4/16/18

The Perfect Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe



I've spent years trying to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. More specifically, I've been trying to replicate the cookies my grandmother made when I was young. I remember her filling old coffee tins with these pale, lumpy chocolate chip cookies that were the perfect dipping cookies back when I could drink milk. I realize that to some this might not sound like the ideal cookie - and perhaps nostalgia is romanticizing them a bit. Regardless, when I think back to her cookies, I really wish I had learned how she made them (and really, most of her cooking in general). I find many cookie recipes to be incredibly sweet and I don't like cookies that are so sweet that they send electric waves through my teeth (hello, sensitive teeth). I tend to also like my cookies a bit on the drier side. The cookie recipe I'm sharing today definitely hits those marks.



4/8/18

Sunday Seven: April 8th 2018

The semester is over and I feel like I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy school, but this semester has just felt particularly exhausting. I've always sort of struggled during the "spring" semesters - this time of year in general sort of gets me down, so perhaps that's part of it. I'm sure I'm not alone? This week has been a lot of tackling things I've had on the back burner due to school - like cleaning and pleasure reading, so I feel like the Sunday Seven this week is extra nerdy (not a bad thing, just a thing).

1. This article about Africa splitting into two fascinates me. I read it when I couldn't sleep one night and despite it being 3 in the morning, I was actually able to comprehend a decent amount of what it discusses. Points for my insomniac brain!

2. Reading this Reddit post about how Instinct is potentially plagiarizing Bones. I'm not sure what to make of the details of the whole thing, but I will say that the video that I watched comparing last week's episode of Instinct and an episode of Bones (a show I'm not familiar with) really makes it hard to argue that at very least, they're recycling work the writer previously did. Hopefully the video is still up by the time this post goes live - it keeps getting taken down by CBS. Go figure - it certainly doesn't help them with the show they've been promoting like crazy (while they leave other shows in the dust.... Oh, Elementary, I miss you!!). You can likely find a re-uploaded version through the Reddit thread though if this interests you at all.

3. I learned that I sort of dislike read-a-thons. Over the weekend there was a #25in5 read-a-thon which had the goal of reading for 25 hours over the course of five days. Given that the semester had come to an end, I figure this would be the perfect way to get back into the swing of things with reading that wasn't school related. I like the idea of these reading challenges (which typically start on Instagram), because they feel like they foster a sense of community by bringing people together with a collective goal. However, I've learned an important reminder through trying to participate in this challenge. I don't like competitive reading. I'm easy to fall for it, but I don't like it at all. It stresses me out - taking the fun and enjoyment out of reading. I worry that I don't read quickly enough and that I won't get through as much reading as others. I worry that others will judge my reading speed/efficiency and my book choices. I love reading and this challenge was a reminder that I just don't enjoy the way competitive reading makes me feel. I like certain aspects of the bookstagram community, but others make me too hard on myself. Reading is a self-care action for me and that means it needs to happen naturally. Wanting to read a lot is different than trying to rush through things to fit in with others, so I'm going to try to be better about reading the way I want to, not the way everyone else is.

4. Mocha Cold Brew from Chameleon Coffee. OMG you guys, this stuff is dangerously yummy. For the past few months, I've been drinking cold brew coffee nearly exclusively and it's always been Chameleon (I tried the Trader Joe's cold brew concentrate but it was no bueno IMO). I used to have a lot of GI issues from coffee but thanks to Cold Brew, that is all in the past. I love how easy it is to make a delicious cup of coffee every morning and while you can make it hot, I much prefer it iced. It was on sale this week at Target so I finally picked up the Mocha, and now think I've tried all of their flavors (except for the caramel, which now that I looked it up and realized its dairy free, I'll have to try it next time). I typically stick to the regular black but damn, this mocha is really really delicious!!! It honestly gives me vague Tim Hortons Ice Cap vibes when I mix it with my Silk Soy creamer!! I don't do dairy anymore so I haven't had Timmy Ho's in months and that might be the thing I miss the most!! The mocha has enough of a chocolaty hint without tasting like straight up chocolate milk - it's really well balanced. So much so that I broke my rule of one cup of coffee a day to have a second because its just that good!

5. It's Judy's Life - due to school, watching YouTube had mostly be placed on the back burner for me. This week I've been slowly making my way through my queue of subscriptions and I've really been enjoying Benji and Judy's Tokyo vlogs. I more or less enjoy all of their vlogs because they feel more down to earth than some on the platform. But these vlogs in particular I enjoy because I feel like when they travel, they often immerse themselves into where they are and the culture, more so than some. It's been interesting to watch them and their experience in Toyko. In one of the vlogs, Benji was talking about one of the reasons people might wear face masks in Japan and he said it was part due to the mass planting of non-indigenous trees and it honestly felt half believable and half far-fetched so I looked it up and it's actually a pretty fascinating story. You learn something new every day!


6. While winter just doesn't seem to want to leave, I'm still feeling inspired by the prospect of spring. For some reason, spring often makes me feel the desire to change things up. I love cleaning this time of year - I'm talking going through EVERYTHING and getting rid of things that don't serve you. I find it so therapeutic. I've been thinking of ways to revamp by bedroom as well and I'm really loving the inspiration one can find through Pinterest. This particular bedroom just speaks to me - it's in need of more books and some plants though!!

7. Speaking of spring, I've been trying to figure out what the hell I'm going to plant this year in the veggie garden. I feel torn between wanting to keep it simple, and wanting to switch it up a bit and plant some new and perhaps unusual things. If you have a veggie garden, what do you grow? I live in WNY so our growing season is pretty damn short, but that doesn't mean all hope is lost! I'm so excited for the weather to finally get to a point where I can actually get outside and play in the gardens. I picked up a bunch of gladiolus bulbs yesterday because I just couldn't resist. I've picked up some seeds too but I'm not sure that's all I want to plant. Decisions....decisions...

I hope everyone had a great week! x


3/26/18

One Day At A Time: Picked Up For A Third Season.



It was announced today that Netflix has picked up One Day At A Time for a third season. The popular sitcom is a remake of the original 1970s Norman Lear production which chronicled the life of a single mother and her children. In the remake, the sitcom follows the life of a Cuban American family headed by a single mother, through all their ups and downs.


3/25/18

Sunday Seven - March 25, 2018

I wanted to start a new series here on the blog. I find that throughout the week I often come across links I want to share, or discover new products which I love (or hate). Sometimes there's music or a TV show that I'm obsessing over, or a book that I really enjoyed. These might not be monthly favorites, but they're things I'd like to share so I decided that I'd start doing a quick, casual list on Sundays (most but perhaps not all), so I could share these as a bit of a week end round up. Feel free to share what would be on your lists or on your mind, in the comments. x

1.  I recently picked up Lauren Toyota's new cookbook, Vegan Comfort Classics and so far, I'm really enjoying it. I've already made two of her recipes and I've got her recipe for feta cheese marinating in my fridge as we speak. I've got a ton of the recipes bookmarked so stay tuned for a full on review of the book in the future.

2.  I'm trying out a new day cream from Alaffia and I'm actually pretty impressed by how much I like it. It's got a great smell, isn't too heavy, and just feels like it's soothing on my skin. I haven't been using it long enough to make an official opinion on it, but I've really enjoyed reaching for it every day (and night if I'm honest).

3. March for our Lives. While I didn't go to an actual march yesterday, I did watch coverage, and follow them on social media. I was blown away (but not surprised) by the crowds all over the country (really, the world), and it warms my heart to see this kind of momentum for something so important. I hope that people will continue to follow this important movement.

4. Speaking of gun control, I'm obsessed with these buttons that I ordered from Busy Beaver Button Co. - they're made in collaboration with Everytown and I'm honestly just such a sucker for a good button. I love being able to proudly display my stance on issues that are important to me, and these buttons do just that! Plus, they are made in the USA, great quality, and shipped super fast!!

5. Not shopping on Amazon. I made this post earlier in the month about how I was no longer shopping on Amazon and while there was certainly some convenience to the site, I am honestly loving not shopping there anymore!! When I deleted the app from my phone, I realized just how dependent I had become on using the site as a google for shopping. When I search for an item, they're often still the first result (or many of the results), and it's frustrating because I've definitely gotten a clear picture of just how hard it is for anyone else to compete or stand out. I've been patronizing stores I haven't in awhile, buying this in-person more or online from other merchants. I also feel like I'm a bit more mindful of what I'm purchasing. I think everyone should reconsider their relationship with Amazon, I know there's a level of convenience, but it certainly comes at a cost.

6. This might seem weird, but I recently bought new pillow cases and I really, really, really love them. Pillow cases. The world's most exciting product - are they not? Seriously though, it might come across as strange, but I have to share these because I'm just so pleased with this stupidly simple purchase. I had some pillow cases that were lighter in color, and had an odd texture. I tried to look past it, but it honestly it was driving me CRAZY!! I didn't even want to touch them. I got the idea in my head to get brown pillow cases, which I realize to most, might seem like the worst color ever, but which I'm really loving right now. They weren't the cheapest pillow cases in the world, but they're far from the most expensive (pillow cases and pillows blow me away with how much they can cost!!). The dark brown color is perfection!!!

7. Zip up hoodies. I don't know why, but for most of my life, I have hated zip up hoodies. I would only buy pullovers, but then, seemingly out of the blue, I started to feel really uncomfortable with pullovers. They were driving me crazy!! I struggle with anxiety, and maybe this is something that only I experience, but I find that pullover sweatshirts and shirts with higher collars (especially unisex tee shirts), really irk me. They make me feel more anxious - and almost like I'm being suffocated, or am trapped/choking. Does anyone else ever feel this way?? I'd love to know if it's just me or if anyone can relate to this. I have a ton of pullover hoodies that I now don't know what to do with, and only one zip up that I've been wearing and washing constantly. I just love the ability to control how open or closed it is, and the fact that they don't cover my neck as much as a pullover hoodie does. This might seem like the most random thing to share, but I'm really curious to know if there's anyone else who feels the same!!


Okay, that's it for the inaugural post in this particular series. I hope you enjoyed it, and I'd love to know what would be on your list! Leave me a comment!


3/19/18

Little Coffee Shoppe Eats: Blaze Pizza Review

Today I headed out to run some errands in an area of town that I don't typically find myself in. It's Monday, I've been feeling crampy all day, so I decided to treat myself to lunch while out. Sometimes that's easier said than done since I don't eat dairy. But thankfully there's a bunch of new places that have popped up, one being Blaze Pizza. I quickly looked up their menu online and when I saw that they had vegan cheese I was instantly down.


What a beautiful passenger!