Monday, November 30, 2009


I just found out corrections Canada doesn't have a tattoo policy! I won't have to get mine removed until I become a cop (and who knows, I may stay in corrections!)

I also bought the divacup today, I'm gonna test it out later tonight or tomorrow. Aunt flo is coming later this week, so hopefully all goes well!

Random jabbering

So, I have a 300gb hard drive and the other day I was trying to download this ultra-Disney pack of movies. It turns out I only had 5gb or so free.

As a result of this inconvenience I have a new goal for the Christmas break: organize my bloody hard drive (including my pictures folders which are absolute chaos).

I also have to organize my SFU email account. I have 200 pages of email (25 per page) most of which are useless....but I still have to go through them all, ugh.

On a less mundane note, I decided where I want my first trip to be once I graduate!! I am absolutely, definitely going on an African safari. I am not sure how much roughing it I want to do...but you can go on SEVENTY-THREE DAY safari's through like half of Africa. That might be a bit long but I might do a 30 day one or something. Gah. I need to graduate and get a bazillion dollars to fly to Africa. The actual safari prices aren't too bad, it's the flight that kills it pricewise lol. Oh well, I think it would be totally worth it.

I must go finish this paper now. ONE WEEK OF SCHOOL LEFT!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!! My first final is in like 10 days, fuck. I hate finals, especially when all of my classes have one.

**Also** Anne Murray's Christmas album (which the exception of the blatantly religious songs like away in a manger) is AMAZING!!!!! I have listened to it like 45 times this past weekend. GO GET IT!!!!!! Spread the Holiday cheer, muahahaha.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Impatient should really be my middle name. I don't like waiting for anything, except in line which is weird. Did you know 3 minutes is the time when people go from annoyed to angry when waiting in line? 3 minutes is like nothing!!! Seriously. You can't even finish popping a bag of microwave popcorn for that.


I really want my damn daiya cheese to hurry its butt up and get here. I want to make pierogies!!!

That's all I really have to say.


I LOVE Pho. Actually, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Pho to be even more specific. When we lived in Surrey there was a place right under Surrey Central (yes, super ghetto) called Pho Tam that made the best pho ever. It was like $4 and you got a gigantic bowl of delicious pho-y goodness, although not vegan!

I was craving pho, so I decided to make my own. I browsed through a few online recipes which are all pretty similar...but this is what I used, it tasted pretty authentic!

For the Broth:

8 cups of vegetable broth
3 tbsp soy sauce
8 cloves of garlic, cut in half, skin on
2 onions, cut into big chunks, skin on
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
2 anise star things
3 2" sticks of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of ground cloves

Put all the dry ingredients into a hot pot and sear them. When they are nice and brown add in the soy sauce and vegetable broth. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or so. When it's done, either strain the broth into another pot or just scoop out all the big nasties.

For the Toppings:

Fry up some Tofu (I used half a block for 4 bowls, but adjust to your tastes)
bean sprouts
green onions, sliced
Sriracha hot sauce (yum!!!)
I think some people also use lime wedges and basil...but I keep it simple

You also need a package of thin rice noodles. To assemble, put some (cooked) rice noodles in a bowl, add the broth to cover and then put in your desired toppings.

Here's all the random things used to make the broth taste authentic, it smelled absolutely delicious:

Here's my tofu frying, Jason said it looked like croutons. It totally does too haha. Maybe I was subconsciously craving Caesar salad (ew).

Here is what anise star pods look like. OH MY GOD!!!!! They are the most amazing things ever, it smells like black licorice and it is AMAZING. I LOVE black licorice smell and am hell-bent on making some pretty potpourri with this stuff even though Jason strongly objects and refuses to enter the house if it smells like black licorice hahaha. You definitely need the anise seed pods (not ground anise seeds either...different!) to get the authentic taste, so make the trip to the asian market to buy some.

And finally, you NEED the Sriracha hot chili sauce:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fashion Victims

Someone posted this video on veggieboards. It's just a quick re-cap of stuff I already know, but others may not. Here you go:

I'm still sick too! Jeez Louise, it just isn't going away. I had planned to make home made pho tonight but I couldn't find anise stars anywhere. I was going to stop at T&T market on the way home from school but I felt like poo again this morning, so I didn't go. Argh! I was so excited for pho, I haven't had it in like 8 months.

I suppose I could drive to T&T, at least I'll be warm in my car and not standing outside in the rain waiting for the bus which is the worst when you are coughy and have a runny nose!! Plus, I hate sitting beside people when I'm sick, I feel so awkward and rude. And, if I drive at least I'll be in and out faster....less time to spread my sickness haha.

I'm annoyed I missed school today though, I was supposed to get my 2nd philosophy midterm back. I told the TA I was sick for the last two weeks (lies) just so I wouldn't have to go to the useless class, and now today I am actually sick. I was reminded of the boy who cried wolf lol, so I told her I had an appointment with my department adviser and asked her to email my grade. I AM SO SCARED!!!!!!! At least half the class didn't even finish the exam from what I can tell, so maybe I'll be above average because I finished.

As for food. Well I weighed myself yesterday and I was 175 which means I would have lost like 9 pounds this month...but that number is quite artificial I think. Seeing as how I've been sick and haven't been eating too much. Oh well, if it stays the same until Monday I totally kicked my goal of 4lbs out the window. Woot!

I haven't made anything new or exciting all week. I am making curried chickpeas and cauliflower over basmati rice tonight though. It's super easy and I feel dumb posting a recipe but here:

Ingredients: Can of chickpeas and coconut milk. Some cauliflower, onion, rice and curry spices. I just use curry paste from a jar (ignore the sodium content) because it's easier.

To make: Saute the onion until clear, add chickpeas and cauliflower. Cook for a minute and then add the coconut milk and curry paste. Meanwhile cook your rice. Just simmer the curry mixture until the rice is finished and then serve over the rice. It's delicious, fast and cheap. Yum.

Anyways. I really have to muster up some energy to do some studying. I've done jack-all the last week and am super behind. Bye!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Candy cures everything

I got a phone call from the website I ordered my boots from and apparently they screwed up and don't actually have my size in stock. My calves are too muscular for any other boots so I just canceled my order. *cries*

I can't find any cute/warm/waterproof boots ANYWHERE.

So in order to appease my sadness I ordered a bunch of vegan candy and chocolates online. I am so excited!!! With shipping and driving to Sumas to pick it up I just ordered a bunch and Jason has to hide them from me so I don't gorge myself silly lol.

I'm going back to bed now. Bye.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christmas Decorations!!!

I love Christmas. I especially love Christmas trees and Christmas music (I've expanded my collection by 200 songs in the last 2 days).

Last year the kitties completely wrecked our fake Christmas tree and because we can't afford a new one (nor do we have space for one) we decided to decorate our shelf as our "tree". It worked great!!! I even put the Christmas mat in front of it, so later we can put all the gifts on it haha.

Here are the pictures:

The bedroom door, notice the garland had to be cut short (and is now even shorter) because a certain someone kept attacking/eating it.

The bathroom door:

The back door:

Our ballin' Christmas village. My mom is obsessed with these villages with lights and moving parts and music and all these decorations (I swear it's like 100 pieces) and it takes up like half the living room....well, as you can see, our village totally kicks her villages butt:

The Mantle:

My genius idea to turn our entertainment shelf into the Christmas tree. Notice the tree topper and everything lol:

And, the entire thing complete with stockings for us and the kitties:

I finished creating the recipes for my stuffing and pumpkin pie. I'm gonna test drive them next weekend and then I think my feast will be complete:

- Savory Mushroom Pot Pie
- Apple Cranberry Crock Pot Stuffing
- Scalloped Potatoes
- Roasted Asparagus
- Steamed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots
- Whole wheat buns
- Pumpkin Pie

Mmmm. I can't wait!! We made a list of all the baked goods we are making people too including candied nuts and caramel popcorn!!! Yum.

Now I'm off to shower and then to an early bedtime. I still have to go to school tomorrow even though I know I shouldn't/can't. Ugh. Monday's are so long and I have to leave so early.

Exploring Kitties!

Tonight we set up our Christmas stuff but we had to dig the box out of this storage room we have in our bedroom. Alma is constantly scratching and meowing at the door to get in(god knows why) and every time we open it the kitties go crazy with excitement.

Last time they both tried to jump onto the very top shelf and both fell. I think they learned their lesson because neither of them tried to jump anywhere without being very cautious about it.

Here are some pictures of their adventure in the closet filled with crap like coolers, hockey skates/gloves, bags, boxes and fans and the a/c unit:

Charlie made it to the top!!

Vegetable Soup

As I was making this, I realized it was extremely similar to my minestrone soup minus the zucchini. Oh well, I'll post it anyways. I really wanted alphabet noodles but I couldn't find them! I should have bought the shell shaped ones now that I think of it, that would make it less minestrone-esque.


3 carrots, sliced
3 celery sticks, sliced
1 onion, diced
2 white potatoes, very smally diced
1/2 cup peas
1/2 green/yellow beans chopped into bite sized pieces
1 can of beans (I used Romano just because that's what I had)
1 can diced tomatoes
3 cups veggie broth (I used Better Than Bouillon base)
3/4 cup of fun noodles (shells, alphabet, macaroni, wheels)

Spices - basil, parsley, poultry seasoning mix, salt and pepper

You could also add cabbage or spinach or something for some greens, but I didn't have any on hand.

To Make:
Saute your celery, onion and carrots for a few minutes. Throw everything in except the noodles and beans. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer until everything is cooked. In the last 10 minutes add partly cooked noodles and the beans.

Serve with a crispy bread, or alone.


So, I'm hosting a vegan Christmas dinner at my apartment on Dec 23rd for my grandma and brothers and sister. I'm really excited! Firstly because this is my first veggie Christmas, and secondly because I just had the greatest idea!!! I was thinking to myself, aw crap, I am baking goodies for Christmas gifts this year on the 23/24 AND I have to make dinner on the 23...AND I only have ONE oven.

How am I going to cook stuffing?

IN THE CROCK POT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


So, I did a quick google search on crock pot stuffing and apparently it's a pretty common thing, who knew? It apparently simulates the moistness you get from cooking stuffing in a turkey, and I LOVE moist stuffing. I can not stand dry stuffing, so I am hoping it will be delicious.

I am trying to put together my feast list this week so I can test drive some recipes. I already have my pot pie recipe I made a few weeks ago that was absolutely delicious, and the scalloped potatoes from V-Con (no mashed, everyone does mashed!!) and now I am trying to come up with a stuffing recipe.

Anyways. I am going back to bed, I think I have swine flu and I have to go cook a vegetable soup in a few hours so I need my rest!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I'm sick

I'm sick today, so I have nothing interesting to post other than I checked on my garlic and a few of the sprouts are at least 5 inches and are starting to fork! I was so excited. There is one baby sprout though, it's only about an inch and it's very sad looking haha.

I was supposed to start at the ACCW today, but felt too sick. I had to cancel dinner with my grandma too! It's terrible. Jason did bring me cherry pastry things though, so that made me feel a little better.

I think I've lost 4 pounds too! YAY!!!

And, I figured I am what better way to cheer myself up than to browse through old kitty pictures.

The kitties both sleep in very similar positions at least 50% of the time, it's soooo cute.

Alma investigating my flowers last spring. Look how skinny she was!!

And, count on Charlie to sneak his way into unlikely cuddle spots. He completely ignores the cat beds and snuggle sacks we buy him, but embraces a plastic bag for hours lol.

I'm trying to plan a trip to Mayne Island (one of the gulf islands). I really want to visit the Rest Q Animal Sanctuary, and I want to go kayaking, and hiking, and nature looking and just resting. It looked like a fun place to spend a weekend. The only problem is I only have 1 week at the end of August between semesters. Hopefully something is free the last week of the summer!! We'll probably take the ferry there, but if we have money I really want to take the plane ride over there. I think it's $90 a person. I guess it will depend on how much our accommodations cost.

Oh well, I still have plenty of time to figure it out. Either way, I'm excited.

I think I'm gonna go play Viva Pinata now. I haven't played it in ages and it's a good sick game.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I finally found a website with nice vegan boots. My favourite pairs only had a 13" calf circumference and I have muscular bad boys, so they wouldn't fit me. There were super cute, peter pan esque ones too, but they only had a size 11 or 6, so I couldn't get those either.

I ended up going with my first choice faux-suede-uggesque boots. They won't be as good in the rain and slushy snow but on the plus side they have a rubber wedge part, so I'm off the ground a little. Plus, it's not like I'm trekking directly through gigantic puddles and snow piles...I generally go around! I can't wait to have warm fuzzy toes!!!

So, these are the boots I ordered. I'm super excited!!! I shipped them to Sumas, saved me $20 shipping plus UPS will charge me like $80 for customs and brokerage fees when they deliver it directly to my house.


The Most Delicious Fruit Crisp

As promised, here is the recipe for a fruit crisp. I forgot to take a picture and it was all eaten by the time I remembered lol! It's that delicious.

You will need an 11x7 glass baking dish. If you don't have one (which you should, it's the one dish everyone has) go buy one, it's so versatile and costs like $5.

For the Filling - Ingredients:
3-4 Grannysmith apples
3-4 Pears
1 cup blueberries
2-3 sticks of rhubarb (I didn't actually use any, but I had planned to and the store had none...but it would make it even MORE delicious)
1 lemon's worth of juice
1/4 maple syrup (the real stuff!)
2 tsp's cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg, cloves

For the Topping - Ingredients:
1 cup oats (not the quick cook ones)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Earth Balance margarine
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pecans (or just 1 cup of either)
2 tsp's cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg, allspice
1/4 tsp salt

To make:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel and slice your fruit.
2. In the 11x7 dish mix together everything from the filling ingredient list
3. In a bowl, mix together everything from the topping ingredient list. If it's too dry add a little more Earth Balance until it's all gritty and chunky.
4. Sprinkle the topping over the filling. Bake for 45 minutes or so - until the fruit is soft.

It is best served warm. Or, you could buy the So Delicious Coconut Milk vanilla icecream and eat it with that! I am totally doing that next time.

Anyways. I highly suggest making this, especially with this windy, wet weekend coming up! Talk about comfort food.

On the personal life front, my day was extremely boring. Both my classes today dealt with spousal abuse, snore. On the bright side, my bus connections both to and from school were perfect, which always makes my commute 10x better, especially in the wet, cold, windy weather.

I think I'm finally going to get into ACCW this Saturday for this volunteer position with Elizabeth Fry I've been trying to get. Basically I go hang out with the female inmates for a few hours every other Saturday and help them write letters and make cards to their family, or just to give them company.

My contacts are dry, I have to make dinner, and the Office must be watched, so goodnight everyone.


I had to come to school early today to print my paper. I totally forgot that I had run out of blank paper, ugh.

So, I was on the bus and there was this hilarious asian guy sitting in front of me. He reminded me of Hiro from Heroes, he had this sheepish/skittish/something weird and hilarious about him way. Anyways, we were stopped at a light and this girl was at the crosswalk so Hiro-lookalike WHIPPED off his glasses and dramatically flicked his hair/head to the side and made a face at the woman. It was the greatest thing ever, so Fabio-esque! It was hilarious, I tried so hard not to laugh. This probably doesn't make sense, but if you saw it, you would have found it hilarious too. Not to mention, the girl was totally out of his league lol. It totally made my dreary morning, that and the amazing fog up at SFU this morning.

I love fog.

I forgot my "lunch" on the counter this morning and Thursday's are my long day. Oh well, I'll just buy a crappy sandwich from subway which is really just a salad on a bun. The sweet onion sauce is delicious though, so I guess it's worth it. Plus, this Subway doesn't charge me for cheese, so I save 50 cents. Yay.

Well, this keyboard is the worst, so adios amigos.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Peaceable Kingdom

This looks really good!

The part where the sheep jumps out of the truck into the field is so happy! I cried when the lambs reunite with their mommies too. Something about lambs/goats/sheeps, they are sooo amazing, I just love them. They melt my heart.

Anyways. I should really go write that pesky paper.

I made this for dinner, but didn't finish it. I've never had pomegranate seeds before, and apparently I don't like them.

I've been meaning to post my food/exercise log for the last week...but I suck haha. The last three nights I've eaten out (although last night was sushi, so it's okayish) and I've been living off toast basically. I haven't been exercising because I keep making excuses and I just suck lol. I will be back on the get-fit-eat-healthy bandwagon soon, I hope.


First off, today's winner on the bus was a real goodie. I have seen her on the bus many times, I was pretty sure she was schizophrenic, but tonight confirmed it lol. She always sits in the same spot and BARGES her way to the spot so nobody gets there before her...well tonight this 15 year old or so black kid sat there. He had glasses and was a total band nerd (carrying a trumpet case and all!). Really nice looking boy. Well, this schizo lady throws a fit, she went absolutely ballistic and started screaming about him being the devil in disguise and she has to wipe out all the devils and she started crying and shaking and screaming about god, and everybody telling her to kill the devils in disguise, then she HIT HIM ON THE HEAD with her umbrella. I felt so sorry for the kid, he was crying and she hit him REALLY hard too. So, the bus pulled over and the cops were called and stuff. Normally I get irritated when there is a bus delay, but this was entertaining.

Needless to say, I probably won't be seeing schizo lady around anymore.

I decided to do a post on cravings tonight. I was sitting on the bus and a girl near me started eating reese's peanut butter cups and I massively wanted some. I have a recipe to make some, but I wanted some SOOOOOOOOOOOOO badly. Now that I'm home, the craving is gone, but it was definitely the strongest one I've had since going vegan, or even vegetarian.

Cheese: I have not had a single craving for cheese. There is a new vegan cheese out called "daiya" that is supposed to be amazing and exactly like regular cheese, I briefly wanted to buy some for Mexican food or pizza...basically somewhere where you think you "need" cheese. Well, after thinking about it for five seconds I realized things taste better without cheese. I have never been a big cheese eater, with the exception of Mexican food. Pizza is actually a health food without cheese! Not to mention how nasty cheese is for you, so even if I did get a craving (unlikely) I would just think about all the nasty things it does to you.

Here is a little blurb on why cheese is addicting, I'm too lazy to find a better one...I think it sums it up enough though. Basically many cheeses contain morphine (from the cow's stomach) as well, casein (a milk protein) is concentrated in cheeses, and is highly addicting. Cheese also causes cancer (well dairy in general is the single most potent and dangerous carcinogen today), gives you migraines, makes you fat, smelly and lethargic.

Milk: Again, not a single craving for milk...or even chocolate milk, or a latte, or anything with milk as the main part. I have wanted a chocolate bar once or twice like a coffee crisp or something but again, I think how terrible that is for me. If I do get a chocolate craving I buy a dark chocolate bar. Lots of them have fruits and nuts, so they can seem more candy chocolate bar type too. If I really need a candy chocolate bar, I just buy a dark kit-kat., I have not had cravings for milk or milk products.

Yogurt: No cravings here either. I thought that I would crave yogurt because I used to eat it at least twice a day. I absolutely loved it. I am actually surprised I haven't wanted any, and now that I think about it...yogurt isn't even that good. You don't even need it in smoothies, and most brands of yogurt just plain suck anyways.

Eggs: Again, no cravings here either!! I really LOVED scrambled eggs with 12 pounds of ketchup on them, seriously, the best breaky ever. I am quite surprised I've had no cravings for that. As for baking, eggs "bind" and that's their only purpose in baking. So, for vegan baking all you need is something to "bind". Easy peas. Things like flax seed, banana, apple sauce, or even "egg replacer" which is just a powder you mix with water to replace the egg. Like the dairy products, if I ever do get a craving (again, unlikely) I will just think about all the nasty things they do to you, and the horrible cholesterol aspect.

Don't even get me started on the allyouneedischeese and dairy goodness, and yourhealthy weight ads. First of all, it all causes cancer and makes you fat and second of all dairy products are not a good source of calcium. If you are consuming animal proteins (from meat, dairy, eggs) it "cancels out" the absorption of the calcium, so you aren't even getting very much calcium from milk or whatever. Other foods contain equal amounts and more of calcium.

Anyways, back on topic.

Meat: I never really liked meat to begin with. I smelled bacon the other day (i used to LOVE it and the smell) and really felt disgusted by it. The only thing I am craving is a hamburger. I don't know why. Probably because it is really the only meat thing I regularly ate before going veggie. I just can't kick that craving. I get it almost every day. I just remind myself of the tortures of slaughter, animal cruelty and the fat and calories. The craving then goes away :)

I don't know what other foods there are, but the bottom line is I haven't craved anything. I have heard cheese is the only hard one to "give up", but I didn't eat much of it to begin with. You also cannot think of it as "never eating ____ again in my entire life" because then you are setting yourself up for failure. Think of the reasons why you do not eat ____ anymore, and is it really worth giving into the craving for your taste buds? Probably not.

Basically, you may think you will get cravings for certain animal products after going veggie, but really, you probably won't. Even if you do, they pass very quickly.

The same goes for things like sugar, pop, junk food, or any food. Honestly, try giving up something you thought you could NEVER give up for just two weeks. I'm sure after that two weeks it won't be as appetizing nor will you be craving it.

Anyways, I have a paper due tomorrow that I must start. (yes start, but it's a shortie)

Tomorrow I am going to post a recipe for the most amazing fruit crisp ever. You must make it on the weekend. I promise that you're taste buds will explode with excitement and over-deliciousness.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Spring 10 Courses

Just once can I register without any issues? That's all I ask. I had planned to take a psychology class in the spring, but the enrollment thing kept saying the tutorial section was "closed" even though they weren't. So, I couldn't register.

Oh well, it's a requirement for Crim majors, so I'm sure it will be offered in the summer. If it isn't, I'm screwed...I'm set up to graduate next summer, but I have to finish my random courses by the summer!


I am taking 5 criminology and one political science. Fun fun fun. The worst part about the spring semester is going to be the Olympic Break. Not so much the break itself, but the fact that it pushes back the end of the semester. So between spring-summer and summer-fall we only get ONE week instead of two weeks for a break. Ugh.

Not to mention, my last class is on April 16th and my first exam is April 18th (and the other 5 within 6 days after that). I lose that 1 week+ grace period between finals and the last class to study. I'm so annoyed! This means my final exam studying will start when I'm writing my term papers. Ugh, ugh, ugh. Fuck you VANOC.

My courses are:

Women in the CJS
Canadian Policing
Sociological Explanations of Crime
Research Methods in Crim
Criminal Law
Administration of Justice (poli-sci course)

They are all interesting enough, with the exception of research methods in crim haha. It's gonna be a busy semester, but I'm looking forward to it. Not to mention I managed to avoid the Burnaby Campus all together. Kind of ironic though, most crim courses are offered at the Surrey Campus, and I moved the same week I decided to do a crim major. I would have been a 5 minute walk from school! Oh well, the commute from here to Surrey is faster than here to Burnaby, so it's okay.

My Bath/Body Products and Kitty Pictures

I am absolutely obsessed and addicted to hand cream. I can NOT handle it if I don't have access to some sort of hand cream. I use Karma by LUSH (smells divine, but is quite strong) and a grapefruit scented one by Kiss My Face for my purse:

I love chapstick, and LUSH, so it only made sense that I bought the "None of Your Beeswax" vegan lipbalm by them. I love it! It's the most creamy and silky and moisturizing chapstick ever, period. You only have to put it on once a day (if that), it's that great:

I love to take baths (not very environmentally friendly of me!) but I don't take more than 2 a month (if that). This my current collection (all from LUSH): Half of a "Candy Cane Bubble Bar", "Think Pink" bath bomb, "Christmas Eve" bubble bar, "Jingle Spells" bath bomb (the one with the stars), and "Cinders" bath bomb (orange). Most of the stuff I have right now is for Christmas so I haven't used most of them...but everything from LUSH is good, so if it smells good I assume it will be good:

Charlie likes to sit in the bathtub any time I go near it, hence his cute mug in the picture haha. Anyways, from left to right. Snow Fairy (OH MY GOD GO BUY THIS RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! along with the godmother soap - same scent - and snow fairy solid perfume and bath melt), seriously, Snow Fairy is the greatest scent in the world. I am going to stockpile them this year. I also use "Olive Branch" by LUSH, it's a unisex scent, but it's probably my 2nd favourite smell in the world.

Veganese Conditioner. This is the first vegan conditioner I have ever bought. You could get cheaper stuff from Kiss My Face or Jasons Naturals or something, but I love the lemony scent of this. If you are new to natural conditioners, the first thing you will notice is the lack of silicon/extra smooth feeling when you rinse it out. Don't worry, that's just superficial, your hair will not be hard to brush, will not be knotted and will be even silkier when dry than when you use conventional conditioner. I promise.

Karma Solid Shampoo Bar. It looks kind of gross in the picture, seeing as how it's all over my container for it, but I can not preach this product enough. First of all it uses no bottle, lasts at least 3 months (like 6 with short hair!) and smells absolutely amazing. It's only $10 for a bar, so it's cheaper in the long run too. I've used 3 or 4 of the shampoo bars but I always come back to Karma, the smell is too good. It is super sudsy too. By the way, if you go out and buy one, don't be conned into buying the shampoo bar tin to keep it in, it's useless, the bar gets stuck inside and you can't get it out without wrecking it. I just use a small Tupperware container for it, just don't get it wet when it's not being used.

It doesn't look like anything in the picture, but I use the Henri Bernard Crystal deodorant stick. I took off the plastic screw on case thing because you get it wet to use and when you put the lid back on there is no air for it to dry properly. I absolutely love this, it is not an anti-perspirant, but I haven't noticed my pits sweating anymore now than when I wore Dove or Degree. I NEVER get BO either(not that I've ever had a problem with that).

That tall yellowish thing is my face wash. It's by Korres. I think it's the white tea cleanser, but I could be wrong. I absolutely love this too. It is expensive, but I have been using it everyday for like 2 months and as you can see...a little goes a loooong way.

Jason Naturals power smile toothpaste in vanilla mint is what I use for toothpaste. The first time or two I used it, it felt a bit weird and tasted off (not bad, just different) but now I love it. My teeth feel squeaky clean after I use it.

And finally, my toner. If you don't know what toner is, you use it after you wash your face and before you moisturize. I don't know what it does exactly, something about pores closing but I love the smell and refreshing feeling this gives me. If I feel particularly breaking-outish I use the tea tree oil toner from LUSH.

I still have a lot of products I still have to replace, like my moisturizer (I'll probably go with a LUSH, Korres or Kiss my Face one), my hair styling products (I only use hairspray), my dental floss/mouthwash etc. I am most dreading when my exfoliator runs out (which won't be for another few months) because I love it so much, I have the Microdelivery Peel by is seriously the greatest thing ever..I will probably make my own when it runs out I guess.

The soap I have in my bathroom, for handwashing, is the Lavender Olive oil soap by Kiss My Face. I bought this on a whim thinking it would smell okay, but OH MY GOD. I stand in my bathroom and just breathe in deeply because it smells so good. The scent even carries out of the bathroom into the bedroom because it's so strong, but a good strong. Yum:

And, I am pretty sure this is vegan..if it's not at least it's natural haha. I use the Mango Vanilla Shave Cream by Alba Botanica. It smells like heaven, and even though it's not foamy it works just as great:

Last night I was cramming for my second philosophy midterm, Charlie was helping:

You can see my shoes in the background! Well, some of them at least. My flip flops are by Simple Shoes and are the most amazing and comfortable things on the planet. I have a pair of white sneakers from them as well, but they heel part gives me blisters. (They are called ECOSNEAKS though, so I really do need to get down and dirty and break those bad boys in.)

I had my umbrella hanging to dry and Charlie kept trying to climb inside of it, so I opened it and put it on the floor for the kitties to explore, it was so cute:

Alma likes to sleep on her back, I love how it shows off her hilarious stomach pattern:

Charlie stole Alma's spot, but she was determined to stay she just lied there while half falling off the couch haha:

Put a box on the floor and Charlie goes in it, simple as that:

Consumer Products and Animal Testing

So, I haven't updated in a while so I decided to do a longer, more informative post than usual.

Part of being vegan is being conscious of animal tested products as well as animal derived ingredients. Generally with bath and body products the problem is with the animal testing portion, although I'm sure they find a way to sneak mice feet into conditioner!!

I don't understand why companies (like household products, cosmetics, bath products etc) continue to test on animals. It's ridiculous. Firstly, there are plenty of alternatives to test, you don't even need animals for that, and secondly, what can spraying contact solution into rabbits eyes really tell us? The rabbit gets a reaction? The rabbit doesn't? Well, rabbits eyes are different than human eyes, so why not skip that step altogether? I don't even know how we test most cosmetics, but we find a way. Ugh. Don't get me started.

Anyways, here are a few websites about animal testing (consumer products, not scientific testing):

P&G Kills is a link to a site about animal testing done by Proctor and Gamble, who own everything from Covergirl, to Iams to Zest. They are notorious for their animal testing, and since becoming vegan I avoid their products at all costs, despite how nice Puffs tissues feel on my nose! Go check out the website and see how many things they own, you probably have 20 of their products in your house right now.

Iams Kills, who knew making pet food would torture and kill dogs and cats? It doesn't surprise me, and I'm sure most pet food companies do as well. Iams is a subcompany (whatever it's called) of P&G - so, avoid it.

I have posted this link to Caring Consumer before, but it's a good site so I'll post it again. You can read about animal testing and do a search on what companies do and do not test on animals.

Here is a short article about animal testing.

This short article thing describes some more about animal testing. One quote I like, "when cosmetics are labelled “cruelty free” or “not tested on animals,” it does not necessarily mean that the products used in them were never tested on animals. The manufacturer can claim that the products themselves weren’t tested on animals, when another company actually used animals to test the ingredients used in the product." This is very true. I have emailed several companies specifically asking about their animal testing procedures. Philosophy for example (who has the most amazing smelling Bubble Gum body wash) wrote back saying this exact thing, they don't test their finished products on animals, but their ingredients may have been. This is quite the dilemma, so I am now avoiding all larger corporations and am buying things specifically labeled vegan or from all natural companies that have a lot of vegan products. In short - if something is labeled directly as vegan, or I have inquired about the product (and double checked because many times companies do not include certain items as vegan like beeswax or carmine) to make sure it's vegan...I steer clear.

Here is the link to CCAC (Canadian Council of Animal Care. They are the ones who set out the animal testing rules.

Here are some links to online vegan stores. You can go to places like Whole Foods, Planet Organic, or any "natural" store like Roots Naturals here in Maple Ridge to buy this stuff too. Actually, come to think of it even Save on Foods and regular grocery stores have tonnes of vegan products (at least the mainstream brands like Jason Naturals).

Viva Granola (Canadian)

Dirty Birdy Soap. I haven't ordered anything from this website before, but it's so cute! Not to mention you can "customize" your own soap scents.

Scent of Scandal, this is a candle company (not really bath product, but it was in my favourites haha). Yes, candles are not vegan generally, nor are they environmentally friendly. I still have some old candles, but from now on I buy only soy ones.

Etsy. Okay, so I have never ordered anything from the site before...but I LOVE browsing it! You can get everything from furniture, to headbands to soap and candles. Everything is hand made and it's not too hard to find vegan products.

Vegan Essentials, an online store. I don't know if they ship to Canada, but you can browse for certain products and then find a place to buy them here.

Pangea/Vegan Store. This site has everything and they ship to Canada.

Kiss My Face. I have a few products by these guys, I love them! The price is right and so is the smell.

Jason Naturals. This is a pretty "mainstream" natural brand. I just have their toothpaste, but I love it. I just like how it's called Jason :)

Alba Botanica. These are sold at regular grocery stores as well as natural stores, I love their stuff.

Keep in mind, the last three links do not sell exclusively vegan products. They don't test on animals however, so it's a great option. Other brands include LUSH and Burts Bees (usually not vegan - beeswax, hence the name).

Oh! Seventh Generation is an all natural cleaning product etc company. They don't test on animals so I just buy their stuff. It's reasonably priced and available at Save on. If, for some reason, you don't like this brand you can visit any natural store and there are tonnes of other brands...I just buy this stuff because I don't have to make an extra trip! Not to mention, their liquid laundry detergent lasts like 5 months (two people) and smells friggin AMAZING. Oh! And their lavender and floral mint dish soap smells amazing too - go buy it!!!

I encourage you to go to those links and check out the vegan products. Even if you aren't doing it for the animals, at least do it for the environment! Chemical laden products are disgusting, dry up your skin and nasty to mother nature so I try to steer clear. And remember, when you go shopping bring your reusable bags!!! That's my word of advice for the day hehe.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Garlic Update

Haha, I've updated like 5 times today, but I can't help it. I'm stalling, I don't want to study philosophy.

Yesterday I saw Charlie sitting in the window when I got home (when you enter the building, you can see my apartment through the windows in the entryway - and everyday I check to see if the kitties are in the window when I get home). Well anyways, Charlie was in the window so I did a ninja move and came in through the patio door instead. When I was unlocking the door I looked at my garlic and they are SPROUTING!!!

I DIDN'T KILL A PLANT!!! YAY!!!! I can garden!!!

I was SOOO excited, you don't even know. Garlic practically grows itself, but just the fact that I planted something, and watered it etc and it didn't die in two days was amazing.

Here is a picture of the longest sprout (and the sprout is like 3 inches UNDER the soil too!!):

Amazing, right? I want to rip one up to see if roots are coming out the bottom, but I know I will kill it if I do that.

Here's a cute picture of Alma:

Now I must go shave my legs (again, stalling from studying). I haven't shaved them in like two months or longer. They are longer than the "playoff beards" we would grow on our legs during the hockey playoffs haha. Good thing I don't have thick leg hair, or it would truly be mannish.

Mice in eyeshadow?

MAC Eye Shadow:
Talc, Zinc Stearate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol

Eye Shadows may contain:
Silica, Mice, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Bismuth Oxychloride, Carmine, Chromium Hydroxide Green, Chromium Oxide Greens, Ferric Ferrocyanide, Manganese Violet, Ultramarines, Blue 1 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Yello 5 Lake


I finally found an ingredient list for MAC makeup online. I had emailed MAC asking which products were vegan a few weeks ago, and they answered with "please ask for specific products as we do not have a list" or something along those lines. I tried finding a list of MAC ingredients online, but all I could get was people with the same problem as mine. Today I found a website with them listed. yay!

Like most makeup, the only animal derived ingredients are things like carmine (ground up beetles), lecithen (egg yolks or soy beans), beeswax, tallow (animal fat), and things like collagen and elastin (connective tissues) which are more in skin products like moisturizers. So, vegan makeup is quite easy to just sucks that my favourite colours tend to have carmine in them! I am worried about buying vegan mascara though...uh oh.

But MICE? WHY!!!??? Now I have to email them and ask which eyeshadow contain mice, and I am throwing them out. That is just gross. I can semi-deal with the ground up beetles I am rubbing on my face, but mice? Sad. Not to mention, what the fuck are mice doing in makeup? What purpose can they possible have? Horrible.

BTW, carmine isn't in all makeup. Generally it is in reds, purples (sometimes blues), and things like that. Even Urban Decay, which has a large list of vegan makeup, doesn't have vegan purple colours. I can safely say that ALL my purple eyeshadows have carmine. Hopefully in two years+ when I need to replace my non-vegan eyeshadows there are vegan colours. Otherwise I can't wear my favourite colour, purple! Urban Decay did say there were working on making all of their products vegan though, yay!

And yes, I still use all my makeup even though most of it isn't vegan. Why throw it out? I've already bought it all. If my old wool jacket still fit me, I would have kept that too. My two belts are still leather, when I get some extra money for a nice belt I will be buying non vegan ones. Even my moisturizer isn't vegan, but when my non-vegan items run out I will be replacing them with vegan items. Save myself some moola.

I've also been asked if I would ever buy used wool/leather/etc items. No, I wouldn't. Sure, it's already been made and used or whatever, but somebody not concerned with animal products could go into a thrift store looking for a leather jacket, which I had purchased, they couldn't find it so they go and buy a brand new one. Therefore, I indirectly caused the purchase of an animal product. So, I won't be buying used animal clothing either.

Oh, here is the list of MAC ingredients I found (if interested).

Gestation Crates

*edit* The pictures screwed up for some reason, so just click on them to see them in their entirety.

If you watched those clips with Colleen I just posted, she mentions gestation crates. For those of you who do not know, these are gestation crates:

Basically a crate where female pigs (sows) stay while they are pregnant. The pigs can not move around, they chew on the metal because they go so insane from confinement, they cry, they are uncomfortable, they never get to see sunlight, rain, whatever, they don't get to run around with their pig friends.

When the pigs give birth, they are moved to a farrowing crate:

This is where the sows feed their baby piglets. They are forced to lie on their sides for about three weeks, whereupon the piglets are torn away from their mom. The piglets then get most of their teeth cut off (so they don't eat the other pigs due to extreme malnutrition) and their tails cut off (so the other pigs don't chew them, for the same reasons mentioned prior). The boars live to be about 5 months where they are then slaughtered. The sows then became baby making machines.

I found this website while I was looking for the pictures of the crates. It's really interesting, I recommend all non-veggies to browse through each page. It is a UK website, so it gives a slightly different perspective from the American websites.

I <3 Colleen

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is the writer of Joy of Vegan Baking, which I bought a few weeks ago (and love!). She also runs Compassionate Cooks a great website, with forums, podcasts, info, a store, etc.

Anyways, I was on youtube and stumbled across these 5 short interview segments with her. They are sooo simple, yet so amazing and eye opening.

and the most sad:

I'm off to study for my second philosophy midterm now, wish me luck!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why can't i just make muffins peacefully?

I came home from school after my first class today because I felt sick (still!) and when I got home I decided to make muffins.

Well. I had my stuff all ready and realized I was out of baking soda, so I had to run to the store. Then I got home and realized I had no muffin tin liners, so I frantically searched for literally 20 minutes through the cupboards and finally phoned Jason. For some reason HE knew where they were. Anyways, the kicker is that the recipe didn't need baking SODA, it only used baking POWDER...and guess what? I had to go back to the store anyways to buy molasses. God, I seriously need to learn to read ingredients before I make something. I just assume my baking stash is stocked enough to bake most things, argh.

NOW my muffins are in the oven and I'm very excited. I hate being out of ingredients (especially the key ones!) and having to run to the store in the middle of making dinner or baking or whatever. It's the most annoying thing.

Actually, my new number one pet peeve (if it could be considered that) is running to the store in the middle of making something because you are missing a key ingredient.

Anyways. Kind of a pointless post, but I had to share my frustration.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Black Bean Burger

Before I leave, here's a picture of my absolutely scrumptious bean burger I made/ate yesterday. I have like 5 other patties in the freezer for later. I'm not sure if I am going to eat them though, I've felt sort've sick since I ate it.

Probably the wheat gluten I put into them to make them chewier. I don't have a gluten allergy, but last time I used it in something it made my stomach was upset for a few days after too. Weird. Next time I'll sub in more bread crumbs instead. At least it tasted good!

Food Log

- 1 smoothie (smaller than usual, only 2 cups today) - 1 banana, 1 handful spinach, some fruit, soy milk, flax seed
- 1/2 uncooked brown rice, cooked
- 2 glasses of water
- 1 can of coke
- almost an entire loaf of garlic rosemary sourdough bread with some Earth Balance butter (nice healthy dinner haha, very well balanced!)
- most of an Endangered Species cranberry almond chocolate bar
- 2 mandarin oranges

Not exactly the healthiest day, but certainly tasty!

I went to Whole Foods in Vancouver today. It's basically a gigantic organic store. I was wearing my glasses, which need a new it was really hard to see properly, so I just grabbed a few things and left but what I saw was awesome! Being inside a grocery store with blurry vision is horrible.

They had a giant tofu wall, but they didn't carry Field Roast Sausages. I am going to call and make a request. They had a HUGE produce section (yay!), which was very fresh and well stocked, I imagine the turnover would be great as the store seemed pretty busy too. They had a wall of chocolate bars that was like 10 feet long, I was flabbergasted! More than one vegan chocolate bar option in a store? Wowsers.

I must go back when I have more money/time. All the way in Vancouver sucks, but it's totally worth it. I didn't check out much of the fridge/freezer sections as I didn't have a freezer bag with me, but next time I will.

Click Here to go to the Whole Foods website. I always thought it was just an American store, but turns out we have four locations in Vancouver. It totally kicks Planet Organic's butt.

They had a very large, and seemingly well stocked bath/body/cleaning type product area as well, I bought a bar of olive/lavender soap which smells amazing.

I need a job that pays six figures so I can afford to live in downtown Vancouver. Then I would have easy access to great vegan food and tonnes of organic stores.

Oh! I forgot to mention that the produce items I looked at were all grown in BC. Yay for semi-local produce, which was all most likely from the lower mainland, so yay local produce. And! I always use a reusable bag, and the cashier asked what I wanted to do with my 10 cents. Apparently you can donate 10 cents to a charity (they had 3 options) or take it off your order if you bring your own bag. I donated to an animal sanctuary. How cool is that? Only 10 cents per person, but I'm sure 9/10 people donate to the would add up.

Anyways, I think I'm being suckered into a game of Monopoly or something now. See you!

T&T Market

I need to get my butt over to T&T Market. I have to wait until Friday though because we used all our grocery money!

I have some new goals:
- eat at least 1 cup of brown rice per day
- eat at least 1 cup of steamed greens per day - preferably collard or kale
- drink this weight loss tea (why I have to go to T&T Market) everyday for 10 days starting on Saturday

I bought The Kind Diet for $10 because it had no jacket. I wanted the book anyways, and I figured it's $20 off, why not buy it? Like I care if the book has the jacket, I take them off anyways.

I read the first half of the book last night. It isn't anything that new to me, but it's really interesting. It takes you through the nasty foods (meat, dairy, eggs) and then the Kind Foods (whole grains, veggies, etc) and how much to eat, and why to eat them. She also talks a lot about the environmental impacts of our food. She includes some meal plans to, one is for "flirts" who are people just flirting with the idea of the lifestyle (she encourages you to try it for 4 weeks to test the waters) and another meal plan for vegans.

There are a bunch of tasty looking recipes, the first half are plain vegan recipes and the second half are "macrobiotic" recipes. They all look tasty. I want to try to eat a macrobiotic diet (starting next week) at least 3 days of the week. It's super healthy and good for losing weight! Not to mention cheap!! Rice and greens? Easy to make and tasty.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Food Log

Today I ate:

- 3 glasses of water (I found out today that vegans need less water because we only need 8 glasses a day to wash out the uric acid in our system which comes from animal products. Not to mention all the extra good stuff I eat, less toxins etc = less need for water)
- 2 mandarin oranges
- 3 cups of smoothie - 2 handfuls spinach, banana, frozen berries, flax seed, soy milk
- a few sweet potato fries
- chips and salsa
- black bean burger with lettuce, tomato and onion (definitely a lot healthier than Jason's 57% of his daily fat, 420 calorie prime rib patty)
- 2 or 3 Halloween sized candies (the last ones!!)

I meant to exercise today, but was hit with the terrible news that my second (and horrible) philosophy midterm is cumulative. I decided I am officially screwed and took the day off to read, surf the net and pet my cats rather than to study and exercise.

I got paid on Friday, so I went out and bought Eating Animals today. I'm gonna start reading it tomorrow, I'm so excited!!

Gardein "Chicken" Breasts

A few weeks ago I tried Gardein "Chicken" Breasts. I tried the Herb Dijon variety, and was pleasantly surprised. I really want to try the tuscan variety, but can't seem to find them around here.

After trying the strips I was quite nervous to try these, but they are pretty tasty. It cost $5 for two, so quite comparable to the price of real chicken breasts.

I apologize for the pictures, they were taken with my cellphone. They looked a lot like real chicken, and the texture was spot on. I couldn't taste any "fake" flavour but I wasn't too keen on the marinade.

They were easy to cook. I put them in a roast pan, cut up an onion, some garlic and carrots and put them around the breasts. I put some pepper on them and then covered and baked for about 15 minutes I think. So, they were definitely easy to make.

Jason liked them too, I'm just not sure if I would buy this flavour again, but I definitely will try others from the line. WHo knows, maybe I'll buy this variety again, just because it was so easy to make, not to mention the 22g of protein! I am still weirded out by how it felt to cut through something, and not just cut, but saw like real was seriously a strange sensation, I felt like it was so meat like I shouldn't be eating it!

You can buy them at Save on Foods (n the meat department of all places), or Planet Organic. Marketplace IGA carries them too. I think if you go to the website it shows you a list of BC stores that carry them.

Posting this reminded me I wanted to post this, one of my favourites Jonathan Foer on one of my other favourites, Ellen:

Smoothies: A How-to

Smoothies are an art. I never actually measure how much of anything I put in, but they always turn out perfect. I was prompted to post this after a friend seemed confused as to how I make my smoothies lol, but fear not! I will save you.

There is no need for ice, because I use frozen berries, even in the summertime I buy fresh berries and freeze them in portion sizes because then you don't need ice. And as we all know, most blenders don't grind ice all the way so you always end up with gritty and icy bits in your otherwise perfect smoothie.

So, how do I make my smoothies? Seems basic, but I'll tell you anyways.

Unless I am out of greens I always make a green smoothie. Why? Because you don't taste the greens at all, and what better way to sneak in nutrients which I otherwise would not be getting? I've read you should aim for 60% fruit and 40% greens, I think I'm pretty close to this.

Generally I use 2 handfuls of greens (spinach and kale are my favourites, and if I have any on hand I throw in a few sprigs of parsley). 1 banana. A dumpful of frozen berries and 2 tbsp's or so of ground flax seed. This is what it generally looks like:

The liquid part is where most people screw up, too little and it's too thick and doesn't blend. So you end up having to add more and more liquid until you get the perfect amount, which inevitably ends up being too much it turns into water consistency, not rich and thick like a smoothie should be. Today I didn't have orange juice, so I just used all soy milk (it doesn't matter really, OJ just adds some sweetness). I usually fill up to the top of the greens (and ALWAYS put your greens on the bottom, or this throws off the proportions!!!), half with OJ and half with soy milk (or another alternative milk..rice, hemp, almond etc...). This is what it should look like:

Then blend it and it should look pretty and pink like this:

My smoothie always makes 3 cups worth, which doesn't sound like a lot...but it really is. This picture gives you a sense of how much smoothie it makes:

Why so much? Well, it fills me up for a really long time, gives me great energy and gives me 4-5 servings of fruit/veggies plus calcium and other great stuff.

Here is the soy milk I use, just because. I think I mentioned in a previous post why this is my favourite, but basically it's really tasty, non-GMO, organic and local:

As far as fruit goes, anything goes, really. I generally buy whatever berry mix is on sale. I like using berries because they are stronger flavours than other fruits, and have many antioxidants and other good things. Plus, the make a pretty colour. Sometimes I buy a "tropical" blend, the taste is still awesome but if you are into appetizing colours...definitely go with berry varieties.

I'm obsessed with the Bee Gee's lately.

Now, I have found, that the world is round.
And, of course, it rains everyday.