her, she doesn’t even look up from the food that she’s eating, and I¬†really respect that in someone. Eye on the prize, ya know?

The last lovely being that I want to tell you guys about is Lucy. Lucy is my desk pal, and she¬†keeps working at a desk fun and cuddly. She has a bed on the corner of my desk and sits there all day, and I absolutely love it. We have a morning routine, also! When I come in in the morning, I unpack my bag onto my desk and she rubs herself against everything I put out, I get her fresh water for her mug and put it on the windowsill, then I scratch her head for 5 minutes and then she usually sleeps on her bed on my desk for the rest of the day. Sometimes she perks up when I’m eating my lunch, but usually she’s a lazy lady (she is 16, after all!) Today though, there was a solid hour where she wasn’t enjoying¬†me doing work! She would sit right in front of my keyboard, and then when I would go to type, she’d lightly tap my hand away and nudge her head towards me. She is an angel. This is the gorgeous sight that I get to see on my desk every day ‚̧

Lucy Goosey

I call her Lucy Goosey a lot, and lately I’ve just been calling her my Goose and she seems to like it! I have¬†such a love for her.

Well that about wraps up this lil Catskill Animal Sanctuary update! I’m sure I’ll be sharing many more photos with y’all of the gorgeous animals. Are there any in particular that you want to see photos of?

Have an amazing night everyone! ‚̧ ūüôā ‚̧

Portabellas and cauliflower, two peas in a pod

Hey y’all! What’s new today? Hope everyone’s having a lovely end to their summer!

Today I wanted to share with you guys a staple meal that I’ve been making a lot lately, and it features two of my favorite veggies: mushrooms and cauliflower! So today we’re making…

Juicy smoky portabellas over garlic thyme cauliflower rice!

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I’ve been wanting to do a post on this lil new fave meal of mine because as simple as it is, you just caaaaan’t go wrong with it. Plus, it’s a crowd pleaser and a convo starter being that cauliflower seems to be suuuuuper trendy right now (LOL, only half kidding tho…)

I have always been a huge mushroom lover. How about you guys? I remember not loving them when I was a kid as a¬†vegetarian and then one day, BAM, I realized that mushrooms are God’s delicate and scrumptious gifts to us! They are SO lovely and versatile.

So you know it’s a fancy night in our apartment when my boyfriend Jon and I make something with portabella mushrooms. I don’t know what it is about them, but they feel way more decadent and exciting than regular white mushrooms. Do you get what I mean? They’re just more exciting! Either that or we just REALLY love portabella mushrooms a weird amount…

Anyway, a few weeks ago we had a big head of cauliflower and two huge portabellas in the fridge, and not much else. That’s always my favorite time to cook, when ingredients are limited because you have to get crafty! So I decided to finally try cauliflower rice and season it with my absolute favorite seasoning power couple, garlic and thyme.

Let’s take a sec to talk about how PERFECT garlic and thyme go together. They’re a match made in heaven! Garlic and thyme croutons, garlic and thyme cauliflower rice, garlic and thyme tofu, the list goes on and on of what garlic and thyme go perfectly with!

So before we dive into this recipe, I wanted to throw it out there that this recipe serves one. You know me and my single serve recipes, I love em! Plus, it’s super easy to just multiply the ingredients by however many people you’re serving!

So let’s start with the cauliflower rice first, shall we?

Ingredients
Olive oil
4 cups raw cauliflower rice (I’ll explain below!)
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 TB dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

First things first, let’s discuss¬†what “raw cauliflower rice” means. Heads of cauliflower range in size like crazy, so when writing this recipe out, I realized saying “a head of cauliflower” was super vague. So the cauliflower in this recipe is¬†measured in cups of raw, already “rice-like”¬†cauliflower.

In order to prepare your cauliflower to be rice, a food processor is key! What I like to do with the head of cauliflower is break it up¬†into smaller pieces, and pulse in the food processor until the cauliflower semi-resembles rice. I’ll show ya what my raw rice looks like before I cook it:

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I’ve read a lot of different methods of making cauliflower rice, and many of them say to “press” your raw rice to remove moisture. The one time I tried that, it was a huuuuuge mess and ever since I haven’t¬†pressed¬†it, and it turns out great! Whatever works for you, do that, but for me no pressing was the way to go.

Alright, so once you have your raw cauliflower rice all set up, heat 1 TB or so of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the cauliflower, and salt to your liking.¬†I once heard that you should always salt your veggies right when they start cooking, and I’ve done that ever since. Hasn’t failed me yet! Cover the pan with a lid¬†and let the cauliflower steam for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, remove lid and add more oil as needed. Let the rice get a little brown and crispy, then add thyme, garlic, and pepper.¬†Cook for about 5 more minutes, until the rice is no longer cauliflower white and looks nice and crispy. I like to let my rice get nice and brown, but I’m sure anything ranging from a light to dark tan works just fine.

That’s pretty much it for the cauli-rice! Let’s move on to the…

Juicy smoky portabella mushrooms!

Ingredients
2 large portabella mushrooms
1 TB soy sauce
2 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp cumin
Dash of balsamic vinegar
Vegan butter

First things first, I always remove the stems from my¬†¬†portabellas (and put them in my “broth bag” in the freezer for later, who doesn’t like a mushroom broth?!) But you can leave the stems on if you like as well, whatever floats your boat! Slice the caps about 1/4 inch thick, or however thick you prefer your mushrooms.

Melt 1 TB or so of your vegan butter in a pan over medium heat, and add sliced portabellas. One thing that I will forever do when making sauteed mushrooms is sautee them in butter as opposed to olive oil. When I first met Jon, he told me that he only ever makes mushrooms with butter and a lot of cumin, and ever since it’s the only way I like my mushrooms. He’s a smart cookie, that one!

Add your soy sauce, liquid smoke, lemon juice, cumin, and balsamic vinegar and toss with a spatula so that all of the portabellas are coated. Saute for about 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms look done.

You can serve this however you’d like, so get crafty with it! I tend to stick to the boring side and opt for a wide bowl where I spoon the rice in first, then place the mushrooms on top. I love putting the mushrooms on the rice¬†because the mushrooms get super juicy and play really well with the cauliflower rice. YUMMM.

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One thing I wanted to mention while posting about¬†this recipe is liquid smoke. How many of you have heard of it before? I honestly hadn’t until I got¬†Kristy Turner’s¬†cookbook But I Could Never Go Vegan!¬†(Side note: this is a FUN cookbook. LOT’S of different types of meals that really make you broaden your horizons. I love it!) Back to liquid smoke though, I had never heard of it until I made Kristy’s tempeh bacon, which uses liquid smoke. Liquid smoke is pretty much a liquid concentrate of smoke from burning hickory wood, and it is¬†heavenly. I’m someone who loves when I go outside at night in the summer and my hair starts to smell like a campfire, so liquid smoke is obviously right up my alley. It’s also pretty easy to find in grocery stores, so definitely get yourself a bottle of this ASAP!

This meal is so so so filling, and it’s all veggies! Warning: if you plan on drinking after, maybe get some carbs in ya also cause Jon and I got veryyyyyy tipsy off of just 2 drinks after this deceivingly filling meal. BUT it’s great if you’re someone like me who always feels like a bottomless pit and needs a dump truck amount of food to make you feel full, because this one really does the trick all while being super healthy because it’s all vegetables!

I make all veggie meals like this every day, but something about the way the flavors play off of each other is so amazing that I couldn’t not share this with you guys!!! 2 good 2 b tru ‚̧

Enjoy and let me know what you guys think, or if there’s anything you think I should add! PEACE OUT ‚̧