• Ten on Tuesday

    Ten on Tuesday: new bookshelves and seasonal goodies


    1. I finally had to give up on the trilogy I was reading this week because it was just dragging so badly, and also, the protagonist was really annoying. I hate to DNF a book but it’s always so good to move on to something better!

    2. It’s been really rainy here all week, but that’s okay, because it’s a good excuse to snuggle under a blanket with the cats and read and drink tea.

    3. I have a whole “bookshelf” now just for books from the library. It’s actually a driftwood bench that my mom made for me several years ago.

    Bookshelf made from a bench

    If you move the books you can see wood burnings of horses on the back of the seat. How cool is that?

    Bookshelf made from a bench

    4. I have a giveaway that I’ll be posting soon on the blog. And I’m already thinking about holiday giveaways.

    5. I found a vegan pumpkin drink (for lattes) and chocolate peppermint drink at the store today. Yay for seasonal goodies!

    6.  I get so impatient waiting for things to come in the mail. I have a new book on the way and I keep counting the days on the calendar until it will get here.

    7. I think we need to have some apple pie today. Because it’s cold and autumn, of course.

    8. They decided that we can dress up at work on Halloween nights, but OF COURSE I won’t be there that night. So typical.

    9. Only a few more days until the Black Keys concert…so excited.

    10. I got a pair of over-the-knee cognac-colored boots on vacation that I just love. I need to take outfit pics with them soon!


  • music

    Music Monday: Shake It Off

    Never thought I’d say it, but I can’t help liking Taylor’s new song, especially with such a fun video. When life throws crappy situations at you, the best thing to do really is to shake it off. Also, having fun dancing is a great way to improve your mood.

    Side note: how amazing are all these dancers?

    Side side note: I want Taylor’s cat shirt from the opening barre scene.

  • books,  cooking,  food,  product review,  recipes,  vegan,  vegetarian

    Vegan Holiday Cooking from Candle Cafe (book review)

    'Vegan Holiday Cooking from the Candle Cafe' (book review)(Disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. However I was not compensated for writing this review and as always all opinions are my own.)

    Vegan holiday cooking doesn’t have to be hard; it can be fun and tasty and please everyone at the table, meat-eaters and gourmands included! This book makes it simple. Crafted by the chefs at the trio of Candle eateries in New York City, this cookbook is divided up into ten menus: Super Bowl (or gametime recipes), Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, Passover, Easter, Cindo de Mayo, Fourth of July barbecue, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. At first glance covering so many different holidays throughout the year might seem a little odd: many cookbooks only focus on the traditional trifecta of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

    However, there’s always been a big gap between the recipes available for non-vegan vs. vegan holiday cooking. I get a variety of magazines that feature seasonally-themed recipes and entertaining guides, and they’re seldom easy to adapt to a vegan table. Easter is all about eggs; Memorial Day and Fourth of July barbecues mean burgers; game time means cheesy nachos; and so on. This cookbook gives you recipes for those events and more.

    Plus, lots of the recipes feature here would be great for everyday dinners and will impress even your non-vegan friends. Black bean tacos? Sweet fried dumplings? Roasted squash soup? All would be easy enough to whip up for a weeknight dinner yet look and feel fancy enough for a special occasion.

    Lots of big, bright photos will make you hungry just flipping through this book. The recipes are laid out in an easy-to-follow format and the ingredient lists are largely made up of items that can be found at any well-stocked grocery store. (A few, like seitan or arrowroot powder, will require a trip to a natural health food store.)

    This cookbook is a must for anyone who loves entertaining, whether you’re totally new to the world of vegan holiday cooking or are a seasoned pro. There are even seasonally appropriate cocktail recipes, and of course some cookie recipes for the Christmas cookie exchange! Yum!

    Vegan Holiday Cooking from Candle Cafe (hardcover, 176 pages), by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos and Jorge Pineda. Published 2014 by Ten Speed Press. Genre: cooking, vegan food, entertaining. Five out of five stars.

  • Thought Questions

    Thought Questions, #190-#196

    Wheat fields in sunlight

    (photo by Nigel Lo via Unsplash)

    #190: What will you never do? Wear fur.

    #191: Excluding romantic relationships, who do you love? My family and my pets.

    #192: What is your earliest childhood memory? Probably hiking in the forest near our home or loading up on books from the Bookmobile when it stopped at the park in our little town. The outdoors and reading–obviously two of my favorite things.

    #193: What book has had the greatest influence on your life? The Art of Happiness. It’s really changed the way I look at everyday situations and setbacks.

    #194: What three questions do you wish you knew the answers to? What happens after we die? (Everyone has a theory, but obviously no one can prove it for certain.) When will I die? What will the world look like over the next 100 years?

    #195: What is the greatest peer pressure you’ve ever felt? Hmm. I avoid people in general and tend to only make friends with people whose viewpoints I respect, so I can’t say I’ve felt a lot of peer pressure in life. I guess I do get a lot of pushback for being a vegan. People seem determined to convert me to eating meat.

    #196: What’s the biggest lie you once believed was true? For years I told myself I’d never be able to juggle writing full-time while also working full-time, and still have a life. But with willpower and time management, I’m making it happen.