Friday, March 29, 2013

high five for friday!

happy, happy friday!

hmm...why the extra happy? well, my spring break officially starts this afternoon! i know, it's really late...but regardless, i'm looking forward to a whole week off! i have lots of fun plans in the works. :) but before i get ahead of myself, let's talk about this week:

one. last friday was a girls night out with my sister, mom, and aunt! we went to olive garden for dinner {my portobello ravioli's the bomb.} and then we went dress shopping for my sister for an event she's going to! we were successful, and her dress is super cute {but i don't have a picture}.

two. not 100% sure why i'm sharing this...but whatever. so, after we bought my sisters dress, we started browsing, and i kinda sorta tried on a prom dress, just for fun {obviously}. it's the most ridiculous thing ever, but i loved it! it was so cute {looked better in person!} and i also got the added confidence boost of being able to fit into the size i did!

three. i painted my nails over the's probably my fave mani to date! adoring's a metallic silver polish with the most gorgeous glitter ever {from julep}!

four. i started watching cougar town! it's funny...i'm into it! it's always been on my to-watch list, because, well, i watch shows based on the actors a lot of times, and...courteney cox! i mean, i owe it to my friends loving self {especially since i watch matthew perry's {awesome} new show, go on}.

five. yup...extreme ab close-up. don't be too weirded out, this photo is just to represent that i finished jillian michael's killer abs! absolutely loved it...did it for 5 weeks! she's the bomb dot com...don't ever let anyone tell you she's not effective. girlfriend has whipped me into shape! that kinda sorta 6 pack is all courtesy of her. and i show the picture not to be braggy, but because i've worked hard & i'm really proud of my abs {how weird is that statement??}. anyway, today i start ripped in 30!

wish you all super fantastic easter weekends!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

march cara box reveal!

happy thursday!

this month, i signed up for cara box for the first time. if you don't know what cara box is, it is kaitlyn @ wifessionals awesome brainchild. :) click here to learn more about it! i was really excited to get to know 2 other girls and send/get a box!

this months theme was based on the first letter of your name. it just so happens that i was paired with 2 fellow ashley's so it was all about "a" for me! i got to know 2 fantastic ladies:

Ashley @ let's get bananas-- it was so much fun getting to know ashley, and her blog is one of my favorites now! she's awesome. :) go check out her blog to see what i sent her in her cara box.

Ashley @ raising our little devilpups-- i enjoyed getting to know her just as much. she has 2 adorable kids, and she's basically the coolest. :) ashley sent me my cara box, and i couldn't have been more thrilled with everything in it! check it out:

first up: i love all things cooking and baking, so she made me these super cute recipe cards with 3 awesome vegetarian-friendly recipes! i can't wait to try the apple brownies.

lots of yummy snacks! the almond joy was devoured almost immediately, and i was really excited about the almonds, because i've been wanting to try them for a while!

nail polish! i told her about my obsession with polish, and she sent me this pretty "atomic pink"!

a fun new book to read! i love reading, and spring break is next week, so it'll be the perfect time to read it!

ashley asked me what my 3 favorite colors were, and what did she do with that information? made this cute little piece of art! i love it. so thoughtful & creative!

it was such a fun experience, and i can't wait to sign up again! highly recommend it. :) and ashley, thanks again for my awesome package!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

veganism/vegetarianism: part 3!

hi loves!

over the past 2 weeks, i've shared parts 1 & 2 of this series. now, it's time for the final installment! today will be all about recipes and resources for vegans and vegetarians.

eating as a vegetarian is really very easy! you can  still eat almost all classic, everyday foods everyone else eats, simply by omitting the meat. for example, i love to make spaghetti with marinara sauce, cheese lasagna/ravioli/manicotti, eggplant parmesan, bean burritos, tacos, cheese enchiladas, chili with beans, mac & cheese, veggie pot pie, cheese/veggie pizza, etc. if the meat is a vital part of the dish, you can also replace the meat with a  vegetable, like mushrooms,zucchini, squash, or sweet potato, a bean, or even something like tofu/tempeh/seitan {however, don't be alarmed--while those "meat substitutes" are an option, you definitely don't have to eat them. i never use them, and i get by more than fine!}. for example, love meatballs? make them out of lentils {it's good, i promise}!

there are billions of great food blogs out there with vegetarian/vegan recipes. here are some of my favorites:

you don't even have to look on specifically vegetarian blogs--almost all food blogs have at least some vegetarian recipes! my personal favorite food blog is annie's eats, and she has some insanely delicious ones. so do how sweet eats & eat yourself skinny!

top vegetarian favorites: 
black bean burgers.  {a staple...i  make them at least once a week!}


oh she glows.
also, be sure to check out finding vegan {it's foodgawker, but everything is vegan! they have the best of the best vegan-wise on their site.}

top vegan favorites:


any of the blogs i've mentioned above offer dessert recipes, naturally. however, there are some blogs that focus mainly on desserts, and it's only fair of me to link you to them as well! my two favorites are:


both of them are completely vegan! 

top {vegan} dessert favorites:

i mentioned this in my high five for friday post last week, but if you’re interested in learning more about the why & how of going vegan {or even just vegetarian}, i can’t recommend vegucated enough! the documentary is fantastic & oh-so-informative {you can watch it on netflix streaming!}, and the website is full of information and delicious recipes as well. they also have 2 newsletters, which i’ve found very interesting and also highly recommend! here is a list of links to books, apps, brands, etc. to help you learn more!

veg news magazine is also a fantastic resource for not only recipes, info, etc. but also news about what is going on all around the world pertaining to veganism! 
i doubt any of you are going to jump on the vegetarian/vegan train just because you read my posts, but i hope you’ll at least be inspired to learn more about it all. and even if you’re perfectly happy being a meat lover, i hope you’ll maybe try to at least incorporate 1 awesome meatless dish a week into your diet {or even just try something meatless as a one time thing--you have to start somewhere!}. it’s healthy for you! :)

wishing you all a very happy tuesday!

Monday, March 25, 2013

a whole lot of random.

a whole lot of random comin' at ya this morning, darlings. stick with me, okay?

first order of business, a short weekend recap. it went a little something like this: friday night, girls night out! dinner & {successful} dress shopping! saturday and sunday, zero zip nada. it was just one of those hang around the house weekends {the weather doesn't help; hello, sun, are you out there anywhere? because i haven't seen you around much.}.

you may have seen me mention my aunt's wedding a few weeks ago. her wedding kind of has a derby theme {because it's the day before the derby...i'll never get the derby craze, being a cali girl at heart. horse race? who cares? anyway...}, so she wants everyone to wear something pink and khaki/tan. i did what i do best {online shopping!} & came up with 2 outfits that i love:
opinions, please! which one is your favorite?  i absolutely love the cream top, so i'm leaning towards outfit #1, but i love the skirt on outfit #2...

i swear spanish songs are so much more catchy than english ones. anytime i hear one, the lyrics play in my head non-stop for the next few days! if you were in my head right now, you would be hearing, "pin pon es un muñeco, muy grande y jugeton, se lava la carita, con agua y con jabon." over. and. over. and. over. again. {it's from a song about hygiene for toddlers, featuring a creepy doll...check it out.}

i've still yet to do an outfit post! i want to, but usually i wear the same basic outit everday, so it's not really that exciting. however, when i am looking particularly photo-worthy, i don't have time to take pictures. why? because i literally pick out my clothes 5 minutes before leaving. i pry myself from my bed + computer at 7:30, browse through my closet, and have to be out the front door by 7:40. procrastination at it's best!

i kind of obsess over greetings to use in my posts. i know you don't have to have a greeting in every post, but it's something i like to do. in real life, i  wouldn't just walk up to you & start talking without at least a hello, so why do it on my blog? but i don't want to just say, "hey everyone!!" before every post, because it's so generic & just, well...lame. so, i try to think of creative things to say!

last thing...if i had a genie in a bottle, my first wish would be that sleep didn't exist! i hate sleeping--it takes up so much of your time, and then you're inevitably always tired, etc. i mean, how much more advanced would the world be if we didn't have to spend waste 1/3 of each day sleeping? you all think i'm crazy, i know!

that's it for today, loves! you've now had a peak at some of the random thoughts {& songs!} that go through my head throughout the week. aren't you so glad?

happy monday!

Friday, March 22, 2013

high five for friday!

happy friday!

i'm so excited the weekend is almost here! only 1 more week until my {late!} spring break! i'm going shopping with my sister later today because she needs a new dress for a dinner cruise she's going on in d.c. ...i can't wait! here is my top 5 from the week:

one. s'mores ice cream. you guys. s'mores are one of my absolute favorite desserts. if i could, i'd eat them every single day of summer. this ice cream? heaven in a bowl. better than heaven in a bowl. it's beyond delicious! even my dad, the self-proclaimed "hater of anything but full fat ice cream" loved it.

two. i bought emerald colored jeans a few weeks ago, but i had yet to wear them. st. patrick's day was the perfect time! i was unsure about them at first {not because of the color...because of the fit! fat calves & skinny jeans don't mix, girls.} however, they worked out perfectly, & i was thrilled! my very first time wearing colored jeans!

three. it's kind of been going around the blogosphere this week, but if you haven't seen it, making app icons for your blog is the new thing. i made mine! here's the tutorial if you're interested. :)

four. coffee ice cream. taste buds are crazy. i have absolutely never liked coffee or anything coffee flavored, but last week it was cappuccino ice cream, and this week...latte yogurt! i have to say, it's really good... who am i?

five. it was sunny out yesterday! such a nice change. so thrilled my favorite season is finally here! but, hello bipolar weather...we have snow in the forecast for sunday & monday! what?

here's to a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

veganism/vegetarianism: part 2.

hi lovelies!

last week, i shared "my story" about why i am a lacto-vegetarian {& soon-to-be vegan}. this week, i'm sharing a little more insight into the world of veganism, the meat and dairy industries, giving up animal products & why, and just my overall thoughts and opinions. this is going to be an information packed & long post, just to warn you, but if you're at all interested, i recommend you read through it! otherwise, that's okay--my feelings aren't hurt, just come back tomorrow. :)

first, a little reminder from last week's post:

to start off, since this is a post about veganism, i figured it would be acceptable for me to step on my soapbox for just a little bit and say this: i think it's crazy how meat and animal centric the world has become. i mean, i go to cracker barrel with my family {not my restaurant of choice, but what can you do?} and green beans, a vegetable for goodness sakes, aren't even vegetarian there? did you know that most "pure" cane granulated sugar you buy at the grocery store is processed with animal bone char? so gross. and all just to give it a whiter appearance. are you kidding? it's just so unnecessary! you have to buy organic to ensure your sugar is actually vegetarian. do you like jiffy cornbread mix? it used to be all we ate in my family, until i discovered it has lard in it. lard! disgusting.

even just to be a vegetarian, you have to be extremely careful about reading labels, knowing what to look for, and doing your research to make sure you aren't eating a hidden animal product. i definitely think something needs to change in the world.

i have never been a huge animal rights activist, by any means. however, it kind of comes with the territory that i do care about animals to some degree. the question i always come back to is this: what if animals ate us? it sounds really weird, but think about it; who are we, really, to slaughter animals by the masses and treat them inhumanely just so we can eat something? and not eat something we need, but something that is purely just a want, “because it tastes good”.{because in this day and age, with the exception of maybe third world countries, you don’t need to eat meat {or any animal product} to survive. i understand "survival of the fittest", and that would be why people killed animals back in the day, so that they had food to survive. but it's a whole different world now, and we can not only survive, but thrive without eating meat! it's a proven statistic that most vegetarians/vegans are healthier and have less risk of developing diseases than the common omnivore.} how we would feel if we were in that position, being slaughtered by the masses and treated terribly so another species could eat us, “just because” they felt like it? i know, i know, it sounds morbid, and i kind of hated to write it, but i think it’s an important thought. to me, all of that just makes it very selfish of us to eat meat. okay, stepping off my soapbox and moving on! i know that was hard for many of you to read, but you can’t deny the truth in it, even if you have a different stance.

it's easy to turn a blind eye about things when you don't have to face them head on. i mean, all of you go to the grocery and by your lean chicken in a nice little package. but the reality is that animal was cooped up in a crazy pin with thousands of other chickens, with 3 square feet of space. and then it was killed, as millions of animals are each day, just so you can "enjoy" it for dinner later {when you could have just as awesome of a dinner without any meat at all!}. i highly, highly, highly recommend you check out vegucated. please do it. it's a short documentary, available on netflix. in the middle of the documentary, they take a trip to a farm and you get kind of an inside look at the meat industry. it gets a bit graphic at some points, just to warn you. but honestly, i think if you're going to eat meat, you need to watch it! know what kind of conditions that food you eat is coming from.

i know that i am probably coming off very preachy and judgemental, but i promise don't write this post to condemn anyone for the way they eat. not at all! i'm just a very strongly opinionated person, and i write this to inform all of you! whatever: if you like it, and it's okay by you morally to be eating animals and animal products, then okay. when i see someone post about this a great steak they ate on a date night, or a great meat loaf they made last night, i'm not judging. obviously, my opinion is different, and i think i'll pass up on the recipe, but you do whatever you want to do. i obviously do what i want to! but i do encourage everyone to at least look into where your food is coming from! personally, this is absolutely the lifestyle choice for me, and i couldn't be happier with my plant-based diet. i plan to start sharing a lot more recipes with you all, and i hope you'll be brave enough to try some vegan desserts {most of the time, they're really quite normal--nothing crazy!} & maybe even get wild and make a meatless meal once or twice. stay tuned. :)

mad love to all of you meat lovers and fellow veggie heads alike!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

everyone's favorite.

happy wednesday, loves!

last week i showed you some of my favorite can't-have-but-really-want clothes & accessories, from j. crew. well, this week it's even better: stuff that i really-want-and-can-have! from everyone's favorite place--you know, target!

seersucker ruffle bodice dress: isn't it cute? i am such a sucker for ruffles, plus i love seersucker, and i also happen to love the spring-y gray/white basically this dress was made for me.

sleeveless peplum top: i still don't own anything peplum, but i really love this top! so cute and i just might be buying it soon.

tuxedo flat: i never would have thought these were cute just looking at the picture on the website, but after seeing them on so many other bloggers, i. am. sold. they are so gorgeous!

skinny rolled polka dot ankle pant: i officially wore my very first pair of colored jeans this week, so i guess now it's time to move to the next hurtle: patterned jeans! i am not quite ready for floral jeans, but i adore polka dots & navy blue, so i think i could handle these. :)

what are your thoughts? do you love target as much as i do? as a matter of fact, i have $90 {i think? somewhere around there...} in target giftcards from different giveaway wins, so i see myself clothes shopping in the very near future!

{linking up to four favorites with ashlyn & kristin!}

Monday, March 18, 2013

monday randomness.

feliz lunes {happy monday}!

i hope you all had great weekends! mine was quite uneventful, but really nice! i started level 3 of jillian michaels' killer abs, watched the office, made banana bread, and went to cracker barrel for dinner saturday and lunch sunday {we go there kind of a lot because my grandma works there, but usually not twice in 24 hours! i ate blueberry pancakes both times, because besides kid's grilled cheese, it's literally the sole vegetarian item they offer. but, luckily i love pancakes.}

{my hair looks so ombre...i promise it's all instagram/the lighting!}

we also had a flash snow storm thing yesterday. it was 70 degrees outside on saturday, and then the next day it's freezing! not to mention, spring begins this week. the weather is so bipolar! it started snowing like crazy around noon, but it stopped after about an hour. then it all turned into slush/rain, so the ground everywhere in town was a puddle! my shoes were soaking wet when we got home. that this post doesn't completely bore you to tears {what, my weekend wasn't the most exciting thing ever?}, i'm including 7 interesting facts about me. thanks to jaime for nominating me for the versatile blogger award!

the rules:
thank the person who nominated you for the award. 
include a link to the person who nominated your blog.
select 15 blogs/bloggers that you have recently discovered or frequently visit and nominate them for the award.
include a link to all 15 of the blogs/bloggers that you want to nominate.
and lastly, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

my seven things:

1. i've never dyed my hair, and never plan on it.
2. peanut butter is my all-time favorite food. i'm obsessed with it. i still eat peanut butter sandwiches for lunch the majority of the week {just like a first grader}, and wouldn't have it any other way.
3. i count sheep to fall asleep. and it really works! it's the only thing that can get me to stop thinking about everything under the sun & sleep!
4. i'm getting into running & really want to do a 5k race! the color run comes to louisville in june, but  i have an important prior commitment on the day it's happening. i was so, so, so bummed when i found out.
5.  i love flip-flops. they are all i wear in the summer. if it's not snowing, i see no reason not to wear them. i already can't wait to break them out!
6. i never drink out of glass cups. plastic all the way! i have this one little 8 oz. blue cup that came in a set of 4 with a pitcher that i love to use. my family refers to it as my sippy cup. ;)
7. i'm absolutely obsessed with washing my hands, because i'm a major germaphobe. i probably wash them at least 10 times a day, and if i'm doing any kind of cooking? fo getta bout it. it could be 30 times!

i'm going to be lame & only "half" do this, because i'm not officially nominating people. thinking of bloggers to nominate is hard! and most people have already been nominated once, or 2, 3, 4, etc. times. plus, i just nominated 11 people two days ago for the liebster award. so, if you want to participate? have at it, girlfriend! you're nominated! and leave me the link to your post if you do one, so i can check out your 7 facts!

wishing you all a fab start to the week!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

liebster award!

happy saturday!

i was nominated for the liebster award twice in the past week, so today i'm sharing it! i was nominated by ashley & jessica--they are both awesome, so be sure to check them out! anyway, here we go with the award {and beware: this post is kind of long!}:

The Rules: 
Give 11 Random Facts about You!
Answer the 11 Questions Asked.
Leave a link back to the blogger(s) that nominated you
Nominate bloggers with less than 200 followers and let them know they've been picked!
Write 11 Questions for them to answer!

random facts about me:
1. i'm a leftie! {one reason i love being a leftie? i always have at least one default thing to say for posts like these.}
2. i terrified of escalators. i'll take the stairs any day! seriously--if i have to get on one, my heart starts racing and i have to have a lot of space between me and any other people.
3. i've had glasses since 2008, but i never, ever wear them. and i don't wear contacts or anything either. i just plain don't wear them.
4. i've never had a "real" pet. all i've ever had is a fish, but i don't think that counts.
5. i hate every single condiment. ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise {even the word for that one..ick}, you name it...gag me.
6.i never call my sister, rachel, by her real name. i have a million & one nicknames for her {i make them up as a i go}, but calling her by her actual name kind of feels unnatural!
7. i've been best friends with my bff, sabrina, since kindergarten.
8. when i get married someday, i want that cake shoved in my face. none of this nicely feeding each other stuff! everyone thinks i'm crazy, and maybe i am, but i'm still doing it.
9. i love the look of all lowercase letters. but you probably knew that...
10. i can never paint my nails without adding a top coat of sparkles. never!
11. i love salty things & sweet things equally. i literally cannot choose a favorite! i especially love them together. :)

ashley's questions:
1. You can travel anywhere at the drop of a hat. Where do you go first?
skiing! i've never done it, but i have developed this great desire to go, and now it's at the top of my wish list!
2. What do you make sure is in your suitcase on said trip?
ummmm....i don't know! nothing special...just a million unnecessary articles of clothing since i'm cold-blooded and of course my ipad and cell phone!
3. They make a movie of your life. Who do you choose to play you?
dakota fanning? my parents have always said I looked like her, plus we're pretty much the same age. i also love anna sophia robb, though, and i think i look more like her, so...
4. Who's your biggest man-crush, celebrity wise, right now?
stephen colletti! if any of you are one tree hill fans {one of my all-time favorite shows...}, you know who i'm talking about. chase. otherwise, go take a look.
5. If you could only shop at one store for the rest of time, where would you choose?
target! i mean, it's pretty much a no brainer--clothes, shoes, office supplies/notebooks {my favorite}, beauty stuff, electronics, food...what else could you need?
6. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
invisibilty! or the power to freeze things, a la piper from charmed. it's a tie.
7. What's you favorite book?
oooh...such a tough one! i'd have to say mindy kaling's is everyone hanging out without me? (and other concerns). it's awesome and completely hilarious! read it.
8. Your last supper -- what do you eat?
pizza! my standby favorite. specifically, probably the veggie kind from a local place called hometown.
9. Summer ... Fall ... Spring ... Winter -- what season makes you happiest?
spring! i've always been a spring lover...not sure what it is! coming out of the cold winter season, the anticipation of summer, the perfect weather {when it's not raining, that is!}.
10. If you could have any job other than what you are currently doing, what would it be?
well, i'm going to school to become an interior designer, but my other dream job would be either to own my own bakery {and/or vegan restaurant!} or to be a personal trainer!
11. You are walking down the street and find $5. What do you do with it? What if it was $500?
$5? keep it. :) $! i'm not even sure right now.

jessica's questions:

1. What's your favorite color?
purple! or navy blue.
2. What made you decide to start your blog?
i stumbled across some other blogs, and i just thought it would be fun to share about my own life on a blog!
3. How did you decide on your blogs name?
it took me forever...i'm so bad at names! i finally came up with embracing the everyday because it's kind of my motto in life, and i still love it a year after deciding on it {not common with me}!
4. What's your favorite thing to cook?
everything! i just plain adore all things cooking & baking.
5. If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
hmmm...i really don't know!! i've never had an answer for this question...
6. What's your favorite movie?
bride wars!
7. Who's your blog crush?
i have so many! alyssa at glossy musings would definitely be one! love her blog. :)
8. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
nyc! i am such a big city girl at heart and that's my dream!
9. How would you best describe yourself?
friendly, really shy {but i warm up!}, blunt, always smiling.
10. What's in your purse at this very moment?
just going to be honest here...i don't even use a purse! everyone's jaws are hanging open, i know.
11. If you were buying a house, would you want a fixer-upper or move-in ready?
move-in ready! and even better...brand new!

my questions:
1. what is your dream city to live in?
2. what is your all-time favorite tv show? 
 3. what's your favorite candy?
4. gold or silver?
5. you're a contestant on a reality tv show--which show would it be?
6. what's your biggest pet peeve?
7. favorite ice cream flavor?
8. which celebrity would you like to have a coffee date with?
9. are you an introvert or an extrovert?
10. do you speak any languages other than english? if not, what would you like to speak?
11. if you're looking online for a good recipe, where is the first place you go?

my nominations:
2. allison @ allison leighann.
3. melissa @ eleven sixty.
4. angela @ adventures to remember.

5. alex[andra] @ let life be like music.
6. rachel @ floral & fudge.
8. lacey @ sunny and turquiose.
9. katie @ suburban sparkle.
10. kirsten @ a happy saturday.
11. ashlyn @ landing on love.

have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, March 15, 2013

high five for friday!

happy friday, dears!

i've had such a great week, and it went by pretty quickly, too! i hope yours was just as great. :) i can't wait for the weekend...not sure what my plans are yet, but anytime you're off it's always a good thing, right? here is my top 5 from the week:

one. my sister let me borrow her wave iron yesterday. i'm kinda digging it! a nice change from my usual straight hair. plus, i got to feel all 80's/anna sophia robb carrie bradshaw {from the carrie diaries...not sex & the city!}.

two. samoa ice cream = awesome, as expected. plus, cappuccino chip: i don't like coffee, so i never expected to like it, but my sister picked it out so i tried it & it was absolutely delicious!

three. i finished charmed tuesday night! kinda sad. it was an amazing show!! it only took my 7 weeks to watch all 8 seasons. :) so, now i need a new netflix show to watch: suggestions, ladies! i'm thinking maybe friday night lights, since i've heard a lot about it...please give me your input!

four. this weeks breakfast has been oatmeal with peanut butter. i know it kind of sounds weird  but i've never loved oatmeal {even with tons of brown sugar!}, but i actually love it with peanut butter. i mean, you ladies have no idea how extreme my obsession with peanut butter is. i'll slather that peanut-y goodness on just about anything.

five. my mom found the documentary vegucated on netflix & told me about it because she thought it sounded up my alley. i watched it was completely awesome! it's about 3 new yorkers from different backgrounds who go on a challenge to eat vegan for 6 weeks. it's so informative about veganism & i loved hearing from the people & seeing their attitudes change! if you're remotely interested in anything like that, i highly recommend it. :)

wishing all of you a fabulous sunny weekend! xo!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

vegetarianism/veganism: part 1!

hi lovelies!

maybe it's strange, but i love hearing about the way other people eat. if your on a diet, or doing a cleanse, or just want to show what your typical day in food is like, i'm interested. maybe all of you could care less, but i thought i'd share about my own diet today. you may know that i'm a vegetarian, and today i'm sharing kind of "my story", about why. this post got looong quickly, so i decided to break it up into a series of sorts. today, my story. next week, my thoughts on both diets, some more information, etc. there may even be a third post, i'm not sure just yet. so, here we go:

first, just a 2 quick definitions, because i realize a lot of people are not so sure about what veganism & vegetarianism really are, what the differences are, etc.

for as long as i can remember, ever since i was a little girl, i've had a hatred of meat. i can distinctly remember telling all my friends in kindergarten {yes, at age 5!} that I was a vegetarian, and my best friends mom always made sure to have meatless food for me.

i’ve never liked any kind of meat in my life, so vegetarianism has always been a goal for me. however, my parents were never on board with it, because they didn't think i could get enough protein, and so i was forced to choke down chicken or beef nightly {and i do mean forced: i would always complain, & usually stuff the meat in a paper towel to trash or sometimes give it to my sister who would eat it for me. when my parents would occasionally catch me in that act, they’d force me to eat it, and i would bawl. once, when they were trying to make me eat 1 or 2 bites of stew meat, i literally sat at the kitchen table all night, bawling at first and then being silent, until bed time. i'm one stubborn person, i tell ya.}.

sometime, probably in early middle school, i discovered what veganism was. i was interested in it, but since my parents wouldn't even let me be a vegetarian, i knew it was a diet i wouldn't be venturing into anytime soon. i've never liked the taste of eggs, so i never ate them straight-up {i'll tell you all the story of the nathan's egg breakfast sandwich another day. it involves me throwing a tantrum, and, surprise, surprise, bawling. i swear i wasn't as bratty as this post makes me out to be!} but I always used them in baking, because, well.. that's what you do.

eggs became more and more creepy to me as time went on–their size, their looks, their smell, to where i didn't even want to bake with them. they are so repulsing to me! i can barely be around them to this day. anyway, i discovered that you could, in fact, bake without eggs, and it changed my life for the better. my parents were still often annoyed that i wouldn't just use eggs and that i tried to veganize everything, but i didn’t care.

finally, i guess after realizing that after 10+ years, my goal of being a vegetarian/vegan and my hatred of meat would never be going away, my parents kind of gave up fighting it when i was 15ish and i became a vegetarian. today, i’m what is known as a lacto-vegetarian –a vegetarian that doesn't eat meat or eggs, but does eat dairy products. i love my almond milk though, and really the only dairy i still eat regularly is cheese & yogurt {oh, and ice cream!}. it's my ultimate goal to be a vegan at some point in the future!

almost all of my baking is vegan, and i make plenty of delicious vegan/vegetarian dinners {which i'm excited to share with you soon!}. i absolutely love to cook and bake more than anything else, and i love learning more about the world of vegan food.

if you have any questions about anything, please feel free to leave a comment & i'll answer you! check back next thursday for my thoughts on veganism & vegetarianism, the meat industry, some more resources, etc.  until then, have great day all of you carnivores & herbivores alike. :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

j.crew love.

i'm pretty sure we can all agree on this little fact: j.crew is amazing. i mean, who doesn't love that place? or, maybe the more appropriate word would be lust...since i don't actually own a single item from the store. why? well, it's quite expensive, and yo no tengo mucho dinero. but, a girl can dream, right? and i actually have a giftcard, so soon i will own some gorgeous j.crew clothing item! in the meantime, here are some of my favorites for spring:
sera top in medallion paisley: i just love this top! the pattern is so cute and i can {surprisingly} think of a lot of different things it would go well with!

linen city mini: i am a huge skirt person. during the summer, skirts are practically all i wear! i love bright, fun skirts and this one is seriously the cutest. :)

stripe bandeau tank: i have the hardest time finding swim suits that i love, but j.crew had some of the cutest ones out there! i love the style and the bright blue stripes.

snakeskin covered-buckle belt: i love bright "statement" belts {is that a thing? if not, i'm making it one.}. yellow is a favorite color of mine, and perfect to go with anything for spring!

thoughts? are you a j.crew lover like i am? happy wednesday!

{linking up with ashlyn & kristin!}

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

roasted red pepper hummus.

hummus is awesome.

i first tried it a few years ago when i bought a container of the roasted red pepper version from costco. it was delicious! i've had regular hummus as well, but the roasted red pepper just adds a great flavor and is definitely my favorite variety. i don't buy it on a regular basis, but i eat it occasionally and it's such a great dip!

last weekend, i thought about it, and realized who needs to buy hummus when you can just make some? so i did.

this stuff is seriously addictive! my sister, the hummus addict, gave it her stamp of approval.

with homemade wheat thins {recipe here}.
hummus traditionally has tahini, which is sesame seed paste. i've found it at kroger, in the health food section, and you can also find it easily at whole foods, or any other store like that. however, if you don't want to go buy a specialty ingredient, there's another way you can make hummus: with peanut butter! it may sound strange, but tahini has a nutty taste that's similar to peanut butter, so it works out really well. i mean, nigella lawson uses it and even prefers it to tahini hummus, so it must be legit, right? my recipe uses peanut butter, and it's easier + works perfectly, so it's a win-win.

roasted red pepper hummus.
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed, and boiled.
1 large red bell pepper.
1 tablespoon peanut butter.
2 tablespoons lemon juice.
2-4 tablespoons water (as needed).
1/2 teaspoon paprika.
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste.
sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional).
olive oil, for drizzling.

preheat oven to broil setting (mine only has 2 option for broil--high and low. i set mine on high.).cut bell pepper in half, and remove seeds. smash each halve with your hand, so that it lays flat, and place them on a baking sheet lined with foil. broil for 15-20 minutes, or until outsides are completely blackened.

let peppers cool for 5-10 minutes, then peel off the blackened skin.

place the roasted peppers & cooked chickpeas, and all other ingredients in a food processor and process until combined and silky smooth. 

scoop into a bowl, refrigerate until cold, drizzle with olive oil, and enjoy! serve with crackers, pita bread, or veggies. store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. stays good for about a week. 

**note: if you don't have a food processor {i don't!} i found that an immersion blender works really well for this. it takes a little more work, but the outcome is the same! i couldn't get it to work with my magic bullet, but if you have another high power blender, such as a vitamix, it might work {i'm not sure!}.
{linking up with ashley and jessica!}

Monday, March 11, 2013

weekend update.

i never really write posts about my weekends, because honestly there isn't usually anything to say! i'm a very boring person and usually my weekends are the same ol' same ol'.  however, this weekend was actually quite busy, so i decided to be adventurous and write a whole post about it for a change. :)
my nails match my shirt! so minty. :)
friday night, my sister went to a pink concert with my aunt. since they knew we weren't doing anything {i'm never doing anything!}, my grandparents invited my mom & i out to dinner with them. we went to red was fun! even though i know they're just frozen veggie burger patties, red robin seriously has the greatest gardenburgers. plus, we got salted caramel milkshakes. can you say most insanely delicious thing in the world?

saturday was a pretty normal day: lot's of cooking! i made homemade wheat thins--i've always loved wheat thins, and these tasted just like the real thing + the recipe made a ton! i originally made them to go with red pepper hummus, but i never got the chance to make that. regardless, i haven't been able to stop eating the crackers...i'm a sucker for anything salty! so good.

for dinner, i made this:

i found it on pinterest earlier in the week, and it was one of those recipes where as soon as i saw it i knew i had to make it pronto! so, i did just that. it was soooo good! i just love quinoa. :) everyone else was unsure about my so-called "crazy vegetarian food", but everyone loved it, even my sister's friend who told me she was extremely picky!

on sunday, my family + my grandparents + my aunt & cousin all went to see oz: the great and powerful. i really had no desire to go, but i ended up going and, to my surprise, i actually liked it! it was really a good movie, and it's not even my normal taste movie-wise.
after the movie, all of us went back to my grandparents' house for dinner. we ate lasagna {our classic family favorite meal--my grandma's is the best!}. it was so nice getting together for a family dinner! we don't do it enough. :)

my grandma bought this cake from kroger for dessert: it was called neapolitan, but there was absolutely no chocolate so it made no sense. it was yellow cake with strawberry whipped cream frosting. the frosting was kind of insane: can you see the middle of that cake?? i would say it was at least 2/3 frosting, but it was delicious!

i'm sure it still sounds pretty boring to you, but that was my weekend! i enjoyed it. :) how was your weekend? wishing you all a fabulous monday!

{linking up with sami, leeann,and molly!}

Friday, March 8, 2013

high five for friday!

hello, lovelies!

i'm so thrilled it's friday! this week was a pretty easy & laid back one for me, especially since i had a mid-week break {see below}! here is my top 5 from the week:

one. i made homemade oreos on saturday! delicious & oh so similar to the real things. i also made homemade samoas, and they were beyond amazing, but somehow i let them all get eaten without ever snapping a picture! so unlike the oreo picture will have to do. :)

two. i wore my 3 stone bubble necklace for the first time this week! i'm still not sure about a huge full size bubble necklace, which makes this necklace . it was the perfect accessory to spice up my plain tan sweater! {side note: that picture makes me look either sick or unhappy, but i promise i'm neither.}

three. as i mentioned in wednesday's post, wednesday was a snow day for me! i was beyond excited to have a mid-week break and it was the perfect, relaxing, {and, surprisingly enough, quite productive} day!

four. in addition to my cookies, i tried my hand at making homemade red pepper hummus for the first time this weekend! it was awesome. recipe coming to the blog next week!

five. i absolutely love hot chocolate. i've already had it 3 times this week alone! it's especially amazing topped with homemade whipped cream {i could eat the stuff by the bowl-full. reddi-whip is no competition!}

did you notice that 3 out of 5 of my photos today were of food? let's just say this: i lead a pretty boring & repetitive life, and food is quite honestly one of the only "exciting" things i really every have to talk about! anyway, happy friday, loves! wishing you a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

crushing on...

i'm sure we're all familiar with erin. am i right? i mean, she's pretty much the most popular blogger out there. she's gorgeous, she's hilarious, and she's full of fun ideas! namely, this idea for a blogger crush link-up. how  awesome is that? there are so many bloggers out there that i love, and sharing the love is only fair, right? without further adieu, here are some of my favorite ladies in the blogging world:
danielle @ framed frosting. >>  if i had to pick my all-time favorite blogger, it would be danielle! she's a fellow student, completely adorable, crafty, and she comes up with the greatest ideas {like her fun new six piece remix fashion challenge!}

katie @ for lauren and lauren. >> katie is literally the cutest! she's expecting her first baby {a girl!} in july, she's a third grade teacher, she's super crafty, and she's a master at finding the cheapest & cutest clothes! i love hearing little tidbits about her life and i always make a point to stop by her blog daily.

niki @ glossy blonde. >> niki is so sweet! i've been bloggy friends with her for quite a while, and she's awesome {not to mention completely gorgeous!}. her blog is full of beauty tips & reviews, yummy recipes, and posts showing off her fabulous style!

ashlyn @ let it be beautiful. >> ashlyn's blog is a go to spot for style, home, etc. inspiration! she is also an amazing graphic deisgner...her blog design is gorgeous and she creates the most lovely collages! plus, she co-hosts the fun weekly four favorites link-up.

beth @ design your dwelling. >> i discovered beth just a few weeks ago, and i'm so glad i did! she is an amazing interior designer {she hosts a fabulous mood board link up!}, super cute, and she's full of great tips {especially wedding ones--she's engaged and in the process of planning her own wedding!}

jaime @ toby's tails. >> jaime is another blogger i recently discovered, and she's awesome! she shares tons of different things on her blog, from stories, to tours of her cute apartment, to outfit posts showing her adorableness & style off to the world!

those are just a few {okay, 6!} of my favorite bloggers. there are even more out there! who are your favorite blogging ladies?

happy friday eve!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

pink + navy + leather.

happy wednesday, loves!

today is a snow day for me! woohoo! i cannot even begin to describe to you how excited that makes me! for the past hour i've been walking around my house & randomly squealing, "i'm off today!" while maybe jumping up and down. yeah. anyway, what better way is there to spend a snow day than online shopping?here are some clothing items + accessories i'm loving right now:

black chain wrap: i love a good wrap bracelet, especially this one.

printed scoopneck button blouse: so cute! i'm a sucker for anything navy, and add an anchor print? i'm so in. plus, i love the way the j crew model styles it!

cap sleeve drawstring dress: my aunt is getting married the first week of may, and it's on derby weekend {i've never even watched the derby. cali girl at heart, yo! but i live in louisville, so...}. apparently there is some connection with pink & the derby, so she would love for everyone to wear something pink. i've been looking for a cute pink dress, and i think this one is perfect {even though it actually might be purple. they call it fuchsia. thoughts??}!

leather envelope clutch: so pretty! love the bright shade of pink.

what do you think? have a fabulous day!

{linking up with kristin & ashlyn for four favorites!}

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

office dreams.

i don't have an official "office space". i don't even have a desk, actually. i do all of my work on my laptop either on my bed or at my kitchen table. so glamorous, i know. i absolutely love offices, though, and i can't wait to have a fabulously decorated office at some point in the future. here's one design i'm loving:

1. // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5 // 6. // 7. // 8. // 9. // 10. // 11. // 12.

i love all of the gold and neutrals  it makes it feel like a really chic space to me. however, i can never leave it at just that--i have to have some fun pops of color! i think the big area rug is the perfect touch, and i like the small orange side table that plays off one of the colors from the rug. what do you think?

happy tuesday, loves!

{linking up with the lovely beth for her mood board linky party!}

Monday, March 4, 2013

my road to fitness.

last march, i decided to start exercising on a regular basis. i didn't need to lose weight {i never have, thankfully}, but i was just really sedentary, and not eating terrible, but not super healthy either.  i just decided i needed to change my lifestyle and get active, so i did.

for a long while, all i did was walk on the treadmill, at the gym or at home. it wasn't intense exercise {although i do walk at what i guess is really fast: 4.7 on a treadmill, or a 13 min. mile. that can be a running speed for some people, and it quite honestly puzzles me how!}, but it was exercise. some days i walked 5 miles, some days i only walked a mile, but the majority of days it was some where in the middle.

sometime around august, i started running. i would just run 1 mile {8 min. pace} and add that to my treadmill walking routine. gradually  i've increased my runnning, and in january i did 5k {on a treadmill, but i definitely want to sign up for an actual 5k race soon!}.
in september, i rediscovered one of my favorite workout dvds from a few years ago: hip hop abs. i love it! i started doing that pretty regularly, but there are only 2 levels, and by november i was bored to tears with it. i got so used to it i didn't even break a sweat anymore! enter: jillian michaels.

i started in december with 30 day shred, then i did 6 week 6 pack, and just over a week ago i started killer abs. i absolutely love jillian michaels, i think she's incredibly effective, and eventually i'll probably cycle through every single one of her workout dvd's {i wrote more about that here}!

when i started doing workout dvd's was when i really started seeing the benefits of my workouts. 6 week 6 pack made me so thrilled, because it really gave my a 6 pack {or, at least the beginnings of one}, something i've always wanted body wise. all of my walking/running has given me gigantic, insanely muscular calves, which i don't love {i can't fit into some skinny jeans because my calves are too big!}, but i reason that at least it's all muscle and not fat.
{yes, i'm showing you my abs & legs. don't ask me why.}

despite my calves, i can honestly say i love working out! it makes me feel good about myself. aside from maybe 5 days, i've worked out everyday for a year, and it's been great. my weight hasn't changed, aside from maybe fluctuating a few pounds, but i never expected it to. i know i've lost inches in my waist, because i can tell from the way things fit, but i don't keep measurements.

the bottom line is this: i workout to be healthy. not to lose weight or for any other reason. contrary to what some may believe, every. single. person. out there, no matter if they've been skinny their entire lives, like me, or they have some weight to lose, needs to exercise. we all need to be healthy and stay healthy! i take my health seriously, and i love getting fit!

i commend you if you've read this entire {likely boring to you} post. i'm very passionate about fitness, and you can expect to see some workout tips & motivation posts in the future! until then, get out there, find that exercise that you love, and DO IT! you won't regret it.

Friday, March 1, 2013

high five for friday!

happy almost weekend, loves!

i hope your week was a fast & as nice as mine! i'm definitely looking forward to this weekend--i'll be doing some shopping, some baking, some tv show watching, and probably a bunch of other things, as well. here is my top five from the week:

one. on sunday, i made homemade tagalongs! mine didn't look nearly as professional {+ i decided to only cover the tops with chocolate, because i preferred them that way}, but i promise they tasted exactly like the girl scouts' version! so easy & insanely delicious! recipe here.

two. i started watching the office! i know, soooo late to the party. i tried watching it before, but i just didn't get what was funny about it. however, i ended up watching a random season 3 episode on monday, realized it was funny, and started watching it on netflix! i can't believe i didn't like it before!

three. i discovered this fun new app due to many of my friends posting about it on instagram. poshmark is an app where you can sell {and buy} lightly worn clothes. there are some great deals on some really cute things there. i haven't done any buying/selling yet, but i'm sure i will be in the future.

four. i bought some over the weekend & discovered i enjoy them more than i thought! the perfect little snack that can sometimes satisfy my craving for sweets. {plus, try freezing them. it sounds weird, but i promise it's great.}

five. i finally jumped on the julep bandwagon! i love nail polish, and i am absolutely beyond obsessed with those 2 colors {kathleen & chelsea}!

wishing you a fabulous + relaxing weekend!

{linking up with lauren for high five for friday!}
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