From the Weekend | Welcome Autumn

Monday, September 22, 2014

This weekend's beautiful weather was perfect for productivity and getting some much needed things accomplished.  I was able to cross a bunch of items off my never ending list of to-dos, while still making time to relax.  

My weekend included:
1| Thai dinner with my dad.
2| Watching Fed Up with Dayv.  It was so good and I highly recommend it.
3| Preparing the yard for the fall/winter.  (More on this later in the week.)
4| All the laundry.  
5| Cleaning the disgusting dirt and grime off the inside of the windows and filling our house with fresh, clean air.
6| Two long dog walks.

Happy Monday!

Favorites | On Friday

Friday, September 19, 2014

How to overcome the biggest challenge when making a positive life change.  So true.

This tumblr is hilarious.  Especially for people who have children (which I don't).

For the forever Sex and the City fan that I am, I loved this Buzzfeed.

This curry contains my most favorite ingredient and is perfect for fall.

My middle school crush that I'm still in love with.  She's perfect.

Some really great career advice.  I relate with #1 the most.  (And I love Anna Wintour's advice.)

Have a great weekend!

*Painting by the incredibly talented artist Lora M. Banks.

Roasted Vegetables with Tomato Sauce

Thursday, September 18, 2014

vegan, gluten-free, vegetables, roasted, tomato sauce, dinner, side, tomato sauce, recipe

vegan, gluten-free, vegetables, roasted, tomato sauce, dinner, side, tomato sauce, recipe

vegan, gluten-free, vegetables, roasted, tomato sauce, dinner, side, tomato sauce, recipe

Do you ever make a meal that requires tomato sauce, like lasagna or pasta, and there is undoubtedly some sauce leftover in the jar?  For me, that leftover sauce usually sits in the refrigerator for way too long (by the way, when does opened tomato sauce go bad?) until fuzzy white stuff starts growing on top of it.  It's such a waste and I hate it.

Over the weekend, I made lasagna and had 1/3 of a jar of tomato sauce left.  I was adamant to not let it succumb to the white fuzz and heated the rest up to use as a dip for my roasted vegetables.  Not to sound dramatic, but it was amazing.  I've always been one of those people that could eat chunky tomato sauce like soup, especially when there were extra veggies in it.  So, this combination totally makes sense.  For some reason I just never thought of it before.

No one needs a recipe on how to make roasted vegetables and heat up tomato sauce.  But, here are some of my tips:
1| Super chunky tomato sauce tastes the best.  Make your own if you have the time.
2| The best time and temperature I have found to roast vegetables is at 450 for 20 minutes.  They are soft, but not too soft, and some will just be the tiniest little burnt.  And that's my favorite.
3| No oil is required to roast the veggies.  I just sprinkle a little sea salt on them before placing in the oven.
4| All veggies taste great dipped in tomato sauce, but my favorites are mushrooms, broccoli, and cauliflower.


Vega One | Review

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Vega One, Vega Snack Bars, Nutritional Shake, Review, French Vanilla
Vega is a company that I have been aware of for several years.  It has made quite an impression on the vegan community with its creation of plant-based, whole food nutritional powders and supplements.  Vega not only appeals to individuals that eschew animal products from their diet, but also those that are interested in supplements that do not rely on ingredients like soy protein isolate. 

Vega One, Vega Snack Bars, Nutritional Shake, Review, French Vanilla
Vega recently sent me some of their products to try.  Products included:

Vega One all-in-one nutritional shake in french vanilla | I have tried several Vega One flavors, but french vanilla was new to me.  Although I cannot say that this product is particularly french vanilla tasting, I do find it pretty delicious.  Each packet is 135 calories, with 50% of daily vitamins and minerals, 15 grams of protein in the form of pea, saviseed, hemp, and whole grain rice protein, and probiotics.  I enjoy it simply mixed with unsweetened almond milk.  I know some people do not like the taste of stevia, which provides a sometimes acquired sweetness, but I do not mind it.  This shake is perfect if you want to add more nutrition and protein to your diet or need a meal on the go.  The one downside to Vega One I found is that it does not mix very well in liquid and has a tendency to clump.

Vega snack bar in chocolate peanut butter cup and dark chocolate mixed nuts and sea salt  | There is no better combination than nuts and chocolate, especially in snack form.  Different from protein or meal replacement bars, these snack bars are perfect when you want a bite to eat that is only 200 calories, gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, and filled with ingredients you can pronounce.  Although our bars arrived a bit melty, Dayv and I enjoyed the flavor and texture (although the chocolate did flake a bit from melting and then solidifying again).  His favorite is the dark chocolate mixed nuts and sea salt, while I obviously favor the chocolate peanut butter cup.

Vega shaker cup | This cup is perfect for taking your smoothie on the go and not having to worry about spillage.  I did attempt to "shake" the Vega One and almond milk together in this cup, but there were still a lot of clumps that I went at with a spoon.

Vega One, Vega Snack Bars, Nutritional Shake, Review, French Vanilla
A box of 10 Vega One packets retails for $39.99 and equates to $3.90 per serving.  The website does not have french vanilla available, but chocolate and vanilla chai are delicious alternatives.  The price tag is a bit high, but for people that need a little assistance with healthy eating and getting high quality plant protein, this product is a great option.

The snack bars are available for $2.49 each or $29.79 for a box of 12.  Once again, the price is a little high, but how much do you spend at the vending machine or Starbucks every day?  Think about that ;)  Dayv's favorite is available here and my favorite is available here.

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

From the Weekend | Two year house anniversary

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sunday marked our two year house buying anniversary.  I can't believe how quickly time flies.  It seems like just yesterday, Dayv, my parents, and I were putting together Ikea kitchen islands in our brand new home, as I limped around after injuring my foot earlier in the week while running.  It's also crazy that two years ago I was running over 30 miles a week.  Funny how things change.

To celebrate, I made Dayv cashew butter-pretzel-chocolate chip granola bars and cheese lasagna.  He turned off the air conditioning (yay!) and opened the windows.  We watched Edge of Tomorrow, with Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, and it was really good.  Other than that, the weekend was pretty quiet and uneventful, which is fine by me.  Next weekend I hope to do some fall cleanup in the yard- weeding, bush trimming, edging.  I also plan on getting out our autumn decor and doing a little decorating.  I'm writing it here so that I am accountable for getting it done.

Happy Monday! 

Favorites | On Friday

Friday, September 12, 2014

link sharing

These walls.

Comments on food blogs- so accurate.  My favorite is #13.

Foods to buy when you're low on funds.  They all have something in common.  (Psst...They're all vegan.)

My brother always jokes that I did this while in the womb, thus explaining my left-handedness.  Apparently, it's true!

Please watch this video.

A testament to the importance of finding the perfect funfetti cake recipe.

How to market to the #selfie generation.

To follow up yesterday's post.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

#girlboss, book, review

#GIRLBOSS is a book I wanted to read for a while, but put off until I was ready.  I knew it was going to make me evaluate my life and future, and wanted to be in the right mentality to be as receptive as possible to the message.  About six weeks ago, I decided I was officially ready to handle the book and all of its wisdom, and put in a library request (actually my dad did). After a month and a half of being on a waiting list with 18 other people, the book was finally in my hands on Friday afternoon.  Not actually knowing what to expect, I opened to the first page and began reading.  I was immediately engrossed in the words and spent the majority of the weekend reading it from front to back.  Never before have I read a 240 page book in less than a week, and I came away with such an intense fire and excitement for the future.  I feel like I was reborn.  Among the pages is a mixture of the author's personal story as well as advice for the reader.  There are so many pieces I could quote and discuss at length, but below are the most important lessons/reinforcements that impacted me the most.

If you want something, ask for it.
There is no shame in asking for what you want.  By putting it out there, you are making a statement to yourself, others around you, and the universe.  No one can read your mind and you cannot complain if you don't get something you never asked for.  This action is something that I've been more cognizant of the last several months and have been amazed at what has become available just by asking for it.

By approaching everything in your life with intention, you can affect the outcome.
Not everything will work out perfectly.  But, if you approach everything in life with intention then your actions will affect the outcome, and you will not be disappointed because you gave it your all.

Do not spend time thinking about things or people that are toxic and negative.  Kick them out of your head like you'd kick someone of your house if you didn't want them there.
I am an obsessive person and can become fixated on things or people that put me in a bad mood, upset me, or make me feel negative about myself.  When they enter my brain, I have to say, "Go away!" and force myself to think about positive things.  

By focusing on the positive things in your life, you will attract more positive things to happen.
I have been working on this action for the last couple of weeks.  It really is amazing what happens when you open yourself up to the universe.

Do not become too attached to results.  If the most important goal is to gain experience, perspective, and knowledge, you cannot fail.
I have been guilty of being fixated on outcomes.  However, I am working towards enjoying the experience or opportunity at hand rather than the ending.  I like to say It'll be over in two shakes of a lamb's tail to remind myself how fleeting life is and to approach everything one day at a time.

Don't be discouraged if you have to start small.
No one woke up one day and was just successful.  It takes work and sometimes you have to start small.  My life motto is Small and steady wins the race and I really believe that.

Dress up for your life.
The last few months I have made an extremely conscious effort to always leave the house looking my best.  Even if I'm in a bad mood or running late, if I'm wearing a super cute outfit, makeup, a little jewelry, and my hair looks nice, then at the very least I feel good about myself.  And that's a very powerful thing.

The world loves to tell you how difficult things are, but difficult doesn't mean impossible.
I have always been secretive about sharing my thoughts and dreams with people because I don't want to hear their opinions or feel expectations.  I want to do things for me.  I can become wrapped up in what other people think of me, and that's just no good.  I want my thoughts, dreams, and desires to impact my actions, and what other people think should not be part of the equation at all.  

Compete with yourself, not others.
The comparison trap is something I am guilty of doing.  But, by always pushing myself to reach my full potential, I am not comparing myself to others.  I am focused on my personal growth and not concerned with what anyone else is doing.

After finishing #GIRLBOSS I feel extremely empowered and excited to work on becoming the best version of myself.  I am open to opportunities and growth, and the path my life is leading.  It's a good feeling.

Did you read #GIRLBOSS?  What book should I read next?
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