Holiday Delights

Blissful Happenings  2 - 31

My holiday table | Photo via Kelsey Erin Photography

Holiday food is the bombdiggity!!! It's warming and delicious and perfect and fabulous. Being vegan, I've had to make some considerable changes to the classics, but I assure you they are tasty and just as satisfying. I find inspiration everywhere! I love reading vegan and non-vegan cookbooks and blogs. I love turning a recipe into a veggie delight! It brings me such joy! Such joy!! And when it tastes so freaking good,  I'm so happy I wanna run into the streets screaming good tidings and kiss a good looking stranger right in the face. Here are 3 recipes, one created from my mind hole, one exactly as it was written, and one adapted to my plant based lifestyle! All of them are magical holiday dishes!! Enjoy!

imageGreen Beans with Shallots and Almonds Serves 4 as a side

1 pound trimmed green beans

1/4 cup sliced almonds

4-5 large shallots sliced into rings

a sprinkle or 2 of whole wheat pastry flour (any will work)

1 tablespoon olive oil for the beans and 1/2 cup or so sunflower oil to fry the shallots

a splash of veggie stock (I like to add some stock to help the beans steam)

salt and pepper

So this is super easy. I've made it twice already and I'm sharing the more naughty version. After light dredging the shallots in flour, I shallow fried them in a frying pan until golden and crispy! Once out of the pan lay them on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. YUM! You might need to make more because you WILL eat them as they cook up. Then start the green beans, get a tablespoon of oil heating in the pan. Toss in the green beans with the oil and add a pinch of salt and a few turns of the pepper mill. Toss in a splash, roughly a tablespoon, of stock and put on the lid. Check every 2-3 minutes, you want them to be soft, but still have a bit of a crunch! You definitely want them to keep their brilliant color!! Once they hit the sweet spot toss in the almonds, shallots, and another pinch of salt. Sauté for a min or so and serve!! Soooooo good!!! If you want to make the healthy version, omit the oil and sauté beans with only veggie stock and instead of frying your shallots place them on a cookie sheet in a 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes!! Fat free masterpiece! image_2

"Christina Hendricks's Rub All Over Your Body Stuffing" Sorta...

Serves two thousand people

day old cornbread (I use this whole recipe minus the green chilies)

day old biscuits (I use this whole recipe from The Kind Diet, but switch the oil for apple sauce)

1 cup celery, finely chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons salt

4-6 cups veggie stock

1 tablespoon dried sage

1 teaspoon parsley flakes

1/2 cup melted Earth Balance (I use the sticks for this)

optional: Field Roast's Smoked Apple Sage "sausage" crumbled

This is so easy. I make the biscuits and cornbread the day before and try not to eat them. I actually like to chop my veggies and measure out my herbs too. Then the day of I just crumble up the biscuits and cornbread and dump everything else into a huge baking dish! Preheat the oven to 350. I pour over the earth balance and start with 4 cups of veggie stock. Bake for an hour, adding stock if it begins to dry out.

image_1This was a hit. Creamed Kale is where it's at!!! I found this recipe at Food to Glow and holy bananas!! MIND. BLOWN. I can't even believe how delicious this dish tasted. So simple. I can't wait to make it again!!! Can a person be in love with Kale? Like truly, deeply in love?? Because I am. I definitely am. Check out the recipe here and make the vegan version, DUH. Enjoy these delicious recipes!!!!!!!

 

Christmas Party Time!

Blissful Happenings  2 - 61 Blissful Happenings  2 - 62 Blissful Happenings  2 - 63 Blissful Happenings  2 - 65 Blissful Happenings  2 - 68 Blissful Happenings  2 - 70Photos via Kelsey Erin Photography  | [pants] old Loft, but these are amazing!! [top] old Loft [shoes] ancient Steve Madden [ring] Nordies Rack  [lips]  Ombre with Mac Morange all over and Russian Red painted around the lip line then blended in. It's the holidays and that means Christmas parties, oh so many Christmas parties. This year I was determined to wear this outfit! I purchased the look for NYE 2013 which ended up being a total drunkfest in the privacy of my own home, which I like to tell myself is responsible and not super lame. I was determined to wear these pants somewhere!!! This is might be the only outfit I've ever purchased straight from the mannequin and it literally shocks people when I tell them it's from Loft! That store is toats one of my secret affordable weapons. I purchase one of these shirts once a year, it's a staple and looks so expensive!! That's the beauty of Loft, it's great to mix with higher end pieces to create a super unique style of your own! These are my favorite shoes which are total knockoffs of the Dior Addict gladiators that prance around in my dreams. Yep, I'm still crushing hard on those Diors. These are Steve Madden and they are cray comfortable, I wish they still made them. They are blatant copies, but dude this girl doesn't have 800 bucks to spend on shoes and I definitely didn't have it 4 years ago. I hate the lack of artistry in copying a designer piece, but I think that the prices of designer fashion have only gotten more and more insane!! Conundrum of the heart. Anywho, we had a blast at our Christmas party, ugly sweaters, engraved toilet seats, apple pie moonshine, olives!!!! I could go on and on. We love our West Coast military family!! So blessed to have such wonderful friends in our lives!!!!

Ladies Gift Guide

LadiesGift Guide.001 It's beginning to look a lot like traffic, rude people, and long lines… That sounds very bah-humbug, but the truth is I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!! Love it, I just can't stand what the holiday season does to so many people, which is why I shop from home. I love purchasing all my holiday delights directly from the internets so that on the rare occasion that I step out into the retail world I'm able to keep a smile on my face and let people go ahead of me in line etc, etc. Moving on, after The Captain's dude list I got a few requests for a gift guide for the girlies!! So here you go!!

1. Love More Tee - I love ScoutMob's super awesome Shoppe that has tons of super cool independent designers and so many must have products. This tee from Arquebus Clothing out of Texas has the coolest shirts and I'm obsessed with this one! And considering how much some retailers try to sell graphic tees for this is a steal of a deal!!!

2. Naked 3 - So I can't wait to get this!! I'm a fan of the original and think that 3 has amazing shades that ARE different than the other 2 palettes, proof here. I think these shades are more subtle than the previous 2, but still have plenty of intensity! Perfect for a NYE bash or just grabbing brunch with friends. Fab.

3. Makeup Brushes - I lalalalove MAC makeup brushes and these sets are an affordable way to get 5 killer brushes. The super cute travel case also makes it very easy to… well, travel with them. Any girly-girl would love to get this set.

4. Rebecca Minkoff bag - This bag is so fab. It's like a fabulous angry Chanel without the 2 grand price tag. Perfect for any fashionista. RM is one of my favorite designers of quality,  affordable handbags and this is a classic!

5. Rose hip & Red clay face mask - I love a good face mask and this company, Beridan Naturals, is one of the coolest brands around. Even their packaging is too cool for school. This pretty pink mask is perfect for cleansing and detoxing trouble skin! While the clay absorbs impurities and toxins, the rose hip powder exfoliates leaving skin smooth and bright. I want everything that they make!!

6. Madewell Tee - This looks so comfy that I can barely stand it. I love a clever gift, but a super soft well-made (see what I did there) tee is a perfect present. It would be great with jeans or maybe even paired with #12.

7. Fox Pillow - Sooo Foxxxxxyyyyyy. This pillow is just the cutest thing that I've ever seen. It's a fox pillow. I don't know why, I love it. So if the lady you are shopping for is a touch quirky this might make the perfect gift… and bonus, it's on sale!!!

8. Kate Spade Planner - I never thought I'd be a Kate Spade girl, but lately I've just loved everything they make. This planner is so fabulous and a perfect gift for the lady who is far too classy to put her important meetings in her iCalander. Plus, gold polka dots are, like, the best thing ever.

9. Diptyque Candle - This is for the chick who literally has everything. I don't ever think to buy myself a pricey, fancy candle, but I can assure you I would flipping love to get one as a gift. I think I'm speaking for most women when I say that. And this one smells of hazelnut, basically fall in a candle. Yes, please.

10. Betsy & Iya Ring - I mentioned my love of this brand before, but I toats love their style! I dig their jewelry and am a big fan of the way they run things! I love buying jewels from small companies because your piece is truly unique. You don't see it on every other person. I found them on Etsy and can't stop buying from them!!

11. Jane Austen Penguin Classics - This is for the book worm. I have a few of these Austen classics, but to get a whole set!? Be still my heart!!! These books are beautiful and look like art work displayed in your home. If your lady has mentioned on more than one occasion her love of Mr. Darcy or Mr. Knightley or Edmund, this is a much purchase.

12. Fancy Skirt - This is so fancy and beautiful and fancy. It would be super funky with a crop top, casual with a chambray shirt, über fancy with a silk top so many options!! Ladies love when their men buy them clothes… perhaps I should specify, ladies love when their men buy them AWESOME clothes. Did I mention it's fancy?

13. Spiralizer - Yes, yes, yes. The health nut in your life will jump for joy over this gadget. It makes zucchini pasta a snap and just in case you're thinking, "what the duck!? I just want regular pasta!!!" It also makes the perfect curly fries!!! Winning.

14. Chloe's Vegan Desserts - Chloe knows what she's doing. She's the only vegan chef to ever win Cupcake Wars, so naturally her dessert book is freaking awesome. Everything is delicious. Everything. Don't get me started on her chocolate chip cookies!!! Perfect for your veggie with a sweet tooth.

15. Global Bread Knife - Yes. A bread knife. What? I want a nice bread knife and Global knives are hands down my favorite. This knife is sexy and it's perfect for cutting up some yummy italian bread, slicing tomatoes, or stabbing the occasional zombie.

Shopping for your Man + CyberMonday Deals

man-shopping-christmas-husband-dad-brother-christmas-holidays-cybermonday-online-  

So I'm not sure if you know this, but The Captain is ah-mazing. I'm not just saying that because I'm married to the guy. He has a knack for finding the next big thing, whether it's the newest hip glasses company or a soon to be massive website. He's just that cool… Here is his list for must haves for Christmas! Hopefully it will help when shopping for the cool dude in your life! Hope you enjoy his witty commentary below, sort of makes sense that we're married, right?! After his post, make sure to check out all of the CyberMonday deals on the interwebs today!!

1. Cole Haan Colton Oxford: Try keeping your sneakers in the gym bag and opt for something with a leather sole. And if you still feel like you may need to spontaneously dunk on somebody, Cole Haan has other classy offerings with Nike Air technology.

2. Warby Parker Striped Chestnut Sunglasses: Because you can do good while looking good: If you're more conservative with your eyewear, you can go with the Revolver Black Matte frames...and because Revolver Black Matte sounds badass.

3. Jack Purcells: Blue Jack Purcells, because you can never have enough pairs. A pair for going to the beach, one for yard work, one for running out to the store after dinner because ice cream and Oreos sound good.

4. The Embassy Pen: Because when you use a 60 cent Bic, you drop your guard and people keep walking off with your pens. But when it weighs almost a quarter of a pound, you'll notice it missing out of your pocket. This is an heirloom your kids will be fighting over.

5. Driving Snap Cap: Because gentlemen wear hats. Just know when to take 'em off.

6. Paul Newman Print: Framed. Actor, veteran, race car driver, devoted husband, humanitarian, and all around badass. Your better half will appreciate this piece of wall art.

7. Tie Bar: Often simple is best. Simple is also often timeless; your "#YOLO" trucker's hat is not going to become a family heirloom the kids fight over.

8. Rat Pack Print: Framed and put in a place of honor. Like next to the bar. No bar? Okay, in sight of your whiskey chair.

9. Ice Molds: Why was this sitting next to the neckties in the men's section of J. Crew? Oh that's right because almost everyone around you in the shopping mall during the holiday season becomes a monster and this reminds you to swing by the liquor store on the way home to grab a bottle of Basil Hayden's so you can decompress in your favorite chair when you get home. Well done J. Crew, I'll take two.

10. Flask: Don't you dare ruin the gentlemanliness of this flask by pouring in your favorite whipped cream flavored vanilla vodka. Whiskey only.

11.Guide to Moonshining: Something to read while you're in your favorite chair? Oh, and by the way that homeless man who asked "Excuse me, do you have any change?" outside the liquor store has more manners and general awareness than you jackals at the mall.

12. Louisville Slugger: A good wooden bat is classy and nostalgic. Representative of both distinguished gentlemen and youthful boys. You can even look for replica bats of your favorite players for a personal touch. Great for home defense against burglars or zombies.

13. Knife Magnet: A simple yet elegant way to store your cutlery in the kitchen adhering to form follows function principals, by protecting their edges and keeping them easily accessible. You know, for zombies and stuff.

14. KA-Bar: Again, a multipurpose gift great for chopping onions, frenching a rack of lamb, or for eliminating the undead.

CYBER MONDAY SALES!!!!!

[ASOS US] Save 20% off site wide. DATES: Through Dec 2 - CODE: GIMME20

[BaubleBar] Take 20% off site-wide and play their Cyber Smash game for a chance to win prizes – like $100 off. DATES: Dec 2 – Dec 3 - CODE: CYBER20

[French Connection] Save 30% off your total purchase + free ground shipping on orders over $150. DATES: Through Dec 2 - CODE: W13COUPON

[Gap & Banana Republic] SAVE 40% off your total purchase + free shipping on orders over $50. DATES: Through DEC 2 - CODE: CYBER

[LOFT] Save 50% off EVERYTHING! DATES: Through Dec 2 - CODE: CYBER50

[Madewell] 25% off your entire order. DATES: Through Dec 2 - Code: FEAST25

[Nordstrom] Shop new markdowns of 40% or more on a wide variety of items. DATES: Through Dec 2 (10PM PST)

[Piperlime] 30% off entire purchase. DATES: Through Dec 2 - Code: CYBER

[Rebecca Taylor] Save 25% off site wide. DATES: Through Dec 2 - CODE: RTMONDAY25

[Shopbop] Save 15% when you spend $250, save 20% when you spend $500, and save 25% when you spend $1000. DATES: Through Dec 2 - CODE: BIGEVENT13

[Target] BOGO 60% off on apparel, shoes, and accessories. DATES: Dec 2

[Urban Outfitters] Save $15 off $75, $25 off $100 and $50 off $150 and enjoy free shipping. DATES: Dec 2

Happy Thanksgiving World!

thankfulvia

I'm so full this year-- not of vegan stuffing, although that's always a possibility. I'm so full of joy. It's been a crazy year and I'm so happy that my little family is reunited and The Captain is home for the holidays! Hooray! I thank God daily for the beautiful, magical life I've been blessed with and I'm overwhelmed by all of the love in my world. I wish you all the happiest Thanksgiving!!!