The second half of September was taken up by a family vacation, followed by everyone in the family becoming ill in quick succession. We’re unfortunately a little too good at sharing here in the VeggieLawyer household. But before I left on vacation, I did put together posts on a few more MoFo prompts — foolishly thinking I would post them while traveling. I’ll work on getting those posts published this month. It’s finally cool enough to turn on my oven again, so I’ll also have a review of Vegan Casseroles by Julie Hasson.
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Mid-August through mid-September is a tough time for my family because both my sister’s birthday and the anniversary of her death fall within that one month period. This year, on what would have been her 32nd birthday, my Mom asked friends and family to celebrate by eating dessert first, something my sister often did “to save calories.”
Around here, you don’t need to tell us twice that it’s chocolate time. I busted out Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar and my sister’s favorite sauvignon blanc served in a glass from a wine tasting trip we took together, and set to work making a batch of fabulous espresso chocolate brownies. I’m trying to cut down on store-bought vegan butter because of the connection between palm oil and the murder of orangutans, so I subbed oil for the butter called for in the recipe. I think the substitution actually made the brownies more fudgey and delicious.
So there you have it. Day 10 of MoFo. The brownies and the memories are bittersweet and the “something blue” is this blogger.
20 Days of Happiness – I’m So Vain, I Probably Think This Post Is About Me (And FREE Wrap Contest!!)
There’s a scene in A Muppet Family Christmas where Ernie and Burt (from Sesame Street) have a conversation with Doc (from Fraggles) and Ernie and Burt can’t help pointing out what letter every word begins with. “Bunk beds: B words!” they say as Ernie chortles. When Doc looks at them askance they explain, “Where we come from, this is small talk.” My sister once said that the scene reminded her of our family — except that complaining, not letters, are our family’s small talk. It’s not that we are unhappy people. We just like to air our grievances. But sometimes it’s good to air positive feelings too and that’s just what I plan to do. In this 20-part series, I focus on the many reasons I have to be happy.
And Now For Something Completely Different – Vegan Friendly Nail Art and Lotion
For the most-part, this blog is about my love of food and cookbooks. But being vegan is about cruelty-free living, and that extends to beauty products. This post is about my new-found love of two vegan-friendly product lines: Jamberry and Arbonne. Full disclosure: When I started drafting this post, I was merely a fan-girl, but a few days ago, I signed up as a Jamberry consultant. I still have no affiliation with Arbonne, other than liking their product line.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved clothing and makeup. Until I had my son, I never stepped out of the house without getting dressed in real clothing. Now, I make a limited exception for early morning dog walks, but you’ll still need to live next door to ever see me in jammies or sweatpants. I also used to be a big fan of nail art. I liked to do elaborate polish designs at home and occasionally treat myself to a manicure. Once I had to be a “grown-up” with a busy job, that fell by the wayside. My free time tends to come just before I bedtime, which means I either have to stay up late watching polish dry (literally) or risk a smudgy mess.
Then, I discovered Jamberry nail wraps. The wraps are heat-activated vinyl and can be applied at home using nail scissors, an orange stick and a hair dryer. They come in 300+ fun designs, last up to 2 weeks on hands and have zero drying time. The wraps are made of vegan ingredients and are not tested on animals. (Jamberry does sell a lotion set with one item that contains beeswax. Although it would be better if the entire line was 100% vegan, I was happy to see that the description of the non-vegan product clearly indicated the beeswax.)
The photo above is me wearing the first set of nail wraps that I bought. The wraps held up so well (I took this photo 5 days after application) and I got so many compliments, that I signed up to host an online party. Two days into the party, I decided to just become a consultant instead. (Though I’m obsessed with Jamberry, I promise that this isn’t going to become a Jamberry blog. I have a review of Inpired Vegan in the works for my next post).
Around the same time that I discovered Jamberry, I also discovered Arbonne. Arbonne is a vegan beauty line (vegan is right on the bottles!) that is sold through independent consultants. I bought mine from a fellow mom in a networking group that I belong to. I’ve been using the hand and body lotion to fight against winter dry skin. After 10 years in L.A., I am definitely not used to cold weather and indoor heating! Having cute nails is a little thing, but it’s something that makes me happy. Getting the chance to spread the message that awesome nails can be cruelty free makes me happier still.
Free Samples and Nail Wrap Giveaway!
As part of my Jamberry consultant launch, I’d like to giveaway a free half sheet of wraps to one of my readers — that’s enough wraps to do 1 manicure and 1 pedicure. To enter, all you need to do is request a sample wrap using this link. I’ll send you a sample that will allow you to do an accent nail manicure, like the pink and black manicure I did with a sample and some pink polish (above).
The contest runs from now until February 14, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST and is open to U.S. residents only. Samples will be mailed to the first 100 people to request one. Limit one sample request per household.
The contest is now closed. Thanks to all who entered and congratulations to the winner, Aracelis from Puerto Rico. I hope you enjoy your wraps! Those still interested in trying the wraps out are welcome to request a free sample using the link above.
October really snuck up on me this year. Until I booted up my computer this afternoon, I was under the impression that today was September 30. I was pretty disappointed to learn I was a day behind and MoFo was officially over. I’ll definitely miss the camaraderie of Vegan MoFo, but I do still have some good stuff planned for this month. Starting next week, check back for:
- A detailed review of Chloe Coscarelli’s newest book, Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen.
- Lots of baking fun as we celebrate my son’s second birthday.
- Thoughts on feeding your veg*n toddler.
Happy October everyone.
(Doggy bread sticks using the bread stick recipe from Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen)
When we last left off, I had quit my job in Los Angeles with big plans to resume regular blogging after completing a cross country move. Well, the move went off more or less as planned, but blogging has proved a bit more challenging.
We are currently staying with my parents while trying to figure out our next move. Our stuff is staying in a nearby storage unit that is ever so slightly too small. No matter. We just stacked the boxes 6 deep. Somewhere at the bottom of that stack are my camera and cookbooks.
You can imagine how excited my husband was when I announced that I needed said camera and cookbooks for this year’s Vegan Mofo. After much whining (mostly on my husband’s part), he agreed to scale Mount U-Store. During our expedition, I located my camera and about 1/3 of my precious cookbook collection. With a mere 30 cookbooks in hand (and our coats balled up in my backpack because they have something called winter here), we returned triumphant to my parents’ house.
“Great,” you say. “No more excuses not to blog.” You would, of course, be wrong. Tomorrow, we leave for a 9 day trip to Alaska, which will further delay my return to blogging. I will be back though. (This time, I really mean it).
In honor of this new chapter in our lives, my MoFo theme will focus on exploring things new to me: new food, new recipes and new places. I will start with some posts about our trip and move forward from there. No more excuses. (Really.)
See you soon.
I quit my job last week and plan to take a year off to try to figure out how to make a living doing things I enjoy (or at least make a living with time left over to do what I enjoy on the side). I’ve started a new blog to chronicle my year off and I also plan to devote some time to chronicling my cooking projects here. I expect to be back to semi-regular food blogging by late July or early August. See you then!
When I lived in Boston, I was a member of a women’s gym that was amazing for 46 weeks of the year. But for the first 6 weeks of the year, it was miserable. The locker room was packed so full that I often had to wait 20 minutes just to have a place to stash my purse. When I finally got to my yoga or step class, I would spend an hour dodging feet and elbows (partly because I’m extremely clumsy, but mostly because the classes were too damn crowded). I would complain that the gym had sold too many memberships and the staff would tell me to wait it out until February when the New Year’s Resolution crew stopped showing up. Sure enough, by mid-February, I had my choice of lockers, treadmills and yoga mats.
I generally forgo New Year’s resolutions because making a half-hearted attempt to be better in January because that’s when everyone else is doing it seems like a recipe for failure. This year, though, I have some goals that I want to accomplish and starting in January gives me that much more time to accomplish them before the year ends. First and foremost, my goal is to get rid of the number one source of unhappiness in my life — my job. I hope that by posting my goal here, I will be accountable to myself and remain committed to finding a new job.
Healthier eating is a popular New Year’s resolution and, in that spirit, I’m also working on reviews of two healthy cookbooks: 365 Vegan Smoothies and Appetite for Reduction. I’ll be using the reviews as an opportunity to up my intake of vegetables and whole grains because, even though I eat a fairly balanced diet, I often fall short in these areas. I’m also working on an in-depth review of Isa Does It, along with my own tips for getting home-cooked food on the table during the work week. Finally, I’ll be continuing with my happiness series. My goal is to bring all of this content to you before the New Year’s Resolution Crew stops hitting the gym.