Huckleberries

I have been thinking a lot about my childhood.

I remember a day when we got up so early that the moon was still shining and our breath came out in billowing plumes of visible vapor. We drove to the Grand Tetons and picked berries in the early morning light. The foliage was painted a beautiful pale blue in the dusky morning haze. The trees were tall, usually pine. I remember wearing at least three jackets to arm myself against the chilly mountain air.

Picking huckleberries is a frigid, but rewarding business. You pick and pick and pick until your white bucket is filled to the brim with the small violet berries and your fingers are stained a vibrant shade of purple. We came home with four buckets full of huckleberries and for the next year we had huckleberry flavored everything for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I think I actually became a huckleberry.

The last time I told that story was to someone who grunted a response and continued watching the television. In fact, I doubt that person even recalls that I was speaking to them. It was more like I was speaking at them. Trying desperately to be heard. Trying desperately to get someone to listen and care about something that seemed to mean something to me, even though it was as mundane and ordinary as picking berries.

It strikes me as odd that society has evolved to tune out story telling and the art of listening to each other, especially listening to the ones closest to you. I myself find it hard not to reach for my phone in the middle of a conversation. I wonder if there is something sad about that – the lost art of caring and communicating. The fact that story telling by word-of-mouth has dwindled and decayed to a point where we end up repeating ourselves multiple times for Karen who responded to three text messages while we were disclosing one of our deepest secrets – or the fact that we are only listening to respond with a bigger and better story that blows the previous one out of the water.

I visited a crystal shop today with my cousin, and we purchased a few items from an older gentlemen who seemed to be a man of few words. He was seated and bent over his wares, avoiding eye contact with anyone and everyone. My cousin and I are quite loud and we seemed to overwhelm this poor crystal peddler almost instantly, and he resorted to scratching at a polished rock nearby to show that he was extremely busy and couldn’t chit-chat with us any longer. I felt like I understood him. What is the point of all this meaningless conversation if nobody is actually listening.

I guess the takeaway of all of this is I hope that society begins to evolve in a direction where we use our screens as a way to connect a little more with each other. The art of active listening is something that I truly believe is worthy of being upheld and practiced and I hope that by adding a little more of it to my everyday life it will help change things for the better.

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Flourish – My Word of the Year

Flourish

  • To grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment.

 

Hey beautiful people! I can’t believe it’s 2018 – but honestly I’m excited to leave 2017 behind and enter a fresh new year.

As you can tell by the title of this blog post, I have selected my word after much deliberation. I want to learn in 2018. I want to absorb as much information and knowledge as I possibly can, so I can feel confident and sure of myself when I talk about my thoughts and beliefs. I want to be an activist. I want to speak my mind and stay level headed. When I stumbled across my new word I instantly felt connected and I knew that it encompassed everything that I want to be in the new year.

“Flourish” is a special word for me because it has to do with growing and achieving in an environment that is healthy and ideal. I definitely feel as if a switch has been flipped in my brain when it comes to my surroundings and the things I have in my life. 2018 is about clean spaces, taking care of myself and my loved ones, banishing toxicity, and creating emotionally safe environments to thrive in. This year is about rising above. This year is about growing.

As a testament to creating the best environment and surroundings for yourself, I can already say that while focusing on this for the past month I have already been reaping the rewards and benefits. I have nearly tripled my income, reduced my anxiety levels, and lost weight that was clinging on for dear life because of all the stress I was constantly under.

I plan to flourish this year, and I couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come.

“The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud — the obstacles of life and its suffering. … The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. … Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one. ” Goldie Hawn

4 Things to do Before the New Year

Hi beautiful people. 2017 felt extremely long as it was a year packed with transformation and learning for me and so many others. As I’ve mentioned previously, I always pick a word or a theme for the new year, and the word for 2017 was “heal.” Little did I know, it wouldn’t be a clean uphill climb, and that there would be high points and low points along the path, rather than a smooth course to ultimate healing. As I type this, I can say without any doubt that the universe helped me with my theme in 2017 and that I can only hope that 2018 is filled with as much growth and transformation as the year before. I am using the steps I talk about in this post to help me achieve my goals in the new year, and I want to challenge you to follow these four steps to help you ready yourself for the future and for the limitless new possibilities ahead of you.

Leave the Past in the Past

People carry around so much negativity. We all have traumas and heartbreaks and problems that need more time to navigate through and heal, but the small stuff should stay behind in 2017. Small things that you are holding on to like guilt, reliving past memories that you can’t change, overthinking – these things hold us back like we are stuck in a sticky tar pit of despair. Petty arguments, guilt over eating too many cookies over the holidays… leave it all in 2017. Try meditating on this. Take deep breaths. Imagine these small, toxic problems falling away from you and leaving you at peace. Set yourself free from any extra negativity that can easily be brushed off or left behind. Give yourself the gift of a clean slate.

Reset Your Mindset

It’s time that you start believing in yourself. Our subconscious is riddled with toxic thoughts and beliefs that we tell ourselves on a regular basis. Start trying to listen in on these toxic thoughts. You have the power to change your mind and the way it thinks, it just takes a little time and a little more effort. Talk to yourself like you would talk to a loved one. Cheer yourself on. If you start to feel like the goal you are setting for yourself is too great or that you are not capable, ask yourself why you think that way. Is it because you are scared? Is it because your goal might be taking you outside of your comfort zone? Is it because you think you don’t have enough time? Replace these thoughts with positivity. Get in control of your own thoughts and your own behaviors and stop letting your negative subconscious thoughts run the show.

Declutter – Organize Your Space

Go through your things. Donate items you haven’t used since the stone age. Rearrange your furniture. Open a window. Light a candle. Hang those pictures up that are sitting in a box in the garage. Getting rid of physical things that weigh you down can help freshen up your life and reinvigorate your spirit just in time for the new year. If you are trying to manifest love, get rid of things that are holding you in the past. If you are trying to start a business, organize and set up your desk or home office space. Martha Stewart the heck out of your life.

Journal It Out

I’m a huge advocate for writing things down. I am also an advocate of not setting too rigid of goals for yourself; I think having a goal or destination is key – but try to stay flexible and go with the flow of the universe on your way to achieving it. With that said, I do think it’s so important to write down and memorize the goals and dreams you have in mind for the new year. How do you want to feel? How do you want to live? Who do you want to hang out with more? Write it all down. Write at least two full pages of what you hope to achieve and how you want to feel in 2018.


 

I hope these steps serve you well – I have a lot of exciting things on the horizon that I can’t wait to share with you all. ❤ See you in 2018.

Self Care – 10 Simple Steps

Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others. – Christopher Germer

Self Care. Let’s talk about it. A lot of people are severely neglecting this incredibly important habit – and I’m not just talking about taking care of your appearance. I don’t really care what you look like. In fact as I type this I look quite hobo chic… minus the chic. I’m talking about self care that heals and feeds your inner being – your soul. Are you constantly stretching yourself too thin? Are you letting people walk all over you? Are you eating shitty mcbloopin sandwiches from random fast food joints just because you don’t feel confident enough to try to cook a nice lunch for yourself? We’ve all been there. I definitely find myself here quite frequently – and when I notice that my stress levels are reaching Empire State Building heights, I try to take a step back and breathe.

I’ve compiled a list of steps that I think are great for implementing a little self care into your life. Because you are worth it. Because you deserve to live the best stress-free life you can live. These tips and steps range from minimal to a little extra bit of effort. I know we all have a different definition of busy, and we all have different personalities. If you’re anything like me, when I’m stressed it’s too difficult to coax myself into driving to a park to stare at the ducks – so I’ve definitely put a few easy options for my like-minded hermits out there.

START A JOURNAL

I don’t care if you have the handwriting of a serial killer. Get a pen and a piece of paper and write it out. I like to journal in a stream of consciousness style where I don’t even think about judging my mad-woman scribbles or ill formed sentences – I just write. When you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure of what to do in a certain situation, brain dumping on one or two pages can really help.

WATCH YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE OR TV SHOW

I know. Television is not really that great for you in large doses – but I know I have a few very specific movies and tv series that cheer me up almost immediately. So escape reality for a few moments. Watch one episode. Watch a film. Feel the feelings.

EAT FOOD LIKE YOU LOVE YOURSELF

I don’t think eating junk food is a dumb idea. In fact I think it’s a little crazy town to cut out every single thing – but if you’re the type of person who hasn’t eaten a vegetable since 1999 then maybe it’s time to start looking at the food you eat as giving yourself a huge hug or a pat on the back. Food directly affects our mood and our stress levels. Trying to eat less of the bad stuff is an act of self care. Drink some herbal tea. Eat a carrot or two. Take the time to find and research healthy options that you actually enjoy eating.

CALL A GOOD FRIEND

Call that friend who unconditionally loves you. Talking it out and shooting the breeze with a loved one will brighten your spirits immensely. If you have anxiety talking on the phone with people, engage in a text conversation! Choose a person who won’t spend the whole conversation gossiping or zapping your energy levels down.

TAKE A HOT BATH OR SHOWER

Take some candles. Your essential oils. Your favorite podcast. Decompress. I know some people seem to be passionately against baths so I included the shower option. Deep breathing and hot water can help calm your anxiety.

CLEAN YOUR SPACE

I’m extremely unorganized and I know when I am trying to relax among piles of my laundry and old coffee cups it’s almost impossible to unwind. Set a timer. Put on some happy music. Straighten up as much as you can. Make your bed. Open a window. Light some incense, run your diffuser. Make your space feel better.

MEDITATE

This one is so incredibly important. If you can do it for five minutes a day even you will see amazing improvement in your stress levels. It’s an instant stress reliever and a good tool to use to ease anxiety. I would start out with guided meditations. There are plenty of awesome ones on YouTube.

PRACTICE YOGA

If this sounds impossible, try some of the ten to fifteen minute flows all over YouTube. Yoga and stretching can help you feel more in tune with your body and it can set your mind at ease.

LEARN TO SAY NO

There comes a point when you have to start taking care of yourself by not stretching yourself too thin. Do not over schedule yourself. Don’t give so much that you are left without any energy or effort to spend on your own well being. Don’t let people say harsh, uncalled for things about you or to you. Stand your ground. Incredibly important. Your self-esteem will plummet if you can’t even have your own back.

TAKE YOURSELF ON A DATE

Get outside. Go to a coffee shop. Go to an art museum. Take that cooking class. Take that spin class. Go rock climbing. Go to a petting zoo. Take your dog for a walk. Look at the stars, the clouds, the moon. Go window shopping. Get your hair done. Buy a new journal and write in it. Think of a thing that lights you up and go do that!

 


I know that we are all busy people – but implementing self care into your life is CRUCIAL. Some of these things can take as little as five minutes to complete – and if that seems to daunting, maybe start with a few deep breathes. I hope this serves you and I hope you know that you are a beautiful soul that is worthy of self care. ❤

 

Self Worth – What I Wish I Could Tell Past Me

I have been really struggling with what to post on here – because lately I have been wrestling with a lot of change – and a lot of fear that what I share won’t be received warmly. I have meditated on this a lot – and this morning it hit me. I am worthy of love and sharing my message and thoughts. If the people I’m afraid of not accepting what I have to say receive this and it triggers feelings of dismissal, it has absolutely nothing to do with my life, my compassion and love for others, or my self worth. You can’t do the work for others. You can’t fix people who do not want you to succeed.

This leads me into the real topic: Self worth, and the ability to heal yourself so you can know when it’s time to leave a situation that is toxic, unhealthy, or abusive.

The first important thing I can share is that it is not your job to fix other people. By all means, if they are receptive and respectful and are open to what you have to say then go right ahead – but you are in no way obligated to stay and help someone who is treating you like crap. It took me a long time to realize this. I have been stuck in the same story for years. If I stand up for myself and the feelings that I know I should honor, what will happen? Will people desert me? Will I be alone? I think this is when the low self worth seeps in and it’s easy for manipulators to gaslight you into thinking that the toxic situation or relationship you are in is normal and you are crazy for thinking that you deserve something else. The fear can be unbearable.

If you raise your self worth and leave the situation, will it mean isolation? Maybe it will, but only for a moment – you need to look your fear in the face and remind yourself that there are so many beautiful, kind hearted souls that will embrace you with open arms out there. SO MANY. THE LIMIT DOES NOT EXIST. You may just have to put in the extra effort to find them – and you may be alone for a few moments. They also might be there already. Being in toxic relationships and situations can consume your mind 24/7 – try taking a step back and thinking about the people in your life that have always been a positive light – reconnect with them.

If loneliness and isolation are what you fear, then that is the unhealthy relationship talking. YOU ARE ENOUGH. YOU ARE WORTHY OF FORMING HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS – AND YOU CAN. Share your feelings. Be vulnerable. Live authentically. The right people will be with you every step of the way.

Find. Your. Tribe.

Find the ones who light up when you talk about your successes – That GIVE as much as they take. Find the ones that you know in your heart would never share your secrets – Those who beam when their fellow humans succeed and accept the praise and love when they also succeed. It’s not a one way street. It’s not a competition. It’s a give and take. It’s an ebb and flow. It’s love.

Stop the negative self talk. Listen to your thoughts. Listen to what you are saying to yourself. Are you constantly cracking self-deprecating jokes? Are you constantly exclaiming, to whomever will listen, what a dunce you are? That stuff leaves its mark. Try replacing the negative self talk with something positive that you love about yourself as often as you can. You will see a huge improvement in your self worth. Learn when it’s time to stand up for yourself. Don’t chase praise from people who relish keeping it from you.

You have the power within you to stop being a victim. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to sit at home all day and recharge – but never let dark situations stay too long in your psyche, taking away your power. You have the power to change your reality and the circumstances around you. You are strong. You are capable of rising above.

To be completely transparent, I was in the most toxic relationship of my life a few years back where I felt that I was completely worthless. I couldn’t keep the attention of the person I loved. I was never ever good enough. I felt like I wasn’t worthy of friends and it manifested in raging social anxiety where I could barely talk to people over the phone or go into a grocery store. I slaved away at the gym and counted every calorie. I isolated myself from my family. I tried to mold myself into this image of perfection in order to keep (what I thought) was the love and the most important relationship of my life. I quit auditioning for musicals – something I have been passionate about my entire life. I started telling myself that I should find a more realistic career. I allowed myself to fade away from my own life, my own passions and goals.

Everyone is capable of finding themselves in these relationships and situations and being on both sides of the fence – and when I think back on my past-self the one thought that blazes in my mind is I wish that someone would have told me that the isolation of leaving that toxic situation would not be the death of me. Maybe they did, and I didn’t feel worthy enough to believe it.

So here I am. Writing this. Hoping that at least one person suffering in silence finds some hope. Raising your self worth and leaving unhealthy situations will not kill you. Love is abundant and waiting for you. Take care of yourself so you can love and be loved in the healthiest way possible. ❤

Dear December

Hey cool people. I can’t believe we are here. The end of the year. The holidays! Woo. Normally I’m on a breezy tour bus this time of year but I am lucky enough to be able to spend the holiday season with friends and family this time around the Sun.

If y’all are new around here then I’ll fill you in on the no pressure November challenge I did last month. So I did pretty well aside from the last week – I travelled to Utah to watch my cute little niece and struggled doing anything active while on the road and babysitting the wee one. I stayed on a vegan diet. I had a few bites of pie and accidentally ate some vegetarian food that had egg whites in it – but I’m still pretty proud of how well I stuck to the whole vegan dealio.

I’ve decided to set my goals for December. Now that I’m in the swing of staying vegan I am going to start being more mindful of the kind of food I’m eating and keeping track of it on a daily basis. Nothing too crazy. I know this doesn’t work for everyone and I don’t recommend tracking food if you have a history of being too restrictive with yourself. I learned to eat whole pizzas in one sitting from my older brothers so keeping a low pressure food journal helps me immensely. 😂

So that’s a goal. I’m also going to continue challenging myself to do something active everyday even if it’s just five minutes of yoga. Another goal is to get my hands on that vegan eggnog I have seen at Whole Foods. 😈

What are your December goals? If you have any tips on how to motivate yourself to stay active PLEASE let me know. 💕

Gratitude Dude

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Let’s talk about living in a mental state of lack.

I’m all about manifesting the life of your dreams, and please expect more blog posts completely devoted to the subject, but today I’m writing specifically about the huge muck puddles of green-eyed envy and despair we all tend to get stuck in. I am so guilty of this. As I scroll through social media I’ll see some gorgeous person twisted into some incredible yoga pose with this goddess glow… this I-just-did-seven-hours-of-yoga-and-took-three-ginger-shot glow that I immediately become jealous of.

Ok this person probably didn’t do seven hours of yoga… and they definitely didn’t take three shots of pure ginger… but their happiness, beauty, and all around joy is contagious and is extremely envy inducing. Maybe you’re stuck in your room and lamenting that it doesn’t look like it came straight out of an Anthropologie catalog. Maybe you’re driving your car and you see someone pass you in a shiny new Tesla and you just want to honk your horn like a lunatic at them until they hand over the keys and you drive away in your freshly stolen Tesla (Don’t actually do that it’s illegal guys come on.)

If you are sitting around boo-hooing about how little you have or you’re comparing your life to other people’s and complaining about how everyone else seems to have been dealt the upper hand, then you are probably living in a state of big fat LACK. Maybe it’s time to make a huge mental shift in order to finally achieve and get your hands on the stuff and the happiness and the red-bottomed shoes you’ve been drooling and crying over.

*DISCLAIMER* – There is genuine heartbreak, genuine loss and sadness, horrible things that happen in our lives to us and to the people around us. I by no means am saying that you shouldn’t take the time to feel those feelings, process them, heal properly – and my deepest sympathies and heart go out to everyone suffering or struggling with anything that seems like it won’t get better.

I know from personal experience the joy and the healing that can come through staying grateful and it’s something we can all feel if we shift our brains into abundance mode – into a state of constant gratitude for the beauty we have around us moment to moment.

At first it can feel like sarcasm. Start writing things down that you’re grateful for. It doesn’t matter what it is. It could be the new hipster fluoride free toothpaste you purchased yesterday or maybe it’s the flowering tree outside your window. Maybe it’s the fresh air, your cat curled up on your chest, the fact that you get to work inside a heated office building, or maybe you’re just grateful for your breath. If you can get your subconscious mind used to knowing that it has wonderful things around it and that happiness and joy are available to you at all times then you will start attracting bigger and better things into your life, the kind of things you used to boohoo about not having.

Try writing ten things down that you are grateful for before you go to bed each night – or journal a full page of stream of consciousness style text all about what you are most grateful for. We can reshape our lives by shifting our perception of what is around us. YOU are in charge of your reality. Make yours abundant, joyful, loving, and amazing.

 

Steady AF: Recommitting and Revisiting

In my previous posts I’ve discussed that I’m doing a no pressure November challenge. This post is kind of like a check in, but I also want to write about something that I struggle with when committing to a fitness program, life change, or new habit.

We’re halfway through November (WHAT) – I challenged myself this month to stick with a vegan diet and to try and do something active everyday – whether it be going to the gym or doing a short peaceful yoga practice in my room with my dog.

In life we let things slip out of our grasps, and we fall back on old patterns after the initial rush of excitement for starting something new wears off. This has to be the biggest reason I have so many unfinished projects, goals, and ideas. I mess up once, and suddenly my subconscious whispers that I might as well slip up again and again because I’m already headed down that path. I truly believe it’s so important to check in with yourself without being harsh or judgmental after about two or three weeks of pursuing your new goal. It can reignite the excitement and the determination that you had at the beginning and you can also reflect on what you DID do instead of the days you decided to sleep in until noon instead of going to the gym.

SO. Checking in. I have been pretty good about eating completely vegan. I accidentally bought some veggie burgers at the store that had eggs in them – but that’s about it. I’m really proud about that and I have to say it’s a lot easier to be vegan if you get yourself excited about cooking! As for the active part of my goal I haven’t done as well. There were definitely four or five days where I considered playing fetch with my dog my daily activity – BUT – as I was reminded by my boyfriend last night, this challenge was about not putting so much pressure or being so hard on myself … and looking back at the last few weeks I’ve been to the gym probably more times then I went this summer, and that is AWESOME. Weight wise I’ve lost probably one pound – but I’m not stressing about a scale because those things can straight up lie to you.

I’m excited to recommit to this no pressure challenge. Again if any of y’all want to join in and share vegan food or yoga poses I would absolutely love it. I hope this post helps you. Seriously if you are starting anything new I highly recommend putting a two week check-in in your calendar where you really think about why you started and remind yourself that you haven’t slipped too far off the path.  ❤

 

Letting Go of Caring About What Others Think

Hello beautiful people. Today I’m writing about something that I am still trying to master. I am so very passionate about this topic because I truly believe it is the secret to unlocking your limitless power and potential and in increasing your ability to love and be loved by others. It’s about being vulnerable, following your dreams (cringe), and how to deal with the opinions and responses from yourself and others during or after this daunting process.

In life we are surrounded by a symphony of opinions, and I think that some people are better at sifting through these opinions to find the ones that really matter than others. Like most, I started paying way more attention to the opinions of others than I should have very early on – paired with the other fun personality trait that I’ve always had which is the absolute hatred of being a beginner. I never wanted anyone to see me struggling at something I wanted to be great at. I was so stubborn as a kid that I even quit my first day of dance class at the age of ten because they didn’t put me in the advanced classes with the kids who had been dancing for years (I was a drama queen) – I recognize that same thought pattern in myself and others now as an adult.

I wonder how much we all could achieve and master if we all allowed ourselves and others to be vulnerable beginners and to stop listening to the criticism or judgmental thoughts that we might encounter from other people and even our own brains. Perfectionism or the need to be viewed as someone who never fails blocks you from the very thing you are wanting to achieve.

The fear of being a beginner goes hand in hand with the art of not caring what others think. I am personally guilty of once or twice in my life seeing someone go out on a limb and start something that is totally unlike them or out of the box and thinking that they aren’t going to succeed – it’s sort of a subconscious response that society has instilled in us.

Most people want to cheer you on, to hear your story, or help you along your way to your goals and dreams… and if they don’t then you need to accept and realize that they are acting from a place of insecurity or frustration that they can’t leap over their own fear to follow their passion like you!!!! It usually has nothing to do with you at all and everything about their own journey of allowing themselves to be vulnerable.

One of my favorite quotes that I try to read daily and I feel addresses this topic is by Theodore Roosevelt:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

One of my favorite authors and inspirations, Brené Brown, uses this quote in her books which I can’t recommend enough. Seriously, go read Daring Greatly and Rising Strong by Brené Brown – like immediately! Here is one of my favorite excerpts from Daring Greatly:

Belonging: Belonging is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and by seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging, but often barriers to it. Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.

Here is a another from Brené Brown referring to the Theodore Roosevelt quote about the man in the arena:

I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time. Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.

So in conclusion I hope you all have the courage to start. Be a beginner. Take that class. I hope you do your part to give the love you want to receive back to the people you encounter on your journey. Support your friends who are passionately pursuing the thing that they love, lend a loving and compassionate ear to someone who needs to tell their story.

I could write about this all day because I have to remind myself on the regular that it’s okay to be myself, to start new things, and to be vulnerable with the people around me. It’s okay if not everyone understands you or what you’re passionate about. All you can do is send them love, send yourself love, and not give a freaking frick.

 

 

A Vegan Friendsgiving

I have to start this off by admitting that I am guilty of cooking most of my meals in a microwave and have set off a plethora of smoke detectors in my day. The fact that I managed to cook 5 different dishes without any of them burning to a crisp is a miracle made possible by the friendsgiving gods.

Surprisingly it was really fun to cook all of this food! I wanted to make some classic Thanksgiving staples to challenge my cooking abilities and show y’all that you can eat vegan during the holidays without resorting to chewing sticks and leaves in the backyard.

  • VINO:

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Ahhh. Two Buck Chuck. (It actually totals out to be around three dollars but who cares amiright?) My wine selection for my company was lackluster, but luckily I warned my guests in advance to bring better beverages if they so desired.

  • VEGAN STUFFING:

img_5770I cheated a little bit with the stuffing and purchased this stuffing mix from Whole Foods! However I did gussy it up a little bit more than the recipe on the back of the package with fresh celery, carrot, onion, and a bucket of garlic and herbs.

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I honestly think this was the crowd favorite and my personal favorite as well.

  • ROASTED LEMON AND GARLIC BRUSSELS SPROUTS:

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These were so good! Brussels Sprouts might be my favorite vegetable so I might be a little biased.

  • ROASTED DIJON RAINBOW CARROTS:

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These were so good and really beautiful to look at! I got a little frantic towards the end trying to finish everything before company arrived so here are the rest of the pictures. I whipped up some really great mashed potatoes and gravy as well. AAALL VEGAN.

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  • THE MVP OF THE NIGHT:

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Okay. These were insane. I did not bake these from scratch so get that crazy idea out of your head right now. I bought these canned cinnamon rolls from Trader Joe’s after seeing a lot of great reviews on the interweb. I baked the pumpkin cinnamon rolls and the classic, and I could cry they tasted so amazing. Vegan Trader Joe’s finds for the win.

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I think Friendsgiving was a success. I hope that if you are trying to plan out what to make for the holidays this post helped inspire you! I found all of the recipes off Pinterest! I was happy that my non-vegan friends liked what I made and my carnivorous roommates and boyfriend have happily polished off the leftovers in the last few days.

I’m planning to make a few more holiday recipe posts in the future so keep your eyes peeled.