Category Archives: loveliness

Vegan’s Daily Companion- Lessons and Gifts

Every day in 2012 I’m reading a passage from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s Vegan’s Daily Companion (VDC). I wrote about the book last week.

This week in VDC I learned about dates (the fruit). I LOVE them already, I’ve been a huge fan for years but now I want to get my hands on some date sugar and bake something! There was also a recipe for Pine Nut-Anise Cookies. Yum! The recipe calls for a cup of pine nuts and almost a cup of maple syrup, so it’s not a cheap recipe! I’d like to make it at some point, but I’ll have to get the supplies and plan for it.

My favorite passage for the week was Wednesday’s entry on Optimum Health, “Receiving Lessons and Gifts”. Colleen talks about how every experience in life is either a lesson or a blessing. It is hard to think of things in this way when you are going through a really tough time. Recently, I lost my bestie kitty, Bas, and I’m still trying to see the ‘lesson or blessing’ in this experience. I know that I’m learning to cope with loss and that’s a lesson of sorts. I can look back at my 5+ years of memories with Bas and those years were a blessing. But it is still hard. I’m still grieving.

Another point in this passage is how we never know the impact that our lives or actions will have on others. This made me stop and think. Gosh, I really hope that my actions would be a blessing to someone else. A kind word, a funny joke, a smile when they need it. I don’t want to be a lesson to someone else- eek. I mean, I’d hate for my actions to make someone think- eww, I never want to act like that! HA! I’m kind of joking but not really. :) I want to focus on being a positive blessing in the world.

After two weeks of reading a bit in this book daily, I definitely recommend it to vegans or those open to learning about veganism. I’m looking forward to the coming week. I took a tiny peek and it looks like some great stuff! ;)

My nephew Jake feeding a rescued goat. What a blessing he is to me!

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2011- A Year in Cell Phone Photos

I take lots of pics on my phone- who doesn’t, right? So I thought it would be fun to take a walk down memory lane via phone photos! I tried not to overload you on FOOD pics and CAT pics… ;) Here we go:

In January I made vegan waffles!

in February we adopted Nathan!

in March I went to Washington, DC with two of my besties! this is bestie Joe

and this is bestie Anna- that's the White House behind us

In April we went on THE BEST vacay evarr! this is Joe and David in Philly!

in May we got new bicycles! mine has a basket, cup holder, and a bell!

In June I went to Denver for a really great conference. I love Denver!

in July it was HOT!

also in July, we went to a Dodger game on a beautiful Saturday afternoon

in August I made 'sundried' tomatoes in the dehydrator- one of my better ideas!

in September I flew to Vegas for PhotoShop World in a private jet!! it ruled.

in October I blogged about vegan nachos for Vegan MOFO- it was a delicious month!

also in October, David and I were scary Halloween Clowns!!!!!

also in October I made pumpkin chocolate spider cupcakes!

aaaaaand in October I made these cute pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies!

in November I hosted the 2nd Annual Punkin' Partay! All pumpkin treats and drinks!

also in November David and I got new glasses and had beachy adventures!

in December these puppies escaped from the neighbor's yard and frolicked in my yard!

also in December I made these super cute (I mean scary) MONSTER cookies for my nephew's bday!

my nephew Jake turned NINE in December!

we lost our precious Bas in December but Nathan and Pepper are keeping his memory alive. here they are snuggling in Bas' tuffy bed

So there’s my year in review. It was hard to pick just one or two pics for each month. Looking back, I had a REALLY great year for the most part. It ended on a sad note with the loss of our kitty friend Bas, but it was nice to reflect on all the positive that did happen throughout the year.

Here’s to a wonderful 2012 with all kinds of fun adventures on the horizon! Cheers!

Weekend Adventures: Redondo Beach Pier


The Wednesday before Thanksgiving was a vacation day for me and David worked a half day. We were heading south to see a band play that evening in Torrance, CA, but knew we needed to leave pretty early to bypass some of the holiday traffic in Los Angeles.

We got very lucky with the traffic most of the way and took surface streets once we were deep in the heart of LA. We almost always take surface streets because it is so much more fun! There’s always stuff to look at and if you see a little shop or something interesting you can just pull over and go in!

We got to Torrance with a few hours to kill before the show and we headed to the Redondo Beach Pier. Neither of us had ever been there that we could recall. It was dark out and there were lots of neat lights and lighted signs around. There was a creepy 80s style arcade with this fun/creepy clown mural out front that I made David pose in front of in his best gangsta fashion:

fun? factory ;)

We saw some cool boats, neat birds and some seals (my favorite!). The beach surrounding the wharf area was very pretty. But my favorite thing was this awesome sign with lighted balls for Tony’s! It was a restaurant/bar that I’m sure has been on this pier forever (there was even this sign telling us that- Old Tony’s!)

I imagine this pier is packed with kids and families and strolling lovers during the day, but it was really fun to be here the night before a holiday when it was mostly deserted. We wandered around for a long time just looking at stuff. It was a really fun way to start our super long holiday weekend.

Do Stuff: Festive Christmas Mantel!

I love beautiful holiday decorations and for the first several years that David and I were married I decorated elaborately with a different theme each year. I had over 10 rubber totes full of Christmas décor. A few years ago I decided to go the minimalist route with my Christmas decorations. One reason I decided to cut back was because I was spending a lot of money every year on my ‘themes’. Secondly, my curious Cat Friends were destroying my trees! And finally, I decided that I wanted to focus most of my holiday energy on other things like baking and making gifts. So now I spend a few hours each season decorating my mantel (where kitties can’t reach) with some favorite things and usually something new and crafty each year. I have an adorable vintage aluminum Christmas tree that my BFF Joe found for me at a yard sale in New Jersey! I had always wanted a big aluminum tree but the vintage ones are hard to find and the vintage-inspired ones are not in my budget. One year I got a little package in the mail and when I opened it I couldn’t believe my eyes! There was a tiny vintage aluminum tree with its original packaging and instructions! Joe is the best!

Joey's tree!

My mom has a wonderful tradition of giving my sister and me a new special ornament each year. Several of these are hung throughout my house year around, but the others always make an appearance at Christmastime!

several of my special ornaments

And for my crafty fun thing this year I made these adorable (and easy) yarn wrapped trees! I discovered this beautiful gift guide from Ruche and got so inspired to do all kinds of fun holiday things, but the main idea that stuck with me was the wrapped trees. I found a rustic earth-toned yarn at Big Lots that was perfect for my Pumpkin Party banner and also for these trees. And I found the foam cones at the dollar store! I think I made all three trees (plus I have yarn leftover for gift wrapping) for about $4.00.

easy and fun crafty trees

I think little holiday vignettes are so cute and festive! Here’s an adorable one from Smile & Wave that I just fell in love with. What kind of holiday decorating do you like to do?

All my favorites!

funny little santa from before I was born!

I wish I had 1000 of these!

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