Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty, Vegan Cruelty Free, Vegan Fashion, vegan lifestyle

Current Vegan Cruelty-Free Favorites {Skincare, Makeup & Fashion}

If you’re like me you live for a good monthly favorites post. Well, I figured a current favorites will quench your thirst for such a post, so I’m sharing what I’m currently loving!

Current Vegan, Cruelty-free Skincare Favorites

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You already know my love for rosehip oil, I mean it’s practically the fountain of youth bottled into a pretty package [not verified ;)] and after trying various serums, I’ve gone back to it. I don’t know why I ever left. Sorry RHO. I usually put it on after I wash my face with the Foreo Luna Mini 2 and swipe some Thayer’s Witch Hazel all over my face (which according to Thayer’s, does not test on animals).

Also, I’m always looking for some awesome body soap. After trying some from Fresh Thyme and Whole Foods, I’ve realized I really love the one from Trader Joe’s. It smells AH-MAY-ZING.

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Best of all, according to Peta and product packaging, Trader Joe’s does not test on animals.

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Cruelty-free Makeup Favorites

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The major highlight (pun intended) of the past couple of months was rediscovering the ELF Highlight and Bronzer duo. Note, I do not even touch the bronzer. It has zero color pay off, which means this duo is only half worth it but really the highlight makes it totally 100% worth it. I know that made no sense. Roll with me.

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You can’t really tell from the picture above but you really have to rub through the top sheen of the highlight to get through to the gold. It’s perfect for my bronze-skinned goddesses–it shows up perfect on my brown skin tone! Adding a little bit goes a long way, and while it comes off a bit chunky at first, it actually blends in quite nicely. BUT use a little bit. I put some on the tops of my cheekbones and on the tip of my nose #shinebright.

Best of all, according to ELF, “We do NOT test on animals or endorse such practices. Our products do not contain animal derived ingredients. Beeswax has been replaced by synthetic beeswax and lanolin has been replaced by Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladinpale-2. We currently support HSUS and are partners with PETA in the Caring Consumer Project.”

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The Real Techniques sponge is also a favorite–you can tell by how dirty it is (sorry–I swear I cleaned it but that brown shade just doesn’t go away). According to their site, they are cruelty-free, “Our products are 100% cruelty-free. We never test products on animals.”

Cruelty-free Fashion Favorite

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If you know me in person, you know that I’m always changing up my bracelets. BUT ever since my then boyfriend (now hubs) bought my me first LotusandLava bracelet at the Phoenix Farmer’s Market some 4 years ago, I’ve been a loyal customer. I probably own upside of 15 bracelets from her shop and continue to be a LAL lover. In fact, I used to treat myself to one every time she had a sale or just cause. I often go to these as the perfect gifts for people for any occasion or no occasion at all.

The ones I showed above sparkle so amazingly in the sunshine. The bottom is a goldstone bracelet, of which she has a different variation now on etsy. The top is my absolute favorite. It’s dark green, but when it hits the light, it shines like the night sky. I have this in a dark navy too that shines just the same.

Question of the Day

Do you like these kinds of posts? Would you like to see these on a monthly basis from me? Thanks as always for your kind support! You’re the reason I do what I do. ❤ ❤

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Vegan Cruelty Free

Vegan Memorial Day: Vegan BBQ

Memorial Day is one of the few days out of the year you can rock an American flag on just about anything: your headband, your booty shorts, your pool floaties and your grill, even the one in your mouth. But also synonymous with Memorial Day is meat, and lots of it. People LOVE to grill on this holiday and it’s no wonder…suns out, (burger) buns out, right? BUT we can do without all that meat, murder and cruelty (sorry omnivores) and pay homage to our veterans with some delicious eats that are so nutritious that you’ll keep the backyard “bbq” party goin’ all night long. SO with that said, here is the first edition of my Vegan Memorial Day eats (appetizer and dessert, entree to come tomorrow!).

Easy Memorial Day Appetizer:

Vegan Pigs in a Blanket, without the Oink

These “pigs” in a blanket make the easiest and quickest appetizer (or meal because you won’t be able to stop poppin’ these “piggies” in your mouth). All you need to do to pre-heat your oven and prep your ingredients. Once you assemble, bake and take. The best part is, you can personal these to your flavor profile. Read below to find out exactly where the personal touch fits in:

Image result for vegan pigs in a blanketPC: livekindly

INGREDIENTS

1 pack of vegan hot dogs
2 packs of Pillsbury crescent rolls (accidentally vegan)
Dijon mustard or other sauce (to taste)
Everything but the bagel seasoning (from Trader Joe’s) or sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat your over to 400 degrees.
  2. Prepare your dogs: cut each dog into quarters. Cut them in half width-wide, then those two pieces in half length-wise.
  3. Prepare your cresent rolls: Pull apart each of the crescent roll pieces and lay them out so they look like triangles on your flat surface.
  4. Take the sauce of your choice and spread them across each of the triangle pieces–it doesn’t hurt to be generous here because once you bake these the flavors tend to steam (bake?) away.
  5. Now place each of those quarter hot dog pieces on the fat end of the triangle, then roll them up toward the pointy end.
  6. You should now have little pigs in a blanket! Repeat with each piece.
  7. Lay them out about 1-inch apart on a baking sheet (I line mine with a silpat)
  8. Take your seasoning or sesame seeds (optional) and sprinkle them on top of each of the little “Pigs” in a blanket.
  9. Place them in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  10. You’ll know they’re done when they’re golden brown. Let them cool for about 5 minutes, and then they’re ready to serve, with an extra side of mustard for those rebels in your party. 

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Pina Colada in a Bowl (my vegan pina colada in edible (not drink) form) 

This is my take on a pina colada in food form. All you need for this is three ingredients, one of which is purely store bought…unless you want to be really extra and over-the-top, then I got you covered too.

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INGREDIENTS

Fresh pineapple slices or canned pineapple slices
Full fat coconut milk
Dairy free ice cream OR frozen bananas and almond extract
Unsweetened coconut flakes

DIRECTIONS

  1. If using canned pineapple slices, try to get them as dry as possible before placing them on a grill. If using fresh, place them on a grill with a little bit of coconut oil on either side. Grill for about 5 minutes on each side.
  2. While grilling the pineapple slices, separate the thick part of coconut milk from the liquid into two separate bowls. Whisk the thick portion until it turns light and fluffy and voila, you have vegan whipped cream. For an added taste, add a few drops of vanilla extract.
  3. Place a scoop or two of ice cream in a bowl OR 3A. Blend frozen bananas with some water or a little bit of almond milk with some almond extract until it turns into an ice cream consistency.
  4. Place your grilled pineapple on top of your “ice cream.”
  5. Top with your coconut whipped cream and top that with some unsweetened coconut flakes.

Pina colada in a bowl. You’re welcome.

Question of the Day

What are your go-to vegan recipes? Share–we want to know!

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Vegan Food

Beyond Meat Burgers: Delicious or Gross?

These are the most aptly named patties…maybe ever. These burgers not only look like meat, but I personally think they taste better than meat! I was a meat-eater until 2007, when I went vegetarian, so while I don’t remember what all meat tastes like and while I rarely had hamburgers then, I can say that this tastes much better than any dead carcasses.

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Not only does it look like meat in the packaging, but it also cooks like meat.

When I immediately put it on the pan:

Photo_Dec_16,_12_53_17_PM[1]After I flipped it once, you can see how it browns:

Photo_Dec_16,_12_53_45_PM[1]What’s weird is it even stays a little pink in the middle. Also, since it already has some fat in it, I didn’t cook it in any oil or vegan butter. I just plopped it onto a high-medium heated pan as is and it immediately started sizzling away.

I paired it with some Angelic Bakehouse hamburger buns and had it with a side salad and some Daiya provolone cheeze.

While it may be a little higher in fat, it certainly is high in protein and completely 100% plant-based. If you’re going vegan and crave a big, juicy burger with all the fixings, this Beyond Meat Burger will definitely quench your craving.

Photo_Dec_16,_12_59_39_PM[1]Photo_Dec_16,_12_59_57_PM[1]Question of the Day

Have you tried these? Do you like them? What are your favorite alternate meats for burgers?

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Vegan Cruelty Free, Vegan Food

Low-Calorie Vegan “Meat” Substitutes

When I first went vegan on January 2016, I couldn’t stay away from carbs. I ate broccoli and rice almost every day and a lot of pasta…and let me tell you where all this carbo-loading went (I put Kim K’s butt to shame). It took me anywhere between 2-6 months to really figure out a balance in my “diet”, air quotes because ya’ll know it’s a lifestyle. Part of this balance is finding “junk” food and sometimes wanting a little more than your faithful greens. Ya girl can only eat so much broccoli without turning green [P.S. it’s kinda true–my husband ate so many carrots as a baby he turned orange.] So to change it up, I opted for some vegan meats. Now while I like to stay as clean and as few ingredients as possible, these little patties, balls and strips (Las Vegas club name?) make salads just a bit more fun when you need to change it up. FYI you can get all of these vegan meats at Trader Joe’s!

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1. California Veggie Burgers

If you like veggie patties or want to make more delicious burgers, opt for these low-calorie, nutrition-packed vegan patties (see the little circle with the heart on the bottom?). While they don’t taste like meat, they don’t taste like squashed veggies either. Something about them is so tasty!

Not so Secret Tip: If you do want the look and taste of meat, Beyond Burger patties are EV-UH-REE-THING. I’m getting them again this Friday and will talk about them on Monday, in case you were considering them ^_-.

Calories: 120

Highlight: Cleaner than most other patties (Veggie Masala Patty is a close contender)

2. Chickenless Crispy Tenders

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These are so delish. If ya’ll want to add a bit of something naughty to your salads, add these dumplings that are FAR from meat! Or if you want to trick your friends, these do the trick too 😉

Calories: 150 for 3 chicken tenders

Highlight: They’re hella tasty. Like dang yum yum. Unfortunately, one serving has 7g of fat, which is pretty dang high. Most should aim for 0-4g of fat per serving.

3. Meatless Meatballs

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PC: PinchofLovely

Now the above picture isn’t of the Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs, but it’s a recipe where you make your own. Now if you don’t have time to make your own, sub those kinds of recipes with these “meatballs” and you’ll be good as vegan gold. Also, if you miss spaghetti and meatballs, I got yo back! These work great with tomato sauce or also make a great addition to salads. I’ve even made them just as snacks, and they’re great for that too.

Calories: 140 for 6 meatballs

Highlight: It’s good for those on a low-calorie diet. These are the best of the worst products for you, because it’s high in sodium and highly-processed.

Question of the Day

What are your favorite naughty “meats”? Share!

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Vegan Food

The Easiest Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Before you read on, you’re welcome. This is by far the easiest vegan chocolate chip cookies you’ll ever find, and best of all, they came out tasting amazing all thanks to serendipity and some experimentation (and a whole lotta taste-testing). I started with this recipe from Daily Rebecca, but ended up making it my own. They take less than 20 minutes to make so if you need a last-minute (omg I need to bring something to Thanksgiving dinner), then these cookies got you covered. Plus, you probably have all the ingredients on hand.

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Ingredients

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup almond milk + 2-3 tbsp. reserve on the side
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used the ones from Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 cup (or as many as you want, really) vegan chocolate chips

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Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a big bowl, mix the coconut oil with the brown sugar.
  3. Add ¼ cup of almond milk and the vanilla extract.
  4. Into the same bowl, add in the flour and baking powder (salt is optional).
  5. Mix it all together. If it looks crumbly, add in 1 tbsp. of almond milk at a time. If it feels wet, it’s probably not wet enough, so it’s okay to add some more until it feels wet and soft.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Roll into small sized balls and flatten with your hand before placing on a pan with a silpat sheet on it or an un-greased cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes and check. These cookies should be a bit hard coming out of the oven, so you may need to add 2 minutes at the end.
  9. Let cool and serve!

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You can throw some of these into a clear plastic bag, tie them with a little string and give them away as affordable presents to your co-workers, the mailman, or just about anyone! (but not your dog, cause hello, chocolate).

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You can make these cookies just about however you want. Feel free to nix the chocolate chips and throw in cranberries, or nuts, toffee, or any other vegan mix-ins. Enjoy!

Question of the Day

What are your favorite vegan cookies? We’d love to know!

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