BATH PRODUCTS I USE // VEGAN + CRUELTY FREE

Recently I’ve discovered SO many bath products at Target that are vegan AND cruelty free! It’s become such a convenient place to shop as well as affordable! All of these products shown were under $10 which is such a steal. Go to Target, NOW!vegprod.jpgI like to switch up my shampoos and when I do, it’s one of these two! I also have the conditioner that goes with these, however, I don’t like using it because I find that it really tangles and dries my hair! My hair is quite thick though as well as long, so it definitely has to do with the type of hair that you have. I LOVE the shampoos, though, and the smell is heavenly. The lemon one is obviously for clarifying so I only use the once a week. (I generally wash my hair every 3 days or so, so both shampoos are actually used equally.)vegproddddd.jpgThis lavender shampoo is my absolute favorite. The smell is so dreamy and it makes my hair super soft. veganproddddddddThis is the conditioner I use every single time I wash my hair. Like most people, I only apply it midway down my hair to the ends, and because this one is super rich and moisturizing, you’ll definitely want to make sure you do just that! I find that this goes perfectly with the shampoos that I use and adds the perfect balance to my hair. Combing my hair when I get out is a BREEZE with this product. vegproddveganprodddd.jpgNow, you guys…… This body wash is everything. The peppermint and the eucalyptus create a cooling sensation on your skin which is surprisingly pleasant, especially with the hot water! The smell (as I’ve said about every product thus far) is also wonderful. It lathers really well, which I know is sometimes not found in vegan products and is therefore the reason some people refuse to use them, because they feel as if it isn’t properly “cleaning” them. vegan prodddd.jpgveganprodeddd.jpgThis lotion is super creamy and leaves your skin feeling so soft (and smelling pretty darn good as well.) I’ve also used the rose one which is TO DIE for. I’ll most likely use that one again once I’ve run out, but unfortunately, I couldn’t seem to find it. These lotions also seem to last for a decent amount of time, probably due to the thickness of them. A little goes a long way. vproddd.jpgThis is the face lotion I’m currently using and as I mentioned above, the rose scent is unbelievable so of course once I found it in “facial form”, it was a must. Again, a little goes a long way with this so it lasts quite a while.veganprodddddddddd.jpgThis was a short post but I really wanted to share with you guys how easy it is to find products like these now! I know for a fact that most of you guys go to Target (once or twice a week, if you’re like me), so definitely check these out!

MEAL PREPPING // WORKING COLLEGE STUDENT 

While food is clearly one of my passions in life, cooking it during the week is not. Between work and school, the LAST thing I feel like doing is coming home and having to think of what to make for lunch or dinner. On Sunday’s I take a few hours to just put together some staple items that I know I can be very versatile with (such as beans and potatoes) and that way I can simply grab them and throw something quick and easy together when in a rush!

I obviously eat more than just what’s pictured but for when I am in a hurry, these items are what I go for. I love beans because you can literally put them on anything! Salads, baked potatoes, wraps, sandwiches, and they are full of protein. I also love having cooked rice on hand because it’s so easy to just throw some veggies on top! One of my favorite things to do with these types of foods is to create a “Buddha bowl” which is basically a combination of different plant foods. I love to add rice, chickpeas, broccoli or leafy greens and a sweet potato! So hearty and delicious and it leaves me feeling completely satisfied.What are some of your staple vegan items that you always have on hand for the week ahead?! I want to know!

IT SNOWED IN VIRGINIA

It finally snowed here a few days ago and BOY was I beyond excited for it. I absolutely love the snow and I always have. It brings back so many special memories from when I was a small child, whether it be sledding with all the kids in the neighborhood or drinking hot chocolate while watching each and every snowflake fall from the sky. Call me crazy, but I actually enjoy the whole “snowed in” feeling that seems to drive most people up a wall. It doesn’t worry me or irritate me in the slightest.

It’s nice to sometimes be “forced” to stay at home because for some of us, it’s that “force” that allows us to spend more time with our family and just RELAX. I certainly enjoyed every moment of it especially because in this state it can go from 10 degrees one day to 70 degrees the next. Seriously, that happens frequently here, so you never know if the snow that you have is going to be the only snow that you get for the entire year. Will the dog pictures ever stop…. Never.I hope that those of you that received snow over the weekend had a wonderful and SAFE time! And for those of you that hated every second of it, I sincerely apologize 😉

BBQ CHICKPEA PITA SANDWICHES WITH RANCH

This sandwich is so crazy simple and I actually find myself craving it! It’s so filling and hearty and the flavors are my favorite. I’ve always been a huge barbecue + ranch fan so when this idea hit me I knew it was going to be great. Before I get into it, I have to mention how fantastic this VEGAN (yes, life is beautiful) ranch is. A few months ago a friend of mine told me about this brand of dressing called Hampton Creek that is completely vegan at Target. I immediately went and found it and I’ve been hooked ever since. Their products are DELICIOUS and are a total win with my family and I. But, anyways, lets get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of garbanzo beans or chickpeas (I use about half of a can and then save the other half for another day, so using the entire can could feed two people)
  • Pita bread
  • Vegan ranch (I use Hampton Creek because it’s the best)
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Greens to top with (I use a spinach or kale mix, typically)ingredient.jpg

You’ll want to thoroughly rinse the beans under cool water and then let them dry. Place them into a small pot on the stove and mix in the nutritional yeast and barbecue sauce (to taste) over medium to slightly below medium heat. Cook for 7-10 minutes or until they are the consistency that you like. rinse.jpg

beans

Then just simply scoop them into the pita bread (cut in half) and top with lettuce and ranch! Super yummy and super easy. Hope you enjoyed!done.jpg

VEGAN ALTERNATIVE TO “PIGS IN A BLANKET”

VESAGE IN A BLANKET 

If it isn’t already obvious, I eat a plant-based diet and I enjoy turning different dishes that I used to enjoy into a more healthy and compassionate version! I used to love “pigs in a blanket” and my mom would make it every year on Christmas morning (she also now eats a plant-based diet as well). This “recipe”, and I put it in quotations because it’s just two ingredients, took all of 20 minutes to make!

Ingredients:

  • Regular crescent rounds (you can use the regular rolls but the rounds require less cutting, and they’re vegan!)
  • Any type of plant-based sausage that you want (I used the Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage)

You’ll want to preheat your oven to 375 or whatever temperature your crescent rounds require! Just follow the cooking instructions on the back. Next, you’ll want to pull apart your crescent rounds and make the pieces two inches long. The vegan sausage will need to be cut into fourths, so in half and then in half again, and you’ll want to make the pieces two inches long as well. Simple wrap the crescent rounds around the sausage and then bake for 13 minutes, or again, however long your crescent rolls require to bake!img_0114And that’s it! Serve with some mustard and you’re good to go.

Things that warm the soul

STUFFIN’ MUFFINS

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp of light olive oil (for cooking the onions and garlic)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cup of brown rice flour
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 6 ounces of unsweetened apple sauce (instead of oil)
  • 3 tsp of egg replacer mixed with 4 tbsp warm water
  • 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 tsp each of rosemary, thyme and oregano
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used cashew)
  • 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

You’ll want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and line muffin tin with liners. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, nutritional yeast, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, herbs and salt/pepper to taste. Then pour the milk and apple sauce into a small pan over medium-low heat and heat gently until it is warm. Remove from heat and let sit. In another small bowl, mix the apple cider vinegar with the baking soda. In another pan  you’ll want to cook the onions for 5-7 minutes and add the garlic for the last 2 remaining minutes. Add the wet ingredients with the dry and gently fold to combine (be careful not to over stir). img_0074Lastly, distribute the mixture into non-stick muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes. This makes approximately 8.

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Enjoy!

SPICED NOG

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 ounces of spiced rum
  • 1 cup of non-dairy egg nog
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
  • Non-dairy whip topping (optional, we didn’t have any)

This makes ONE serving!

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‘Tis the season

Ever since I was a small child, Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of the year. Magic fills the air while beautiful lights and kind hearts illuminate the sky. I remember staying up all night on Christmas Eve awaiting the arrival of gifts. I would sneak downstairs each and every hour just to take a quick peek under the tree. Now, as a 22 year old, I find myself enjoying the time leading up to the magical day rather than the actual day. Weird, right? I think it’s because I’ve come to realize how fast the day and just time in general goes by and it’s important to not rush anything. This could also be because I am in that transitioning phase of not being a child but also not having a child to live it through and experience the magic with all over again. Who knows, but for right now, I’m taking a step back and just enjoying all of this holiday bliss before it soon ends. After all, it only comes once a year.