Zealously Zika
best pudding ever?

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last night, i made an italian compote (kalamata olives, mushrooms, onions, basil, tomatoes, etc.) over shredded zucchini-brown rice-vegan cheese-milled flax casserole-y thing for dinner. sounds weird (is weird), tastes delicious. it’s a staple in our home. (included in this round-up of vegan dishes) however, it’s fairly labor intensive, so i neglected my favorite meal of the day. dessert, obviously. lo and behold, tyler, master surpriser, came through! he whipped up a dessert that blew my mind. i was a bit weary when he headed towards me with the above bowl of pudding. (first off, not the most flattering food picture—-sorry!) why would a dessert fiend like me wince at the thought of pudding?


pudding ingredients tend to include milk, eggs, or butter, and packaged mixes almost always comprise gelatin, which derives from animal bones. as an earnest vegan-striving person, this makes my heart hurt. just visit any pro-love-for-all-creatures site and you’ll quickly see what cruel atrocities lay under the sanitized facade disseminated by the mainstream food industry.

gretel and gertie are very disturbed by this. 

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no words necessary from gertie: that look. i wouldn’t cross her if i were you.


anyway, i quickly perked up when tyler informed me the pudding was cruelty-free! and only 4 ingredients???? it was the most savory pudding i’d ever tasted. 

so what’s in it? 


view the recipe for a full-fledged tutorial (it’s 5 ingredients, but we don’t believe vanilla belongs in anything chocolate :P). for the shortened version, keep reading!


don’t get grossed out on me…



1) avocados

2) unsweetened cocoa powder

3) wild honey (some might want to increase the suggested honey helping)

4) soy milk

it may seem funky to have an avocado-based chocolate pudding, but hey-let’s be real here: much better than dried froth from boiled horse bones.


and just to ensure you i’m not on some holier-than-though crusade, let’s end this thing like this:

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Comments
13/8/2013 . 1 note . Reblog
create more, consume less: a stroll through east portland

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sometimes, you have to keep it simple.

right now our car’s interior is coated in a few millimeters of dust from an off-roading weekend in central oregon. our floors are a riddle that goes like this: which clothes are unpacked, which are packed, which are half-packed, which have been re-packed and cleaned, which are not washed, and which are washed but have been walked over & mixed by rambunctious animals? and tyler and i keep finding half a pair of shoes. like, where are the mates to all our shoes?!?!? this summer full of day trips, weekend trips, flights, and impromptu exploration has our living situation in chaos! 

though a stroll through east portland won’t clean & organize our belongings (snow white, where yo animal friends at?), it’s a nice change of pace: unplanned, stress-free, no extravagant pit stops…just taking in the inspiration of our city with only a spouse’s palm, vegetable juice, and airplane mode cell in hand. 

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but of course, ^ we found a disgustingly dirty, dusty mirror on the street…had to take a picture because it was just so dang ironic. (uh-oh, does this mean we’re the token “ironic living” hipsters now?)

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the colors, the textures! 


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we must have seen 39726354 cats in one hour. this fellow, george, was especially friendly. he played our shadow, rolled around our feet asking for belly rubs, and offered paw high-fives.


still taken aback about it on the drive home, i queried, “why were all the cats of the world out tonight? un unusual amount of cats!” then, what do ya know…there was a cat under the overpass, just as the words were in the air long enough for my eyes to correct the upside-down image beaming through my retinas. keep portland weird, cats.

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also, i’m pretty sure someone stole a grocery cart from that market to start a burlap garden in their driveway. next to this driveway stands our dream home…which is for sale, for only about 500% above our budget. we snooped around the backyard and narrowly escaped a neighbor’s 911 call. but this is pure conjecture. 


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on that note, portlanders sure do care about beautifying the earth: neighborhood asphalt transformed into paintings, light poles decorated with quotes edged in mosaic glass frames, rooftops shaggy in purposeful rows of agriculture, mailboxes-turned-tomato planters, treehouses out of recycled shutters…i’ve never seen such attention to detail & diy community charm. portland is the mecca of artists and hippies, and i enjoy it. this low-key date inspired me to beauty our living space.

tyler gleaned inspiration too, citing this article, which expounds upon the idea of creating more and consuming less. it focuses on masculinity as it ties to consumerism and creation, but it sparked a fun and more far-reaching conversation about planning our future family culture. ie, how we will inject artful living in lieu of the standard, “expected” route? (fast food over creative home cooking & video games over nature hikes) portland made us rethink the norm. create more, consume less: our new apothegm, thanks to this simple stroll through east portland. 

 now back to sorting through the chaos of our living room…




Comments
3/8/2013 . 2 notes . Reblog
"pack your bags. we’re going away for the weekend."

gosh am i behind on posting about our travels…something i never thought i’d type, because we simply cannot afford these getaways “on the reg.” (vegas & georgia were incredibly fun & incredibly paid-for work trips) but this sweet husband of mine made it happen.

last month, tyler sported a pleasantly devious smirk and nonchalantly uttered, “pack your bags. we’re going away for the weekend.” despite my pleading, he would not divulge the location! a few hours later, we arrived at a little yellow house on the bay…the poulsbo bay.

poulsbo is the most charming scandinavian town you’ve ever dreamed of, replete with london-style cherry telephone booths, viking statues everything, danish bakeries (best cinnamon roll-like pastries of our lives), and slovak/bohemia boutiques.

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the entire first evening was spent hanging out in the cottage (i mean, the dining room had quite the sip-hot-chocolate-and-think-deep-thoughts-about-life view) and walking down the hilly, hodgepodge european decorum-clad poulsbo streets.

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come morning, we happened upon a semi-secret bay in a residential neighborhood that offered a straight shot view of the seattle skyline. (by “happen upon,” i mean we drove around aimlessly taking in the sights & finally stopped to ask the locals.) we climbed over a fence, down some jagged basalt rocks, and onto an empty, pebbly shoreline.

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i will never forget the shoreline. not just because “distance lends enchantment to the view,” as mark twain so eloquently stated, but also since tyler and i are equally responsible for the loss of my favorite purse on that nameless stretch. (i asked him to hold it really quick, he set it down, we forgot about it.) it is a three dollar purse from the thrift store, but it’s my favorite. sentiments aside, i kind of needed my work keys & wallet. 

we figured it had been lost at sea after patrolling the same, but much thinner, high-tide shoreline later in the evening. i tried to keep calm & press forward with that “live zealously” attitude, but it was tough. there was an equally zealous worry-mongering gremlin inhabiting and clawing at my insides. 

the next day, i was reassured that there are pure people who, upon finding a lone beached purse, drop it off at the local police department in tact…and that there are also dutiful officers who stow abandoned purses in safes & ship them to neighboring states at no charge. the gremlin cowered away in defeat. ha!

worry-mongering gremlin: 0

kind strangers & police force: 10000000

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so, while some stranger & officer were performing the errand of angels, we met up with seattle area friends and fellow southern california transplants, sean & emily. we carpooled to sequim, the sunniest spot in washington due to its topical “rain shadow.” well, cue murphy’s law, because it was rainy. so rainy. the entire trip, we’d experience random bouts of sun & shine. patchy weather made the trip full of the unexpected, which i relish.

consequently, instead of frolicking around lavender fields (sequim is also known as the lavender capital of the country), we ducked into a thai restaurant, wherein tyler proceeded to frame his order as such:

"i want the most american thing here. what’s the thai version of a burger & fries?"

"pad thai."

i was half tickled, half mortified, and let’s be real…a little apprehensive about the unintended cultural offense that had just taken place. i was worried they might spit into the eggs as they were whisking it mid-scramble. but then again, i’m habitually paranoid. but   then   again, how easy would it be to hide spit in cooked eggs? ah, such a tortured mind. 

speaking of spit…after dinner, we explored sequim’s dungeness spit, the longest natural sand spit in the country. i was like “dang, sequim, you’re really an overachiever!”

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we balance-walked piles of driftwood logs, examined beautiful agates & shells, and played like carefree children with our silhouettes & seaweed.

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thereafer, we were out all night making trouble back in bainbridge. i could not take pictures, as they would be incriminating :) (ok, the real reason is…believe it or not, i do not take pictures of absolutely everything i do.) 

on the final leg of our getaway, we rode the bainbridge island ferry into the city i’ve wanted to see since we grew roots in portland three and a half years ago: seattle! of course, we needed to peruse the original starbucks & pike place market…because that’s the cliche, touristastic thing to do. 

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and we had fun in “left bank books,” where you can ^ cozy up in a second story reading nook and watch the urban passersby between browsing glances at eclectic reads. hashtag creeper. hashtag i’matouristsoit’sokay.

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the internet told us to visit “pike place chowder,” apparently the unanimous go-to for bread bowled soup. we beg to differ. but hey, at least it led us to post alley, home of the famous gum wall, where laundry is slung between brick buildings in subtle curves that reminded me of shattered, gap-toothed smiles…where one can enjoy a general ambiance of urban quirk. post alley, i dig ya. 

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on the drive home, we visited some of tyler’s loved ones from his 07-09 lds mission.(he served in tacoma and surrounding areas) we also grabbed a late dinner in olympia. i feel this satisfactorily closed the book on a very action-packed, romantic, & culture-infused story. i am so thankful tyler picked out the story from a three and a half-year wait on the shelf :)

until next time, see ya-ttle! 

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Comments
23/7/2013 . 4 notes . Reblog
life via iphone…lifone.

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* favorite mexican food (date)

* standing on historic, 200 year-old alder wood

* drying hydrangeas for my friend’s wedding

* the bliss of laguna beach

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* summertime whimsy

* seattle landmark, but of course!

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* just us :)

* vegas ceiling installation 

* tyler & i went to the ballet

* mini golf victory!

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* portland partiers, comin’ through! 

* late date
 

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* pretty skies

* one of the updates i received from ty while i was away :)

* we found the best cinnamon rolls in the northwest

* seattle friends came to portland!

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*in flight                   

*post-church

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* pre-hole-in-one!

* tyler’s substitute wife while i was in vegas ;)

* tyler’s “sunny day setup” 

* fresh berries from the garden 

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* after 2 years apart, college roomies finally together again!

* pretty garden bouquets at my grandma’s summer solstice party

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* late night voodoo donuts run with friends

* the feet that ran that voodoo donuts run

* the walk home (not a bad view!)

* pre-hottub 

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* olive oil ice cream + lavender soda!

* equally interesting donut options

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* what $28 can buy you at the thrift store

* strolling through the city

* portland saturday market

* gretel goin’ rogue

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- meeting one of my favorite people's favorite people :) 

- i guess tyler likes my strut?

- authentic thai  w/ ty  

- creeper shot. it’s what i do best. 


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- a hot air balloon festival came through town…

- on one of our family walks

…and that’s a wrap! 

Comments
9/7/2013 . 0 notes . Reblog
production assistant

i work in media. the job description includes (but is not limited to) writing scripts & press releases, pitching & implementing marketing campaigns, performing seo & social media strategy, editing copy, and on extra special days, i get to do this:

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the company i work with has a top-notch film team. so last month, when we needed to guerrilla shoot a mission impossible-style feature, replete with a stunt team and prop assembly, i got to dive into the world of cinema! we filmed in an abandoned, historic warehouse in east portland. the film premiered at convention in vegas last week, and i was so proud to see the finished product. now that it’s been unveiled, i can share some behind-the-scenes snaps:

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if you’d asked me three months ago what kind of first job this english major would land out of college, i probably would have answered, “waitress.” these are tough times, and i certainly do not take for granted that i am in a career relevant to my interests and ambitions. i do feel so fortunate to explore new arenas of my occupational repertoire in such exciting settings.

even more so, i am so happy for tyler, who was just able to quit his job to focus on school while i play “sugar mama.” it feels rewarding to be a working wife. i hope those of you readers who are transitioning out of college see this post as an apothegm to keep the faith. you just never know onto which paths life can catapult you! 

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5/7/2013 . 2 notes . Reblog
vegas

well, it’s been 3 months at my first post-degree job, and i just got back from my second business trip! (first one was georgia) the company hosts a leaders convention once a year, and my first go at it was a whirlwind! (apologies in advance for all the selfies…tyler and i exchanged pictures of our day-to-day activities the entire time i was gone, so that’ll do it.)

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^ accidental picture           ^ purposeful thai food feast

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^ gussied up for the awards gala    

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  ^ a tiny portion of the        ^ this was me 90% of 

   registration packets          the time: backstage  

       compiled  &                   on a headset

       & delivered                managing production 

                                  cues & social media

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my friend caila + her husband just happened ^ to be in town

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^ we had a nice, long catch-up on life over gelato, because even at 1 am, it was 98 degrees- and i made no efforts to eat healthfully this trip. shaaammmmeee. 

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^ on the first 15-hour work day, there was a swift 20 minutes allotted for dinner. didn’t make a dent in this girl’s bottomless pit. what a perfect excuse to be bad & order room service off-the-clock! (that’s my kind of sinning in “sin city!”)


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perhaps the craziest part of the trip was meeting up with my good friend melissa + her husband dougie + parents (love them!). we reminisced over dessert on their last day living in vegas. yup, a few hours after our reunion, they moved to san diego. and here’s the kicker: the place at which we dined was called serendipity. how serendipitous is that?

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^ i defied my brain and obeyed my heart, which was drawn to a deep-fried oreo sundae. melissa + dougie shared serendipity’s famous frozen hot chocolate. 

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woo! i survived 10 hours of sleep in four days, my first fully self-proposed & executed national social media campaign, first leaders convention, and first time actually enjoying vegas! 

and tomorrow, tyler & i set out to california! did i already use the word, “whirlwind?” :)

 

Comments
2/7/2013 . 1 note . Reblog
grace potter & the nocturnals

last weekend, my favorite band, grace potter & the nocturnals, came through portland. i’d been anticipating this event for so long! (every time i’ve tried to see them play, something came up) well, even having just birthed a baby (at home. in twenty minutes.) didn’t stop my rad friend megan from joining me. we had to get out for this. 

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the crystal ballroom (concert venue) was elaborate and intimate…i mean, do you SEE how close we were to them? i probably annoyed megan with my constant, “i can’t believe that’s really her!” “how is that voice real?” “am i really here?!?!?” but she was a good sport about it. notable mention: we coincidently ran into her dad at the concert. his teeth fell out. yes, you read that correctly. they fell onto the floor—-a floor built on springs so it bounces underneath dancing feet, no less. i will never forget it. he is a real character & his company definitely enhanced the ambiance. cracked me up all night! 

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grace potter is the janis joplin of our generation…but better. i almost can’t listen to her recorded tracks now because the live performances are so ethereal in comparison. she was head-banging, instrument juggling, belting & screaming with that iconic gravel… all while emoting with the audience in this cosmic connection that put me in a spell. i make no apologies for enjoying this concert to the fullest, no matter how fangirly it makes me seem. here’s the first track i ever heard from them, and then it was done: forever besotted. 

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oh grace, you raise that hand. ^ raise it to the heavens above, for that voice of yours is not  of this earth.

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we both needed a girl’s night out, and this evening transcended expectation, for both of us, i think. 

this blog post is stupid! nobody will ever know how much i enjoyed this concert, no matter how many pictures & words i dispense. music + the human spirit intertwined is beyond pictures and words, but i’m thankful to have this majestic experience documented. 

Comments
29/6/2013 . 2 notes . Reblog
wildflower hike (in another life, i might have been a park ranger)

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one of my favorite things about living in oregon is its seemingly endless array of venues conducive to outdoorsy/nature gurus, the likes of which we aspire to. okay, that was one long foofy sentence basically saying: oregon rules, nature rules. on to the snaps:

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my mom has relentlessly implored us to explore tom mccall preserve out in the columbia gorge…so finally, one day…we ventured out there! discovering fields of wildflowers & nature is a welcomed pleasure…and so romantic! 

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the hike is 6 miles of windy, uphill, dusty paths. and worth every sweat bead and eye/nose/mouth full of bug. (okay, it wasn’t that bad.) mountains, rivers, canyons, plains, and yes…wildflowers. lots of wildflowers.

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what? i told you it was romantic! 

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we enjoyed a picnic at the plateau and took it all in. 

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on the way down, although we weren’t fighting against lazy muscles, it wasn’t a swift descent. why? well, because even though pictures don’t capture the preserve’s majesty, i had to preserve the preserve. and inspect every species of this, that, & the other. i didn’t want it to end. 

nature unlocks the fullness of myself that the rest of me is too distracted by the world to fully realize. in the serene, picturesque outdoors, that’s one way in which life is really lived. it doesn’t get much better than finding beetles and indian paintbrush, right? (nerd) what can i say…in another life, i might have been a park ranger. 

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27/6/2013 . 0 notes . Reblog
for my papa

once upon a time, ray bryce buchanan was born and reared 

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and turned into one fine man. then, he became a father & had holly buchanan…even delivered her right at home!

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         holly never stopped being a daddy’s girl. 

then, holly made him a grandfather when brittany alexis                          buchanan arrived: 

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and “bwinny” never noticed she didn’t have a father, because he was the greatest male figure in her life. she                         never stopped being a papa’s girl. 

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                             he taught “bwinny” how to work 


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        how to ski

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                                       how to fish

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        how to cook

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               how to appreciate the world 

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      how to make art

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            & how to (literally) cement memories…

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   he’s been there for life’s most important memories…

      and that’s why i’ll always see him like this:

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the best man i’ve ever known: a father, a grandfather (papa, as i call him), a mentor, a supporter, a blessing beyond measure. this girl’s hero. happy father’s day, papa.

                     i love you so.

Comments
16/6/2013 . 1 note . Reblog
the best $5 we ever spent

for some reason, when tyler and i headed to the local bowling alley yesterday for an evening of family fun, we ended up paying $2.50 per person…so about one hour of bowling…plus free-of-charge shoes, drinks, socks, and the four-lane vip/private bowling area. maybe the manager just understood that mondays are hard. in that spirit, we knocked monday hard in the pins. 

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our fun was as obnoxious & awesome as the for-no-reason-at-all discount.

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                    case in point:

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i’m a firm believer that if you put your smile out into the universe, the universe eventually smiles back.  

thanks for making yesterday’s family activity the best $5 the zika’s ever spent, universe.

           that victory dance is for you. 


Comments
11/6/2013 . 1 note . Reblog
what do vegans eat?

it feels like every day, i am happily bombarded with fb messages, texts, emails, actual voices, and telepathic stares full of inquiries regarding…what do vegans eat? some time, i will just reply, “alien food,” but today i’m playing nice. let’s get one thing clear, people: i am no pure vegan! but i’ve picked up a delicious repertoire along my journey. here’s just a tiny glimpse into what a vegan-striving household serves. (basically, these are the only ten meals of which i have pictures on my iphone.) 

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you can view the recipes here. most are made up (i am sort of anti-recipe), but i jogged my memory and believe these will serve you well. hopefully, they won’t signal beams from alien spacecraft, either. best of all, they are healthy and cruelty-free. happy veganism exploring! 

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8/6/2013 . 11 notes . Reblog
moments here and there

there are moments in our lives… moments here and there, that naturally separate themselves, falling away from the thousands of others, protruding brightly in the memory…

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moments existing to perpetuate the nostalgic revelry that comes as we ponder the beautiful parts of life.  


moments candidly flowing, snuck upon and plucked

or freely given to conservancy



moments here and there

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3/6/2013 . 0 notes . Reblog
our love is awesome

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sorry to be ooey gooey and gross, but on this day six years ago, tyler whispered to me, “i think i love you.” my response? “i think you do, too.” 

well ty, i know i love you now…did then, too…in fact, i have since our first conversation. (what was it, six hours?) and now, instead of cloaking my feelings with a snarky deflector statement, i have a blog where people get to read about our love to the point of nausea. i get to fearlessly, openly, zealously love you. i am so lucky!

happy june first, tyler—-thanks for putting up with my five hundred daily “i love you” affirmations, butt squeezes, and kisses. 

too much? deal with it. our love is awesome. 









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1/6/2013 . 0 notes . Reblog
ten thanks, ten moments

lately, i’ve been pondering these sage words by carolyn hax:

"being negative is easy. there will always be a downside to everything good, a hurdle to everything desirable, a con to every pro. the real courage is finding the good in what you have, the opportunities in every hurdle, the pros in every con.”

as i strive to embody positivity in this sometimes dark and pessimistic world, i try to do this daily exercise: 


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one day, i hope to have a shoebox stuffed with these lists…as a torch of positivity to pass down my generational line & an effort to keep that feel-good fire blazing.

scanning my iphone, i was able to pick ten pictures that follow along this theme of “ten thanks, ten moments.” ten pictures that tap into my soul with “hey, i’m alive and life is such a blessing!” sensibility: 

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-view from the passenger’s seat: the man & city of my heart

-double date = double sip 

-ladybug in my locks

-gretel being simply   e l a t e d   in the company of tulips

-dried wildflowers for a winsome scriptures bookmark 

-breathtaking sight from our day trip to the oregon coast

-gretel + her best friend, the sun

-swingin’ free

-reflection of a cumulus cloud-filled sky in a post-storm puddle

-tyler flashin’ his pearlies on the beach we kinda sorta grew up on

i hope you enjoyed this post, because there will be many more like it to follow. that’s the great thing about positivity…it never has to run out! 

carolyn hax, if you ever read this, thanks for the inspiration. 



xoxo, 

b

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19/5/2013 . 1 note . Reblog
georgia, it’s been real.

about a month into my new job and i’ve already survived my first solo business trip…to charming georgia.

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very quickly, i noticed a few things about these georgians: 


-nobody has front license plates. (conspiracy.) *except for the prop nyc cabs that were out for the filming of anchorman 2*

-the women are g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s. (conspiracy.) 

-on every corner, there are one of three things:


   1) chick fil-a

   2) waffle house

   3) a church, usually baptist.

     (although by looking at all the chick fil-a ads on the tops of buildings,

     sides of cars, and plastic cow-adorned billboards, you’d think chick fil-a

      was the kim jong-il of georgia)


     …and if that doesn’t scream conspiracy to you, i don’t know what would.  


-manners. i’ve never gotten so many ma’am's in my life. old women will leave their spot in line at the diner if they see a fluff of lint on your hat. 

-diversity. beautiful, refreshing diversity. at least in atlanta. (i’m pointing my finger at you, oregon.) 

-huge houses. for instance, i was invited to someone’s house, who i shall not name here…but their neighbor is usher. you’d never know, because everyone seems to have a mansion. (again, conspiracy.) 

 -lots of old men on tractors wearing cowboy hats? if any special agents out there are reading this, i’ll pretend i don’t know about this signal. 

-every street is peachtree street. every business is peachtree motors, peachtree paper company, peach tree gymnastics…every school is peachtree school. peachtree everything! really hard to find an actual peach tree, however. had to get lost in rural wonderland to find one of those. special agents, i’ll try to let this one slide too.

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in case you didn’t know, i have a tradition of taking bathroom selfies in airport bathrooms. it’s the only time and place i do, just to be extra ridiculous. bonus points if other ladies are caught gaping with confusion and reproach in the background. 


my friend roxy lives in the atlanta area—hadn’t seen her in five years! so naturally, we met up a couple times and took a gander around the city. on my last night, we stayed up singing for hours. nope, that was a lie…hours of laughter, punctuated by singing. video to come… 

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^eddie’s attic, the reason for john mayer’s fame. ^doesn’t piedmont park uncannily resemble central park?  more conspiracies!

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^ and atlantic gateway looks too much like l’arc de triomphe? i’m telling you, atlanta is a hodge podge of portland, london, paris, san francisco, and manhattan. it was the closest thing to teleportation i’ll ever experience. or, again, it’s all a big conspiracy. 

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^roxy has five birds, hashtag putabirdonit. they cuddle, kiss, and one even sings the star wars theme song! that was definitely a trip highlight. and that bird is definitely a spy. 

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i didn’t get to sleep a whole lot—- ^ too much pressure and excitement!…and missing tyler, gretel, + gertie. big time. 

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after the layover from hell en route to portland, the details of which could only seem imaginable in the chimera of SNL scriptwriters (because the airport spies didn’t want me leaving atlanta with all their top secrets), i think it’s safe to say i conquered the modern-day business woman’s work trip.

georgia, it’s been real. (that, or a series of conspiracies disguised as quirkdom)

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14/5/2013 . 5 notes . Reblog