Favorites | On Friday

Friday, July 31, 2015

Favorites | On Friday

Today I feel so grateful and loved.  Life is beautiful.  Thank you for all of the wonderful people who are in it.

I'm pretty sure there is no better social commentator out there than John Oliver.

This commencement speech is exactly what I need to hear right now. (Thanks, Bob!!!)

Apparently, Cape Town is the place to go for vegan eats.

I loved this post about a minimalist's approach to diet (not completely vegan, but very similar viewpoints).

A great article that ties into my post last week about routine and being an early riser. I echo all of these tips.

This sauce blows my mind.

Someone please buy me this shirt.

Do you ever email someone you've never met and not get a response?  Here's how to get them to respond.

Very intrigued by this recipe.  I love that there is significantly less nuts and fat than the usual raw dessert.

I really enjoyed reading this article.  I would definitely describe myself as a non-pretentious vegan.

What eight things do people decide within 10 seconds of meeting you?  

Have a great weekend!

30 life lessons for turning 30

Thursday, July 30, 2015

30 life lessons for turning 30
Today is the last day of my 20's.  Tomorrow I enter into a new decade, the big 3-0.  I've been dreading it, for no good reason.  It's the fear of moving further away from my childhood; The fear of no longer reading articles called "20 things every 20 something do" and being able to relate to them.  It's the fear of being out of touch and old.  But, when I think about it, I think I've always been a little out of touch.

The past few days I have come to accept and embrace my entrance into this new phase of life.  We're only as old as we feel and I'm pretty sure I'll feel 24 for the rest of my life.  I compiled a list of 30 things I have learned in my 30 years of living, which inspires me and helps me realize the important knowledge and self actualization that comes with time.  It's good to grow.  It's good to get older.  It's good to turn 30.

1| Never ever compare yourself to strangers on the internet; You are comparing your day-to-day to another person's best-of reel.

2| If someone makes you feel like crap on a regular basis, even if they are a close friend or family member, cut them out of your life.  They are toxic and will just bring you down.

3| Fear is never a reason to not do something.

4| No one really knows what they're doing.  It's all about who fakes it best.

5| Don't do things you don't want to do.  It's ok to say no.

6| Cherish your life, health, family, friends, and all the positive things in your life because you never know when they could disappear.

7| Bad things could always be worse.  Embrace the positive; Find the silver-lining.

8| You are the only person who can make you happy.

9| Never use the phrases "you never", "you always", or "I told you so" during an argument with your husband.

10| 10 times out of 10, it is better to let it out than to internalize and obsess over it.

11| When you find the handful of people that make you a better person and bring happiness to your life, never let them go.

12| Don't be too hard on your parents.  There is no manual on how to raise children.  They are making shit up and doing their best as they go along, just like the rest of us.

13| The bullies in school usually have terrible home lives and families.  Feel sorry for them.

14| The things you own end up owning you.  Purge everything that doesn't have a function or brings you joy.

15| When you love someone, tell them as often as possible.  And give lots of hugs.

16| The easiest way to start a conversation and make people like you is ask them questions about themselves; People love talking about themselves.

17| Always say please and thank you.

18| Embrace the person that you are; Don't pretend to be a person that you are not.  

19| Always make time for the people that matter most in your life.

20| No matter how different you think you are from your parents, you will grow up to be just like them.  

21| Do not watch the news.  It makes you sad, scared, and afraid to leave your house.

22| Finding the diet that works best for your body is imperative to having the best quality of life possible.

23| Exercising on a regular basis is the best habit you can have.

24| Sometimes you will never understand other people's decisions or choices and there's nothing you can do about it.

25| Good things come when you least expect it.

26| Being cool is over rated.  Being cool means that you are a conformist.  It's always better to be yourself.

27| Be understanding of other people's faults or mistakes.  No one is perfect.

28| 30 second hugs with your husband always make things a little better.

29| Ask for help when you need it.  There is no reason to do everything yourself.

30| Love yourself.  Be good to yourself.  Cut yourself some slack.

Happy final day of my 20's <3

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara | Review

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara | Review

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara | Review

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara | Review

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara | Review

Every woman loves a good mascara.  As they say, the eyes are the window to the soul and no makeup has such a transforming effect as a high defining mascara.  There are so many products on the market, from volumizing and lengthening, to curling and lash enhancing, it is difficult to know 1. the difference between all of these descriptions and 2. whether or not the product's performance meets the claims.  So what's a girl to do?  Add to the fact that a large majority of mascara out there contains beeswax, individuals looking for an animal-free alternative can be left confused and hesitant to try a product that may leave their lashes slightly darker but with no real definition.  

After a lot of searching, I decided to give Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara a try.  Considering the fact that among the vegan cruelty-free beauty community it is pretty much universally recognized as the holy grail of mascaras, I figured that all of the recommendations could not be false.  This mascara claims to leave your lashes full, defined, and stretched to unbelievable lengths after one coat.  After two coats, they will reach a heightened level of drama. And after three, you will believe in magic.  Quite the statement, huh?

As soon as I opened the tube, I crossed my fingers and hoped that this mascara would give me the doll-eyed look I had been lusting after.  My initial impression was that the product was very messy, and I had to wipe around my eyes to remove mascara marks that were left over after application.  However, I am impressed with the definition and fullness it provides.  I usually apply two coats, which gives a little extra oomph to my lashes.  Additionally, it helps open my eyes and counteract the dark under eye circles that always make me look exhausted.  However, I do not necessary think my lashes become exceptionally dramatized or lengthened.  Maybe they do and I just don't realize it.  (Or maybe I need to start wearing false eyelashes.)

Overall, I do really like this mascara.  My only issue is its messiness which always requires clean-up around the eyes.  It is especially annoying when I have already applied cc cream and under eye concealer; I basically gave to wipe away my makeup and start over again.  I've been told that once there is less mascara in the tube, the brush will have a more even amount of product and less clumping.  I started using this mascara about a month and a half ago and have noticed a slight decrease in its messiness, so it will be interesting to see how it progresses.

Have you ever used Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara?  What did you think?  What are your favorite vegan mascaras?

Favorites | On Friday

Friday, July 24, 2015

Fire zinnia
A fantastic interview about one of my heroes.

This pizza crust looks too perfect not to make.

A mind blowing combination that has my tummy growling.

Super inspiring interview and lesson on working hard and achieving professional goals.

The savory roundup of my dreams.

An inspiring reminder to not judge others in our community as we never know their personal struggle.

Who needs to hit the reset button?

It is so culturally engrained in us to comment on womens' appearances as conversation starters- but should it be?

Important daily reminder.  Who else knows the struggle?

These cookies.

Have a great weekend!

Yuve Cocoa + Chia Seeds Protein Powder | Review + Giveway

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Yuve Cocoa + Chia Seeds Protein Powder | Review + Giveway
Although not required for a healthful, nutritionally sound diet, protein powders can be a great addition to a well balanced vegan lifestyle.  While there are many brands available, I am very skeptical of them.  I have found that the majority are either chalky, super thin in consistency, and/or gross in flavor.  But I love the convenience of a nutritionally dense protein powder that can easily contribute to a healthy meal, so I am definitely willing to try a few losers in order to find a winner.  

I recently stumbled upon the protein powder Yuve and was immediately intrigued by its flavor (cocoa + chia seeds), nutritional profile, and overall nutritional claims.  Also, the packaging is adorable.  I requested a free sample and was blown away by its taste (chocolate with a hint of raspberry and a slight chia seed crunch).  It made me immediately yearn for a tub full of the stuff to incorporate into my healthy eating routine.

Yuve Cocoa + Chia Seeds Protein Powder | Review + Giveway

There is so much to love about Yuve.  Each serving contains 155 calories, four grams of fiber, and 16 grams of protein.  Although it does not contain high amounts of daily recommended vitamins or probiotics, its formula is full of beneficial ingredients.  Besides cocoa and chia seeds, Yuve's ingredient list includes pea protein, brown rice protein, kale, goji berries, maca root, flax seeds, coconut, spiruline, chlorella, acai berries, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, spinach, and more.  This protein powder definitely packs a nutritionally dense punch.  Additionally, Yuve passes the flavor test with flying colors, as I just mix it with unsweetened almond milk to enjoy; No need to mask its flavor in a smoothie.

GIVEAWAY: I am so excited to not only share my new founded love for Yuve, but also to give away a tub to one lucky reader.  Simply comment below and tell me how much you want to try Yuve and/or your experiences with protein powders.  Make sure you include an email address (or other way to reach you) if your name is not linked to a blogger profile or blog.  The giveaway ends at midnight (EST) on Friday, July 31st.  Open to U.S. residents only.

If you want to purchase Yuve, you can do so here.

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

On being routine-oriented

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

On being routine oriented
Growing up, I was the opposite of routine-oriented.  I went to bed incredibly late, slept in, had very erratic eating habits, and never exercised on a regular basis.  Looking back I wonder how I was able to thrive on that type of routine and immediately realize that it negatively affected my mental wellness and overall lifestyle.

I cleaned up my routine during my junior year of college.  I'm not exactly sure what caused the switch, but I'm pretty positive it had to do with it being the worst year of my life and needing to be in control.  Ever since the summer of 2006, the July I turned 21, I left behind my old ways and committed to a life of routine and daily awareness.

What does this mean?  It means I get up at the same time every morning (5 am); eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same; have a manageable daily exercise routine; have my nights planned according to day; and a million other little things like when I pack my lunch every night and paint my nails every week.  

What does this mean?  I am not a very flexible or spontaneous person.  I'm not the person who likes spur of the moment plans or a change in plans at the last minute.  I'm the person that while making plans, makes sure it fits within their daily schedule.  I'm the friend or family member or wife that always has a very strong opinion on what time plans are made.  I'll pencil you in.

On the flip side, it means that I have daily mental clarity and a routine that ensures that I am on target for the day ahead.  Although I can be inflexible when faced with plans at the last minute, I am extremely flexible when plans are made in advance.  I can simply alter or create a new routine in order to accommodate them.  Having a routine and structure in place at all times is a necessity in order for me to maintain peace of mind.  Everything has a routine.  

Sometimes I envy individuals that are spontaneous and live life on the edge.  I feel like I could have been that person 10 years ago.  But, I truly believe life experiences have the ability to alter our brains in order to adjust to situations, which enable us to thrive.  I could be a spontaneous person, but I am also pretty sure I would be a completely different version of myself- not dependable, flaky, erratic, undisciplined (the way I used to be).  I need structure.  My mental wellness is extremely dependent on routine and the knowledge that, no matter what happens, I will have woken up at 5am, walked Mina for an hour, and ate three well rounded meals throughout the day.  And all that other stuff.

Are you routine-oriented or love the spontaneous life?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.  

Favorites | On Friday

Friday, July 17, 2015


Hey, I took another week off from blogging- how was your week?  Dayv, Mina, and I visited his parents and sisters last Saturday, which consisted of rubix cube races, stacking plastic cups from the kitchen table to the ceiling, music jam sessions, walks around the neighborhood, and a belly full of veggies.  It was a great time- I'm really lucky to have such amazing in-laws.  Other than that, our week was pretty simple- my weekly visit with my best friend of 18+ years who recently moved back to the area (10 minutes away from my house), finished Season Two of Game of Thrones, and an emergency dentist visit for Dayv's quickly progressing cavity.

I am super pumped for some fun new stuff coming up on the blog, including a bunch of fashion posts, review and giveaway of a newly discovered, insanely delicious protein powder, and a review of cookbook written by a vegan all-star.  Get excited!

And now my favorite links of the week:

Um..not me.

I thought so... which is why I always think it's weird when people make a big deal about it.

I'm a huge shark fan and this video first made me sad but then so very happy at the end.

Someone please make me this loaf.

Mom, is our VHS of Beauty in the Beast still in very good condition?

The struggle is real, especially when you're a five year old too shy to ask your art teacher for left handed scissors.

I wonder why SeaWorld is hiring a new Crisis Communications Director?

Extremely inspiring advice.

So excited for VAUTE!

Have you ever seen a more gorgeous veggie burger?

Have a great weekend!
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