Life Lately | Where Was I?

Howdy folks!

I’m back to blogging again! I don’t really know if taking a week off is always the best thing for me, because I never truly stop writing posts. I think I make the decisions so I won’t rush into anything and schedule it just so I have something going up that day of the week.

I haven’t done a Life Lately post in so long and it’s a little weird that I got out of habit of doing those types of posts every other month because they were so therapeutic to write, but I’ve been dealing with some really personal things lately and I didn’t think they were appropriate to put up on here. I’ve told some of my online friends about what’s been going on, but they’ve always made it a safe environment for me to come clean–not saying you guys don’t or anything–so that’s the reason why I’ve been so hush-hush about everything.

I’m only going to say that my mom has had two surgeries. One was on her the right side of her neck back in June, a few weeks before Blondie and Brandon’s wedding. And recently she had her second surgery, this time it was bigger and on her stomach. Considering it took me about 12 years to be able to tell everyone the details surrounding my back surgeries, you might have to wait a while so I can get all of the information straight because I feel I have left out quite a bit of details by discussing it with friends, so I apologize if you were wanting a little more, that’s all I’m ready to say for the time being.

While my mom recovered in the hospital for the first surgery for about a day, I spent two days with my sister and brother-in-law. We made mom and dad cupcakes and Brandon and I watched two of the Christian Bale Batman films. The second surgery was a lot bigger compared to the last, so we had to find another place for me to go, because Blondie started her new job back in August, she couldn’t take a full week (or two weeks as it became later) off or Brandon for that matter.

So where was I?

I was at my mom’s work. The same place where my nana now lives. What is surprising though, is that it was my suggestion because we were literally running out of options. I remembered when she told me about a resident at her last job that stayed there every other month to give their parents a little bit of a break. My mom and I were talking one evening and I just brought it up in the middle of our conversation. I think she was more shocked than anything else that I had suggested it. Mom and dad had discussed it amongst themselves but wanted to leave it as a last resort.

So I was supposed to stay there for three days before spending the weekend with Blondie and Brandon. I was a little scared at first, because this is a BIG thing for me! I mean, I’m in my mid-20s spending time at a nursing home while my parents stay in a hospital, but I knew that I was in a place where I was watched by both professionals and my grandmother and I would be fine.

The following Tuesday, I was supposed to go home but poor dad ended up getting sick and we think it was all of the stress of mom having surgery, taking her home and then me coming home on top of that, that everything just kind of came at him all once and his body reacted in the only way it knows how basically, so I stayed there for four more extra days and I really enjoyed it. Mom had told everybody not to spoil me, but that didn’t necessarily work out well for her!

I played Bingo three times and experienced a very adorable theme dinner, called Serenade At The Seven Seas and our tables in the dining rooms were decorated with blue feathered vases (which nana and I helped put together, while listening to Josh Groban) and fish nets and life rafts all around the walls. I ate a lot of food that I don’t necessarily eat at home like Seafood Bisque and Duke Wellington (it was my favorite!) and as our desserts, we had Creme Brule, but I didn’t really like it, because I forgot it is made of custard! I had to explain to nana how it was made and then I realized how much knowledge I’ve been gaining watching all of those food shows on TV!

I had a lot of fun with nana and all of her friends on the hall she lives on. They were all very sweet ladies, not at all what you’re expecting these elderly women are supposed to be, however I will say not everyone is all sunshine and roses, but is anyone really? I really enjoyed being in everyone’s company and seeing both Uncle David, who surprised both of us! I was busy reading by the couch and I saw him walking and I raised my head to smile like I’ve been doing but when people came into that area, after he walked by I went to put my head down, my brain went, “wait…” and as that moment passed he was already over to nana, who was also busy reading the newspaper that I realized it was David. We went outside and got some pictures by his semi and he ate lunch with us! It was a nice visit. And then later, I had my own visitor. My dad’s cousin Amanda came to see me, and brought me a slushie from McDonald’s. She didn’t stay as long but it was nice to see her too!

So yeah, now I’m at home trying to figure what all I’m going to write up for the rest of November! I hoped you enjoyed this little update and I wanted to thank the ones who sent my mom positive thoughts and prayers during both surgeries! And thank you to the ones who allowed me to just vent in between both times too!

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Favorite Scents

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Howdy!

So I wanted to talk about my favorite scents today. I literally feel at times like a damn bloodhound because I smell so many things! I can literally get up in the middle of the night and smell something my dad is cooking from the kitchen through the vent. Sometimes I can come out of deep sleep because I can smell something so heavenly!

We’re not going to talk about food scents necessarily in this post, however as you will notice quickly, I have nothing against them! I do love the smell of pumpkin, apple and cinnamon in the fall! Even though I’m not into the whole pumpkin spice lattes or apple pies at Thanksgiving! The only reason why I’m perfectly fine with cinnamon in general is that it makes me think of cinnamon rolls and that’s my #1 favorite breakfast item.

My mom and sister do have their favorite baking scents though. My sister got mom into this Wild Berry Cheesecake and the first time Blondie had it going around in the apartment it wasn’t so bad because she has a big living room so it has room to breathe really, but at our house it only has the living room and kitchen, it can get very overwhelming at times! My dad can’t handle very many sweet smells so this doesn’t mix well with him and it doesn’t make me feel good either when she’s put a whole cube inside the burner. The other one that Blondie likes to use is this Brownie Pecan and it actually really good, but mom and dad absolutely hate it!

My mom had a Scentsy burner that she didn’t really use and we have one in living room, plus a couple of smelly candles – those are mostly used in case of emergencies though! This other burner is now by my window. I don’t use it a lot, but every once in a while I like to put it on and it kind of soothes me throughout the day. I actually like the fruit scents. I don’t know why I gravitate towards them so much but they’re those kind of scents that help generate cravings. I have enough cravings as it is, so different fruits are good to keep me and my stomach neutralize, plus it helps my dad as well!

One day my mom was washing my hair and she used this mango shampoo and it smelled divine! Ahh, I was seriously addicted to it. I could have done without the champagne layer it had but you could mostly smell the mangoes. And I’m not really into mangoes, I’ve only just tried them a few months ago! They’re not bad! So when I found out my parents were going to the store one afternoon I had them try and find me a mango scent to put into my burner and they find this Peach and Mango Citrus blend.  My dad was the one who found it as my mom couldn’t find anything that was just mango. Luckily, I do love peaches so it works too!

One of the most used is the Sangria scent. I really like this one! It’s not a strong scent but I don’t try to use a whole cube because I like to close my door throughout the day and since it’ll only get colder I tend to keep my window locked as well, so mom only puts a small chunk of it and it usually lasts about a week before I need to add more in the little bowl. I know it has berries in it, because a regular sangria does have berries, but it’s not over-ly berry, it’s actually kind of musky too. It’s very subtle but I don’t know if it’s just because I don’t use a lot of it at one time or if it’s just a mild scent in general.

On the day I decided to work on this post, I put up a status on my Facebook asking one of the questions I have below and I got a lot of interesting answers. I knew about the good things about lavender but I had a few people say both coconuts and peppermint. I thought that was pretty interesting too!

What are your favorite scents? Do you change with the seasons? Is there a smell that you think companies should create?

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Finding Your Purpose

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Hello! 🙂

I watched a movie. well I’ve been watching a lot of different films lately. If you read my 2016 and 2017 “coming soon” movie lists; from the end of July to the start of September I have seen over ten movies! Here are a few I’ve seen: Star Trek: Beyond, Me Before You, Arrival, Jackie and most recently Wonder Woman

There was also one movie that I hadn’t wanted to see until I was scrolling through my movie guide and I read the description of it. I thought the concept of two different people and two stories discussing the same subject: food was interesting, but I thought it must’ve been a pain in the ass to write the scripts and make sure they made sense to production agencies, editors, directors, and the cast themselves!

Anybody seen Julie & Julia before?

Now I know it’s technically an older movie, but I watched it for the first time on September 3rd, and I watched it with sleepy eyes because even though I ate two granola bars that morning, I was supposed to go back to sleep afterwards. In my defense, I had actually gotten some good sleep that night and didn’t really feel like going back to bed and I knew this was sitting in my DVR waiting for me.

I watched it not really knowing if I’d really like it, but still I took my chances only because I’m slightly becoming obsessed with Amy Adams. She plays Julie Powell, a young women who works at a government job. She has a husband named Eric and a cute ginger cat that I’ve named “Simon” for this post. The film follows her trying to find her purpose in the world, her friends are moving up in the world and she’s just there. However you also have the story of the infamous French chef Julia Child, before she was ever Julia Child. She and her husband Paul worked for the government during World War II and while Paul was working for the embassy, they sent him and his wife to live in Paris. She fell in love with it, but she didn’t know what exactly to do with herself there.

These two characters go outside their comfortable zones. Julie decides she is going to create a blog and use Julia Child’s Mastering The Art Of French Cooking and cook her way through the book itself for a whole year. So that’s 365 days and 254 recipes. And while she does this, Julia starts at the Le Cordon Bleu and excels in the advanced courses where it’s all men. Both women fall deeply in love with French food and they let it rule their lives basically. Julie is asked to be interviewed for newspapers, magazines, etc and Julia and her friends Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholie decide they’re going to write a book for the “serventless” cooks in America.

Of course, I loved the movie because it was about a blogger. I follow a lot of food bloggers, and then you have the travel and food bloggers which just floor me! I’d love to be able to travel to different place, eat and blog about it at the same time. You feel the need to bow down to some of these people if they also have full time jobs and are making time in their day or losing sleep at night to create their new blog posts to share with their followers from all over the world.

I also thought like the movie itself was a wake up call for me too. I have often felt like I have no purpose in the life. I’m just going through motions of what I do everyday. I’m co-dependent because of my disability and that definitely doesn’t help. I also don’t finish anything I start just like Julie, that is until I started my blog. As you read at the top, I watched the film in early September. And here it is October? Something feels off here, doesn’t it?

Well, today is my 8th anniversary of blogging! Yup, that’s right. It’s been EIGHT years since I fell in love with blogging in my Grammar classroom. I sat on the right side close to the door and the light would slightly flicker throughout most of the semester before one morning I rolled in and noticed my side of the room was very bright! We were given these tiny little laptops and shown how to create our very first blogs on Blogger and we’d do our assignments on there every other day before the final day of class where we had the option of keeping the blog or deleting it forever. I still don’t know why I kept it because I didn’t think I had really fallen in love with it since we only used it for three months.

Two years later, I created this blog so apparently I liked enough to continue writing out my thoughts and feelings for the entire world to see. However, again I had no direction. I didn’t know what a lifestyle blog was, nor did I really think if I wrote about the ins and outs of the life of a disabled woman would be acceptable, but I just felt the need to write all the time.

Unfortunately, I have had many burn outs; days where I’ve felt I was doing wasn’t mattering at all. The quote “if you don’t like something, change it” would pop up every once (or sometimes twice) a month and I’d try to escape into the darkness for comfort. It’s hard to see that quote and not say, “you’re not living in my situation though” because for somebody with a physical disability of some sort and always needing somebody to help you just destroys whatever you really want to do. It’s easy to say those words, so I understand what Julie was going through in the movie.

I’ve been offered opportunities because I’ve kept up with blogging as a whole. I’m slow from August to October from previous depression spells that happened years ago. I always try to finish what I start and if I can’t, I basically want to wrap myself in my Transformers blanket, cry my eyes out and finally disappear. That is, until the next day and I flip that blanket off and turn my TV to the music channels and sign into my social media accounts to say “good morning” to my Twitter followers while casually look on my dashboard on WordPress and look at my stats and check to see if I have any notifications on my second tab.

Everytime I feel like I’m going to be behind on the month, I still manage to pull something out of my ass. Don’t worry, if there are posts I don’t end up liking after I’ve written them, I’ve trashed them either a week or two days before. It’s happened people! The life of a blogger is literally “Write. Photos. Edit. Schedule. Eat. Sleep.” And it revolves like that for most of the week, especially if you’re like me, who doesn’t have a job or a husband. That’s where I differ from both Julie and Julia, but I do have parents, sister, brother-in-law, nana, and nine cats that seem to appericate what I write and are always willing to help capture the essence of the moment. Blondie posts the pictures and I steal and publish them on here. I think that’s called teamwork my friends!

Is it crazy to think in exactly two years, I’ll be blogging for 10 years?! Isn’t that nutty?! Hopefully we’ll get there! Oh, and since I’m always watching the cooking shows, if I ever decide to start writing recipes of a cookbook, I’d either do something by Giada de Laurentiis or Ree Drummond (who also started out blogging too!). I like pasta and simplicity And yes, I dream of changing different recipes that use mushrooms in it, because they are disgusting! Yuck!

Anyways, I’m finished. Thank you for the lovely eight years of blogging even if you’ve only recently started reading this blog, that’s better than nothing! You give me a purpose to wake up in the morning honestly. 🙂
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Still Coloring Easter Eggs!

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Hello!

When I wrote this post, for some odd reason I got confused and thought Easter was this coming Sunday. Thankfully, I caught my mistake early enough that I could change it beforehand!

Easter is no longer like a celebrated holiday in my household, mostly because my sister and I are grown up, she lives in her own apartment with her own fur babies and yeah, I’m just here. However, I do love being surprised with different candies, or like that one year, my mom just went and bought me a whole Easter basket that the three of us devoured in like a week and a half later! So the moral of the story is, we don’t usually do the normal things you do for the actual day like some families.

Every once in a while though, my mom and I get a hankering for hard boiled eggs (only a week after I publish my “veganism” post I write about this – sorry!) Easter is the one day of the year that having two cartons of fairly large decorated eggs is essential. She asked me two Sunday’s ago if nana and I would be interested in painting some eggs and since we’ve both had other projects going on, I just had her ask nana if she wanted to do it too. She agreed to do them as long as mom bought us some new dyes and hard boiled the eggs for us because she can’t, of course!

This isn’t going to be my regular DIY post either considering we didn’t make our own dyes!

I believe we had fun though! It was definitely easier putting them into each bowl of colors – which were pink, blue, yellow, orange and green. Towards the end though, my nana wanted to experiment and poured about half of the blue and yellow into an extra bowl we had in a drawer and so we had another darker shade of green to use, unfortunately at the time we had created this color we were running out of eggs! So we only got to decorate one egg in that color. It was a pretty though! My mom also forgot to only use water in the pink dye as that’s what the directions she had read only five seconds before pouring the vinegar into the bowl. The hue was a nice light color though, almost looks like maid-of-honor dress!

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Getting the eggs out of the bowls that my mom filled up basically to the top was difficult. I was the one putting them in until we realized that my feet were turning blue and green very quickly! So I gave the reins to nana, who could use both of her hands to lift them out safely! We were putting them into a small pan with a paper towel on top so they would be dry before laying them back into the cartons, but towards the end I just didn’t care that my toes were changing colors, despite having a shower the night before, I just started pulling them out and back into the carton.

I don’t think there is a real age where you should stop coloring Easter eggs! I find it cute when nursing homes have their residents do it. They could relive their memories of doing it with their families too! I think my nana got a real thrill for it even though we were both hoping (and praying) to God that nobody fell on the floor and cracked! Speaking about the two of us and the eggs!

Do you still color Easter eggs? Why or why don’t you?

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Nana’s Birthday Fun!

Hi 🙂

It’s been a while since I’ve actually done a big family weekend post! I’ve been wanting to keep some things private, since my papaw’s passing I’ve been really cherishing the time with them and usually we’re not even taking pictures of what we’ve been doing, so that’s the other reason why you haven’t seen a lot lately!

My cousin Taylor and his mom, my Aunt Laurie have spring break the last week of March, where it goes into April. This has always been such a blessing because my nana’s birthday is during the first few days of the month so they get to come down without having to worry about going back to work two days later! They came down without Mike, because he still had to work and that part sucked! They also brought their dog Mila, she’s a lab/German Shepard mix if I haven’t said that yet! I don’t think I have though! She’s such a sweetie and since my aunt and uncle are deaf, she has to be very alert to know what they are saying, and yes she does know sign language. It’s so cute!

They came down on Saturday afternoon, they enjoyed their alone time with my nana. Poor Laurie and Taylor were put to work after a bit after they got there I think. The last time they came down, everybody brought down like 10 drawers from upstairs and throughout both February and March, my nana and I have been slowly getting through them. For the most part, we cleared out I think five big drawers and a smaller one. I moved them into papaw’s room as she finished each one so we had more room to move around in the living room. Thankfully, I had physical therapy in the last two months so my strength was back in full force and I could lift these without having back and neck problems!

I had them folded on their sides and stacked on top of each other in my papaw’s room! I had never left more like Supergirl until I did this! They were heavy, but not as we expected them to be! So when Laurie arrived, she had Taylor carry them back upstairs and now we only have two left and that is mostly DAR and genealogy stuff! Other than that, the living room is as good as new!

On Sunday, my nana had some extra guests come over. She basically had everybody in her family come down, as Rick and Linda were down on Saturday for lunch! David, Katt, my cousin Kristi came down as a surprise, they’re really good at that! Kristi came bearing her almost three-month old “baby” boy Joseph! My nana has been dying to meet this little guy, along the rest of us too! I didn’t know she had come down with them until I was in the car with Blondie, Brandon and Chipper in the McDonald’s drive thru! Unfortunately I can’t hold babies, it really sucks but since he was like under 20 pounds, my thighs are okay with it!

I have asked Kristi if I could share a picture of him, and she said yes, so you guys get to meet the little ham!

We didn’t stay very long as my mom had to work that weekend so when she finally came over, she was very tired and I think only stayed over less than an hour! It was okay since we came back the next day, but David, Katt, Kristi and little Joe went home that afternoon!

On Monday, it was somewhat of a blur, especially in my mind! That’s the one bad thing about family gatherings, is that sometimes my conscience goes in and out, so I tend to forget things that went on if it’s longer than two days! I do remember taking lots of pictures, I will have two DIY projects coming soon! One is a combination of Easter/spring, but the other was somewhat of a surprise. It was more of my nana’s idea, she originally wanted video of it but I figured it would be more than a minute so we compromised and I will blog it instead! I think you guys will like it!

The whole weekend we were expected to get some bad storms, but they kept going to the next day and the next. Our weather is very bipolar here in the Midwest! Since we never got the storms, we went outside a couple of times. I tried to take pictures but it was very bright and I don’t do enough roaming around on the sidewalk that I didn’t feel safe moving a lot plus the bottom of my foot didn’t like the feel of the concrete, so I only managed to get one picture before heading back inside! My mom and Aunt Laurie put up her new bird feeder that Uncle Mike made for her! It’s very cool, unfortunately I do not have a tutorial for that, sorry!

And then finally on Tuesday, we did something that we don’t normally do! In our hometown, there’s a new restaurant called Cakes & Coffee Cafe and they always have their specials of the day hanging outside the building and so whenever my mom and I drive by we always look at their specials! It’s become our thing now! We finally went there to eat and check it out and I was very happy!

The building was a bank for decades before it laid empty for most of my childhood. We moved into the area when I was like six years old and we’ve also driven past it and it looks so modern up against these older buildings, that have been there since the town was established in the early 1800s! It was now owned by a family friend Randy. I always thought it would be smaller once inside, because it just sort of gives you that illusion that it would have a small interior.

Once you walk in, the amount of space grabs you and then you look around at all of the back and white pictures of how the town used to look like was intoxicating! It was like a mini museum and I couldn’t get enough! We have a well-known celebrity that was born and raised here and it is baseball legend Gil Hodges; there were pictures and a huge plaster head of him hanging above a doorway, but the main attraction is the vault. They still have that little room and the giant door! The space and walls have become a place where you can write your name on! So before we all left, we signed it and my nana had a ball! We even got our pictures done in the actual vault!

This was what I got, just your normal biscuits and gravy with a little cup of fresh fruit! I made the mistake of not asking for a kid’s cup for my drink beforehand because when it arrived to our table, we all looked at like “uh oh!” but surprisingly I could reach it but next time, we’ll be asking for a small cup!

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My nana aka “the birthday girl” got the special of the day which was Turkey Manhattan. She let me have a bite of it and it was good! My mom and Aunt Laurie got a chicken salad on a croissant, like a real croissant! They ordered German potato salad as their side! Taylor went in the same route as I did and got breakfast too. He got pancakes and managed to finish his before any of us! That’s a growing boy for you!

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After we got back to the house, it was time for cake and my Aunt Laurie made a chocolate cake with rainbow sprinkles! Everybody had a small slice of cake and I obviously was too full from my meal because I didn’t eat very much of my piece. I didn’t even have any ice cream!

One of the last things we did was play a couple of rounds of UNO. I have owed my cousin Taylor two rounds of it since November and I managed to win twice but when Laurie joined, she won the next one and then my nana played the last game and Laurie won again! My poor nana still doesn’t know the symbols on the cards, and can barely figure out the colors so she made it kind of interesting and hilarious for all of us! I’m still shocked that I won at all! I literally never win at UNO! I think Taylor was probably surprised too!

I think it was a good weekend with my family! Apparently so good that Tuesday night I crashed so hard that I laid on one side of my bed for six hours straight! And then when my mom woke me up before she went to work the next morning, she gave me another muscle relaxer and I crashed again, waking up at 12:35pm, but I didn’t care!

I apologize for the pictures below, my mom’s camera has been making them kind of grainy in a strange way! 

How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun and exciting?!

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Why We Need A Vegan On TV!

Howdy!

This is going to be a little different then what you’re used to seeing me talk about on here.

I will admit that I am fascinated about a lot of things, whether it’s the moon, babies or cats, I am pretty much into learning about almost everything! However, there are two things that I’ve somewhat driven myself berserk as far as educating myself on. I am obsessed with history, we all know that. If there is an European History category on Jeopardy there’s a 50/50 chance I’m either going to do a decent job or bomb it. The second one is that I am really into food. In 2014, I discovered the Cooking Network channel on accident while hiding in my parent’s room because there was either a cricket/mouse in there! Don’t ask, you don’t want to know trust me!

One thing that I has been growing within me is my knowledge about the vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free worlds. I’ve been very proud of myself on how much I know on all three types. If you’re unfamiliar with the terms: vegan is a person who chooses to eat things without dairy, whereas vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat. Of course, there are similar terms that sometimes go along with these two like paleo which is considered like “caveman” lifestyle, there’s no sugar, wheat, or dairy and there’s also pescetarian and this is someone who only eats fish. And of course, the last one is gluten-free and this is for a person who cannot have any sort of grains. I hope I haven’t confused you! For a while, my mom and I had arguments that vegan and vegetarian meant the same thing!

You’re going to think this is probably hypocritical of me, but unfortunately I am not a vegan, vegetarian, etc! As much as I support the people who do live that lifestyle, I doubt that I’ll ever be able to switch over. Why? I have a father who believes you should have some kind of meat in all of your meals, mostly because this was how he was raised. I do have to say though, I am very slowly cutting out sausage, pork (it’s his favorite), and steak. Sausage is just obvious, I now know what they put in there, but pork and steak though funnily enough get caught in parts of my teeth and I have a rough time chewing!

I have tried gluten-free products before! My Aunt Linda is allergic to gluten and cannot have a lot of breads, which I found out later on that it’s actually caused by heat. The more you work with dough and the more heat draws into it and activities in a way, sort of like yeast! There was one family gathering a few years ago, where she brought down a couple of dishes, (some she had made herself and others that were mircowavable) and there was a “mac” and cheese dish that made out of rice! I was fairly intrigued with the whole thing and I think this is what started me on the path to find out more about all of it!

However, most of the information I’ve been able to figure out has only came from two separate places: internet (mostly blogs and YouTube videos) but one television show! One! Food Network has all of these competition shows and yet, I haven’t seen a vegan or gluten-free cook have their own show! As far as I know Mario Batali is vegetarian and he still cooks with meat, but still there has not been one person who is vegan or gluten-free and has a show based off of that kind of lifestyle yet.

A lot of people are uneducated about the plant-based diets we now have popping up all over the place! So I thought to myself, why don’t I go on a hunt to find some worthy bloggers or YouTube personalities that would be great for TV and who create some amazing dishes for people who want something different in their bodies!

Kalel

Kalel was basically the first person I really saw as a “true” vegan/vegeterian. Her personality is considered very Californian, plus she is a bit of a potty mouth, but that being said I think if she was able to she would be great as a chef on TV! I found her vegan taste tests as both entertaining and interesting as I’ve only known the alternatives for cheese. I like knowing the varies kinds of “milks” that can be used to create these vegan cheeses such as cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts! I managed to blow my Uncle Rick’s mind when I told him about it, but I think I’m actually going to need to give him a bite of it so I can say “see! I wasn’t lying!”

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The Little Blog Of Vegan

Holly Jade is one of the “newest” vegans I’ve been following on the blogosphere! She’s the only one of this list who just has a blog as her sharing platform plus a number of different publications on websites and magazines. I’ve been enjoying her posts lately. One of my guilty pleasures is going on the desserts section! She’s one of those people who had to change what she ate over health concerns! She’s also not just a vegan, she also supports cruelty free products too!

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Niomi Smart

Niomi was technically the third vegan/vegetarian that I got into, but I don’t watch a lot of her videos, however she’s the only one on this list who has released her first cookbook! I don’t want to she’s the best bet to get a food show because I think there are others who deserve a shot at it too! Niomi is a very respected vegan in her own right and has some very interesting recipes!

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The V Nice Life 

Sarah is another “new” one to me. Since I’d rather watch these “What I Ate Wednesday” or “What I Eat In A Day” videos on YouTube, finding actual bloggers that take great pictures and have appealing recipes is somewhat harder for me to do. I am more about visual, which is the reason why I record about 4 different food shows during the week, but Sarah is both a blogger and YouTuber like Niomi. So I think she would be a neat chef or baker for a cooking show too! She has a more subtle voice so she’s not obnoxious which is great for not only me, but maybe everyone else too!

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One of the main reasons why I wanted to write this post is that I tend to bottle things up inside and in my household, I’m not able to create any of my own meals. It’s definitely something that I would like to do one day, but would I ever consider going vegan someday? This is a very interesting proposition because I think I would like to try pescetarian first mostly because I’m already losing my love of meat in general. I think gradually I would try to eliminate my dairy intake but right now it doesn’t seem like a possibility but I often wonder if any vegans out there ever thought they wouldn’t be able to live without certain foods too. I’m pretty sure they have had those thoughts in the beginning of the transiting phase!

What do you think about veganism? Don’t be mean to others or my choices above, but I would like to hear your opinions!

snowflake

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Milk Chocolate Oreo Bark

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Howdy folks!

So you’ve heard about the cookies, now I get to talk about the chocolate bark!

Now before I get too into this post, I have to say, we’ve never made anything from scratch–my nana and I–we mostly use the packaged stuff mostly because that doesn’t require much from us or anything else! I’ve always wanted to make food and/or desserts from scratch though, I watch Food Network all the time and they kind of inspire that side of me to go into my nana’s kitchen and learn to make things homemade, but unfortunately I’m too short to reach the oven and she even has trouble using her stove!

I kept seeing things on TV about how easy it is to make chocolate bark via the microwave, so I thought it was doable between my nana and I knew she wouldn’t go to use a double boiler to melt a bowl of chocolate! I thought about it for maybe three months and then I finally said something to her about it at the end of November and she thought it was a good idea and something new to put inside the goody bags too!

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Things you will need:

  • 1 bag of chocolate chips
  • 1 package of Oreos
  • Cookie sheet
  • Wax paper
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Spatula
  • Microwavable bowls

We had my mom go to the store a few days before and I guess she couldn’t find Nestle milk chocolate chips, so that’s why you can’t find them in the picture above! I missed it, I couldn’t get it all in one shot! Sorry about that!

I gave my nana different recipes for the two variations of bark we were going to do, but don’t get too excited here! Like I had mentioned in the cookie post on Monday, my poor nana had fallen in the middle of the night and by the time we were doing this, she was very sore and had been dealing with some back spasms so the fact we managed to get through this one was a damn miracle!

Anyways, the Oreo bark originally asks for white chocolate chips but I thought that since we were going to use the white chocolate for the peppermint bark then maybe we could use milk chocolate chips instead! I’m leaving the original recipe here if you want to read it word-by-word but it’s honestly pretty easy! We decided to do the prep before we went to the melting stage, so we put half of the Oreos into a Ziploc baggy and closed it up before I grabbed a mallet that my papaw used to scare us with as kids, he used to ask us if we had a spanking lately! Anyways, it was very heavy but I felt like Thor as I managed to lift upright and crush the cookies to smaller pieces! It was quite fun actually!

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It said to crush them so that they’re coarse but I still wanted everyone to taste the Oreos and “cream” inside so I deliberately left a few big chunks here and there!

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After I got the cookies crushed, we moved on to the actual chocolate and my nana had to do this because I’m sure if I would have done it, the bowl would have flipped over and the chocolate would have landed on the floor!

We were fairly confused on what to do about the chocolate because it said to measure 1 cup. We put it into our bowl and you’re supposed to follow the directions on the back of the package on how long to melt them in the microwave, which I’ve always heard on Food Network is that you put it in for 30 seconds and then stir it around to get it melted better and if it needs to melt some more, you put it back in for another 30 seconds. Well, the package said 60 seconds and by the fifth time nana took it out of the microwave we realized that maybe the bag was right. When we got to the second cup, we put it in for the correct time! My fault!

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Once we got to this point, I think it’s fair to say my nana was over it. When she put our first batch of melted chocolate out on the cookie sheet, we put the Oreos on top of it, but then for the second she just poured the chocolate into the crumbs and that seemed to work better than what we had done the first time around…

When we were finished with everything and it was all into the sheet, we put it into refrigerator for about an hour or so! Somehow we managed to distract ourselves enough to not mess with it. When my Aunt Laurie came down, she brought her batch of peppermint bark and chocolate covered pretzels and she and nana stacked all three treats together with some parchment paper and some red yarn and put some in everyone’s goody bags! Everybody seemed to love the crap out of them which made me really happy, but I think I will never get nana to do this again!

So, are you a homemade or pre-cooked type of person? Should I suggest to fudge next year? 

snowflake

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