Saturday, July 26, 2014

{Video} Petit Vour Unboxing July 2014- Luxury Vegan and Cruelty-free Beauty Products

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I think I've found my subscription box soul mate.

It's elegant... and pink.  It contains amazing products, that I don't have to think twice about what's on their ingredient list.  And it was named after one of my favorite confections ever... petit fours.

I stumbled across a blog post a few weeks ago reviewing this box, and my first thought was... all this for just $15?  And my second thought was... I need to check this out, now.

And a week later, a box of "small & temptingly luxurious cruelty-free products" (just like the small and decorated petit four dessert- with the F changed out for V for vegan) arrived at my door.  And yes, it was love at first sight.

Watch on to see my unboxing and even more tips and thoughts on the products...

Luxury Vegan Beauty Box- $15/mo.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

{Video} 3 Quick Vegetarian Dinners 7/23/14- Lasagna Petals, Roasted Veggie Pasta, Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Casserole #3DinnersAWeek

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This week I decided to switch it up a bit and focus on three vegetarian dinners... and they did not disappoint.  

My newest Lasagna Petal recipe offered a sweet richness that came together quicker than your typical lasagna.  And it was fun experimenting with roasting green beans, something I'd never tried before.  And just like other vegetables, roasting really brought out their flavor.  And finally, the Spinach Artichoke Quinoa was a nice change from our regular rice... and a whole lot healthier than spinach artichoke dip.  Even my guy loved it and went back for seconds.

So, watch on to see how these all came together, and to learn more about 3 Dinners a Week, click here.


Day 1:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

{Video} Trader Joe's Vegetarian Haul + 2 Weeks of Dinner Meal Plans with Recipe Links

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Back when I lived in Santa Barbara, one of my first "real" jobs was an Office Manager for Culligan Water... and yes, saying "hey, Culligan Man" still makes me smile.  Not only were the owners cool to work for, but they really believed in taking care of their employees.  Great pay, flowers for special occasions, and handing me their credit card and sending me off to Trader Joe's each week to buy food for the office.  I'd come back with boxes loaded up with soups, crackers and cookies, granola bars and other snacks... and the employees were happy.  And it was good.

And then I moved to the South, and guess what?  Trader Joe's stores started popping up here too... and it was very good.

These past few months I've been making the transition to healthier, organic foods.  And these last few weeks I've even started to eliminate meat, thanks to the fact that most of my food allergies have cleared up, and I'm now able to eat things that I haven't been able to for over 20 years... like carrots, and broccoli, and apples.

I've missed them so much, they're like dessert to me!

And while some might think this lifestyle might be very expensive, I've found that even with buying mostly organic foods, my grocery bills have gone down significantly.  First, due to knowing how to coupon at stores like and Earth Fare (click each for couponing tips).  And also, taking advantage of the great prices at Trader Joe's... no coupons needed.

So, if you're thinking of adding some Meatless Mondays into your menu.  Or, if you're wanting to give a plant-based diet a try, here are two weeks of menus to help get you started with new flavors, textures, and recipe ideas.

And make sure and watch the quick video above, to see exactly what I got, and how I plan on putting together all my meals.

Week 1 Dinners:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Spinach Ricotta and Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna Petals- the basics and the accessories

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This is my third recipe for Lasagna Petals.  Which, to you, might seem a bit odd.  But to me, pretty much fits my personality perfectly.  If something works... stick with it.  

Like buying my favorite pair of pointy toe heels in black, brown, and don't forget red.  Or, revisiting the sale rack the next day to buy three more of those pencil skirts to have on backup for the next three seasons.  Or always keeping my top five in stock... lemons, cilantro, goat cheese, frozen peas and vidalia onions.  I've been blessed with the gift of decisiveness (and some might even say practicality- thanks Mom) ... at least when it comes to the basics.

Never stray too far from the basics, yet add just enough creativity and pop with accessories to keep things interesting.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Garbanzo Bean Salad Sandwich- and how eating Vegetarian the last two weeks has helped me taste clearer

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I've always found it unusual that people who were trying to eat less meat, would then fill up their freezer and fridge with chicken strips that weren't really made of chicken, crumbled ground "beef," and don't even get me started on tofu turkey.  All overly processed, "creatively" seasoned, and in the end...a far cry from anything that truly tasted like, or even resembled a big, juicy steak. 

So, as I've been re-exploring the wonderful world of Vegetarianism the last two weeks (although, I'm certainly no where near a complete non-meat eater yet, and don't know that I'd ever really want to be, either), I've been taking full advantage of some of the "perks" that were pretty much prohibited on my previous low-carb-for-over-20-years diet.  Delighting in the fact that I can now eat starchy potatoes with absolutely no guilt.  And that I can enjoy sandwiches as often as I'd like... with actual bread.  I've even grown to like (no, adore) using more of the salad veggies, and less of the lettuce... without the hassle of preparing and cleaning up after meat- especially chicken, which honestly has always grossed me out a bit.