The Fries are loaded

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Vegetarian loaded sweet po-tay-toe fries. NOM NOM NOM NOM! I’m full now though, so it’s time to try and stay up for a movie, which usually means I will pass out 20 minutes in. 😛

Happy Saturday!

Lush – not the drunk kind more of the review kind

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I’ve been a vegetarian since 2010 (and never really an eater of the meat even as a child so this conversion was not really a surprise to anyone.) When I assumed this new lifestyle I had slowly started to shift all the products in my home out for ethical, animal friendly versions instead. However, my hair care products and facial products were another matter. I have very sensitive skin and oily to boot! Sadly the all natural, animal friendly products I tried kept leaving me with a slew of problems (some of which go beyond just a break out and we’ll leave it at that.) So I stayed with what what was tolerable until a solution could be found kept searching.

And found it was! I stayed away from Lush for many years because they are pricey and with my shaky past of natural products I was hesitant to spend my hard earned dollars on something that would yet again, disappoint! I read BUNCHES of reviews and found out there was a store here (this was a huge shocker because there is pretty NOTHING in this town that is vegetarian, let alone vegan friendly!) so, I decided to give it a shot.

I was completely out of shampoo and conditioner. So I headed down to the ole’ Lush store. At the recommendation of the clerk I bought the Montalbano Shampoo bar and Veganese conditioner. I also got a sample of the Vanishing Creme moisturizer, because with my oily skin it’s a challenge finding something that works.

The shampoo bar:

Honestly I thought, a bar? This is going to fail but it wasn’t that pricey so I figured I wouldn’t lose too much. This stuff smells AMAZING and it lathers up something fierce (a necessary for me) it leaves my hair squeaky clean but not feeling stripped. It also has left my hair super shiny and soft!

The conditioner:

Isn’t half bad either. The smell isn’t my favorite but it definitely conditions and it leaves my hair soft and manageable and the smell is actually very subtle but not over powering.

The Vanishing Cream:

Is strangely light despite it’s appearance that it may be heavy (not something my oily hide wants to see!) The smell again, is not my favorite but it isn’t over powering and after a few minutes I don’t notice it.

I figured since these worked, I might as well dive into the realm of facial products. I went back the following week and bought the Herbalism cleanser, Tea Tree Water and got samples of two moisturizers to try.

The Herbalism Cleanser:

This stuff is great!  I like the smell and at first it was weird to use but it’s really quite simple and not a messy affair. It cleanses the face very gently, doesn’t leave my skin feeling too dry and it’s definitely not abrasive like the exfoliating scrub I had been using. Leaves my skin feeling soft and supple.

The Tea Tree Water:

I thought this was going to be over drying and hurt-y, like most toner’s I’ve tried, but guess what?! NOPE! It cleanses really well and doesn’t over dry my skin, make it feel tight or sting. It smells pretty darn good too!

Sample of the Magical Moringa Moisturizer:

So I already mentioned I have VERY oily skin (to which my husband attributes my youthful looking face.) That’s all well and good but it doesn’t make for a good time wearing makeup (which I only wear for occasions) or breakouts. I wasn’t really convinced even after review reading that this stuff would work. When I put it on, it felt so light it felt like I hadn’t used enough or had anything on my face at all. It DID NOT dry out my skin, but instead left it feeling very soft. I am happy to report I went through a whole day with no makeup and my face did not get OILY! I was shocked. I kept checking periodically throughout the day and NOPE no oil! HOLY MOLY BATMAN! We also had an occasion so I wore makeup. It held very well and I think if it would not have been 99 degrees out it would have been better. It also smells pleasant.

Sample of the Enzymion Moisturizer:

Very light weight. I decided to use this at night. Also helped control oil, though not as much as the previous. I like this better than the Vanishing Creme. Smell is a little off putting but like the Vanishing Creme, the smell dissipates and is not problematic for me.

So…to wrap it up. My skin feels better. No new break outs, things seem to be clearing up. I am really happy they give samples, I was able to figure out what worked without wasting mah hard earned monies!

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If you’re going through hell…

Because I have funny friends that give me appropriate quotes.
If you’re going through hell, keep going. Winston Churchill
Anxiety levels…high…

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It’s embarrassing for me and I know it shouldn’t be but I have an anxiety disorder. My first panic attack came at the age of 22. I’m much older now and the attacks are few and far between thankfully. The last time I had an anxiety attack was 4 years ago, I had two this week and almost a third BUT The Husband stepped in and talked me down off that ledge (so to speak) after 10 years of living with me he knows how to navigate those waters. Warm, soft, snoozing puppies also help.

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The plight of my veggie plants…

I have a tiny friend living on my veggie plants (that desperately need to be moved to the larger pots that are sitting on my balcony.) I know growing stuff isn’t rocket science and despite the history of green thumbs in my family…I did not seem to inherit one. The fact that they are still alive is a miracle in itself haha!  Alas…I also do not have the heart to rid the plants of the tiny friend even though he’s using them for sustenance. We’ll see what I do…maybe I can get him his OWN plant. 😛

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This week was messy and hard…

I declared through a text to my husband today what I need.

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This week showed up and told me what I need to keep my shit together.  I need yoga, exercise, vegan eats, art (no matter how crappy of an artist I think I am) and a schedule that I actually abide. I hold the yoga class and the amazing instructor I went to responsible for igniting the “get your shit together and do these things” in my cells, catapulting me into a week of triggers to bring my awareness into view last Sunday. While I may have left the bulk of my spirituality in Florida when we moved, I am not so far gone that I don’t believe my body and the Universe conspire together to give me the answers needed to make the necessary changes to reach the goals I’ve laid down for myself.

The weekend is nigh and I am glad. Yoga class, a trip to Lush   (and maybe one of those fancy bath bombs I’ve heard about for YEARS) and lots of rest. OH and Lola’s birthday where I plan to make her cupcakes and probably make her wear a birthday hat…because I don’t have children…I have dogs, and chances are she will try to eat the hat.

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No more dairy way more flavor!

coffeewithalmondmilkSo over the weekend I was sort of freaking out about this sudden dietary change. Not because I miss dairy…but rather the emotional comfort, the routine of eating it. The almond milk in my coffee wasn’t bad but it wasn’t what I was used to. So I decided to use some of the half-n-half we had left in the fridge. I felt bad that the animals had suffered and didn’t want it to go to waste. So I put it in my coffee. I took a sip and I nearly spit it out.

It tasted weird and awful. It left a film in my mouth I hadn’t noticed before and it had an after taste I did not remember ever experiencing. It was so off putting that I ended up pouring it down the sink (so much for not wasting!) I just couldn’t drink it. I made a fresh cup with almond milk and it tasted yummy and right.

Which leads to me to tell you about my Chipotle experience.

Every Friday the husband and our do our food shopping and grab Chipotle for dinner (yes we’re like old people!)  I was apprehensive on how my usual Friday burrito bowl was going to taste sans dairy. I usually get a lot of cheese and sour cream heaped onto my bowl. Instead of heaping on the dairy, I got an extra heap of salsa!

When I took my first bite I was surprised! I thought it was going to taste bland without dairy slathered over it but I was so wrong! Instead a symphony of flavors exploded in my mouth! Flavors I never noticed before! It tasted better without all the dairy on top!

My experience so far has been that food tastes better. Dairy seemed to mask the flavors of everything. My digestion is also better even after just a week.  The husband is going vegetarian this week, his digestion has not been so good haha! Poor guy! Guess I better start putting a little baking soda in those beans. 😛

 

 

 

Goodbye October, Hello November!

Before I get into November let’s wrap up the month of October, especially since I haven’t been regular in posting this month.

We had a quiet Halloween. I didn’t dress up and attended no parties. We went out for sushi and I helped a friend pass out candy. We took the dog’s to the grandparent’s so they could  see them in their cute gear. (My outfit and Lola’s was inspired by Kaylah at The Dainty Squid.)

amberhalloweenlolahalloweenmooshimonsterThis last week of October my husband and I also took some vacation time for some much needed rest. We slept a lot, went to the gym and watched a lot of movies, one of those movies sent me down the vegan path.

vegucatedI highly encourage you to watch this movie, not to turn anyone vegan or vegetarian but to get a little knowledge on the meat and dairy industry.  As a vegetarian I already knew the horrors of factory farming but I also learned the “ethical” dairy I was consuming isn’t so ethical after all. Going vegan presents a big challenge since I live in the Midwest and am regularly ostracized (whether intentional or not) for not consuming meat. So this will be an interesting ride.

Lola is getting bigger…well at least longer haha! She’s also getting sassier and smarter. Anyone who says Bassett hounds are not smart obviously has no idea what they are talking about. She has learned how to open the cabinets in the apartment (and the treat closet at grandma’s house!) She had a pretty good time while we were out the other day! *Just a note – she was fine, didn’t hurt herself and we have since locked her out of all cabinets she can open*

lolakitchenShe also has a sass mouth that doesn’t stop. If she doesn’t like something she’ll let you know!

lolasassyShe also turned 3 months this October!

I also did two vision boards one for myself and one for nesting purposes. It was a lot of fun dreaming and doing, though my vision boards are both digital.

I’m glad to welcome a new month! Goodbye October!

Hello November! What’s in store this month?

For starters I’m going to try this recipe.

spaghettisquashI’ve never tried spaghetti squash and I think taking the vegan route this would be a good time to try it! Also looking at this picture makes my mouth water so I figure it must be good!

I found this on my Instagram feed this morning and thought it was a great idea so am implementing it. I’ll let you know what my goals are and how (if) I reached them at the end of the month (because let’s face it sometimes I have commitment/exhaustion issues haha!)

novembergoalsI am also participating in this challenge which I mentioned before.

October is also the month my big black dog passed away. I miss him everyday! It’s not something I will ever get over but I have learned to live with his absence. Every year at this time I reflect on him and his companionship to me and it always brings a happy feeling to my heart and a smile to my face.

bruiser23This month is going to be good I think! Happy November all!