I am just so excited and I can hardly hide it (Hot Sundae 4eva)! Marriage equality is here! I have cried in celebration today as Americans can finally choose who they want to marry.
Ahhhhh what a great day! If you know me at all, you know that I love love. I love when people are in love, I love weddings, I love talking about love, I love crying about love, I love when love finds you. And now my nearest and dearest can express their love and be married like all of us straights.
Who someone marries does not affect my religion, or my life, or how I wear pants (tight and sexy, if you must know). Let people live if they are not hurting anyone. We must continue to unite where love is involved!
Also, crazy news! I put in my two week notice at my job today. I can officially announce that I will be teaching in the fall. WHAT THE WHAT! I know. I’m still in disbelief. But I think when Beevy and I go shopping on Sunday for classroom supplies it will truly hit me that this is real. Also, how great are school/classroom supplies? I want to swim in an endless ocean of #2 pencils and be buried in a grave of pink erasers.
I made a delicious new recipe last night that I cannot wait to try again and nail. I think I put in too much lemon and I also want to add some vegan butter. If you haven’t seen this website, please peep it because she tends to use very minimalist ingredients to make things simple and yummy. The Alfredo was delicious! If you try it, let me know.
Sooooooo that’s all I have to offer the world today! I have cried a few times (such happy tears) and am so happy for the LGBT community. I am excited for this next step in my life and I am hopeful that I will be a great teacher. And I am really really really happy that tomorrow night will bring a Cards Against Humanity night with my dear peeps wherein my cheeks will soon hurt from smiling and laughing. Life truly is good!
I distinctly remember when my brother and I went to the movies on New Years Day and saw GoPicnic meals at the food counter. It struck me as odd to have such a healthy choice of snack available at the movies as it sat next to spilled popcorn and malted chocolate balls. In fact, I’m pretty sure (I’m absolutely positive) that my brother and I laughed at the healthy option as I ordered a giant Coke Icee that I still do not regret to this day.
Hindsight, they say, is 20/20 and I have never been happier to admit that I am a fan of the GoPicnic meals and sing their praises loudly. It all started at the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo and it’s been deep love ever since. I was lucky enough to snag a few to try and tell you guys about.
The first one is the Edamame Kale Dip and Plantain Chips. It is also comes with chocolate chip cookies, a fruit and nut mix, and a fruity peel apart thing. Believe me when I say that I want 1200 of those fruity things…they’re like how I remember fruit roll-ups to be but 100 times better. Like a fruit explosion in your mouth! The chocolate chip cookies were outstanding; not soft and chewy, but crunchy and firm. I personally don’t like the fruit and nut mix so I pass it off on starving friends. I think it’s too gingery or something. The plantain chips are to die for; I would be happy eating those for the rest of my life. Sadly, I have found most of the dips in these boxes to be super duper acidic, like there’s too much vinegar or something. You know when it hits you in the back of the throat and in your cheeks? No? Oh. Me neither.
The next one I tried was the Sunbutter and Crackers one. This kit had chocolate chip cookies and a fruity peely thing so you know I was happy. It also had applesauce which was a nice addition. If you’ve never tried Sunbutter, it’s delicious. It took some time for me to get used to it (it’s made from sunflower seeds instead of peanuts) because it has a distinct taste. There was plenty of Sunbutter to put on the multi-grain crackers. This kit is by far my favorite.
I have also tried the Three Bean Dip and Tortilla Chips kit (again, what’s going on with the dip? Way too vinegary for my taste) and the Black Bean Dip and Plantain Chips (I’m starting to wonder if this is just my own problem, because this dip was no bueno, too). GoPicnic has a whole line that is vegan that you can check out here and they also cater to vegetarians, gluten-free, kosher, and non-GMO. They sell at Krogers, Target, and apparently movie theaters. Now that I’m avoiding popcorn like the plague, I may buy one of these the next time I see a movie (don’t forget about the giant Coke Icee). Try them and tell me what you think!
Super Duper Large Fine Print: These two GoPicnic Meals were provided to me but all awesome opinions and stellar writing are my own.
What can I tell you about Asheville that you don’t already know? Beautiful mountains: obviously. Amazing food: ridiculous. Possibly the best Days Inn breakfast buffet known to mankind: you actually may not have known this little tidbit of truth. But it’s legit…I even left a TripAdvisor review of it because I felt so strongly about the breakfast buffet. It had delicious kale on it, people! KALE. Say no more, amiright? Let’s get to it!
This year, at the ripe age of turning 33 on Sunday, I found out that the world does not in fact stop turning for my birthday and nor do is actually make sense to have an entire month’s worth of birthday activities. Call it maturity, call it getting my head out from inside my ass, whatever. For the first time ever, I had a joint birthday dinner on Thursday that was so much damn fun! We went to Elmyriachi where I indulged in a shot of tequila, a PBR tall boy, and a chimichanga. YOLO, homies. It was so lovely to be surrounded by the amazing new friends I’ve made this past year since going vegan and diving into the Atlanta vegan scene.
Friday morning Beevy and I headed out early-ish to greet Asheville with a smile and empty bellies. Our first destination: Laughing Seed. You may recall that this is the place where Beevy and I went last year and proceeded to drink for approximately 4 hours. This time, things were different. We each had a beer and yummy food and people watched and sat outside. We had already agreed that we didn’t really want to drink (read: we didn’t really want to be hungover losers) so we enjoyed ourselves immensely.
We each packed up some leftovers because our room had a fridge and microwave in it. Score! After our meal, we laid down in our beds and watched trashy reality tv. For 6 hours. I’m not joking. I took a baby cat nap. We ate our leftovers. Then, not very hungry but needing to possibly get out of the hotel room for a little while, we went to Hop to check out the ice cream scene.
Yes, we had ice cream for dinner on Friday and laid around watching tv for 6 hours. Yes, we’re grown adults with jobs. Yes, you wish you were us. The Hop sundae basically made me want to run for President only to make Hop mandatory for children and their vegan aunts on Friday nights . What you see there is a scoop of chocolate hemp milk ice cream, a scoop of vanilla soy milk ice cream, oreos, coconut, chocolate syrup, and coconut whipped cream. I would drive 3 hours for this ice cream sundae, no questions asked. And no, I won’t bring you back any.
So what’s so great about the Days Inn breakfast buffet? Here’s what I got Saturday morning:
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh kale! Hashbrowns! Fruits! Let me tell you, that kale was delightful. It was still slightly crunchy with a tad of a spicy kick to it. After that, we headed to Sunny Point Cafe where we had to wait about an hour and a half for a table (hence why we ate a little before hand). While we waited, we drank!
Once seated we ordered some delicious grub. I got the same thing as last time (what’s with me ordering the same thing??) and Beevy got an omelette. Mine was yummy as hell but I think next time I will try something new.
After brunch, we decided to go swimming at the pool. We stayed outside for about 45 minutes, and then it got cold, and also Beevy and I are translucent in skin tone so we ran indoors to commence laying on the bed once again. We had reservations for Plant for Saturday night, and when we started talking about it, we both realized that we sort of didn’t want to go. It struck us that we didn’t want to pay $20 for an entree that no doubt would be delicious, but we wondered if it would be worth it. We found a new place called Bean Vegan Cuisine and we decided to give it a whirl.
Holy shiitake mushrooms, people. Bean was EVERYTHING I wanted and was so delicious and wonderful and amazing. Beevy and I were treated like queens by our server, Jasmine, who was super informative and awesome. I kid you not when I say that I have already Google Map-ped how long it will take me to get back to Bean from my house (3 hours, give or take). Here’s what the Bean giveth:
You guys! Not only was the food OUTSTANDING but they put a candle in my cake! And they wrote Happy Birthday on the take-out menu for me! And they gave us Bean stickers! Uggggghhhhhhh. To be honest, I’m kind of obsessed with this restaurant. There are not many places that make you feel like home, that are warm and inviting and wonderful. Please please please go there!
On Sunday morning, in honor of the anniversary of my birth, Beevy and I had two rounds of the Days Inn buffet. Here are my two rounds:
Beevy and I also drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway and found our way to a portion of the French Broad River where people with kayaks were hopping in. This is how I feel about turning 33:
And this is also how I feel about turning 33:
Then, because we were not in a hurry to get back to Atlanta and also because neither one of us was hungry in any way, we headed back to Bean to peep their brunch.
Basically, Bean brought the brunch heat. Can we talk about what a revelation carrot bacon is for a moment? I am now OBSESSED with that junk. Beevy and I had whole conversations about carrot bacon. I’m thinking that this recipe is a good place for me to start.
Sadly, Beevy and I had to leave glorious Asheville. When I made it home, my whole family celebrated me and showered me with presents and vegetables and vegan cupcakes. I’m truly a lucky girl!
All in all, this was the best birthday I’ve had in a very long time. No drama, no hangovers, no crying, no bad decisions, and surrounded by love. I am ready to take on the year!
Many many great things are on the horizon for this veg-head gal and I can’t wait to share them all with you! One, I get to eat a vegan chimichanga tonight and I’m also wearing a pretty dress and I’m having a joint birthday dinner with two amazing people and life is great. Two, I’m leaving for Asheville tomorrow morning with my ride-or-die Beevy for a girls weekend get away to my all-time favorite mountainous place where we will eat, nap, lay by the pool, watch Bravo, and eat again. Did I mention that it will be our very first time to eat at Plant on Saturday night? I don’t know what to get there! Has anyone been that can advise me? I really want the caramelized Jerusalem artichokes, because, what the hell are we even talking about? Where else can you eat that? When I tell you that I’ve been staring at Plant’s menu for a week and still am no closer to a desision, please believe me. When it’s an all vegan place, my vegan heart yearns to scream out loud “I WANT IT ALL BECAUSE I DESERVE IT AND ALSO JUST BECAUSE I CAN’T EAT THIS ANY OTHER TIME AND SERIOUSLY THOUGH, WHAT’S DUKKA?”
Sigh. If there’s one thing I won’t be this weekend, it is hungry. My homie Beevy is always down for an excellent meal, too. We’ve decided that we have to go back to Sunny Point Cafe because it was the jam and we completely cleared our plates and drank mimosas and no one cared that we were there for approximately 3 hours. We’ve also decided that we don’t really want to be hungover like our last Asheville trip (and by “we” I mean “me”) so we’re just gonna chill.
It’s also my birthday on Sunday and I will be 33. How did this happen? How am I in my early-mid thirties? Other than not being able to drink anymore because the hangovers are like knives to the eyes, and having to go to bed at 10:30 on a school night, I don’t necessarily feel super old. It helps that my 17-year-old cousin likes to tell me that all of her friends thought I was 26 (I make her tell me that all the time, almost like a greeting). But it seems like life is finally coming together, piece by piece. It’s progress and not perfection, people. And I am SO GLAD that granny panties are back because I ain’t got time for that. I’m too busy napping.