Favorites | On Friday

Friday, February 27, 2015

Despite being a fictional character, Leslie Knope is one of my biggest female role models. I'll miss her.

Another strong woman whose speech brought tears to my eyes on Sunday.  Women stand together.

Vienna is now on my must visit list.

Are you pronouncing these well-known fashion labels correctly?

An interesting article on the world's obsession with clutter and decluttering.

Richa knows the way to my heart making my favorite food into pizza form.

This dress.

Sarah bought a new house and I cannot wait to see what she does with it.  PS- I am loving the bathroom.

Some books to add to my reading list.

Are you an approval addict?  (I am.)

Did you know Sunday is Peanut Butter Lovers Day (aka Caitlin's Day)?  Make sure you properly celebrate.

Have a great weekend!

Vegan cookies and cream ice cream cake

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Vegan cookies and cream ice cream cake recipe
On Monday, my husband (or as I like to call him, my lover and life partner) turned 31.  To celebrate, I got our favorite take out- pizza for him and Thai food (duh) for me.  We snuggled with our pup who hasn't been feeling well the last few days, he worked on his video game, and I read 50 pages in my Law and Ethics text book.  We ended the night by watching Better Call Saul and then I went to bed.  It was a really fun night.  (I know what you're thinking, and yes, we are party animals.)  I also made this special ice cream cake for the birthday boy to enjoy, but he was so full from all the pizza, he didn't have room for even the tiniest slice, which made me a little sad.  Luckily, he got a "preview" of it on Sunday night while we watched The Oscars and has enjoyed it every night since.

I have been making Dayv ice cream cake for his birthday every year (see here and here) since my mom scored me an amazing, never used ice cream maker on Craigslist for $20 (except last year when I decided to mix it up and make him s'mores and ice cream instead).  I make him a special ice cream birthday cake for a few reasons.  #1- Growing up, Dayv's mama made him whatever cake he requested for his birthday and I wanted to continue the tradition.  #2- Dayv's favorite dessert of all time is ice cream.  And #3- What better way to make someone feel important than with their favorite cake?  Especially when the birthday boy receives instructions from his wife to just go ahead and buy whatever he wants out of his Amazon cart for his present.  (Am I a bad spouse when it comes to buying my husband presents?  I'm not sure, but one thing I do know is that it is damn difficult to find gifts he will enjoy when he buys whatever he wants, whenever he wants, all year long.)

So this cookies and cream ice cream cake is the way I chose to say I love you and Happy Birthday to my dearest heart on his 31st birthday.  It's rich, creamy, and the perfect mix of chocolate, vanilla, and cookie.  And pretty (Dayv says so).  Basically, everything that an ice cream cake should be and maybe just a tiny bit more.  As they say, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

Do you have any special birthday traditions?  Does anyone bake you a cake or make your favorite breakfast food to make you feel important and loved?

Vegan cookies and cream ice cream cake recipe

Vegan cookies and cream ice cream cake recipe

Vegan cookies and cream ice cream cake recipe

Cookies and cream ice cream cake
makes one nine inch cake

ice cream:
one batch of vanilla ice cream 
1/2 c vegan chocolate chips 

5 chocolate sandwich cookies (like oreos)
1 tbsp coconut oil

2 chocolate sandwich cookies
1/2 c vegan chocolate chips
1/2 tsp coconut oil

Make ice cream according to instructions, adding chocolate chips in the last five minutes of processing.

While ice cream is churning, line the bottom and sides of a nine inch spring-form pan with parchment paper.  Combine cookies and coconut oil in food processor and process until a dough-like consistency forms.  Press into the bottom of the cake pan, working from the edges inward.  It may seem like it won't cover the entire bottom, but it will.  (I used a rubber spatula first and then an icing knife to smooth things out.)  Feel free to double the crust recipe for a thicker crust, but it will be more difficult to cut once it is frozen.

Once ice cream is finished churning, transfer to the prepared pan, smoothing out on top of the crust, and immediately place in freezer.

Boil a small pot of water with a heat-safe/pyrex bowl sitting on top of it.  Melt chocolate chips in bowl and add coconut oil, whisking until smooth.  Remove from the top of pot (carefully- it will be hot) and turn off the burner.  Remove cake from freezer and break the cookies into small pieces onto the top.  Finish with drizzling the melted chocolate over top, Jackson Pollock style.  

Cover with aluminum foil and place back in freezer.  When you're ready, remove from freezer, cut a big slice, and enjoy!

Uncommon Goods + Alice in Wonderland Literary Scarf

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Uncommon Goods + Alice in Wonderland Literary Scarf
Uncommon Goods + Alice in Wonderland Literary Scarf
Uncommon Goods + Alice in Wonderland Literary Scarf

Uncommon Goods + Alice in Wonderland Literary Scarf

I always love learning about companies that help make the world a better place.  Because, at this point, isn't that what it's all about?  Working together, building a community, making an impact.  We're all in this together.

UnCommon Goods is an online retailer, headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, that features unique designs and handcrafted gifts created by independent artists and designers.  Products featured are environmentally-friendly, and without harm to animals or people.  Additionally, they run their operations out of Brooklyn Army Terminal, and provide fair wages to their employees starting at 50% above minimum wage.  

UnCommon Goods is a founding member of B-Corp, which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems- think wage levels, environmental impact, and giving back to the community.  Additionally, they support important causes (such as anti-sexual violence, protecting and restoring the rainforest, supporting women survivors of war, and promotion of literacy and language skills to children in all 50 states) and with every purchase you make, they donate $1 to the non-profit of your choice.  Since beginning this program 12 years ago, UnCommon Goods has donated over $300,000 to charities around the world.  That's pretty amazing.

Among their variety of amazing gifts and products, I was really excited to receive the Alice in Wonderland Literary Scarf, shown here.  I had never owned an infinity scarf before and this one is crafted so beautifully.  I love the different looks you can create with it.  It is made with 100% cotton and is extremely soft and warm, perfect for the frigid weather.   I also really love that it has passages from Alice in Wonderland printed on it, which gives the scarf an incredibly unique and classy look.  

UnCommon Goods has a myriad of gifts and products available.  For starters, go here, here, and here, and take a look around.  They are a company worth checking out and best of all, you feel good about supporting.  

Disclaimer: I was given this product to review, but all of the thoughts and opinions expressed are completely my own.

Favorites | On Friday

Friday, February 20, 2015

A vegan, cruelty-free beauty blogger I stumbled upon on Insta and am now obsessing over her YouTube videos.

I cannot stop thinking about these brownies.

Five ways to make a better first impression.

Has anyone ever gone to/is a part of a ToastMaster's club?  I'd love to work on my public speaking.

Cadry makes me want all the Ethiopian food.

I've seen references to low-FODMAP diets on blogs and social media and now I finally understand what that means.

Of course Richa would make bread with lentils- because she's amazing.

I love watching Ashley's day in the life videos.

These cookies look so rustic and delicious.

If you want to clone your pet, this is the way to do it.

Do yourself a favor and visit my friend Kim's "LOL" Pinterest board.  You won't regret it.

Have a great weekend!

My favorite vegan lip products

Thursday, February 19, 2015

My favorite vegan lip products, The Vegan Chickpea, #vegan #cruelty-free #beauty #petitvour

Like most girls, my lips were the first facial feature I experimented with in regards to makeup.  I remember having tons of lip products, mostly glosses, throughout middle school and high school, that boasted a wide variety of scents and tastes.  My favorite was always strawberry.  You too?

But, as I arrived at adulthood, along with veganism and my desire to only purchase cruelty-free products, I found myself at a loss as to what I should to put on my lips.  I spent years with only a random tube of lip balm, that I picked up at Whole Foods and had a Leaping Bunny on it, tucked in a pocket of my purse.  

Luckily, over the the last couple of years, it has become super easy to find amazing, vegan, and cruelty-free products.  Rather than having one lonely tube of whatever, my purse is filled with all types of lip products.  So now the problem becomes- so many options!  How do I choose?  Well, after lots of experimentation, I have found a few products that are my absolutely favorite and that I use every single day, several times a day. So if you're in need of some vegan, cruelty-free lip product recommendations, look no further.  Here are some of the very best:

Aromi lipstick in dusty rose | Aromi is a vegan and cruelty-free cosmetic brand I first discovered in one of my Petit Vour boxes.  Not only are their products super vibrant and hydrating, but they also smell amazing.  As much as I love liquid lip color, there is something very feminine and chic about a great tube of lipstick.  I especially love this color, a warm pink, which flatters and enhances my natural lip color.  Although subtle, this hue really makes my lips pop and gives me an overall polished look.  I absolutely love it and really think it would compliment just about anyone.

SW Basics of BK vegan cocoa lip balm | I am obsessed with this lip balm.  It smells like chocolate, melts into my lips, and leaves them feeling super soft and hydrated.  I usually get really chapped lips in the winter but have thankfully avoided it, largely due to this product.  I keep it in my house, carry it from room to room with me, and apply it often.  I want five more so I can have one for each room.

Mi-Me tangerine hydrating lip butter | This lip butter (which I first learned about through Petit Vour) is light but incredibly hydrating, and melts into my lips.  It's a little lighter than the SW Basics BK and has an absolutely addicting scent of fresh tangerine.  This product permanently lives on my nightstand and I apply it every night before I go to sleep and whenever I wake up in the middle of the night.  It's light and refreshing, and my favorite part of my night time ritual.

French Girl Organics lip tint in cerise | When I first discovered this product in one of my Petit Vour boxes, I was a little concerned about the dark berry color.  However, once applied, provides the perfect amount of warm, sheer color to my lips.  It is light, hydrating, and addictive.  I also love the subtle peppermint scent, which often makes me think of Christmas whenever I put it on.

What are your favorite vegan, cruelty-free lip products/companies/brands?

Disclaimer: Items in this post were provided to me for editorial consideration.  Thoughts and opinions expressed are completely my own.

Winter is hard

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Every year, in the dead of winter, I think to myself, "Why do I live in Pennsylvania?"  and other than the fact that it is the place I grew up and where my family lives, I have no real good answer.  And why am I asking myself this question, you may ask.  Well, it's because the winters really suck.

Some people love the cold and snow, and I am simply not one of those people.  I am one of those people that loves when it's 90 degrees out and still wears a light sweater "to be comfortable".  I love being outside, taking long walks, getting freckles, and soaking in Vitamin D.  And so the question becomes- why do I live in a climate where those favorite things of mine are only only a reality three, maybe four, months out of the year?  It makes no sense.  
To get me through these tough months before spring arrives (maybe on March 21st, maybe never), I attempted to make a list of my favorite things about winter.  It's kind of a joke, actually, because I could only come up with five things- soup, fuzzy pajamas, dark nail polish, wearing my knit hat, and my hair not getting frizzy from the humidity.  So instead, I am resorting to my running list of things for me to look forward to, which I keep tightly secure and within reach in an easily accessible pocket in my mind.  Because I need to turn to it often in order to make myself feel better when all  I want to do is turn on the sound machine, crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head, and sleep until the temperature reaches 70 degrees.

So, on this 15 degree morning, rather than thinking about how many layers of clothing I need to put on in order to simply leave the house, the fact that I can't walk Mina because it's too cold for her, and that the sun may never really come out today, I'm going to think about May 29th, because that's the day Dayv and I are going to Vedge and seeing The Lion King, and it will be warm and sunny, and I will wear one of my little flowy dresses, and flutter around the streets of Philadelphia.  And I'll be a happy lady once more.

Do you like winter?  If not, how do you get through the tough, frigid months?  

PS- Thanks for letting me keep it real ;)

Favorites | On Friday

Friday, February 13, 2015

This article on confidence is a must read.

I am definitely getting this book out at the library.

Donuts for the vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free people in your life (maybe Dayv will make me some?).

This post from Sayward made my brain exclaim, "You go girl!"

The prettiest pizza I ever did see.

I want to make these and decorate my house with them.  Then give them to my dad to eat before they go stale.

It doesn't get much better than this.

Caitlin-approved pie.

This watch is so pretty and so affordable.

Amanda is keepin it real (and throwing around my favorite curse words) and I love her for it.

Yeah women.

Have a great weekend!
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