Two-Week Vegan Challenge {Day II}


Overall, it felt like a normal day! I got tons of sleep and I think the snacks helped a lot. I do think my lack of energy and terrible mood yesterday afternoon was due to lack of protein. I was determined not to make that mistake today.

Breakfast – 10:00 am

Oatmeal & OJ again, this time without bananas. I was going to make vegan biscuits, but I didn’t have enough time. I think I’m going to make some tonight to have for tomorrow.

snack – 12:30 pm

Graham crackers with peanut butter, and a crystal light lemonade. This was filling and delicious, exactly what I needed.

lunch – 2:00 pm

I ate out again, since I hate money, apparently. I got Noodles & Company Indonesian Peanut Saute.

Noodles and Co Indonesian Peanut Saute

It was absolutely divine! I got a half-size, and couldn’t finish it all. It was spicy and delicious and completely vegan! I wish I would’ve realized I could add tofu, because I’ve really wanted to try tofu! Oh, well. Plenty of time.

Snack – 4:00 pm

A handful of carrots were my snack since I didn’t get enough vitamin A yesterday.

dinner – 7:00 pm

I finished my Noodles & Co (so yummy). I really wasn’t all that hungry by this time. I totally had energy today.

Adventure of the day: I went to pick up a friend’s car from the shop, and when I got back to his house, I was faced with a dilemma:

Chocolate or mac n cheese

Mac n’ cheese, and chocolate! I’ve been very reluctant to tell my closest friends and family that I’m going vegan for two weeks. This is mostly because I’m dreading getting the “what?!? WHY?!??” and experiencing all the negativity people give to those who are vegetarian or (especially) vegan.

So I didn’t tell my friend that I couldn’t eat his mac n’ cheese because it had dairy, but instead told him it was because I had already eaten–which was true, but I probably would’ve accepted the offer if I wasn’t going vegan. He then broke off a piece of chocolate and handed it to me, then proceeded into the kitchen to finish cooking his dinner. I said thank you and just held the chocolate until he walked away and I could discreetly read the ingredients. As I was turning over the packaging, I decided that if it wasn’t vegan, I’d simply slip the chunk back, confident he wouldn’t notice. Oh, the lengths I’ll go to in order to avoid being teased for going vegan for two weeks (and avoid answering why). Thankfully, it was a 68% dark, with only 3 ingredients: cocoa, sugar, cocoa butter—aka: Vegan Approved!

I enjoyed and savored that chocolate, suppressing a happy chuckle upon realizing I could eat it. When I got home, I was motivated by my ability to refuse non-vegan food! I went to the grocery store on the corner and picked up some Silk Soy Milk, then made myself a vegan chocolate chip cookie in a mug. It was delicious, and here’s the recipe I used (click for the website):

Vegan chocolate chip cake in a mug recipe

Nutrition information

I thought for sure I would do well today and get enough protein, but I didn’t (only a C+) and I ate too much fat.

  • 35.6% fat
  • 9.2% protein
  • 55% carbs

USDA guidelines said not only did I consume too much fat, but I didn’t get enough protein, dietary fiber, calcium, iron, or potassium. I realized that my calcium vitamins have Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) in them, which is derived from animals and therefore NOT vegan. It was the first thing I consumed yesterday, which means since I had my first vegan meal (yesterday’s oatmeal), I have not broken the rules once! Good for me. It was close, though.


I did crave chicken today again. And I found myself dreading having to plan for what I was going to eat–but it’s a good thing: one of the biggest reason’s I’m doing this is to stop myself from mindlessly eating! I have to pay so much more attention now. I’m excited to do it again tomorrow (but more healthy)!

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A Southern Food Night

Southern party sign

I don’t know how much I’ve talked about it on here, but I am proudly and loudly from the South. North Carolina, to be specific, and I am always grateful for the chance to celebrate where I was born and raised.

I am lucky to live by a few friends that are also from the South.

I suppose I should clarify: I’m from the South. They are from…the South. As in–I lived in the suburbs of the capital where people from everywhere came to participate in the growing technological advances in what they call the “Research Triangle.” They are from Mississippi.

Alas, my Mississipian friends were missing their Southern roots as much as I and had the brilliant idea to throw a Southern Food Night! The premise was basic: come, bring something Southern that we can all share.

Cut up watermelon in the rind

Of course, to Utahns, that sounds like “bring cornbread or coleslaw.” To me, it was an invitation into heaven! I went all out! I made hush puppies, pulled pork, corn bread, “Moonshine,” and of course cut up some strawberries and watermelon. It was a hit. In fact, it was such a hit that I didn’t get any pictures of the food before it was gone!

Anyway, just in case you’re thinking of a Southern Party, here’s what I did and the recipes I used:

Hush Puppies Recipe:

  • Oil to fill a pot
  • 1.5 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 beaten egg

Mix it all up and drop by the spoonful into a pot of oil. Flip them when the time comes (they’ll be brown–a dark gold at the lightest), then place on some paper towels to dry. All very simple. Eat with butter! This one was fun to make, because almost no one knew what hush puppies were!

North Carolina Style Pulled Pork Recipe (4-6lbs):

I don’t have a smoker, so I (don’t hate me for it) use my slow cooker. I’m telling you, it’s not the same, but it’s darn close!

The rub:

  • 2.5 teaspoons paprika (I used smoked)
  • 1.5 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Rub it on, then wrap it up and refrigerate overnight.

The sauce:

  • 1.5 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 3.25 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon white pepper

Mix it up, then place the meat fat side up into the slow-cooker. Pour about 1/3 of the sauce over the meat. Cook on low for 7 hours. After that, pull the meat and pour on another 3rd of the sauce. Let cook on high for another half an hour. Transfer the meat with tongs into a serving dish, then pour as much sauce as you think it needs over the meat, then serve with my favorite sauces!

Southern Party Moonshine

To add another twist to a non-alcoholic event, I made some old-fashioned classic lemonade (this recipe) and labeled the jar “Moonshine!” Even though moonshine is clear, people still thought it was a cute touch.

That was the party! I really wish I had bothered to take any more pictures, but I was so caught up in everything that I didn’t get the chance! Next time I make these delicious southern foods, I’ll be sure to add the photos.

Have a great Southern Party! (Confederate flag optional)

Confederate Flag

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Crustless Ham and Spinach Quiche

Crustless Ham and Spinach Quiche

I hate it when blogs make you read a whole spiel about why they baked it, the events surrounding the day when you baked it, and the history behind the food, etc. Just makes me work harder to scroll past it all to find the actual recipe. WITHOUT further ado, the recipe: (click to make bigger and to see the PDF)

Crustless Quiche Recipe

Click to make larger and to view the PDF

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100 Things Girls Should Do: WEEK ONE

If you didn’t catch yesterday’s post, maybe read it. It gives a good deal of background as to what made me think of this list.

Some background: I have decided to start this list to promote activities us ladies can do in our free time to become more well-rounded and influential in our communities/the world. Each week I’m going to post 10 things each week and soon I’ll have 100 ideas of what I can do in my free time. Then, we’ll never have an excuse to say “I’m bored” again!  Note: These ideas are meant to be in-the-moment activities that don’t require giant time commitments in order to keep it simple.

Click for photo cred

#1 – Write Your Feeling *right now* In Poem Form

Just sit down with some paper and a pen and fill that paper with some words. Females develop language skills much earlier than males, and continue that advantage as we grow older. [1] That means somewhere inside of your mind is the ability to beautifully express yourself in ways perhaps the opposite sex cannot. Feeling bored, angry, sad, happy? Try to give it all words!

Click for photo cred

#2 – Read This Short Story

This is a great way to take up some time while learning in amazing imagery about a very useful concept, the Butterfly Effect–which is basically how one small, seemingly meaningless change can lead to enormous differences later on.

Click for photo cred

#3 – Start A Journal

Probably one of the most important things you can do. For me, personally, I am the kind of person who needs to talk out my problems to understand how to organize them in my mind. Instead of sharing what might be sensitive/personal information with others, I like to get it out in writing. I’m able to express myself much better now, because I’ve had so much practice putting thoughts and ideas into words. Also, it’s important to record things you learn–maybe you can use it one day for you or someone else!

Click for photo cred

#4 – Meditate In Nature

Sometimes, when I have a lot to think about, it’s nice to just slow down. I enjoy being alone at times and love to find secluded places (free from the distractions of my room/etc.) to just sit and reflect. It’s just silent time to yourself to ponder on the things of the world. Does wonders for stress.

Click for photo cred

#5 – Watch A Comedy Show

“When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress.” [2] I think sometimes we’re too worried we’re wasting our time, but we don’t have to always be working! Entertainment is good, so long as we’re not constantly involving ourselves in the world with the mindset of “entertain me.” Here’s an idea to get you started.

Click for photo cred

#6 – Help Fund A Kickstarter

“Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative projects that are brought to life through the direct support of others.” [3] Most of the time, you can pledge as little or as much as you’d like. This helps you get involved in the online community and contribute to the success of people with ideas, just like you. Have a great idea? Start a Kickstarter!

Click for photo cred

#7 – Watch An Educational Video On YouTube

Some find it easier to learn by watching, rather than just reading or listening. There are a lot of creative people on YouTube who dedicate a lot of time to clever ways to inform the public! I used this quote yesterday, but I feel it needs repeating: “Prevailing myths imply that [women] … are generally sweet but uninformed,” [4] Don’t let that be you. Might I suggest  these to get you started.

Click for photo cred

#8 – Try a Pinterest Recipe

There are so many out there. Try one, document it, and put it on your social media outlet of choice to impress the world! Or at least make them laugh. No point in Pinning so many things if you’re not going to actually try it out! (Here are my Sweet & Savory boards!)

Click for photo cred

#9 – Frame Your Favorite Photo

Go get a good one printed out, buy a cute frame (they even have them at the dollar store) and put it somewhere nice.

Click for photo cred (and to make larger)

#10 – Check Out A Great Infographic

A very visual way to learn stuffs, infographics are the new big thing for easily getting information out in succinct ways. They’re cool. Here’s a list of 20 great ones.

I’ll have 10 more next Wednesday! Let me know if you do any of these–and then you can thank me for becoming a more well-rounded, contributing human. Wink!

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Hawaiian Chicken with Rice

Hawaiian Chicken with Rice

This recipe was really easy. Sorry the photo looks so saturated. The purpley/blue is just a reflection from the window. Those parts are actually just black. Didn’t feel like fixing it! But back to the recipe: it’s really easy. ALSO, for like once ever, I made it myself without a recipe to start off of from Pinterest! *takes a bow*


  • some chicken
  • soy sauce (should be 1:1 ratio to water)
  • water
  • garlic powder
  • brown sugar
  • diced onion
  • pineapple wedges
  • sesame seeds
  • coconut oil
  • rice

That’s what I used.

Most detailed recipe ever.

I didn’t really measure anything out, especially since I was just making one portion. Then, I just let the chicken marinate in the soy sauce & water, garlic powder, brown sugar and onions for a bit, then dumped it all in a frying pan on low for about 10 minutes on each side. In a bigger pan, I took the leftover white rice from Chinese takeout yesterday and warmed it up/fried it with about a half-teaspoon of coconut oil. I added some of the marinade mixture from the pan with the chicken, but not a lot. Then I sprinkled in some sesame seeds. After the marinade reduced a little and the chicken was almost done, I added the pineapple wedges, continued to cook on low for the remainder of the time, then turned up the heat and seared both sides of the chicken. I took all the chicken and rice off the heat, then let the soy-sauce marinade cook a little more ’til it was pretty much caramelized, then drizzled it on top of the chicken. Et voila!

P.S., it was SOOO yummy. Mmm mmm mmm.

So many words. Thanks for reading if you did! Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at, or send me a message to my Facebook (show your support and send me a like!) Check out my Pinterest, too! Thank you all so much!

Pumpkin Gingerbread

This was such a delicious recipe. I made it for a group of people and there was none left over! I managed to get a slice or two. It was truly soft, moist, light and flavorful. Enjoy my take on a Pumpkin Gingerbread recipe! See the original here.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup pumpkin purée
1 stick of butter, melted completely
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

The directions need to be followed pretty strictly on this one, I’d say.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a bread pan to keep anything from sticking.
  2. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. In another bowl with a wooden spoon, mix the pumpkin, melted butter, sugar, molasses, eggs and water.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, adding the chocolate chips if desired.
  5. Put the batter into the pan, bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Let the pan cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and invert it.

I served the bread while it was still warm. It was delicious and a complete hit. I think I might make it again today!

Because I was so excited, I forgot to take a photo of the loaf after it was out of the pan and with the first slice, so excuse the cellphone photo! It was just THAT good!

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at, or send me a message to my Facebook (show your support and send me a like!) Check out my Pinterest, too! Thank you and be good!

Cheddar Potato Soup (Vegetarian or Not)

Recipe works best in a slow-cooker.

3-4 fist-sized potatoes, washed and cubed. (I’d advise leaving the skin on)

2 diced celery stalks

1 cup shredded cheddar

1, 15-oz can of corn, undrained

1 diced onion (I used about 2/3rds of an onion)

1, 12-oz can of cream of chicken soup (or cream of mushroom for vegetarians, it tastes so good both ways)

Salt & Pepper to taste

2 cups of water

Shove it all in the crackpot. Put it on high for 8 hours.

It’s so easy.

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at, or send me a message to my Facebook (show your support and send me a like!) Check out my Pinterest, too! Thank you and be good!

I made an apple pie

I decided to make apple pie. I’ve never made any sort of pie before ever.

I am not creative enough to just make stuff up, but apparently almost every recipe has the same–well, recipe. It’s a pretty standard dish and you can’t go wrong. I used the last link you see: “Old-Fashioned Apple Pie – Martha Stewart Recipes,” which you can click on the photo and it will link you there.

I also didn’t take any pictures of the process because I’m totally lame. I did manage to remember to take one with my phone of the finished product.

I cooked with apples that were freshly picked off my neighbor’s tree (I asked, don’t worry). I don’t know if that actually makes a difference, but it feels fancy to say out loud.

I baked it just under a full hour and took it immediately to the event I made it for. I wish I had started cooking a little earlier, because it didn’t get a chance to cool down or really to set before I had to start serving it. That led to a slightly runny pie–but I got lots of compliments and personally thought it tasted delicious.

Yay, pie!

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at, or send me a message to my Facebook (show your support and send me a like!) Check out my Pinterest, too! Thank you and be good!


Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Cookies


You guys. Something amazing happened. THESE COOKIES TURNED OUT AWESOME!

It’s all thanks to Pinterest, really. One of the most wonderful ladies I work with brought these cookies and they were amazing. Today, when I decided to make cookies, I knew this was the only recipe for me.

In case you haven’t been following my blog, I really really really really can’t bake or cook, but especially bake. Usually everything is dry and overdone, EVEN IF I only bake them for like half the time they list.

I don’t know what it is. But these cookies turned out PERFECTLY. You know a recipe has got to be magical if even I can make them taste good.

Here’s a link to the pin. Below is the recipe with my modifications, the original of which comes from here:

3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar (I used 2 parts Splenda, 1 part real sugar! You couldn’t even tell!)
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1/2 c. butterscotch chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. She has a bunch of other directions listed on her website, but I didn’t pay attention to these while measuring out the ingredients, so I had everything all in one bowl before I realized I was apparently supposed to sort things and add them in at separate times. Haha, oops. BUT! They still turned out fabulous!! It’s like the recipe you can’t mess up!!

3. The cookies only apparently need 8-10 minutes! I put them in for 9 each and when I pulled them out, I was on the verge of tears because they looked completely under done. I trusted in the recipe though (she says absolutely no longer than 10 minutes) and after sitting for about 5 minutes once I took them out of the oven…they are PERFECT. I swear it. Can you tell I’m obsessed?

I wrapped up about six of them in a cup, then tied it off with a pink ribbon! The paper has a quote from John 13:35, and I blotted out the phone numbers. I love making cute crafts like these! I dropped them off at a house of a girl I go to church with and hopefully she (and you) loves this recipe as much as I do!

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at, or send me a message to my Facebook (show your support and send me a like!) Check out my Pinterest, too! Thank you!




Pina Colada Cupcakes

If you didn’t see yesterday’s post, you need to check it out. Like come on. Where have you been.

So I made vanilla cupcakes with pineapple filling and coconut frosting. Here’s a bunch of photos! Click on the photo below for the cake recipe:

I tried to follow the recipe (click the photo with the ingredients above for the recipe) as strictly as I could. I’m not known for my baking skills. While they were in the oven, I mixed the frosting. As in, I got some Betty Crocker frosting and mixed in a bunch of coconut, then put it into a piping back (which I made myself by cutting off the zip part of a baggie, then twisting it up.

Then the cupcakes came out! And while they cooled, I made the pineapple filling (which I forgot to take a picture of.) I used this recipe. Except I did it in a saucepan. Turned out delicious, by the way! After they cooled, I took a melon baller (you’re supposed to use an apple corer, but I didn’t have one of those) and took out the centers in all the cupcakes, then filled them with the filling!

Then I frosted them, toasted some coconut and placed it on top (all decorative, like) and voila!

If I were to do it again, (but I won’t, because I don’t particularly like to bake) I would take the cupcakes out of the oven a good bit sooner. They were a little dry. But still tasty! Yay!

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