Monday, September 29, 2014

Celebrations Part Deux: Treats & Haul

Hey everyone. I'm continuing my lackluster posting frequency but sadly my life is less than exciting nowadays. My birthday was great, I had a nice dinner with my family and we all enjoyed some vegan treats after (you'll see that gloriousness in a minute). Otherwise things have been quiet which is the way I like it. I just got home from a big shopping trip that was a lot of fun and I figured I'd share the amazing vegan treats we enjoyed as well as my shopping haul (which is not edible but still fun).

First up, the edible treats! They were all purchased from Sweet To Lick bakery, the first all vegan bakery on Long Island!! And it's super close to my house... I don't know what took my so long to get there! My mom and I picked out a ton of treats to try.

First box contains a delicious S'more (that says eat me... I thought that was hilarious), three cookie sandwiches (there is a chocolate chip, pumpkin oatmeal maple, and a chocolate one hiding underneath), and a vegan swiss roll (which was AMAZING!!).

We also got some cupcakes to sample which include cookie dough, chocolate cake with vanilla frosting, raspberry, cookies and cream and two s'mores cupcakes.

Even with eating dessert on my birthday and giving my sister in law some stuff to take home for Delilah we still have some treats left over a week later. I'm sure the cupcakes have seen better days (the only one I got to try was a half of a s'mores one and it was delicious - not too sweet!) but the cookie sandwiches are holding on strong. I tried the pumpkin oatmeal obviously and it is amazing. I have half left for another sweet treat this week. They have a lot of amazing options and even do "Vegan Lunch" on Thursdays and Fridays so I'll have to figure out a way to try it... it's from 11-4 and I work at that time but maybe one day I'll be able to enjoy it.

Now here are my non-edible treats that I have purchased!! As I mentioned I consider my birthday as sort of a "New Year" for me and I made a resolution to myself to really learn how to do makeup and to take care of my skin and to use those things as a way to relax. I LOVE watching beauty videos on YouTube and have learned a lot about applying makeup and I'm excited to start playing. I did some research and I believe that everything I purchased is vegan. I haven't opened anything yet so if anyone has heard differently please let me know!

My makeup brushes are disgusting right now so I decided to start over and purchase two sets of Eco Tools makeup brushes with an Amazon gift card I received from one of my favorite people on earth (you know who you are lady, thanks again!! <3). I got the Essential Eye set and the Complexion set so I think I should be pretty good on brushes. 

Another friend gave me a gift card to Ulta (which is now one of my favorite stores ever, ha!) and I splurged on some high end makeup by Tarte. I went for the Amazonian Clay foundation (naturally I'm the second lightest shade because I'm pale as hell) and my theory for splurging on this (with the gift card so I guess it's not really splurging?) is that Tarte uses natural ingredients and the foundation does not contain parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, phthalates, or triclosan. I figured if I'm using this stuff all over my face I'd like it to be as natural as possible. The purchase came with a free gift of a sample of their mascara and finishing powder as well!! Score!! I love Tarte because it is Cruelty Free and I believe most of their products are vegan... I think a few colors are not but their website really clearly labels all vegan products.

I didn't get the eyeliner at Ulta but it fit in the pic so I added it :) I got a set of three Physician's Formula Nude Eyes Eyeliner. It comes in Champagne, Pewter and Black. I am pretty sure that this product is vegan, has anyone heard any differently?

As far as skin care I decided to try two new products. The first is a face mask that I decided to try for relaxation purposes in addition to the skin care aspect of it. I've heard the Freeman's brand face masks are vegan. The one I wanted was a Chocolate Strawberry mask and naturally it was the one mask they did not have so I decided to try the pineapple mask. It is supposed to brighten your skin so we'll see!

I also wanted to try this cleanser which is supposed to be really great for your skin. It is by Yes To Carrots and I chose the Grapefruit line because I have an uneven skin tone thanks for my minor rosacea so we'll see if the cleanser helps even out my skin tone!

Finally, I got a TON of eyeshadow!! I've read in many places that Elf cosmetics are all vegan (their brushes are not though!) so I went to town on the eyeshadows (each palette was only $2.00!). The one all the way to the left is a GORGEOUS shimmery brown color that I could not leave without. It's really amazing. The first palette is a natural brown look, the middle is a golden look and the last to the far right is a pink and brown look that I think will be really pretty. I can't wait to play! 

I'm looking for a medium dark berry lip color as well. I haven't found one I like (I think I look awful in dark lip colors and all berry colors I've seen are really dark) so if anyone knows of a berry lip color please let me know! I'm also looking for an eyeshadow primer so if you know of a good one please let me know in the comments :)

I feel really lucky that everything I purchased in this haul was courtesy of a gift card (the last few products were also purchased from a gift card) and thank you to my generous friends and family for spoiling me on my birthday! I'm so excited to try my new products and work toward crossing an item off of my bucket list (learn how to apply makeup).

What are your favorite makeup brands, products and colors? I'm always looking for suggestions!

I hope you all had a great week! I'll check in again soon.

Monday, September 22, 2014


Hey everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. I'm back from my trip to Rochester and have some randomness to show you. I'm sure Rochester seems like a very unlikely vacation spot but I went to college in the area (SUNY Geneseo) and grew to love Western New York. I have probably only been up there 2 or 3 times since I graduated (almost 10 years ago... what?!) so it was time to visit and see a friend (I wish I could have seen everyone, most of my friends live up there) and enjoy a stress free weekend. It was a lot of fun and also very relaxing, a combination that I was definitely craving.

Anyway, here is a bunch of totally random pictures from last week!

Totally random picture from before I left... I felt like fall had finally arrived when I consumed this AMAZING honeycrisp (!!) apple and my favorite spearmint tea. It was a very exciting morning ;)

Last Monday (also before my trip) I met up with my friend Alex for an early birthday lunch. I had a great time, she is so awesome and definitely a really fun person to be around. I enjoyed this delicious portobello mushroom panini that I altered (no cheese or roasted red peppers, add tomatoes - keep spinach and mushrooms) with some fries and some amazing pickles.

Better view of the panini. Obviously this thing is ginormous so I got two meals out of it. Gotta love that. Thanks for an amazing lunch and a fun girl's day Alex!

Out the window of the plane on the way to Rochester on Friday. Clearly it was a beautiful day and you can definitely tell we were not anywhere near a city :) I love seeing all of the farmland from the plane, I think it is so beautiful.

I got to my friend's house and one of her cats (James) promptly decided to make himself comfortable on my adorable owl duffel bag. He is too cute and he and his brother are the sweetest little kitties ever. So cuddly and loving.

It seems to be birthday tradition to see a live Impractical Jokers show now! The first show of their fall bus tour happened to be in Syracuse so we took a mini road trip and saw the show! It was hilarious like the first time I had seen them and we saw their adorable tour bus outside of the venue. It was a really great night.

Totally random meal I ate while I was there. Those tomatoes were INCREDIBLE. I purchased them from one of the farm stands and they were some of the best tomatoes I've ever eaten. Naturally they were paired with hummus because tomato and hummus is pretty much my favorite combo ever. Added in some pita chips and pickles and thoroughly enjoyed this plate.

Big fluffy clouds and a beautiful blue sky on my flight home. It looks almost the same as my first pic (location-wise on the plane) because I was sitting in almost the same exact seat. It was gorgeous and you have to love a flight that is under an hour.

So that was last week. I am officially 31 years old today. I'm approaching the day like New Year's Eve and tomorrow is my New Year's Day. Day one... a fresh start. And I'm looking forward to it. Today has been a lot of running around but I should be going out to dinner with my family (and definitely enjoying a baked goodie) and I'll be having a proper girl's day with my mom on Sunday to celebrate. 

I hope you are all doing well! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Welcoming the Fall

It's not a secret that the fall is my favorite time of year. The colors, the fall scents (seriously, fall inspired scented candles, soaps, etc. are the BEST), crisp, cool sweater weather, the clothes, the leaves falling and of course the fall flavors make it a pretty magical time of the year. I may have switched blog names several times but I'm keeping my tradition alive and I'm ready to welcome the fall by sharing all of the amazing things I plan to make over the season.

Pumpkin is a necessity during the fall and I've been craving it like crazy lately. I've also been craving baked goods so naturally pumpkin bread is what sounds amazing to me right now. After scouring blogs for recipes I found this gorgeous recipe for Soft Vegan Pumpkin Bread with Brown Sugar Streusel Crust on Averie Cooks. I plan on making this soon and will be making a few modifications and I'm excited to see how it comes out!

I don't know when this happened but "Puppy Chow" snack mix seems to be all the rage nowadays. Count me in if that puppy chow happens to be flavored with pumpkin spice and contains cookie butter. The hardest ingredient to find would be vegan white chocolate chips but a trip to the Kosher market should do the trick. This would be a great Halloween or Thanksgiving snack! This is the Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow from Peanut Butter Fingers.

Warm beverages are a must in the fall. When I learned the sad news that the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte is NOT vegan a few years ago it left a little empty spot in my heart that was waiting to be filled. While the Salted Caramel Mocha from Starbucks (after extensive research it appears that it is Vegan with soy milk and no whipped cream - hopefully I have not been misled) does a decent job, it's not exactly the healthiest option (although I will be enjoying a free one on my birthday, yay!). A treat that I love but don't enjoy often because I haven't found a good vegan recipe is hot chocolate. I think this may be the game changer though! I found the recipe for Superfood Haute Chocolate by Sarah of My New Roots and I'm SO EXCITED to try it out! If you guys haven't been to Sarah's site definitely check it out, she is amazing and her recipes and website are beautiful.

These adorable little packets of deliciousness are so adorable! These are the Vegan Lasagna Bites from Quiche A Week. They have vegan ricotta, spinach and tomato sauce tucked away in an eggless wonton wrapper. To me this sounds like a perfect fall meal with a salad or a really great appetizer on any holiday table. I've VERY excited to try these, I'm going to head to my local Asian market to hunt for some egg-free wonton wrappers!

I'm almost positive I've shared this gorgeous Roasted Garlic and Tomato Soup with you before but now that it is actually soup season I'm really excited to try it. Thickened with chickpeas and served with toasty bread this is guaranteed to be a winner!

So that's what I'm looking forward to making in my kitchen this fall! What are you guys looking forward to this fall? If you have any fall recipes that you think I would like please share in the comments!

I hope you are all well and I hope to post again next week! I'm going to be spending the weekend in Rochester visiting a friend next week but I'll try to pop in before I go. Have a great week!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

What I've Been Eating

Hey everyone! I know it has been a while since I've posted some meals I've been eating but I made an effort to start photographing my meals over the past few days (no this isn't everything, just what I've remembered to shoot!). It randomly started to get obscenely hot here over the past few days so you'll notice a trend of fresh, cooling food as well as hydrating foods. I've been really bad about drinking water lately so I've been working on that!

Anyway, here's what I've been eating!

Here is a cherry and banana smoothie. Honestly it wasn't my favorite smoothie I've ever had... it was very sweet and I couldn't drink a lot of it before feeling sick but it was good in theory! I'll stick to my cherry chocolate smoothies :)

Here is a fruit salad of pineapple, strawberries and fresh raspberries. I'm not a huge fan of raspberries or   raspberry flavored things (including jelly) but these looked really great so I figured I'd give them a shot. They were pretty good but I probably won't get any more. They didn't have blackberries which I would have preferred.


More pineapple and some grapes.

Leave it to me to have an oatmeal craving on the hottest day of the year but it is what it is. I gave in to it and made this gorgeous bowl of oats with cinnamon, banana, coconut and walnuts.

Here is a salad of romaine, cabbage, carrots, cucumber and apple and was later topped with a vinaigrette.

Sorry for the bad picture but this is Zucchini Noodle Lo Mein!! I randomly got it in my head that I wanted to try this and had gotten a spiralizer reviewed by Ingrid in this post. It is basically zucchini noodles, cabbage, a frozen medley of organic carrots, corn, peas and green beans, onion and garlic sauteed together and topped with gluten free tamari and black pepper. It's SOOOOOO good! As you can see it made a lot so I'll be eating this for days.

So there you have it, what I've been eating lately!! I will try to make these posts more regular and to try to stop being so lazy about taking pics. I hope you are all having a great week and Happy almost Friday to you! I'll just keep in mind that Friday is one day away from Saturday... which is my Friday. Have I confused you yet? ;)

Have a great night!