Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Squeee Heard Round the World

A small group of us Phabulous Philly Vegan Ladies started calling ourselves the Vegan Girl Mafia back in April at the Philly Veg Dining Guide Release Party. Totally adorable & totally silly, our numbers grew until last night, when we collectively descended upon Miss Rachel's Pantry for an amazing meal & a girl's night out of epic proportions.
as goofy as we are beautiful, the vegan ladies of Philadelphia
We called last night's dinner a tweet-up, so after much squeeeing over meeting in real life for the first time, naturally, we proceeded to clog everyone's twitter & instagram feeds with all the deliciousness. All of this awesome even inspired me to blog again, so here I am after months' hiatus.
Miss Rachel's Swoontastic Menu
1st course: Savory Tofu Scramble Enchilada
2nd course: chilled cucumber bisque
3rd course: creamy elbow mac + smoked seitan roast + caramelized kale
OR seared maitakes + whipped coconut milk & horseradish potatoes
(BOTH because sharing is caring)
4th course: flourless chocolate peanut butter cake
Shout outs to Pam for having the idea to get us all together, Kiera for organizing it, Miss Rachel for her delicious food & gorgeous space, & Erin, Meagan, Lia, Rachel, Takia, Alli, Melissa, & Joy for their awesome company last night. And one more shout out to Amandah who was with us in spirit & happily eating her to go treats today.

I've got so much love for the women I shared that meal with & so much love for the women who prepared said meal & I hope that this was just the first of many Vegan Girl Mafia GNOs

Monday, June 23, 2014

Not so much blogging.

Hey. Yeah. Just realized it's been a month since I've blogged. Sorry. Or maybe not sorry. I just haven't felt like it. Maybe posting this will make me want to blog again. Maybe not. I even have an almost complete post in the queue. And it's even a giveaway.

We'll see.

The difference is, I'm not going to delete this blog like I did my last 3 when I got tired of writing them. Because eventually I'll be back.

Check you later.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Two big things I'm thankful for today:
  1. I'm getting my ass back in therapy. Had an appointment this morning with a new therapist who I really liked. Have another appointment this evening with another new therapist. Then I'll choose. But it felt really good & healing already.
  2. 10 day vacation starting tomorrow. I'll spend part of it w/ Kristi in Chambersburg for her parents' Memorial Day party, then some time in Harrisburg teaching my very pregnant step-sister prenatal yoga. Then I have some staycation time back in Philly for a few days. Then my friend Jenna is coming to Philly next weekend. So excited for ALL of this!
And that's all the time I have to blog because I have a shitload of work to do before this vacation time starts!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Inspiration Monday: Kristi

Kristi is my best friend, my bestie, my BFF. We've been friends for more than 20 years & she's basically the most awesome person I know. I can't believe I haven't written about her yet! But today, I'm so overwhelmed with gratitude. I get to see her this weekend (& 2 weekends from now!), & she's going above & beyond the call of best-friend-duty because she'll be driving a total of 4 hours this weekend because of my fear of driving. And she's not even making fun of me for it!

We were English majors together at Pitt, then we both became educators. Kristi is one of those saints who can work with elementary school kids, while I'm the crazy who chose to work with teenagers.
Kristi & LJ, April 1995, Graduation from Pitt
(we've been taking selfies since before they were called selfies)
And 18 years later at my 40th birthday
(vintage polaroid selfie)
Unlike yours truly, Kristi really wanted to be a mom. Because of reasons, she ended up following the path of adoption. Her oldest was adopted from Russia & her youngest from Florida, where they live. Through her own experiences with adoption, she then became an advocate, speaker, & adoption specialist doing home studies & the like. Her path to motherhood inspired her to help others toward that same goal.
Kristi's hilarious & awesome daughters. I LOVE them!
And speaking of adoption, Kristi is also an advocate for doggie adoption, as well. She volunteers tirelessly with Florida Little Dog Rescue & she keeps adopting more doggies! Squeee!
from front: Sunshine (failed foster), Gracie (my favorite), Dudley
(rest in peace), Chloe (always looks like she's smiling)
Millie, the latest failed foster <3
Obviously Kristi has boatloads of patience & an incredible sense of humor, what with motherhood (the oldest is a tween & the youngest is a diva), so many dogs (with special needs, she could be a vet tech at this point), & being married to the Answer Man (hahahaha, I had to, Matt!). And obviously, I'm totally inspired by her for all of these reasons.

And if she wasn't already awesome enough for all of the above reasons, Kristi is the person who knows me better than anyone, the first person I turn to for advice, venting, & my ridiculous stories. I'm pretty damn lucky to have such an awesome best friend & I am so freaking excited to see her this weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thankful Thursday

It's the little things, right? Today I discovered I'm good at puzzles. I used to do puzzles a lot when I was a kid, but I think the last time I did a puzzle was probably about 15 years ago. Today, I'm thankful for obsessive compulsive disorder, because I feel like I was meant for putting puzzles together! A little weird, but when am I not weird, right?
from start to finish in less than 8 hours
I'm also feeling thankful for my friends, as always, but surprisingly, for a Harrisburg friend right now. I have a connection here in Philly who has been incredibly helpful & I have a lot of gratitude. So especially big thank you to my dad's best friend's daughter, she helped me out a lot this week. I'm also especially thankful for my work friends. Things are really excellent right now. And all my other friends too. I have awesome friends.

What else? I'm getting a massage on Saturday. Yep, thankful for that. I sold some jewelry & made some cash, thankful for that too. OH! And I'm super thankful for the Day Zero Project. I've been working on a few things, & I've found that adding them to my Day Zero List really helps me be accountable. And I definitely need to be held accountable. I'm also thankful for Flywheel, as always. I'm going to a DISCO THEME RIDE tonight, so I'm totally stoked for that. Hmm. I need to see if I can put together a disco theme outfit....

Yep, as per usual, full of gratitude. What are YOU thankful for? Please share!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Inspiration Monday: Nicole

I actually started writing this post last night, because I had just gotten home from Nicole's class at Flywheel. I love Nicole's class SO much, so I make it a point to take as many of her classes as I can each week. I didn't get to see her last week until Sunday night so I was really looking forward to it.
Remember I posted this same photo when I wrote about Melissa &
told you to stay tuned for a Nicole post? That's her in the middle.
Nicole is always so positive & so encouraging: in her class, I feel like I can do anything. She says a lot of things in class that really just make me smile, like when she tells us to "get your head right, get your shit together," you best believe I get my head right & my shit together! When she reminds us to torq it up just a little bit higher because she KNOWS we can, I always do it...I seriously never ever ever coast in Nicole's class. Whether she's getting us us to high five in third position or she's made an incredible playlist (Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock last night!), I am always happy & always inspired & always working hard in Nicole's class.

Nicole genuinely cares about our success & about our wellness, & not just in the stadium. Outside of Flywheel, Nicole is just as awesome. We've hung out socially a few times, & I'm honored to call her my friend. I'm always so impressed with her. Smart, easy to talk to, so incredibly kind, & mature beyond her years, Nicole is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Physical Therapy, & though I hope I never need PT, I know exactly who I would go to if I did!

If you've never been to Nicole's class, I obviously highly recommend her. She's going to push you to do your best & you're going to have fun doing it. And when she encourages you to come up & say HI after class, do it. She's awesome, you'll love her!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Day Zero: Eat ALL the Vegan Cheesesteaks!

Remember when V for Veg sponsored that amazing Best Vegan Cheesesteak contest & ALL of Philly nominated their favorites? Well, I decided to make it my mission to eat ALL the [conveniently located] cheesesteaks! Like I'm not going to make a trip to far away burbs just for a vegan cheesesteak...I mean, unless you tell me it's really worth my while.

Here's the list of all the nominees:
  1. Blackbird Pizzeria
  2. Cantina Dos Segundos
  3. Hibiscus Juice Bar
  4. Carmen's Reading Terminal (possible not on vegan bread)
  5. HipCityVeg
  6. Govinda's Gourmet to Go
  7. The Abbaye
  8. Taproom on 19th (possible not on vegan bread)
  9. VGE Cafe
  10. Vegan Commissary
  11. Monk's
  12. Sabrina's
  13. Carmen's Pizza (Milmont)
  14. Fino's
  15. P.O.P.E.
  16. Bourbon & Branch
  17. Palm Tree Market
  18. Fergies
  19. Mi Lah
  20. Pizza Wings Steaks
  21. Tattooed Mom's
  22. Vegan Tree
The ones that I crossed out, I've already had. This is going to be a most delicious challenge!

(And if you missed it, here's the story about the top 3 & the winner!)