Wednesday, August 21, 2013 0 comments By: Mandi

Going off to College

In my preparation for school, I've found a few special books that I think will help a lot! It's going to be tough to start college in a few weeks, especially as a vegan, but these books should be a big help.

PETA's Vegan College Cookbook is currently my favorite, because it's all about cooking vegan in the microwave or without cooking! It's pretty awesome.  I found it cheapest at Walmart for $8.99.
PETA's Vegan College Cookbook
The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College is a cool book that has nothing to do with being vegan at all, but a lot to do about college, and what to be ready for. I found it cheapest online at Barnes and Noble for $1.99.
The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College
The Naked Roommate
Babycakes is a great vegan, gluten-free, amazing cookbook.  It takes a little more effort to create the dishes, but they are delicious! Their bakery in New York is also #1 on my bucket list.  
BabyCakes: Erin McKenna
Flying Apron's Gluten Free and Vegan Baking Book is another great vegan and gluten free cookbook, which also takes more effort, but is always worth it.  
Product Image
Flying Apron's Gluten Free and Vegan Baking Book

These are my must-have books for school, what do you think? Do you have any to add?  I'm hoping these will keep me busy and fed at school!

Vegan Products to Buy on a Budget

Vegan products are notoriously known for being expensive.  But it doesn't have to be that way!  There are actually many that are cost-effective and vegan AND work really well!  I have a few of my favorites and suggestions!

  1. E.L.F products.  By far the best, cheapest, make-up company I know, And it's vegan! I just purchased an eye shadow set full of colors I could use for $8.  And there were 32 different shades! If you're a new customer, get 50% off a $20 or more studio line by using this code: ECS50F at checkout.  Sign up for emails and get even more great deals!
  2. Aeropostale.  This clothing store has pretty great prices.  You know what else? They almost never use real fur, leather, or animal products.  Check them out! (But always check the labels just in case!)
  3. Converse.  Not the cheapest shoe out there, but they can have good sales and are 100% vegan. Get free shipping or 60% off clearance by going to the site now!
  4. Bath & Body Works.  They don't test on animals, and give millions of coupons and sales! Get $10 off $30 by entering F139274 at checkout
  5. Seventh Generation.  They are eco-friendly AND vegan, and have everything from cleaning products, to personal care, to tampons!
  6. Wet n Wild.  This cute make-up company is mostly vegan, just beware of Carmine, which they state is, "relatively harmless and is considered an all-natural ingredient" but is an animal ingredient nevertheless.
  7. PETA.  They are all about vegans, and offer tips, advice, clothing, prizes, school supplies, free e-cards, things to do in your free time (instead of spending money), and all sorts of rewards for helping animals if you join their street team! To get $10 off $50 at PETA, enter the code EWEB10 at checkout.
  8. The All Natural Face. OMG. This is my favorite face makeup company ever.  They have the best foundation and concealers, and AMAZING prices.  Go there, now!  I recently stocked up on school makeup with a 50% off groupon (now expired). But sign up for emails to get free stuff with purchases and always look for coupons!
I know from experience that these are great companies and products.  Give them a try!  Do you have any products you like using?

Handmade Jewelry

Today I wanted to make a necklace that a guy could wear.  We just came back from the beach, so I thought I would use a seashell from there.  I picked an old guitar string as the string, since we have so many hanging around.  And that was all I used! I think it turned out to be something pretty neutral. It's not necessarily feminine or masculine. This is how it came out:
Guitar String and Seashell
Guy's Necklace (or girl's too)

Guitar String Necklace

  1. Take a guitar string:
Guitar String

2.  String a seashell on.

Add the seashell
3.  Loop the straight end through the end with the circle.
4.  Send it through again and loop it (don't pull it all the way through, this is fine) once it's on. It's easily adjustable now but doesn't fall off easily!

With the other necklace, I didn't loop it through a second time and just had the string meet up with the seashell, which had the perfect spot to hold the string.  
Loop the Guitar String
Wearing it a bit longer as a necklace
Guitar String Necklace

I think these came out pretty cool, especially since we had so many guitar strings just hanging around.  It's definitely something a little different and beachy! What do you think? Does it work?
Thursday, August 15, 2013 0 comments By: veggiechicmama

Breakfast Cookie!

 A Breakfast Cookie? Why Not have a cookie for breakfast? They are delicious! Not to worry ~ they're healthy!! It tastes like a dessert, but it's disguised!! Hope you enjoy this delicious recipe:

You will Need:
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup natural applesauce
1/2 cup natural Peanut Butter(we like Smucker's)
oats, applesauce, and peanut butter

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
3 TBSPNS. vegan mini choc chips(We Love" Enjoy Life" brand)
Vegan Chocolate Chips

4 TBSPNS. frozen raspberries
2 TBSPNS. Maple Sugar(You can substitute Brown Sugar or 1/2 TBSPN stevia if you wish)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the applesauce with the peanut butter.
Add all of the other ingredients with the applesauce mixture.
With a cookie scoop, put on a greased cookie sheet(We use Spectrum organic all vegetable shortening)
Vegan, Organic Shortening

Bake for 15 minutes.
Take out & cool on cooling rack for 10 minutes.
Onto the cookie sheet

Makes approx. 24 cookies, depending on size.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 0 comments By: Mandi


Yoga is an art, an exercise, a relaxation technique.  It is a way to feel one with yourself, increase flexibility and just feel good.  There are so many different forms in yoga, and so many different types to achieve your goal.  People use yoga to loose weight, fix their posture, feel more confident, breathe better, relax, sleep, wake up, and more.

I love yoga because it keeps me in shape for running, helps me wake up in the morning and fall asleep on nights when I can't sleep, and makes me feel good.  My favorite kind of yoga is the relaxing kind.  I'm not a yoga buff by any means, I'm not super flexible or super strong, but I do love the relaxing kind of yoga I do.

My favorite moves are:

  • Tree Pose
    • This is probably my favorite pose.  You stand on one foot, lifting your foot to above your knee, and balance.  It helps with focus, strength, and balance. 
  • Sun Salutation 
    • In this pose you do a lot of moving.  You start by standing, bend your knees and put your palms together, then reach up to the sky, straightening your legs and facing your palms out, and leaning back toward the sun.  This is usually done continuosly, by then bending your knees and going back to the original position.
  • Corpse Pose
    • This may be a "lazy" pose, but it is amazing for just relaxing, fixing your breath, and meditating.  The best part? You can fall asleep! In this pose, you lay on your back, legs and arms apart, palms up, and eyes closed.
  • Child's Pose
    • This is one of my go-to poses for waking up or going to sleep.  It is relaxing and a good stretch.  Sitting on your knees, you reach forward and rest your head on your knees.  Bring your arms back to lay by your side and relax for a few breaths. 
  • Legs-up-the-Wall Pose
    • I didn't realize this pose was used in yoga until recently, but it has become my savior!  If your legs hurt from standing or walking or running, Put your legs straight up on the wall and sit there until you feel better.  This pose helped me for years in cross country and on days when my legs just hurt.  The more you do on your feet, the more lactic acid pools in your legs.  When you put them up so high, it drains your fluids to your liver, and you pee it out! (That may be TMI, but I thought it was interesting information)
  • Eagle Pose 
    • In this, your legs are crossed, standing on one foot, and your arms are crossed over each other as you reach to the sky.  It's similar to the beginning of the Sun Salutation, but in this you are balancing and your legs and arms are crossed. 
These are just a few of the poses I do to relax, be more flexible, and feel healthy.  You should always start out slow and be careful about what hurts.  Make sure to be in tune to your body and know what helps and what just hurts!  These are some great beginning poses though that should be very comfortable for most.  Good luck, and if you like it, branch out and try some more!

Monday, August 12, 2013 0 comments By: Mandi

How to Dye Your Hair with Kool-Aid

Dying my hair!

Want a new color that lasts a week?  You can try a crazy new color for cheap with kool-aid!  I've done this two summers in a row and I have a lot of fun with it.  Last summer I did an all-over red in my hair, and this year I did different colored streaks of red, orange, and blue.

Kool-aid is accidentally vegan, so it's a great way to dye your hair on a budget!  I got my kool-aid packets on sale for 10 cents each.  I spent a whopping 40 cents on my hair dye!  It is temporary though, so it doesn't last as long as regular hair dye, but it lasts longer than one wash! Last year it lasted 2 weeks, this time I'll have to see how long it lasts!

Kool-Aid Hair Dye

If you want all-over color:

  1. Mix 3-5 packets of kool-aid with just enough water and conditioner to make a paste.
  2. Cover the area to avoid kool-aid stains and wear throw-away gloves.
  3. Work the paste into sections of hair, covering every strand from root to tip. (Or wherever you want the color)
  4. Wrap your hair in plastic wrap, cover your pillows in rags so they don't stain, and sleep on it!
  5. The next morning, unwrap your hair and rinse it out  in the shower.  Do not shampoo, but condition your hair.  It will look really cool when dry!

If you want streaks:

       Follow the above but use less kool-aid, in different colors if you'd like, and cover strands with tinfoil once you've applied the color.

And, voila!

This is a fun, creative way to go crazy with your hair without doing anything permanent.  Have fun!

Thursday, August 8, 2013 0 comments By: veggiechicmama

Natural Eye Makeup Remover

Olive Oil Make-up Remover

We girls love to wear our makeup sometimes & we try to wear natural with the best ingredients in them. Taking off the makeup is another story! I don't want to go through all of the trouble(not really trouble) of putting on beautiful high-quality makeup, then ruin my face with a chemical-laden product of a makeup remover. Mandi & I have found a great solution!! OLIVE OIL!!! :) It glides on smoothly, will not irritate your face(seriously, ladies) & takes that makeup right off!! Yay!! You can keep the oil as is, a dab or two on a cotton ball or find a recyclable tin or what-not & pour in & freeze overnight, then glide off with a tissue or a clean finger(don't double -dip with same finger for bacterial reasons) & wipe carefully on eyes. Voila!!
Wednesday, August 7, 2013 1 comments By: Mandi

Black Bean Burgers

Yummy, these are!! We make these on a regular the very least, once a week...especially in the Summer. They're made quickly & they're better for you than those processed bean & other veggie burgers & great for protein! They're so good too!! Let us know what you think of them! Enjoy!(oh... and you can substitute other beans once in awhile too if you feel like being different one day. : ) )

1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1 can black beans (or whatever you prefer)
1/2 cup all purpose unbleached  flour
2 slices of a healthy bread, crumbled
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. paprika
salt & pepper to taste
1 TBSPN. natural ketchup, certain Hunt's brands are good, or homemade if you'd like
olive oil or avocado oil for frying


1)Sautee the onion, pepper, garlic, with some oil.
2)In a Large bowl, mash the beans until almost smooth. Add the sauteed onion mix. Add rest of the ingredients minus the flour. Then add flour, 1 TBSPN at a time.Combine well, with spoon. Mixture will be mushy & thick.
3)Form beans into patties, to size preferred.
4)Fry burgers in rest of oil til browned well & crispy on both sides(approx.3 minutes on each side)

Makes 6 or more burgers depending on size.

I hope you can try these sometime. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 0 comments By: Mandi

How to Clean Makeup Brushes

Makeup brushes carry all the dirt and germs from your face and the air, and make it easy to get sick and break out!  It's important to clean your makeup brushes 1-2 times a week!

This is how we clean our makeup brushes:

First, gather all your brushes, a gentle face wash (I use Simple), and a towel or tissue to dry them on.
Then, take your brush and rinse it in warm water.
Put a dollop of the face wash into your cupped hand and swirl the brush around until it's sudsy.
Rinse out the suds and makeup until the water is clear.  Do this for all your brushes, and let dry.
If you do this often, your brushes will stay clean, and so will your face!  Make sure to use makeup brushes that don't have real animal hair.  My favorites are EcoTools, Bare Escentuals, and E.L.F. 
How do you keep your makeup brushes clean?
Monday, August 5, 2013 0 comments By: Mandi

Homemade Toothpaste

Hello, again! How are you all enjoying this beautiful summer weather? Personally, I have been soaking up these rays all day, gardening, playing with my dog and bunnies, and just relaxing!

I also found time to make this awesome toothpaste with my mom. It makes your teeth feel so much cleaner and really whitened up my teeth! You should give it a try!

Store-bought toothpaste can be pretty scary. Looking at the label, you see that its even dangerous to swallow! And it's supposed to go in your mouth, right? :P

The good news (there's always good news!) is that you can make your own. And its really very simple.

When making your own, you can choose each ingredient, be picky about what you use, change the taste, and save money!

Homemade Toothpaste
6 Tbs Baking soda
1/2 tsp Peppermint extract
6 Tbs coconut oil
1 tsp sweetener (optional)

Mix these ingredients together and store in an air-tight container, and use whenever you brush your teeth! *warning: if you're not used to baking soda in your mouth, it can taste bitter. It is worth it though, so give it a try!

Because of bacteria concerns, you may not want to use this every day. But its a great way to whiten your teeth and use a natural way to clean your teeth!

(We are not dentists, but we are speaking from personal experience)

What do y'all think? Does it work for you? How do you feel about toothpaste?