Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Doc || The World Before Her

The World Before Her is a documentary that shows both sides of a very serious discussion. In India like in much parts of the developing world there is a conflict: modernize or stay true to culture. Many see this concept as an all in or all out situation, when in reality there is so much more to it. I understand the concept that we should be trying to move forward and be progressive, yet many of these young Indian woman are trying to be so "modern" that they are willing to use skin bleach in order to assimilate to this world. While on the other hand I understand the concept of holding on to ones culture and values but these same young Indian woman are being told that the only thing they are here is to clean, cook, marry and have children. Both of these ideas are very detrimental to these young woman. The concept of losing ones culture and traditions can be a very powerful one, one that can prevent positive change from occurring. It is crucial for these two ideas to have balance. Growing up in an Hispanic house hold I have faced this similar situation. With comments like "If you don't know how to prepare this meal you'll never find a husband." or to the other extreme "You should go blond if you want to look good." By hearing comments like that at such a young age it can really create a bias about sticking to tradition or modernizing. Having the feeling of "you lose either way." The best way to combat this way of thinking is by teaching our young girls that they are worth it just the way that they are. That they can truly accomplish what they set their minds on. 


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Dang Bacon & Mac n Cheese

Dang toasted coconut chips, savory bacon flavored! You heard me right. I finally got the chance to try out these bad boys. Now let me tell you a bit about this flavor explosion; it is amazing. To be honest my favorite part about them is the texture. It is just so perfectly crunchy I can't even explain it. So I had been snacking on them for a while then I though "WHY HAVENT I PUT THESE ON MAC N CHEESE!?" So that's exactly what I did.

So I frantically fixed myself up a big ol' bowl of mac n cheese and sprinkled my "bacon" on top and BAM. A delicious, oh so savory, "reminds you of when you were a kid sitting in front of the tv watching cartoons" meal. Having meals like these bring me back. So Zac and I got to enjoy these cozy meal while trying to find cartoons on Netlfix haha. Head over here to find all of Dang's amazing products. I can't wait to get my hands on the onion line!

Happy Thursday! 

Friday, March 18, 2016

New Friends || Peter & Anna

Love meeting rad people but to be honest Zac and I have never been bar goers or anything of the sort, so meeting new people doesn't happen quite that often. I found over the years that one of the coolest ways of meeting new people is through Couch Surfing. We have been hosting travelers since 2014 through the site and just online in general. It is an incredible way to get to meet some of the most interesting people ever.

Peter and Anna reach out to me about 10 days ago via Couch Surfing and we set up a date that they could crash at our house. They are traveling on their bikes with their doggie Higgins. They are hella cool, so I decided to write up a little interview. 

A little bit about them

Anna is a 28 year old dietitian from St. Louis, Missouri. She enjoys biking (I'd hope so) and has been vegan for 10 years!

Peter is from Portland, Oregon and is the oldest of a family of 6. Early on Paul joined the militarty, then lived in DC after that is when he took his first solo bike trip to LA. That's where it all started. 

How long have ya'll been traveling?

They started their biking trip in April of 2014. The trip started in Los Angeles and they have been traveling ever since. They take winters off (who the hell wants to bike in the cold?) and then start up again once it warms up. They have traveled a total of 8000 miles so far and still have ways to go! 

Where is the coolest place you've have visited?

Anna: "We have been to tons of amazing places, but The Redwoods comes to mind. We biked through it and we stayed on a beach right across from all of the trees. It was amazing. It was surreal. The Badlands were amazing as well." 

Peter: "Munising, Michigan. It was kind of an unintentional trip. We hung out on the lake for like 3 days, in the middle of summer, the weather was gorgeous. Just an awesome time."

What is your best advice for aspiring travelers?

"Just do it. Don't let preparation stop you. You can make it work. If you think "oh well I need this, and this, and this!" You will just stop yourself. You will never be as prepared as you think you should be. Just go out there. Don't over complicate things. If you need it, you can buy it on the road. Learn as you go. The most important lessons you will learn out there." 

What's next?

"After we finish up the trip we are looking to find a town that we can settle down for a bit. Maybe stock up for a while and then plan our next bike trip."

They were some awesome folks, down to earth, and as a bonus Anna made us some killer vegan supper! I wish those guys the best of luck on their adventurous life! Hope to cross paths again.

Happy Friday! 


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Vegan Goodies || AJA Naturals

What better way to get into the St. Patrick's Day mood than by green soap! AJA Naturals is an incredible handmade, cruelty-free, vegan and paraben free line. Alright guys, we need to start investing in scratch and sniff blog post, cause ya'll, THIS SMELLS SO GOOD. It makes me feel so grounded it is amazing.

Ya'll are gonna just have to think real hard as to how amazing this smells. I have a really big problem with soaps not smelling as awesome as I want them to, but I have found my go to soap line now.

In absolute heaven with the Royale soap. Huge fan of earthy smells that instantly unwind. And who doesn't love pretty marbling. I had to fight Zac off when I was testing this one out. Haha.

Okay so I may be a bath addict but that is okay. I love everything from bath bombs to straight up bubbles. This fizzy bath soak is basically a combination of everything I love in the bath. It's amazing combination of essential oils will leave you feeling like you just left the spa. 

To check out the rest of AJA Naturals shop click here. Hope everyone has a safe and happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy Thursday ya'll! 

Monday, March 14, 2016

5 Tips For a More Positive Life

Dreadfully long video of me blabbing. Haha. This is a video that I have been wanting to make for a while addressing tips for a more positive outlook on life. These few tips have helped me tremendously. Hope ya'll enjoy. 


Doc || Dog on the Inside

Dogs on the Inside was a beautiful documentary about dogs who have been rescued from undesirable conditions and then fostered in a prison with inmates. Many dog rescue centers have very limited space to keep the dogs as you may imagine and a particularly positive way to navigate around this problem is by fostering dogs in prisons. The dogs are rescued, then brought into the prisons where they pick an inmate to work with them. This prisoners are now responsible for bathing, feeding, and teaching the dogs basic commands. This not only greatly changes the dogs' lives but also the lives of the inmates. They build these incredibly powerful bonds with the dogs. Many of these dogs come from very tough backgrounds and have severe trust issues, common traits among inmates. They are able to identify with these creatures on a much deeper level. Once the dogs are trained they then go onto their adopted homes. It was such an uplifting documentation of the human spirit. A must watch. 


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Fruit Haul

YA'LL. I am typing as fast as I can because I can't even control my excitement! Okay let me settle down so that I can explain why the hell I am so excited. Haha. 

Okay so fruit can add up, that's true. It can sometimes not be that cheap, but I am a strong believer of getting tons if not most of your calories from fruit. I do understand that not everyone is blessed with the ability to drop money on fruit like us, but we just figured out a hack! 

Zac went to our local Albertsons (over the past few years we have become really good friends with the folks who work there) on Monday and he asked the produce guy if we could buy their older fruit. He said that he could but that it may not be too constant because he didn't know exactly when they would have a surplus. Yet this morning we got some killer news! He texted (yeah we are that cool haha) Zac, telling him he had some if we were interesting in buying. So of course Zac headed out to pick it up. He called me yelling, I tried to calm him down but it didn't do me much good. He was saying "JEN IT'S SO MUCH FRUIT. SO MUCH" So he rushed home and DUDE. Look at this! Look at this beautiful haul. 

All for $6.
YES $6.

19 Pears
9 Apples
1 Grapefruit
1 Cantaloupe
9 Oranges
15 Bags of grapes

What we were most astonished by was the fact that the fruits weren't even old! Or ripe for that matter! 

Sometimes we just have to be bold an ask! So head out to your local grocery store and ask if you can buy their older and ripper fruit. They might say no, but that's okay! Just go on to your next one. You never know what kind of jack pot you can hit. 


Vegan Goodies || JoeScrub Matcha and Charcoal Scrub

I can't get enough of JoeScrub. When I found out they now have a matcha and a charcoal version of their scrub I was pumped! I mean who doesn't love having a green face? Haha. These suckers are amazing and leave you feeling even better. In general scrubs are just divine for your face, body and your mood! 

These two scrubs are as awesome as the original coffee scrub in the fact that it is completely vegan, cruelty free, and completely natural. Be very aware when buying body scrubs because many times companies like to sneak in super weird stuff in the ingredients, but you don't have to worry about that with JoeScrub.

JoeScub charcoal scrub is jam packed with the incredible properties that activated charcoal have, such as been able to very efficiently pull out impurities and tighten pores. Which I mean who doesn't want to get gunk out of their face? 

JoeScurb matcha has incredible antioxidants that help fight against bacteria that can cause those pesky breakouts that I know entirely too well. 

My favorite was the charcoal scrub. It has the most awesome clean smell, if ya'll know what I mean. These scrubs are the perfect mixture of rough enough to pell the dead skin off of your face with out it destroying it. Haha.

If ya'll wanna check them out the link is here.

Happy Saturday!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Doc || The Testimony

This film The Testimony covers the incredibly painful story of the largest rape tribunal in Congo's history. It is unbelievable to see how many woman have suffered from this outrageously long period of war. The documentary lets a few brave women speak up and share their story. So many of these woman are left by their husbands because of the shame that is brought about with rape. They are seen as "used up" or "useless" to society. It is truly heart breaking to hear these strong women trying to over come such a traumatic event in their lives. It is devastating to think that after being raped, they are then outcasted by their own families. Victims of rape should be cared for and be surrounded with love and support to create an environment where they can begin to over come that event. Absolute must see.


Friday, March 4, 2016

Vegan Goodies || Dang Coconut Chips

I present to you the best dang smoothie topping ever! Haha. I am so clever. But in all seriousness, these are the bomb! Dang coconut chips are probably the best thing ever invented. I first found them in one of my vegan subscription boxes and fell in love. So I was on a quest to find them. I went to Whole Food but had no luck. Then I went over to Amazon where I bought a pack of 12, Zac thought I was completely crazy (that was only because he hadn't tried them yet). They came in a gigantic box and my brother and cousin were there. Within an hour of me opening up the box we had eaten 6 out of the 12 bags. Haha. They are seriously THAT good. If you aren't an Amazon lover like me don't worry, I found them at Whole Foods! (Apparently didn't look hard enough the first time)

I topped by mango / banana smoothie bowl with them this morning and it was pretty much the best combination ever. They have the best crunchy texture that work so well with any smoothie bowl.

These awesome coconut chips are of course vegan but also gluten free and non-gmo. So you can't go wrong. 

These chips are crunchy and sweet so they go great as a toppings or you can be like me and munch them straight out of the bag. 

You can find these awesome goodies on Amazon here. I am gonna try the bacon flavor next. :) Can't wait to see what I can put them on. 

Happy Friday ya'll!


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Vegan Goodies || Milkless Chocolate

Chocolate! Choocooolateeee! Okay I got that out of my system. Haha. I personally am no crazy chocolate fanatic but my husband is, so I went online to find him a milk chocolate bar and this is what I found. Milkless makes these amazing dairy free milk chocolate bars! Since going vegan Zac and I hadn't be able to find any milk chocolate bars, that is until now (Dr. Greger voice, haha) My personal favorite was the Polar Dream White. Can't wait to try out some of their other products. 

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Eating animals is NOT a personal choice

Sometimes when having a discussion about veganism I hear "Well, I respect your opinion, but it is my personal choice to eat meat." A problem with that argument is that eating animals is NOT a personal choice. Personal choice: When you make a decision that reflects your own opinions and views and is not forced on you and will only affect you. You see it is illogical to think that killing a being for your taste buds is a personal choice. I too once thought this. When I was a student at ULL my best friend Lindsey was a vegetarian(now vegan) and we'd go to this one church on campus once a week to get free meals. I shit you not EVERY single time we'd go I would say something along the lines of "Good thing you don't eat meat, that just means I get to eat more of it. HAHAH" Man did I think I was funny. I was seriously like the biggest douche ever. I was so sure that what I was doing was just my personal choice, that she was vegetarian and that was cool, but I could never do that, boy was I wrong. My "personal choice" was having animals killed for my own sake. This was not okay. 

Here are a few examples of a personal choice:

  • You wearing blue pants (Where what ever color pants you want! Rock those pants! Woo!)
  • Using a certain filter on IG (Slay that filterrrr! Gonna look fab with that filter! Woo!)
  • Liking grits more than oatmeal for breakfast (Mmmmm fix that bowl of hot steamy grits! Woo!) 
Here area a few examples of things that are NOT personal choices:

  • Punching a small child at the park  (Don't do this)
  • Stabbing someone because you don't like their hair (Don't do this)
  • Paying someone to hold an animal captive, rape it, and kill it (Don't do this)
See very simple right. Weather you like having blue hair, eat dinner for breakfast or just like super weird music, all of those things are your personal choice and you are free to do those things because they aren't harming anyone in the process. 

Here is super ranty video of me going off about this topic, on the bright side Nana is in it so there's that. Haha.

Happy Wednesday ya'll!