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bag, cardigan, jeans – thrifted // shoes – vegan doc martens // scarf – gift // hat – neff // top – modcloth

Some potential life changes have been set into motion. After probably too much hesitation, I have decided to apply to go back to school. Thankfully, I already have most of what I need together with just five days until the application deadline now. There are going to be a few sleepless nights until then. Hopefully I make it in. I also got a second job, which I was not expecting! I’m super excited to get back to being a student and getting into some new things.

It is also just so incredibly nice today that I was comfortable even without sleeves. Ridiculous! I guess this snow won’t be sticking around for too long.

Loving running this blog so far as well, even if I’m still a bit embarrassed about it when I’m asked about it in real life. I’m weird.

Andrea

snow day

12416_112416_312416_412416_512416_2blouse, pants, shoes, jacket – thrifted // vegan reversible belt – grapecat.com

Had a great night with a few friends for my birthday last night. Most of the stores and restaurants were closed but I got some really great mushroom and spinach vegan tacos from a nearby Mexican restaurant. I loved how quiet the streets were. It felt like a ghost town, or just like another world. It was… comfortable, in a way. Today the world has woken up again. Back to business as usual.

Andrea

vegan lunch go-to

I love beans. Not only are they super delicious and versatile, they are also one of the best bangs for your buck in the food department.

My favorite quick meal to make when I’m at home is black bean burgers. It’s super simple! Whenever I make them for folks who haven’t made them for themselves before, they’re surprised that it’s so easy! You can season them however you want, and prepare them however suits your fancy. Sometimes I’ll have them with salad, or on a doughnut from Dun-Well (okay, that honestly has only happened twice so far, but lemme tell you: the best way to eat anything, is on a vegan doughnut). However, today I’m gonna share with you a way that is maybe a little less indulgent than a Luther Burger and a little more on the healthy side of things.

So seriously, if you don’t want to read any further, here is the tl;dr version of my black bean burger recipe:

one can of black beans, rinse, mush ’em all up with a fork or whatever utensil you have handy, form into two patties, and fry over medium-high heat with some olive oil.

It’s really that easy. Most times I literally just do that with a bit of salt and pepper and I’m good to go. Here’s the variation I cooked up the other day as shown in the photos above:

1 can black beans (drained/rinsed)

1 tbsp ketchup, 1 tbsp mustard

about 2/3 cup of chopped kale

about 1/3 cup of diced onion

1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes

1 tsp turmeric

salt and pepper to taste

On top we had some caramelized onions, avocado, Just Mayo, medium Nacheez, and Chao Tomato Cayenne.

If you’ve never made black bean burgers before, definitely don’t be afraid to give it a shot! It’s super simple. I made them for the first time about a year ago and now make them at least once a week and don’t get bored.

Andrea

 

year 20

12016_812016_112016_9.png12016_412016_312016_512016_712016_6dress, shirt, jacket — thrifted

neff beanie

vegan doc marten 1460 boots

rings — vintage (mom wore them when she was my age!)

Tomorrow’s my 21st birthday! If you look real close at that last photo there, you can see some under-eye wrinkles… Getting old. 😉

I treated myself to a Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 and I have to say, it’s now my most prized possession. I don’t doubt that I’m going to just become obsessed and start collecting instant cameras. I’m planning on it, in fact.

Really loving the mild weather here in NY right now. But we’ve got a snow storm expected this Saturday. Should be fun though. What’s winter without a storm? Might not be a blizzard, but a girl can dream. My birthday plans were originally to go out and do some karaoke this Saturday night. I’ve never done it, but have always wanted to. Hopefully that works out, otherwise we’re gonna stay in and play board games. I know how to party, obviously.

Andrea

 

 

My Favorite Vegan Snacks of 2015

The amount of vegan convenience foods available is growing so much every day, it seems! In the past year, I’ve found some really great stuff. Included in this list are things that I discovered in the past year or so. Some of them are obvious vegan “knock-offs” of non-vegan snacks that I grew up loving, such as Cheez-Its and Ritz Bits, and others are things that I have no pre-vegan-days attachments to. One thing they all have in common, though, is that they’re all delicious and wonderfully addicting!

Earth Balance really changed the name of the game when they introduced what I think is fair to call their version of Cheez-Its and Pirate’s Booty, along with a variety of flavored popcorns and chips. These “vegan cheddar flavor squares”, as they are so descriptively named, totally hit the spot every time. I wish I could eat a box of these every day.


Late July Organic has peanut butter sandwich crackers (think Ritz Bits!) and I can only dream of there being a vegan cheese version of this right now. Before going vegan at 14, cheese Ritz Bits were my all-time favorite junky snack food. I remember not really caring for peanut butter Ritz Bits at the time, but these sandwich crackers by Late July are super fulfilling for any salty-peanut-buttery-cracker craving. So, shout out to Late July… Veganize your cheddar cheese crackers, please! My stomach is waiting.


Now, for something completely different: Dang Coconut Chips. Well, dang! I first tried these as a sample in the Vegan Cuts snack box last year and fell in love. You may feel a little healthier eating these than those junkier foods I listed above (hey, it’s all vegan though, so at least they’re better than the alternative!) because this snack is simply coconut, sugar, seasoning, oil, and salt. They are no less delicious though. I’ve only tried the Chili Lime flavor, which is perfectly spiced, but they are also available in a myriad of other flavors including Savory Bacon (I plan on trying that ASAP, I ain’t no fool).


Now how about some vegan jerky? I love all the Primal Strips and you can find them almost anywhere around here, but another new thing I’ve tried (although they’ve been around since 2012) is Louisville Vegan Jerky. I first tried their Maple Bacon flavor (it’s in a different packaging than their other flavors too… They must know that people are just absolute suckers for maple bacon… Or well, just anything bacon). Super savory and just a little bit sweet, these are great to try when you’re wanting something a little more meaty.

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Shockingly, I’ve not even scratched the surface on all the amazing foods available, but these are some of my favorites as of late! There are also a ton of snacks that are more oriented towards one’s sweet tooth which I will write a post on soon.

Even if there weren’t a million other options, I’d still be a happy little herbivore over here. This is pretty good proof that vegans don’t eat plain, boring food. If there’s anything you’ve tried as of late that you love, please share by leaving a comment below! 🙂

Andrea

Staying Positive; Steps Back and Leaps Forward

I’ve realized something about myself lately. In the past, when I would get depressed, I would avoid everything. I would tell myself that it was no use going out because everything sucked and there was no way I could have a good day. That is no way to live.

I have surprised myself time and time again in the past month or so that I am different now. I can cry for however long or feel however badly about things, but still manage to go through with my obligations and not sabotage the things that I do appreciate in my life. Even if I can’t find the reasons to keep going in the moment, I do it and my day is better for it. I’m not perfect, and there’s a lot more to life that I wish I could live but do not out of fear. But I am making good changes. This is the beginning of becoming the kind of person that I want to be.

I owe this to growing up and learning things the hard way. I have lost or at least severely damaged some very important relationships and other things in my life, and I don’t want to be the one to blame for that any more. I don’t want to hurt other people because of my own insecurities. They don’t deserve that.

I am taking responsibility. I know that this life is purely my own. While other people may come and go, and some may even stick around with you for longer, it’s still just going to be you. You are always you. Wherever you go, there you are.

When I’m really down, something I’ve found that almost always helps me to fall asleep is remembering our own insignificance to the world and to the universe. Think of all the people. Remember that everyone has their problems. And remember that everyone’s suffering, combined, is still so small compared to how large our universe is. You are going to be okay. Maybe some will take that in a negative way, but for me, it is really helpful because as a result I just worry so much less. The thoughts weigh less on my conscience because I don’t give them the weight.

It is very important for me to own up to this and put it in to words to remind myself that I am a good person and have lots to be thankful for, and reasons to keep on truckin’. It’s unfortunate that cliches like “be thankful for what you do have” are only really effective when you reach them on your own. I know that when I’m having a bad day, a friend telling me that “things will get better” does not help at all. So while I don’t expect these words to be super life changing for anyone out there who is struggling, I hope it is at least relatable and can help keep you afloat if you need that buoyancy.

Andrea

to Pants or not to Pants

Hey all,

I have been having an interesting start to the new year. I’ve been working a lot for the past week and am pretty tuckered out. I’ve got a recipe post planned for later this week, so don’t worry, I’m not going to let myself neglect this blog! But right now, just checking in, because I promised myself I would write and share my thoughts here. I don’t want this to just be a cookie cutter, clean edges blog. I’m gonna keep it real, folks!

It’s raining here this morning. After snow, rain is my favorite weather. I guess I’m into precipitation. It’s too bad there’s only been maybe two days where we have hit freezing temperatures here in New York this season. I miss the snow so much! But I guess it is nice being able to walk to and from work every day without freezing my toes off.

When I was back home in Pennsylvania over Christmas, I was watching the news and they were saying how these high temperatures were a “miracle”. I’m not really sure how rising temperatures and dangerous climate change could be seen as a miracle. It’s just eerie to me and when I think about it it’s just uncomfortable. I should be shoveling snow from the side walk this morning.

When I head back home again this afternoon to spend some time with the family for my birthday (I turn 21 on January 21st… it’s coming up quick!) I’m going to be keeping my eyes peeled for pants-less Subway passengers. No, sorry, I won’t be participating this year. Disappointing, I know.

If you want to see some more posts covering vegan fashion and food, please follow me here so you can get notified as soon as I post! It won’t be long. 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Andrea