Monthly Review // February 2013

MS Title feb2013 MontlyReview Feb2013 photoaday
I'm doing my own 365 Day Project by taking a photo a day this year.
MontlyReview Feb2013 loraxmovie
Loved this movie! Great message about how we all need to love the environment.
MontlyReview Feb2013 loraxpainting
I painted my favorite quote from The Lorax movie to hang in my bedroom.
MontlyReview Feb2013 hawaiianchickpeas
Recipe: Hawaiian Chickpeas MontlyReview Feb2013 surprised cody
This was #29 on my 32 Things List, Surprise Someone.
MontlyReview Feb2013 paintedoffice
Painted my home office Mint Green!
MontlyReview Feb2013 thinkoutside the box
"It takes COURAGE to think outside the box!" said by a Farmer who killed animals his entire life, then went Vegan.
MontlyReview Feb2013 walkingdead
The Walking Dead returned! I shared some of my Instagram photos.
MontlyReview Feb2013 wiw13
What I Wore #13 // California Love & Red Pants
MontlyReview Feb2013 smurf
The Collecting Colour Challenge: February color combo, Blue & White
MontlyReview Feb2013 mycamera
Attempting to learn the functions on my camera.
MontlyReview Feb2013 crueltyfreevegan
I learned that not all "NOT animal tested" products are actually vegan.
MontlyReview Feb2013 pancakes
Recipe: Chocolate Banana Pancakes & Tofu Scramble


I am really not ready to say goodbye to February yet. I am however ready to say goodbye to cold weather and snow. I feel like the month just started. This month Cody and I spent a lot of time going to bed early and watching movies. Except Sunday nights when we stay up later to watch The Walking Dead. I do feel like my office is coming together now. I still have to build our desks and hang stuff on the walls. There won't be too many home improvement projects happening in the month of March. We have to save as much money as possible for our up coming trip to Ohio to visit family and friends. (Most of them don't even know we are coming yet!) Maybe I can "surprise" some of them.

So what does March mean to me? Well I am getting my brand new bike, post to come I am sure. Hopefully some biking outside! Probably some pink hair. I have an exciting thing I am planning with a friend that is vegan related. Some great fashion review posts on the blog that I can't wait to do. I want to do a VLOG in March as well. Hope to get some more things accomplished on my 32 Things List! One thing on my list is learn how to knit. Does anyone know how to knit? I so want to learn, but don't know where to start!

What were your favorite posts on my blog this month? I'd love to know so I can keep doing them! :)
I feel like I asked a lot of questions in this post...


Recipe: Chocolate Banana Pancakes & Scrambled Tofu

Pancakes & Scrambled Tofu

We like to fix breakfast every so often on the weekends. Especially on snowy cold ones!
It was Cody's idea to make these pancakes into CHOCOLATE pancakes. He really loves his cocoa powder.

Pancake & Tofu Scramble recipes by Lindsay Nixon // The Happy Herbivore

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp fine salt
1 cup non-dairy milk
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp raw sugar (optional)
We added 2 tbsp organic cocoa powder
2 sliced bananas

Pancakes & Scrambled Tofu

Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
Combine non-dairy milk with maple and sugar.
Pour wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until just combined; a few lumps are okay!

RECIPE pancakes and tofu3

Mix in the banana! Let mixture rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat skillet over very low heat.
Transfer mixture to a large glass/liquid measuring cup. Spray skillet with cooking spray and pour in 1/4 cup batter.

Pancakes & Scrambled Tofu

Cook on one side until bubbles form, gently flip, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Now for the Tofu Scrambled "Eggs"

1 lb extra firm tofu, drained
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp granulated garlic powder
1 tsp granulated onion powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 cup vegetables, mushrooms, spinach, or vegan meat, chopped (optional)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
We added spinach to our scramble

RECIPE pancakes and tofu6

Place tofu in skillet and break apart with a spatula into large chunks.
Cook over medium-high heat until tofu releases its water, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Add nutritional yeast, dijon, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and turmeric, stirring to coat evenly.
Break up any large remaining chunks of tofu until the tofu is crumbly and looks like scrambled eggs.

RECIPE pancakes and tofu7

Continue to cook, stirring regularly, until all water has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
Add a splash of water or non-dairy milk if necessary to prevent sticking.
If using vegetables or other food, continue to cook until everything is thoroughly warmed.
Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

RECIPE Pancakes and Tofu8

As you can see I loved my pancakes and tofu scramble!!!
The tofu eggs do have a strong Dijon mustard taste too me, so we plan to use less next time.
Cody loved them the way they were but I would like to taste the other favlors more.

Have you had any vegan breakfast food before???
I highly recommend these recipes if you haven't.
Visit Lindsay's website today!


The Cruelty Free Bunny Trapped Me


That is the question. If you read my blog and you know me at all, you will already know the answer is.....drumroll.... NO.

I bet some of you already knew this fact. Sadly I did not. I was fooled by the cute little bunny on the packaging last week when I purchased some makeup at my work. I had been completely out of eyeliner and mascara for a few weeks and just wasn't wearing makeup. I wear makeup because I think it's fun. Plus, I do look like a 12 year little girl without it. I know I don't need it and when I do wear it I don't feel like it's a lot. Even one of my co-workers was shocked one day when I told her I had liquid eyeliner on.

Being a fairly new vegan I feel like I learn new facts and information almost daily. Whether it's from my blogger friends or searching the web. PETA has an amazing list of companies that DO and DO NOT test on animals. They also add little V's next to the companies that actually are vegan or have vegan product options. Why didn't I just do this in the first place??? So what makeup did I buy which then caused me to type this post? Wet N Wild. Which actually seems harder and harder to find now a days. I love their black liquid eyeliner and I have used it for years! I'm a pretty sure it's safe to say it started in 1995 because of Gwen Stefani...

Gwen Eyeliner

So that's like a million years ago so by now I have mastered the art of liquid eyeliner. I love it. I assume that I'm not the only person who falls for the cute cruelty free bunny! I assumed if something isn't animal tested that is wouldn't have animal by products in it. FAIL. Now that I actually think about it, I feel dumb for thinking that. I just thought that cute bunny would always be my friend. Pretty much every product I buy now is "not animal tested". My shampoo bottle has the cute little bunny logo on it but also says "cruelty free and vegan". That's when I made the connection that something might be wrong with my makeup. I grabbed the makeup packaging and starting searching some of the crazy terms and words that most people don't understand. It kinda makes your brain hurt to even look at it...

eyeliner box

I did a Google search for animal by products in makeup. I found this website that had a simple list of about 6 ingredients to look for. Here is what it says about Stearic Acid:

Stearic acid is a saturated fatty acid often taken from animals including cows, sheep, pigs and, according to PETA, even euthanized dogs and cats from animal shelters. You may see stearic acid listed on ingredients lists as Stearamide, Stearamine, Stearates, Stearic Hydrazide, Stearone, Stearoxytrimethylsilane, Stearoyl Lactylic Acid, Stearyl Betaine or Stearyl Imidazoline. It can be found in cosmetics, soaps, hairspray, conditioners, deodorants, facial cleansers and creams. Stearic acids can also be found in many vegetable fats.

It is good however to read that last line that says it can also be from vegetable fats. How do I know which version Wet N Wild uses in their products? Here I go assuming again,....I'm going to say the animal fat since the package doesn't say vegan on it. I could call them but honestly I find it better to just support vegan businesses and products. I shouldn't have to guess or Google search what things are. None of us should really have to do that. Lets check out what Carmine is:

Carmine, also referred to as cochineal or carminic acid, is a red pigment obtained by crushing tens of thousands of female cochineal insects. This colouring is used in cosmetics, shampoos and food dyes. Beet juice or alkanet root are non-toxic options for those who may have allergic reactions to carmine.

WHAT!?! This is craziness. I don't want bugs to be crushed just so my body wash or eyeliner can be colored. Call me crazy, but I don't think this is right. I find it simply unnecessary. I had heard of bugs being used for coloring before and I guess I shouldn't be surprised it's in my makeup. I'm sure many people would just say they are bugs, but to me it's just not right. Technology is way more advanced then this. Animal testing and killing bugs for dye STILL, really? I just don't want to eat or wear animals. That simple. I will miss my Wet N Wild products, but I know I will find something new. I'm not picky as long as it doesn't involve animals being harmed and it works. (and I love purple eyeliner and shadow.)


On another note, I can't say that Wet N Wild has bad products. They actually are good products that serve their purpose at an affordable price. It's just not the right product for me anymore. I simply can't say that I am vegan and then put animal fat on my eyelids. Something about that doesn't feel right for me. I do find it frustrating that all of us are basically forced to purchase items that have the animal by products in them or that ARE animal tested. I only say forced because most stores that we all shop at only offer the typical brands. You know Cover Girl, Revlon, etc..

This isn't just a vegan issue either. Many animals that are tested on are cats and dogs. I know this because a friend in Ohio adopted a cat who had been animal tested at P&G it's entire life. It's just heart breaking. I believe that your dollar counts as a vote every time you spend it. Buying products that are NOT animal tested does send a message to the companies. It's a message that all animal lovers can send!

A few months back I posted a video of some Beagles that had never been out of cages.
They had spent their entire lives as test animals. See that video HERE.
I am looking into purchasing some Urban Decay Makeup. Have you ever tried it?
Do you know of any good vegan or non animal testing makeup products?

Link to PETA list of animal testing companies HERE.


A Few of My Favorite Things #5

favorite video

Make sure your volume isn't too loud. The goats literally do SCREAM in this video. I have become kind obsessed with goats since visiting the farm sanctuary. I'm not totally convinced that all the yelling in the video is real. I do however find it very funny and I laughed so hard I cried the first time I watched it. We all need a good laugh!

Favorite Story National Parks LoveImage SOURCE

Above is Audrey Peterman and her husband Frank. She is a huge advocate for National Parks. I stumbled across her story on the National Parks Conversation Association website. She has written books about her love for all the National Parks and shares her stories about visiting them. I plan on purchasing her book, Our True Nature. In her interview on the NPCA's website she took the words right out of my mouth many times! This being one of my favorite quotes from her:

Audrey: Having the imprint of such monumental natural wonders on my spirit gives me perspective on how infinitesimal I am in the world, and yet, how important. I am part of everything. Though a small part, I am connected to everything. It allows me to take a step back from whatever challenges I’m experiencing.
You can read the article HERE.
Favortie Quote Eminem

I don't listen to much rap music but every once in awhile I listen to Eminem. I like a lot of his lyrics and the above quote is from one of his songs. Every time I hear it I laugh. It's so how I am. I designed the print above on Photoshop and plan to hang it in my office. It's kind of a reminder to myself that people are always going to have something to say about my lifestyle and that I need to learn to ignore it or just laugh about it.
favorite postFew Favorites Vegan Cheese PostImages from Pony Chops blog.

Chantal over on Pony Chops posted a great Vegan food review a few weeks back on (fake) cheese. When I tell people I am Vegan a lot of people say they could never give up cheese. I personally know a few vegetarians that also struggle with becoming Vegan because of their love for cheese. I was never that in love with cheese in the first place which made it very easy to give it up. For those who struggle though THERE IS HOPE! :) Read Chantal's review on Vegusto Vegan Cheese HERE.
More posts I really enjoyed reading:

50 Things To Improve Your Life & Get Happy, by Red Parka Diaries
5 Books That Changed My Life, also by Red Parka Diaries
Falling for My White Kitchen, by Making It Lovely
5 Tips for Getting Inspired, by Tea Tree
Project Life, by Her Sunday

What has been inspiring you lately?



I haven't been feeling very inspired lately. I've been having some blogger's "block". You know, like writer's block. Been tired and sick of winter. This morning I was reading some of my favorite blogs and stumbled across a post by Michelle of Cafe Nervosa. She had posted a photo of herself wearing kitty cat shoes and tights. I fell in love with her shoes. Then I realized that I do not own any clothing with cats on it!! This needs to change!!! I visited the Mod Cloth website and picked out some of my favorite cat related items...

Love for Kitty Stuff // Feb2013
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Which ones are your favorites?? I love #1, the shirt with the cat wearing sunglasses and #5, the shoes.
I think I am going to try to make my own hand-painted kitty face shoes!
Do you own any cool cat gear??

View all the neat Kitty stuff on Mod Cloth's website HERE.


Learning to Use My Camera {not really}

I am attempting to learn how to use my camera. I am clueless what all the settings mean and how to figure out the functions. I have been playing around with it more. I accidentally found a setting that allows me to take fish-eye photos, a setting for scenery shots of snow, a beach setting, a poster effect and many more things that I don't know how to use yet. The photos I took below are black and white except one color that the camera selected. I thought it was pretty neat.
(or maybe it's the toys that make the photos neat?)

The Office Feb2013The Office Feb2013The Office Feb2013My Office Feb2013

As you can see I have been staging some toys in my office. It's been fun, but a lot of work as well.
I have decided not to display my entire collection because it's just too much for the space.
We still have to build our desks and hang a lot of stuff on the walls.

My Office Feb2013 The Office Feb2013The Office Feb2013IMG_3758The Office Feb2013

And a random photo of Norman being Norman. He is loving the office.
He just sits on the chair and purrs while I blog. He really brings sunshine into my life. :)
Kitty started a Photo101 Series over on her blog.
Also check out Katherine's post for beginners HERE. Lots of great info! I plan to read them all over and over and take notes!!!
I think by the end of this year I will start to "get" it.


At The Moment

At The Moment feb2012 California

I just wanted to take a deep breath from life and post something simple. I spent my three day weekend decorating my office, doing housework and spending hours organizing all my photos on my computer. You know it's time to get images off your computer when it's telling you that you are almost out of space!!! It's not a fun task but a necessary one. I vow to organize them from now on throughout the year! So here are some other things happening at the moment.....

PLANNING // Two vacations. One to visit family and friends back in Ohio. The other a road trip to California. Our vacation in California will include lots of relaxing on the beach, whale watching and cycling. Pretty perfect I think.

FEELING // Like I'm living in the movie Groundhog Dog, where I wake up and it's the same thing over and over. I try to keep things in perceptive but some change would probably be good for me. Just not sure what that change is yet. Aslo cabin fever is getting bad for Cody and I both. I can't wait to be able to get outside again.

LISTENING // I have been using Spotify on my computer to listen to all kinds of "new to me" music. My favorites so far... FUN., Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the new Soundgarden album.

WATCHING // A lot of older Disney movies on Netflix. I had never seen Pocahontas or The Fox and The Hound. Of course Sundays are The Walking Dead. If you watch it and saw last Sundays episode, could you even believe it?? I was so stressed out watching it. Cody's hands were broke out in a cold sweat. LOL

HATING // Our neighbors dog. Actually it's not the dogs fault, it's the owners. The dog goes outside whenever it wants and BARKS sometimes for 2 hours straight. The houses are so close to each other that it feels like the dog is barking in our house. Sometimes we have to turn our music up VERY loud just so we don't have to listen to the barking. It's become a huge problem. Saturday night the dog was barking at 2am and woke me up out a sound sleep. :( We are nice people and don't want enemies but it's making us a nervous wreck.

LOVING // My friends, family and Cody. That probably sounds too "expected". Lately though I have grabbed on tighter to the ones I love. Actually on my 32 Things Before 32 list being closer to my parents in on there. I have already been talking to them a lot more. (Plus I am visiting soon.) I just don't ever want to take time or people for granted! Life passes you by too quickly for that.

The image is one I took while driving in California back in 2011.


Collecting Colour // Blue & White

CC Blue&White 1

When I read that the colors for the February COLLECTING COLOURS series were blue and white, the first thing I thought of was my Smurf collection. What is the Collecting Colours series you may ask? It's hosted over on GOOD THINGS and here is an explanation from her blog:

What is the Collecting Colours challenge? Each month you use the colour pairings as a jumping off point to curate a collection, real or virtual. You might collect objects from your environment (like I did last year), you might 'collect' photographs (like I'm doing this year), or you might even create a collection of watercolours, prints, granny squares... It's really up to you - the key thing is that whatever you create needs to feature just the colour pair nominated for each month.

For my photos I have decided I am just going to photograph what ever seems "right" to me for that color combo. Since I am currently going through my toy collection I found it fitting to photograph some of my favorite Smurfs.

CC Blue&White Smurf2CC Blue&White Smurf3

Yes I have baby Smurf shoes. Part of the reason why my toy collection is so large is because my first job was working at a antique mall. I worked in antique malls for a totally of seven years. I would have many of the antique dealers pick up stuff like the smurf shoes above and they would give them to me as gifts. My Smurf collection is the biggest part of my toy collection. It was the first vintage toy I started collecting. It all started when I purchased one single figurine for $4. The rest is history. I now have houses, stuffed animals, etc...

CC Blue&White Smurf4CC Blue&White Smurf6CC Blue&White Smurf7
Childhood me in my Smurf swimming pool. The year was probably 1984.
CC Blue&White Smurf8

Currently I need to find a bookcase for my Smurf collection. My Vinylmation collection took over two of my BILLY bookcases. (It may be time to stop collecting things. Hummmm.) I hope you enjoyed these photos. I hope that you may consider doing the Collecting Colour challenge. I missed January's color combo. Next months color combo is white and black. Oh that should be fun!!!

If you decide to do this challenge, please come back and leave a link in the comments so I can check it out!!
Go HERE to link up your photos!


What I Wore #13

WIW 13 feb2013 pic3WIW 13 feb2013 pic2
Sweatshirt - Ross, $10 | Pants - Old Navy, $10 | Boots - Sears, $18
Little dog as an accessory - priceless

These photos are a few weeks old now. We had a mild day and decided to head to the park and snap some pictures.
I love living close to a park. I will probably be doing lots of outfit posts here.
I just really look forward to flowers and green grass again. By the way, I love the colored pants from OLD NAVY!

WIW 13 feb2013 pic4
Chloe hadn't been to the park in a long time. She was so overwhelmed with all the smells.
WIW 13 feb2013 pic1
I have to show my love for California as often as I can. :)
WIW 13 feb2012 pic6 WIW 13 feb2013 pic5

Yes that is a real plane in the sky. There are planes in the sky all the time because of the Air Force base. I hope to get some good shots of plans landing and taking off this summer. Just haven't had a chance yet. I miss the green grass and warmer weather. I know it's just a few months away. I can make it! Have I mentioned that we are planning a huge road trip vacation to California this summer? I want to check out some National Parks. Have you been to any, if so what are your favorites???