Nursery Rhymes

FelixNursery-3FelixNursery-4FelixNursery-5FelixNursery-6FelixNursery-9FelixNursery-12FelixNursery-13FelixNursery-14FelixNursery-15FelixNursery-16FelixNursery-17FelixNursery-21FelixNursery-22FelixNursery-24FelixNursery-25FelixNursery-26FelixNursery-27FelixNursery-29images via Against the Grain Photography

Despite the fact that it won’t be used for at least 3 or 4 months, decorating and finishing the nursery was important to me... Mostly because I knew it would never get done if we didn’t finish or mostly finish the room before Felix’s arrival. #FACT The desire to decorate decreases 2 billion percent once you are sleep deprived and covered in poo and breastmilk. So with a month or so to go, The Captain and I threw it into high gear and decorated the room from the comfort of our sofa whilest watching Justified [our latest tv obsession]. Excited to share some of my online finds with you.

[Sucre Dreamers] I found Hannah’s shop back when I first found out I was pregnant!! I was in LOVE with her sweet mobiles! This was the first piece I bought for the room after finding out we were having another boy. The custom colors were the jumping off point for the rest of the room. I love love love her AND her shop. I want felt garland ERRY WHERE!

[Bright Lab Lights] OBSESSED with these lights. I knew I was going to get these for the nursery the first time I ever laid eyes on them! With tons of colors to pick from, you can literally spend hours working out the perfect strand!!

[Aspen and Oak] Love Shelli and her adorbs shop! Had her whip up this custom "explore" banner a few weeks ago and I love it!!! I can’t wait to buy more goodies for the boys rooms!

[Watercolor Journey] We bought Baby Burrito a Rhino from the San Diego Zoo before moved and I absolutely HAD to use it in the room. I found this shop and fell in love the baby rhino print! I purchased a driftwood frame and had a stunning textured mat designed. Boom. Easy art work that looks custom and like a million bucks, all for about 55 dollars.

[Mini Learners] Adorable prints. Great Prices.

[Amy West Designs] [Oja Design] not pictured More great prints at killer prices.

[crib] ikea [sheets] land of nod [rocker] nurseryworks sleepytime rocker [animal knobs] anthropologie [zebra head] target

I'm in love with this chill little room, I’m excited to see how the space evolves as Mister F grows and acquires toys and books, etc. He and Mohawk are gonna have major fun times in here!

It's just your baby...

IMG_4525I was asked recently why having a natural birth was so important to me... I knew I had a reason. I knew I did. But in the moment it took me a while to gather my thoughts, let's blame it on preggo brain... I started writing this more as a way to organize my inner monologue and thought it could maybe help someone, so there you go.

I never for a second considered having an epidural or any kind of pain meds during labor. I fully realize that they are a marvel of modern medicine, but it never even crossed my mind. My mom had natural births. My 2 best friends had natural births. I hate pain, but I believe in the power of my own body. So with my first son it never even presented itself as an option. I told friends "if I change my mind during labor, then I will" but I only said that to make people feel better. I knew I wasn't going to. I knew it. I also, through much research, found myself constantly seeing connections between interventions such as inducing and epidurals and the slippery slope leading to stalled labors and emergency C sections... Ummmm, no thank you.
With that decided, I begin to pray every day. Every time I was in the car or waiting for the doctor. I prayed and prayed and prayed. I prayed for all the specifics of my labor. I wanted an 8 hour labor (I was a realist). I wanted to go into labor at night so the midwife would be at the hospital. And I wanted to use zero pain intervention. The power of prayer is strong because I had all of my prayers answered. Did it hurt?! Like a son of a bitch. Did I survive it?! Absolutely, like a boss. Would I change a thing?! Never. The second my baby was on my chest the work was forgotten and I had literally had control of my entire labor and birth. I didn't have doctors telling me when to push. I knew. My body knew. I was so focused I had no time to worry or stall my labor. I was in it 100% and that control was just beautiful.
So back to my answer. I had a natural birth because I was meant to. That may sound silly, but it was all I needed to know. Now with my second baby due in just 9 weeks I'm facing these questions and decisions all over again. And I've found myself giving advice, offering opinions [when asked] and my main point to those asking is know WHY you want it and don't allow yourself or others to think otherwise. Surround yourself with people who support and believe in you and your body. You need to know you can and will get through labor. You need to remember with each contraction that is just your baby making his way to you. You need to know that it's the most beautiful and primal thing you can ever do. You need to know the amazing power you possess.
Now, sometimes medical intervention is absolutely necessary and praise The Lord for doctors and midwives who know what they are doing, but I would just ask you to know your options. Don't just accept everything you are told. Be educated. Trust your instincts. Take classes. Hire a Doula. Watch documentaries. Be involved in your birth story no matter what path you choose!

All things San Diego, Part II

Processed with VSCOcam with f1 presetSo here it is folks… My giant list of all things food in San Diego! The Captain and I are passionate about food and we pride ourselves on being the people you text when you are looking for a new spot to eat! Note: I should say I am a vegan, so every single restaurant on the list, while it might not be a vegan establishment, does offer vegan options! But I assure you, this is not just a list for veggies!!! In fact, out of the 26 spots listed, only 5 are entirely vegan or plant based! Meat eaters, rejoice! I have been compiling this list for weeks!! I am actually salivating after editing this post… I need some tacos… or noodles… or pizza… or falafel… or sheesh, I don't know, for love of GOD GET ME SOME FOOD! FullSizeRender_1 copyBest Coffee Drinks: Cafe Gratitude

Weird answer, I know, but the coffee beverages at CG are among the most original and delicious I’ve ever tried. Their Mocha!? Shut. Your. Face. Their teas and other libations are equally tasty!!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBest Breakfast: Coffee Cup

Not only is the best breakfast in San Diego, but also my favorite restaurant. The rosemary potatoes will change your life. I order the Papas Loco, no diary, add tofu, with corn tortillas. EVERY. TIME. I ate here the day I went into labor and I’m pretty sure it was the jalapeños that did the trick... We eat here... A LOT. Needless to say, the servers have my order memorized and I love them and I will miss them.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBest Pancakes: Moncai Vegan

These pancakes will change your life. Change it. The Captain stands firm that these are the BEST pancakes he's ever eaten in his life!! HIS ENTIRE LIFE!!! You non-vegans will be like WHAT THE HELL!?! I don't know how it's possible to get such giant, fluffy pancakes with no milk or eggs… I don't know how the chef does it, but he does and it is spectacular.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBest Vegan Breakfast: OB's People Co-op

Not only is this the best value in town, these biscuits and gravy are the things dreams are made of! With an entirely vegetarian market beneath, this small kitchen whips up some tasty and simple food that will leave you satisfied and happy! I wish I lived closer to it because I would eat there daily… seriously, I'd do it.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset[my beloved avocado roll from Lil' Tokyo]

Best Sushi: Ebisu Sushi Lounge

I love this place. We found this when we first moved out because they had a small, but interesting vegan sushi list, but we quickly became regulars. Their fish is always fresh and prepared in unique ways! The place is rarely packed, but always buzzing and they serve food way past your bed time. [special shout out to Little Tokyo in Carmel Mountain, this place makes me happy. Nothing super special, but it's yummy]

Best Cocktails: WhisknLadle

Fancy and unique cocktails in a fancy and unique setting. Boom.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBest Chinese: Golden City

So after years of looking for a decent Chinese restaurant we stumbled upon Golden City and it is authentic and delish! With a completely separate veggie menu, it was a clear winner for me! Their salted garlic string beans are a thing of beauty!! Note: the portions are MASSIVE and definitely for sharing!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBest Döner: The Kebab Shop

Now, maybe you are thinking, come again!?! But if you have never had a döner you are in for quite a thrill! It's like a Mediterranean burrito and it tastes like heaven! I order the falafel diner, no garlic sauce, add spicy hummus, add fries or rice depending on my mood. [3/19/18 I've been informed that the rice is loaded with butter. True Vegans, skip the rice!] The wrap is soft, almost like a thin naan bread… It is delicious! There are now locations all over San Diego, so no excuses get thee to The Kebab Shop!

Processed with VSCOcam with f1 presetBest Salad: NaPizza

The superfood me salad with tahini dressing is literally a thing of the gods!! Their pizza and [always vegan] soup are both magic, but I don't stray from my favorite salad! With locations in Little Italy, Hillcrest, and 4S you are covered!

FullSizeRender copy FullSizeRender Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset[delish offerings from Cafe Gratitude. Top to bottom, I am: warm-hearted, awesome, & surrendering]FullSizeRender_1Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset[Trilogy Sanctuary, just being awesome. Top to bottom: Nachos and bfast crepes.]

Best Healthy Eats: Tie Cafe Gratitude and Trilogy Sanctuary

Cafe Gratitude makes the list twice. I've eaten at the LA eatery a handful of times and at the recently opened San Diego locale 23,293,090 times. Slight exeggeration. I love love love everything on the menu. It's vegan plant based goodness and I'm gonna miss them like WHOA. And then there's Trilogy, a newer find, located in La Jolla on a rooftop with angels and fairies. OR flying aerobatic yogis. Close enough. The menu is small, but heavenly. I love their buckwheat crepes and the nachos!! OH THE NACHOS!!! Both of these spots are winners, for vegans and non-vegans alike!

Best Thai: Amarin Thai

My buddy Christina took me to this restaurant years ago and I fell... hard. Their Tom Yum Soup is AMAZING. They have an entire separate veggie menu that’s even fish sauce free! And good news North County, Siam Nara in Mira Mesa and Nok in Scripps Ranch are pretty much the same menu from owner Suree! Winning.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset[Top to bottom: salad pizza from Luigis and a vegan pie from SDBC]

Best Pizza: Tie Pizzeria Luigi and San Diego Brewing Company

So Luigi's was an early find, after watching a San Diego episode of triple D Guy Fieri swore he'd eat it off of a flip flop, we had to try it. To my delight, I found out that they will sub vegan cheese and even make vegan calzones. The calzones are AH-mazing. But even more surprising is their cheese-less salad pizza. This pizza is the bomb. And dude, all of their cheesy pizzas look amazing!! Oh, oh and when I was very pregnant and wanted to get another slice, the so sweet pizza maker gave me a slice on the house. Two thumbs up. A more recent find is San Diego Brewing! This spot has a crazy amount of vegan offerings along side all of your typical pub grub. They have vegan hot wings AND vegan pizza!!! Who knew!? It is the lightest crust and I just can't say enough good things. The marinara is delish and the toppings are fresh. It's so yummy.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset[vegan mezzaluna and the special from Civico1845]

Best Italian: Bencotto

Yummy, fresh Italian food in the chicest building. I love this place. Their arrabbiata sauce and zucchini soup really make me happy. A newbie that I’ve only tried twice is Civico1845, but it is really shaping up to be a winner! An entire authentic vegan menu, um dreams coming true.

Best Indian: Delhi Kitchen 

This is a hole in the wall if ever there was one, but Delhi Kitchen in Carmel Mountain is a killer find! It's super inexpensive and the family who runs it is so nice!! Their Chana Masala is spicy, full of flavor, and oh-so-good.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBest Ramen: Underbelly

Holy. Giant. Bowls. of. Soup. Batman. This spot is legit. They now have 2 locations, but if you can try out the original in Lil Italy it is totally worth it for the experience. The veggie ramen with truffle oil is lip smacking good!

Processed with VSCOcam with f1 presetBest Tacos: Don Carlos Taco Shop

One of the first joints we found when arriving in San Diego. Don Carlos is a hole in the wall if ever there was one! The owner is full of personality and with a tag line like “what would Jesus eat?” this place has to rock! And with multiple vegan options this joint is sure to please. We used to pick up food and bring it to the cliffs and watch the sunset with the rich people! Highly suggest it!!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBest Frozen Yogurt: Paradise Yogurt

Best vegan yogurt ever!!! They always have at least 2 vegan flavors and it constantly rotates. Their toppings are genius and they have the chillest employees. Love this spot.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBest Vegan Junk Food: Veggie Grill

The Buffalo Bomber has comforted me many, many a night... or day... or mid-morning. I ate here, nearly, twice a week when I was pregnant. The whole menu is awesome. And I'm gonna tell you right now, you will be surprised that vegan "chicken" tastes, well, pretty much like chicken!

Best Spot for a Group who can't Decide: True Foods

This is the perfect restaurant for a group of folks who just can't get their shit together. It's deceptively healthy, but will please a variety of palates! You can get a bison burger, a seasonal squash pizza[amazing], or [my favorite] the Mediterranean chopped salad. There's an option for the gluten intolerant, vegan, or meat eater in your group. And on top of all of those reasons, simply put, it's a delish and thoughtful menu!

Best Meal with a View: Cordiano Winery

Our amazing neighbors suggested this spot a few years ago and we have been frequent visitors ever since. It's nestled atop some impressive hills in Escondido, but you feel like you are in another world. The Italian owners are the sweetest and their pizza is out of control yummy! The wine is okay, but what you are really there for is the view! I could have sat there for hours!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBest Beach Front: Ki's Restaurant at the Beach

I love this spot in Cardiff. It's the utmost in chill dining spots! We love to go for breakfast and I just love all of their healthy options and there is nothing that can beat the view!!

Best Date Night Spot: Alexanders on 30th

Now there isn't much for a vegan to eat, but the few dishes you can have are totally delish and worth it for the wonderful and sexy atmosphere! It just feels… romantic!? The truffle mac n cheese is a favorite among my friends!

Best Brewery: Ballast Point

We’ve been to a few breweries and this is both mine and The Captain’s favorite. It’s not as touristy as Stone, but is on the larger scale. But with a super tasty menu, DELICIOUS beer, and a beautiful locale. It’s a winner.

Weddington Way, way awesome…

WWPerfectPair Bracelets.001Dress | Suit | Bracelets [dark blue, cuff, dainty dot]

Did you know that many, many moons ago I wrote wedding blogs for a genius wedding planner!? Yes, it’s true! My amazing wedding planner- turned brilliant photographer, Morgan Gallo, had me write, for a few years, about the in’s and out’s of weddings- fashion, etiquette, budget, etc etc. So when Weddington Way reached out to me to create a fun look using their awesome pieces I jumped at the chance!!! And with fall in the air, I am definitely being influenced by the impending cooler weather.

I was super impressed with the selection at Weddington Way, but settled on these two looks! A muted floral and a studly blue suit are the perfect way to say goodbye to summer and usher in fall!! I’m all about your bridesmaids wearing pattern! If I had a do over wedding my girls FOR SURE would be rocking pattern. Who says you have to have everyone in the same hue of pepto bismol pink!? But come on, why would you?! Don’t do that your friends... Remember, you have to look at those pictures for like, forever-ever. Patterns are unique and create wonderful interest for photos. Add an arm full of glitzy glam bracelets[I suggest each girl has a different arm party for visual interest] and seriously, you have magic. Click here to head over to WW to see their entire massive collection of stylish bridesmaids dresses!!! As for this snazzy blue suit, stop. Like, stop it. Who wouldn’t want to see their future hubs and handsome row of groomsmen in this suit? Answer. Nobody. Be sure to check out the rest of the devilishy handsome collection here! I loved my wedding, like loved it-loved it, but if I could snap my fingers and have all our guys in this suit and ladies in this dress, I definitely would! Fun. Fun. Fun.

So how do you feel about pattern on your bridesmaids!? Do you ever wish you could restyle your wedding!? Did you make your bridesmaids wear something awful!? Be honest! Comment below! Happy Big Day!!!

Kula Project | For the Farmer

kula2all photos via Bobby Neptune 

Every once and awhile you come across a person or a cause that is just so beautiful and real that you can't deny the awesomeness and you just have to tell everyone. That is definitely how I feel about Sarah and the brilliant Kula Project! Seeing all the amazing things they are doing has really just warmed my heart and I thought it was about time that I shared the Kula Project with you. It's an amazing non-profit, co-founded by Sarah, that helps small-scale farmers create sustainable communities in Rwanda. Awesome-sauce!!! It is such a wonderful cause that I wanted to do anything I could to get the word out. I asked Sarah to just answer a few questions to share with you all and she graciously obliged. I'm so honored to have her take the time to share with us her passion!!! She is truly inspiring!!! Read on!!!Kula1What inspired you to start the Kula Project? I went to Kenya with a dental team in 2009, and it was the first time that I saw true poverty. It wrecked me, so I come home and changed my major to focus on International Development. It was through my studies and further travels that I saw the link between agriculture and poverty. Agriculture wasn’t my driving passion, I was passionate about these children that I continued to see that weren't in school, that were malnourished, or children dying because their parents can't afford a $7 pill that would treat their malaria. I wanted to fix all of this, but I knew I couldn't do it, but that these kid's parents could, if they were simply given the opportunity. If I decided to work with small-scale farmers, I knew I can reach over 80% of the developing world, so that’s what I did.

kula5What’s been the most exciting part about watching the Kula Project grow? I think when you start doing what I do, you have this big, gigantic picture of what your work will be, but you fail to realize that these are actual people you are trying to help with unique stories. So, now that we have been going for two years and in Rwanda for year, I have the enormous privilege to have relationships, friendships really, and I get to bring people into that. This fall, the families in our program will plant over 6,000 coffee and banana trees. 6,000! Those trees will make elementary school graduations and Sunday suppers possible. Moving forward, malaria will no longer be a death sentence because they will be able to afford the medicine and we get to be a part of all this!

kula3What do you think would surprise people to find out about the work KP does? The people of the communities we work in are just as much involved in the program development process as we are. So often people go into countries with the best intentions of helping but end not providing what is needed because they never thought to ask, they just assumed they knew. We sit down with the families we work with to get their opinion, find out what they think their community needs, and we combine that input with the input of some local experts and develop the programs with that information.

For example, I had a laundry list tools I thought our farmers would need to implement this upcoming program. As I was reading the list, I realized no one was getting excited, which they usually do. Finally, JMV, one of our farmers, says, “You know, we really just need wheelbarrows with strong tires that can handle these hills.” I just laughed and nodded “okay, we’ll just go with wheelbarrows.”kula6What’s next for the Kula Project? This November will be the biggest month of our organization thus far. We have worked for almost year building this program and it’s finally about to happen! Our farmers will start “intercropping plots” with coffee and banana trees. These plots will help protect their land from rising temperatures and diminishing rains while almost doubling their current family income.

kula7How can people help? To make November happen, we need to raise $50,000 more dollars, so people can help by supporting one of our farmers. We like for people to be as much of a part of their lives and we are, so we do a pretty job at keeping people connected with the families they support. If you can’t give funds, buy some of our merchandise, or simply spread the word to people you think might be able to support our work.

tankI bought this awesome tank at the Kula Market and not only is it legit fabulous the money goes to the help this amazing cause!  I also picked up Rocco his first For The Farmer onesie!! Go buy a shirt, a bow tie, some coffee, or heck, just go donate money!!! If you feel the least bit inclined to donate, don't hesitate, don't wait! If not now, when!? I'm so excited for what the future holds for the Kula Project! Get involved!!!

Cauliflower Wings, say whaaaa!?

photo 5So I've wanted to make these "wings" for a while now and at a recent wifey event I decided to try it out. I based my recipe off of A Simply Raw Life's recipe found on Pinterest. I kept pretty much everything the same, but I did switch up the dipping sauce. Let me tell you, this was a MASSIVE hit. Veggies and non-veggies alike were stuffing their faces with these things!! I mean the outside was spicy and crunchy and inside was soft and delicious. I really seriously can't say enough amazing things about these things!! I think football season is getting ready to start soon [right!?] and these would be perfect even for the manliest crowd! I can't wait to make them for The Captain. Awesome for any get together or even a quick and yummy dinner. Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite size pieces

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 cup flour

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 cup buffalo sauce, I used the Trader Joe's

2 tablespoons of earth balance, melted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix milk, flour, garlic powder in a bowl and then add the cauliflower and coat all of the pieces. Place evenly on a cookie sheet and pop in the oven for 25ish minutes until good and crunchy. Mix hot sauce and melted earth balance and pour all over cauliflower. Pop back into the oven for 5 minutes. They taste amazing right out of the oven. Proceed to stuff face.

photo 4Dipping Sauce

1 box of silken tofu

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

Juice of 1-2 lemons [I like it with more lemon]

Toss all ingredients in a blender and pop into the fridge for at least an hour.

The Summer Outfit I Won't get to Wear…

Summer Lovin' .0011|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9

So, I don't mean this in a negative way… I am very happy to pregnant and very much loving my big ol' belly, but damn why are there so many adorable things out and about this season that are just not compatible to a preggo tummy!?! Like Rompers. Very hard to get the fit right or a piece that doesn't have elastic around the natural waist. And crop tops. If I have to explain to you why this is just wrong in every conceivable way then you are in the wrong place. Just go! Get the hell outta here! That is why I am putting together the summer look that I will not be able to wear this year.  Enjoy you skinny bitches!

Everyone's Favorite Quinoa Salad

Vegan Quinoa SaladThis recipe makes it to every incarnation of the blog and it keeps getting better and better. It's my go-to potluck dish! It's so tasty. Lemony. Garlicy. Salty. Mmmmmm Yummmmy. I love the crisp cucumbers and the sweet cherry tomatoes mixed in with the savory goodness. I could literally eat this every single day... there were weeks during The Captain's deployment when I did it every single day... Not proud of it, but it's the truth. I made it for lunch yesterday and ate the whole pot... All of it... All four servings!!! Yeah, it's really that good. Vegan Quinoa SaladServes 4 as a side dish

1 cup quinoa

2.5 cups veggie stock

2 large cloves, minced

1 English cucumber, chopped

1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped

1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped

2 tablespoons capers [optional]

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

1/4 cup lemon juice with a few splashes of olive juice [like solid splashes, don't wimp out]

Cook quinoa per package instructions, I throw the quinoa and stock into rice cooker and press start. Chop veggies. Squeeze lemons, add olive juice. When the quinoa is done throw the garlic in first and stir up so the quinoa can warm it up and get it all fragrant and delish-like. Add the veggies and the juice. Mix well and serve immediately. It also tastes amazing at room temperature too. So good. Sooo, sooooo good.