My thoughts

MIA – and life

Well I’ve been Mia for a while. I do apologise for that, as I have been dealing with some stuff on a personal level. However regular posting will resume starting very soon.

I will say that a lot of things have come to light, and some major life changes have happened. I was able to finally locate my biological father, and prove without a doubt that he is indeed my father. Through DNA testing this was possible. So I was able to close that chapter. I found many family members I never even knew existed. I was welcomed with all my quirkiness. Other chapters have closed, and I’m thankful for that. Onto new chapters in life now.

I have been posting to Instagram more and more these days as things go back to normal.

Keep a look out for new postings and know I’m still here, I haven’t gone very far.

Much love

Samantha

xoxo

Recipies

Five vegan staple meals everyone will love

This post is dedicated to a friend who took control of her life and decided she wanted better for herself and her children. I hope this helps your transition.

Pulled BBQ “Beefy” mushroom and onions
You’ll need
1 package of Baby bella mushrooms
1 large red onion
your favorite BBQ sauce
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
salt & pepper to taste
cooked white or brown rice, or quinoa
*preheat oven to low broil*
This one is my absolute favorite vegan meal. It’s healthy, it’s savory, and it’s comfort food.
Super easy to make too. Slice up mushrooms, I use either baby bellas or oyster mushrooms. Baby bellas are more affordable in my opinion, and they cook up nicely. slice up a yellow or red onion. I like to use red onions because they are colorful, and being vegan you want to try to eat the rainbow. Saute the mushrooms and onions in a pan on medium heat until soft. While sauteing add a mix of paprika, onion and garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Go easy on the salt, you’ll be adding BBQ sauce next. Saute for five minutes stirring frequently. Turn the heat down to low. Add BBQ sauce of your choice, Make sure it’s vegan. Once everything is mixed all together move to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Pace into oven and broil until there is a light char on the mixture. Serve on top a bed of rice or quinoa and enjoy.

Vegan mashed potatoes
What you’ll need for a family of 4:
6 medium large yellow/white potatoes
1 cup coconut milk original unsweetened
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp vegan butter (hey its mashed potatoes, you’re allowed to indulge)

Peel potatoes and cute into chunks. There is absolutely no reason to cut potatoes into small pieces. It’s unnecessary work you don’t need to be doing. Boil on medium high until they are fork tender, about 20 minutes, drain and set aside.
In a small sauce pan add the milk, butter, and seasonings but not the salt & pepper. Cook on medium low until warmed and just steaming, no need to boil this mixture.
Using a potato masher slowly add the mixture to the potatoes and mash until you get the consistency you like. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Pizza!! who doesn’t like pizza
What you’ll need for 2 pizzas:
2 store bought pizza dough (Pillsbury makes a “accidental” vegan dough also some store brand make them too)
1 glass jar of tomato sauce
3 packages of vegan cheese shreds ( a bit pricey but worth it as long as you’re not making pizza everyday)
Preheat oven according to dough instructions
Place dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet and using a rolling pin roll the dough out to fit the pan. Add sauce enough to cover the pizza, now place a layer of the shreds. Follow the heating directions on the dough packaging. If you like cheese extra crispy you can broil the shreds a bit. Allow to cool a bit and serve.

Breakfast cookies
What you’ll need
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup whole wheat flour (unbleached)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips 
1/4 cup raisins 
1/2 cup brown sugar 
1/2 cup date sugar
Pinch of salt 
1 tsp baking soda 
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract 
1/2 cup vegan butter softened 
3 tbsp agave nectar 
1/2 cup peanut butter 
1 1/2 tsp plant milk 
splash of water (helps with mixing
Preheat oven to 350, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and go to town mixing. Use an ice cream scoop to place onto the cookie sheet. Once the mixture is on the cookie sheet use a fork to push it down a bit. Bake for 8 to 11 minutes. Edges should be golden brown. Wait a couple minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.  Package up into compostable baggies or reusable baggies and you have a quick go to breakfast.

Lazy “chicken” nuggets and french fries.
You’ll need:
1 package of vegan chicken nuggets (Whole foods brand is very affordable)
1 bag of lightly processed frozen french fries

okay this is a seriously easy and a lazy day meal. Follow the heating directions on the bags. This is Vallettas favorite meal. The one she request the most actually. If you don’t have a whole foods I’m sure your local grocery store has a version of vegan nuggets. Also almost all fries are vegan but I have found a couple that have milk products in them for whatever weird reason. I’ve also found some frozen onion rings that contain milk products.. Just be sure to read the label, them more you do this the quicker you’ll get.

I hope these recipes help y’all transition to vegan, and remember vegan doesn’t have to be expensive but can be affordable as well as tasty. Also you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy these recipes. I encourage everyone to try them.








My thoughts

Best friend(s)

This post is dedicated to my two very best friends, I appreciate you both so much. No matter how far away or close you may be.

Everyone deserves a best friend; a person who you can trust, and run to with questions. A person who you can tell your secrets to, and know they’ll be safe. I am lucky enough to have two very best friends.

This first lovely lady I met when I was pregnant with my oldest, we met in a weight loss surgery mommy group. Believe it or not I used to be very heavy, but that’s a story for another time. Her and I clicked right away, and the rest is really just history. Friendship without judgment, just pure love and support through everything. She lives on the West coast while I’m over here on the East coast. I don’t know what I’d have done without her throughout my pregnancies and life so far. Her being three hours behind me has some advantages. If I have to take one of the kids to hospital she’s up most times. Since my Facebook is mostly a very small amount of family, and people I know in real life she can update them all for me. I can do the same for her. It isn’t your textbook friendship but it fits us perfectly. She’s heard it all, from my family issues to what my kids vomit looks and smells like. All without batting an eye. For this reason and many others I love her like the sister I never had.

This second lovely lady I met at work, it wasn’t love at first sight, but there was definitely something there. She was avoiding me, and I didn’t know why. I call her my “twin flame” my sister from another mister. Once she stopped avoiding me we instantly clicked. Like our “souls” (and I use that term lightly) found each other. She lives here on the East coast with me, literally like five minutes up the road. She’s been here with me since before I started my search for my father. She has listened to me vent about life, and love, and everything in between. She is an amazing person with an amazing personality. She’s helped plan, and has attended both my girls birthday parties. She’s watched my girls, which you have to be someone I really trust to get that privilege. She’s even on my kids emergency pickup list. Shes Auntie to my kids, and I’m auntie to hers. There’s something so magical about having people like this in your life.

I really wish I had these two wonderful women in my life growing up. I surely needed them then. They say the best comes in time and I surely believe this. I’m just glad I didn’t have to wait until I was grey for these lovelies. Some say you cannot choose your family but I highly disagree. I may have not been able to choose the family I was born into, but I can choose the family I want to surround myself with. These two are my sisters for all the right reasons, and I could not have chosen any better. I love you both and I am so thankful to have finally met you.

Recipies

Breakfast cookies

Vegan dark chocolate chip, and peanut butter oatmeal raisin breakfast cookies. Phew that’s a mouth full.. we absolutely loved these cookies. They are sweet, savoury, with just the right amount of vegan goodness. Y’all need to make these ASAP.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup whole wheat flour (unbleached)

1/2 cup dairy free dark chocolate chips

1/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup date sugar

Pinch of salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp hemp seeds

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup vegan butter softened

3 tbsp agave nectar

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 1/2 tsp plant milk

splash of water (helps with mixing)

Doubling the recipe

Preheat oven to 350°, line a cookie sheet with compostable parchment paper. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and go to town mixing. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop onto the cookie sheet. Once the mixture is on the cookie sheet use a fork to push it down a bit. Bake for 8 to 11 minutes. Edges should be golden brown. Wait a couple minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Thats it.. I hope you enjoy these as much as we do. This recipe can also be doubled, and made into granola bars. Kid tested, kid approved.

So tasty

My thoughts

So much plastic!!

I live in what I consider a food desert. We have grocery stores and convenient stores on nearly every corner. Fast food everywhere you look. Some may think that having these near are an advantage, but it’s not. I try to buy non plastic packaged fruits and veggies, but everywhere I go they are packaged in plastic, wrapped in elastics, or twist ties. Everything is super over priced because it’s brought in on trucks.

I live on an island, a man made island that has all four seasons. I don’t think this is a valid reason to severely jack up the prices of food. Cape Cod is a great vacation spot but it’s losing its young people because its failure to have jobs, and be affordable. Not only is the price of food way too high, housing and taxes are ridiculous. However right now I’m speaking about the food desert.

I just wish we had more options for healthy food being served sustainably, and fruits and veggies being packaged more eco friendly. Unfortunately Cape cod just isn’t there. It’s the reason I’m starting to really get into growing my own food. I highly doubt this place is going to change that dramatically in the next few years. As I’ve said to my Significant other, we need to learn and teach the girls how to grow and maintain a garden. They need to be able to care for themselves when this place goes far south, and becomes a full on food desert. Especially since both my girls are vegan and cannot have what a typical child can have.

When I go into the grocery store for the weeks shop I get stares as I’m leaving. I do not use bags, and I don’t bring mine into the store. It is much easier and I’m not rushed when I bag it up at the truck. I do not accept a bag unless I ABSOLUTELY have too and it has to be paper.

This was a rant more than a blog post, but it’s something I’m very passionate about. I do not like living in a food desert, and I try to do my best to not buy a ton of plastic.

Things I do to be as sustainable as I can.

1. I reuse glass jars to drink from.

2. Anything reusable is either glass, stainless steel, metal, or silicone.

3. I try not to throw anything away, but instead give it away or bring it to a donation area.

4. We cook with stainless steel, and own one eco friendly nonstick pan.

5. I make my own laundry soap, it works well if not better that store bought.

6. I make my own house cleaner, and yes it works.

7. We use a sink water filter instead of buying bottled water.

8. We use a regular coffee pot instead of a Keurig.

9. I wash the girls and my laundry together.

10. The girls have very minimal plastic toys and I don’t buy them plastic toys. They have what they wanted to keep when we did the clean out.

My thoughts

Addiction-yep we’re going there

Well it’s Monday night, and we’re talking about addictions. No we’re not going to dabble in the drug and alcohol area of addiction. We’re going to chat about the lesser talked about energy drink and sugar addiction. Two combined addictions that many adults and teenagers share. So why have I decided to speak on this topic? Well I have been addicted to energy drinks since my youngest was born. It was a slippery slop from the moment I drank the first one. So this blog post will be based on my own addiction story.

I do not own rights to this photo.

My daughter Keira was born in October of 2014, and I was a stay at home mom. I was always super tired, and needed something that wasn’t coffee to keep me going. Someone in a group, on Facebook had posted a tread on energy drinks. I happened to chime in. I’ve always liked Monster energy drinks, but I was never addicted to them. Since having weight loss surgery I was unable to drink anything carbonated. So this had ruled out energy drinks, the super sugary ones. Even the no sugar energy drink were still carbonated, so I couldn’t drink those either. This is basically what I had said on the thread. A woman chimed in and told me about Monsters non-carbonated line of energy drinks. I was excited, ecstatic to be honest. So I went to try one, and that was it. I was hooked. Every picture I took you’d see a shadow of this drink, or a full on photo of this drink. I was drinking in excess of up to eight a day. Some days I’d only drink four, some days six, others eight. I knew all the places they were the cheapest, and all the employees knew me. I was known as the.. no bag woman who would buy four monsters at a time. Particularly the lemonade flavor.

It all came to an end this past Thursday. I knew at some point I’d either have a heart attack or another medical problem because of my addiction. This was it, the turning point. This was the forced quitting I needed. Wednesday I woke up in pain. It wasn’t that time of month so it wasn’t that. I thought I had pinched a never. My entire back, sides, and legs were in so much pain. It peaked that night at work. I honestly thought I was dying. I still had no idea what was happening. I woke up Thursday in very little pain. I got the kids up, dressed and eating breakfast. I opened my monster and took a sip. Within two minutes I was in pain again. Still not completely understanding what was going on I took the girls to school. Finally after taking another sip it dawns on me.. My kidneys and liver are fighting back, and the monster is the cause of all of my pain. I dumped it out my window driving down the road. Tossed the can in my trash can I keep in the truck. That was it, the last sip of an energy drink. I’ve been having pains since then. I know how much of the toxins are in my body from that drink. It’s going to take a while for it all to leave my system. My pains are getting less and less, and my symptoms are going away little by little.

Why did I tell you this story? I want everyone to know how bad these are for you. I was blind and naive to the fact of the harm these can do to my body. People have died from these, I’m very lucky I know. Even the low calorie, non-carbonated ones can harm you. Between the artificial sugar, to the overload of B vitamins, and whatever else they put into them.. None of it is good. Even just one a day increases your risk of a heart attack, and I honestly don’t know how I avoided it. If you have loved ones who drink these please voice your concern, tell them my story, show them my blog post. You can eat as healthy as you want, but if you are drinking these it will compromise your system. Teenagers are so susceptible to drinking these, parents need to be stern and not allow them to start. I know we cannot control everything they do, but we can set the standard and a good leading example.

I do not own rights to this photo.
I do not own rights to this photo.
My thoughts

When life throws you a curve ball.

Life is full of curve balls. Some you see coming, but others have to hit you in the side of the head before you see them. So what do you do when you get hit with a curve ball? There isn’t much choice when you get one. You must make a decision whether or not to freak out, or take it step by step and day by day. Trust me when I say freaking out will do you no good, in the moment decisions wont either. Our initial thought is to lose it, breakdown, and just be defeated. We do this automatically, but we can stop it. Allowing this curve ball to take more out of you than it has too is completely up to you. Here are four steps to avoiding a mental breakdown in that moment. Lets be honest for a moment.. You will breakdown, but you have to be strong while you make decisions, and after the dust is settled you can have that cry fest. So here are my four steps to avoiding that initial breakdown.

  1. Asses the situation – with as clear of a head as physically possible. Figure out why this happened, who threw this ball, and what can be done.
  2. You gotta breath – This is critical, if you don’t remain calm you’ll lose is before you figure anything out. That is the last thing you want or need.
  3. Seclusion, with in reason – a lot of people would disagree with me. However have you ever tried to asses a situation with people talking in your ear, telling you what to do before you have a chance to figure anything out? No its not a good thing. Once you have had time to process the situation you should reach out to someone(s) you trust.
  4. Get outside – You’ll need to clear your head, and again breath. Something as simple as listening to gentle music and walking down your local main street is enough to aid in clearing your head. This is great to do after the shock, and all the thinking. I encourage you to do this with your best friend, just to have them their beside you.

Once the shock is over, and you’ve had the chance to figure some or everything out you should have that cry. I suggest doing this in private. I’ve done this cry in public, at work actually. It wasn’t pretty, I looked and felt awful the rest of my shift. Sometimes you cannot help where you have this breakdown, especially if you’re like me and you try to remain strong without that cry. It’s not healthy to keep it bottled up, and definitely isn’t self love. You need to release these feelings so you can move on. I know I know, but you don’t have to be strong all the time. You don’t have to let anyone see you cry, or explain why you’re crying. When I was asked why if I was okay, and what was wrong all I said was “just a lot going on, I’m okay”. No one needs anymore information than that. You are not obligated to open up to everyone you come across. Just your mum, your best friend, or a close relative. This is all by choice and I highly recommend you confide in the person you trust the most. No it doesn’t have to be family. I confide in my best friend, because I just don’t have that family connection.

The journey may be hard, but we are strong. There is nothing we cannot do, with perseverance, self love and respect for ourselves. Take your time making choices and going down new roads.

Just keep in mind this little piece of information.

“Every journey has many paths, you choose the paths you take. In the end you will have walked the journey you chose to walk. No one can dictate your path, unless you allow them too. You’re life rest in the palm of your hands, make it a good journey”

My thoughts

Crazy flu and cold “season”

Y’all it’s been a crazy few weeks. Valletta tested positive for the flu and Keira had a nasty ear infection. All of this happened the week before winter vacation. This landed us in the hospital. Valletta probably got the flu from her father. Fast forward a week; we were back in the hospital due Valletta losing a significant amount of weight. She also was diagnosed with a slight ear infection. She got antibiotics and we were out of there. That Friday we were back in the hospital after I had to call rescue for Keira. The antibiotic for her ear infection made her breakout in hives. Thankfully her breathing was fine. So I was able to drive to the hospital which is about 10 minutes away. We were seen relatively quick. They administered Prednisone (spelling), and an antihistamine. The rash was under control even though it got redder before it went away. During all of this I was (somehow) the only one not sick. I did get the lovely job of taking care of everyone. I was able to manage the symptoms with our homeopathic cold medicines. We got antibiotics only when absolutely needed. Fast forward to today, I brought them both to school. They haven’t had fevers or vomited since a few days ago. Valletta has made it to noon at school, but the day is still young. Keira made it an hour into school and her bum didn’t want to corporate. So I had to pick her up. Y’all this flu is no joke, get the shot if you still can. Wash your hands, and brush those teeth. I hate reading about death. Especially those that could have been avoided. Please keep those babies safe. Here’s to a healthy and happy spring. I’m back to posting, so things will pick up as normal.

Peace, love, and self acceptance.

My thoughts

Five things I hate, and five things I love.

So for this weeks post I decided to do, five things I hate and five things I love. So here we go.

1. I hate constantly negative people…. You know these people, they never see the good in anything. They always have something to complain about. Even the smallest thing.. Something as stupid as “I’m out of grape jelly.. why does my life suck so much?” Yeah I hate those kind of people.

2. Heavy coats.. I know this sounds silly… however they are bulky, cumbersome, and just annoying. Then again I cannot wear clothing like that. I think it has something to do with my sensory issues. I’m better with light clothing. Which makes me wonder if I belong in a warmer climate.

3. Mayonnaise – vegan or dairy mayo.. something about the texture, and the smell really turns me off. I have to use a long spoon if I’m going to be using it. I refuse to eat it, but others in my home do like it. Yuck!!

4. Being late.. Oh man I hate being late, I do not think I’ve ever been late for anything. If I (or we) have an appointment I will leave between 45 minutes to 1.5 hours ahead of time. Depending on where we’re going. Maybe it’s an OCD thing, but it makes me really uncomfortable being late.

5. Phone calls.. I legitimately hate answering my phone. Don’t call me if it’s not super important. Like think.. is this textable? If the answer is yes, please text me. I know it sounds silly but it’s completely true.

1. I love my yoga pants.. hear me out. I’m not talking about the yoga pants that look like workout pants. These yoga pants I speak of can pull off an everyday look. I can wear sneakers and heels with these. They are also tummy slimming, which I need. They are so comfortable and are boot cut.

2. Smoothies.. I cannot get enough of my favourite smoothie. The mixture of strawberries, mangoes, pineapple, chia seeds, and dragon fruit.. along with the protein nut milk, raw agave nectar and the splash of vanilla.. y’all it’s legit like ice cream. Cruelty free ice cream.

3. The smell of blow dried hair. Have you ever smelled it? It’s like heat, plus clean hair, equals just the greatest smell. Maybe it’s because I’m a hairdresser by trade but I can smell blow dried hair a mile away. I swear I’m not crazy..

4. Yoga and meditation.. I absolutely love the feeling I get when I do these two things. I love the sound of the singing bowls. Just to sit and breath, to relax, and stretch. Man it feels amazing. I’ve been really slacking at this lately. I said earlier that I need to get back to my meditation and yoga. Tomorrow morning definitely back at it. Ekk can’t wait.

5. I love cooking. Mixing flavours, using spices, cutting up veggies, all while listening to music or podcasts.. it’s just my favourite thing ever. It’s like art but edible. The smells my food gives off, is intoxicating even though it’s not meat. I know I haven’t harmed anyone or anything creating my meals. It’s such a wonderful feeling.

Well those are my five and five. I hope you enjoy this silly insight into my mind. Until next week. Love and peace to everyone.

My thoughts

The not so pretty, and the beautiful sides of being vegan

When your life mission is to save the world one animal at a time, it gets lonely. Like really lonely. Making friends has never been my strong suite and most times I’m by myself. However I do have a few good friends. Feeling quite lonely wishing I had my own vegan tribe to surround myself with. Be able to talk with other moms who are on the same journey. It is socially more acceptable to be a meat and dairy eater than it is to be vegan or plant based eater. You cannot walk into any grocery store and find what you’re looking for. I have to travel over a bridge then another 20 minutes to just get my protein nut milk. I’m looking into ordering it. Perks of living on an all seasons island I guess. I did try joining a vegan/vegetarian group on Facebook, I also tried making my own group. Nothing took off, and the group I joined is quite stagnant. The number of restaurants here that are vegan or have vegan options is extremely minimal, two within a twenty minute drive. I digress..

With all of that said, being vegan is one of the best choices I’ve ever made, and I hope to go fully plant based within the next couple years. My girls are both vegan, but mostly for their health. I am able to find things like vegan mac and cheese, and Trader Joes has started to carry some more vegan options. However you need to be careful. check for eggs and milk, because even though it says “meatless” it could definitely have dairy in it. I started checking not just ingredients, but what clothing is made out of. Careful not to buy anything made from animals. Also medications, and hair products I’ve been checking too. I just love how I feel eating vegan, all the vegetable I’ve been eating saved me from the flu. However I did get a cold, and a sinus infection.. Those two things I can manage while managing a household. A flu I could not handle my household had I gotten the flu..

This coming weekend is Superbowl weekend, we have a couple friends coming over, one of which is trying to eat healthier. So I’ll be making vegan options for her and I. The men (who are not vegan) will be eating non vegan items. GO PATRIOTS!!

Lead by example and others shall follow. That is my main goal in life, hoping others can see the good in veganism, and try it. Try it out, maybe not everyday, but possibly bring back “meatless Monday”, try the vegan cheese, try some of the substitutes. I don’t want anyone to throw themselves into it 100 percent at first. I tell people, try being vegetarian for a bit, and incorporate some vegan days.

Vegans don’t wish cruelty upon animals or others.. Here’s my problem.. The outspoken mean vegans.. I know you want to make a point, I GET IT.. However do you honestly think yelling in someones face, telling them they’re a murderer is a good way to get anyone to change their ways? No it absolutely is not. I saw a post on my Facebook new feed that utterly disturbed me. At a PETA protest in Sydney there was a man roasting a dog, a DOG y’all.. This is absolutely ridiculous to me. If you care about all animals why are you doing this?? It’s every level unacceptable, disgusting, and is definitely not what most vegans are about. I prefer facts of what the food you are eating is doing to your body, over that harshness.

Like I said, it’s not all a pretty picture, but I just wanted to put my thoughts out there. However random it may sound.

Be kind, love all, and only spread love and happiness.

Recipies

Holy moley vegan granola


No but seriously..

Okay y’all you have to try this granola. I think I’m legit in love. Just one more thing I’m no longer buying, one more thing I no longer will have waste for, and one more thing I finally have taken the risk to make. I am so glad I tried making my own granola.

I absolutely love granola, I love everything about granola.. I LOVE GRANOLA!! I hate buying granola, I hate the packaging I know I will have to throw away eventually. So I would just leave a little in the bag, and keep it in the cabinet until I can no longer put it off. Thus throwing it away. So I stopped buying granola. Having to walk buy all the yummy flavors was plain hard, but I wasn’t buying packaging. Then it dawned on me.. JUST MAKE IT YOURSELF!! Uhhh duh, what took me so long to think of it?? Yes I still have to buy ingredient, but most in bulk. So less packaging, much less packaging..

So here we go..

Ingredients you will need:

  • 4 cups rolled oats – not quick cook
  • 1 1/2 cups melted nut butter – I used almond butter
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup – buy in glass
  • 1/2 cup walnuts chopped – buy in bulk
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds – buy in bulk
  • 1/2 dried cranberries – buy in bulk
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries – buy in bulk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract – buy in glass
  • pinch of salt
  • **see less waste**

This is rather simple to make.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

Line a cookie sheet with recycled (brown) parchment paper

Put the oats and other dry ingredients into a bowl. Next add the nut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Mix until everything is coated.

Spread evenly on the cookie sheet and put into the oven. Cook for 15 minutes and turn the granola. Put back into the oven for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Move to an air tight (glass) container.

You can put it on yogurt, ice cream, or just eat by the handfuls. I just eat by the handfuls..

Enjoy.

Recipies

Finally vegan bread

Whole wheat homemade vegan bread..

Real life cooking.

I have wanted to make my own bread for so long, I cannot even beginning to tell y’all how long I have been thinking about, and putting this off. I am not a baker by any means. Like I seriously cannot bake, or so I thought. I am now convinced that I cannot bake non vegan, this is a legit thing. When I was baking with eggs and milk I would fail and burn everything. Once I removed the non vegan items things worked, everything came out beautiful and tasted amazing. This started with cookies, I made cookies and I didn’t burn them. So I tried banana bread, came out stunning and tasted amazing.. So Saturday I put all my reservations aside, I found a vegan bread recipe. I stunned myself when the bread came out perfect, and tasted amazing.

So here is the recipe.

Ingredients you will need:

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 11g instant yeast
  • pinch of salt
  • 2.5 cups warm water
  • 2 or 3 tsp pure maple syrup

Greased bread pan – line the bottom with parchment paper.. Trust me on this. I didn’t and I wish I had.

In a bowl mix the flour, the yeast, and the salt. Next in a measuring cup; measure out the warm water, then add the maple syrup, and stir to dissolve it. Now you want to add the liquid to the flour – yeast mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until you get a sticky dough texture. You don’t need to kneed this but you can. I just moved it straight to the greased bread pan.

Cover with a towel and let rise for 20 minutes. If it needs more rising time let it sit for five more minutes but not much more than that.

Preheat the oven to 390 degrees

Once the bread has risen and the oven is preheated – put the bread into the oven. Bake for 40/50 minutes. Being careful not to burn the bottom.

*Hint* I turned my oven light on so I could watch it, looking every ten minutes or so. This way I don’t keep opening the door, I’m sure I’m not the only person who does this. You don’t have to admit it to me *wink wink*.

Let the bread cool. Cut with a serrated knife, or an electric knife.

Enjoy.

Recipies

Apple cinnamon oats

Perfect for a chilly Sunday night.

What you will need –

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 apple – peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp date sugar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp brown sugar

First you want to melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Once it has melted add the apples, stir to coat. Next add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and date sugar. Stir to coat the apples, let the apples soften. I used a potato masher to mash them up a bit. This is an optional step, but for me it is a necessary step for the little people.

Next you want to get your water going. Bring the water to a boil, next add the oats and turn the heat to medium. Cook for about five minutes, or until the oats begin to thicken. Stirring occasionally. Once the oats have thicken but are still kind of loose, add the apple and stir to combine. Now is a good time to add the brown sugar and maple syrup. Stir stir stir.. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes before serving.

This was on the lower end of sweet for us. I try to keep things less sugary for my girls. Since both have ADHD I don’t like to over due it. ADHD is also the reason they don’t eat candy. They do get things like vegan cookies and cupcakes every once and a while. So if you like things more sweet just tweak this to your liking.

Also.. You can serve this with some granola on top or just plain.

Enjoy.

Recipies

Spanish rice

1 cup basmati or jasmine rice

2 cups water or vegetable stock

1/2 cup traditional tomato sauce

1tbsp oil (I used my homemade garlic oil)

1 packet Sazon Goya packet

1tsp cumin

1/2 tsp dried cilantro

1/4 tsp paprika

A pinch of chilli powder

1 medium shallot diced

1/2 Roma tomato diced

1 clove of garlic minced

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a sauce pan, once oil is ready add the shallots. Cook for 4 minutes. Next add your garlic and tomato. Cook for five minutes.. Now add the rice, seasoning packet, and spices. Stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes constantly stirring. Add stock and stir.

Bring to a boil and reduce to low. Cook until all water is evaporated. About twenty minutes or so. Make sure you stir every couple minutes.

Once done remove from burner and keep covered for 5 minutes. Serve warm -enjoy-

My thoughts

Just too fast

You will get there, just do it safely.

Something I want to talk about for a few minutes. So this is something I’m noticing more and more often, and it’s scary. People rushing, but where are we going that deems us to speed, to honk after the light has just turned green? Just the other day I saw an accident. The person was in such a rush they pulled out thinking they would be able to clear the oncoming car. What actually happened was a crash. Front end met this persons driver door, thankfully it looked like everyone was okay. BUT why? Why couldn’t that person have waited for a better clearing?

Then there are people who do not stop for school buses.. What is with that, where the hell are you going in such a hurry you cannot wait for a child to be safely off the bus, and across the street? I’m sorry but NOTHING absolutely nothing is worth risking a child’s life, or even another adults life..

The speed limit on my road is 35, that’s way too high for this road. Nearly everyone does 40/45!! This road is thickly settled, and people are constantly stopping, or turning. Both ends of my road have dangerous intersections. At least once a day cops and emergency vehicles are speeding past my home to assist with an accident on either end. People do not want to pause for two seconds to let someone go.

So here is my proposal, I say we slow down. Take a second to think of others, and how we would feel if someone accidentally took the life of our loved one. All because you wanted that coffee, or pack of smokes faster. You wanted to get home, and sit there that much faster. You may be late to work, but that’s one less life taken due to speed. Even if you do 80mph in a 65mph zone you’re only going to get to your destination 15 minutes sooner. That’s not enough time to deem it okay. Okay you have a fast car, I get it, but it’s not that popular these days. It wont make you cool , or even sexier. You want to be sexy? Save an animal, work out, eat properly, be kind. Risking others isn’t and will never be sexy.

If you find yourself rushing, take a deep breath and say “okay I need to slow it down”. when we say things like this out loud it becomes reality. Also if you’re speeding and you are listening to hard rock, try listing to the acoustic versions of the song. I know when I get my music going I go faster, and I have to stop myself or change the music. I’m not asking you to drive like a sloth, I’m asking you to slow down, respect others on the road, and treat others like they are your family members.

Also please slow down for the woodland creatures!! We overtook their home, least we can do is let them cross the street.

Lets make 2019 a year of cautious driving, and caring about others wellness.