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Pre-holiday buff-up. The 50/50 Challenge is on!

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The wee one is growing. I swear he gains a pound every other day…well my arms swear that anyway. My poor back I think would second that emotion. No complaining, it’s time to do something about it and right before the holiday season sets upon us is the perfect time! The beautiful Holly over at The Vegan Dancer started the 50/50 Challenge. 10 exercises, 50 reps each for 50 days. It only takes but 20 minutes out of the day to do these exercises. Plus, the “challenge” part is accountability. Like Holly says, “It’s very easy to slip into that mindset of ‘I’ll start tomorrow’, ‘One day off won’t hurt’ (which we all know turns into 2,3,4) or ‘I’ll start after the Holidays”.

I’m so in.  How about you?

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Before pics to come…

-Kelly, LittleVeganHomemaker

Cute as a Button Pumpkin Cookies

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“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower” – Albert Camus

I hesitate to put this recipe up. I’ve seen numerous blogs and magazine articles talking about all the delectable pumpkin themed recipes…especially pumpkin cookies. But I had a request for it after a Facebook post proclaiming I had a fresh batch in the oven. Well and the fact that these are plump pillows of pumpkin (and spice) perfection.  The funny part is, I’m posting this recipe while my husband and I are doing a little ‘seasonal clean eating detox’…more on this later. So, no cookies for this little homemaker right now!

Please note, these are very ‘cake-y’ cookies, not your typical crunchy and chewy. That is how I prefer them, and I hope you do as well! They are also totally toddler approved. My little guy couldn’t stop asking for “moooow, mooow Mama! Moooow coooookies!”

Pumpkin Cookies~

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan butter, softened
  • 3 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer, mix into 4 tbsp of warm water
  • 1 cup of  pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

1. Whisk together all of the dry ingredients.

2. In a separate bowl, beat together sugar and softened Earth Balance until creamed well.

3. Add the pumpkin into the butter and sugar mixture.

4. Gradually add in the dry ingredients until well combined.

5. Drop cookie dough onto cookie sheet. I use a small ice cream scooper and this seems to work well but a spoon will work just fine!

6. Bake cookies at 350 for 15-18 minutes. Let them cool on the cookie sheet (resist the urge to pick up one and eat it) for about 2-5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.

7. Once completely cool, drizzle the powdered sugar glaze over the top.

Powdered Sugar Glaze ~

  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 3-5 table spoons of unsweetened nondairy milk, I prefer almond but any other will do.

Whisk the nondairy milk into the powdered sugar until it creates a beautiful, glossy glaze easy for drizzling.

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Treat yourself to a plate after a long afternoon of bulb planting (hyacinth, tulips and daffodils oh my!) in the crisp fall air. Enjoy!

-Kelly, Little Vegan Homemaker

Get your boots on! – First ever LVHM fashion post

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A fashion post has been a long time coming. I may have mentioned I have a background in fashion a time or two. I’m currently an accessories designer, formerly a women’s knit top designer and soon to be Fashion Illustration instructor. Professor Kelly. Any who, I’ve been dying to write some fashion related posts and due to the changing of the seasons (quickly changing I might add!), there is no time like the present! I’m currently in the market for a new pair of boots or two myself so I thought I’d curate a little list of my favorites. The criteria these beauties had to meet were to be 1. Vegan- Meaning NO leather, NO suede, NO fur, NO animal products period 2. Affordable- While I’d love to be able to drop a few pretty pennies on a pair of boots, I just can not! 3. Stylish- Duh! No brainer! All of my picks below either state in the websites description that they are “vegan” or made with 100% man-made materials, like polyester or polyurethane. Get over the denial that summer is hanging on, put away your pretty flip-flops or sandals and get your boots on baby! Here are my loves.

Booties1. ‘Style Revival’ Bootie in Royal – ModCloth, 2. ‘Barks & Recreation’ Bootie – ModCloth, 3. O’neill ‘Taylor’ Cognac Knotted Bootie – Lulu’s, 4. ‘Stop Everything and Strut’ – ModCloth, 5. Ankle Boot with Decorative Stitching – H&M, 6. Bamboo ‘Sharpay’ Bordeaux and Gold – Lulu’s, 7. Imitation Suede Platform – H&M, 8. ‘Follow the Fashionista’ – ModCloth

MidCalfBeyond 1. ‘Everything Bold is New’ Red – ModCloth, 2. Platform Knee-Highs in Brown - H&M, 3. ‘Got This on Loxley’ – ModCloth, 4. ‘Chocolatiers of Joy’ - ModCloth, 5. Pointed Toe Ankle Boots - H&M, 6. Wanted ‘Bayon’ Brown Buckle Over-the-knee – Lulu’s, 7. ‘River Walk’ in Blue - ModCloth, 8. ‘Be Buckle Soon’ – ModCloth

Have fun boot shopping. Peace out!

-Kelly, Little Vegan Homemaker

 

 

 

 

Let’s not wait until we retire.

Let’s not wait until we retire.

First of all,  I feel like I should apologize for the frequency of my posts (even if I’m talking to one single soul, that’s ok!) I would love to be able to ramble on every other day but I’m still trying to find my groove with blogging and exactly how it fits into my life. So please allow me some grace and know that I do intend to become more regular, it’s very new to me and I’m making space as it becomes available.

So here is a pep talk. For both me and anyone else who needs one, Lord knows we do!~

While I am a wife and a mother, it certainly does not end there for me. I have many “hats” to wear and many passions to pursue. One of these passions is of course this blog. I love sharing, if you haven’t noticed that already! Living a vegan lifestyle is a passion. The root of all my passions is the need to create…specifically in both the art and the fashion world (and a dabble in the entertaining and cooking world). For the last few years I’ve been trying to figure out just how I can merge these areas and carve out my own little niche. I haven’t figured it out completely but I do finally feel like I’m on the verge of something, perhaps something great. When I was still in college I had big dreams. I wanted to design wedding gowns, live in a loft in New York City, throw some amazing dinner parties and create some prolific artwork on the side. Tall order. I used to know exactly what I wanted. But what happens when you start to go down that road and what you thought you always wanted maybe isn’t what you REALLY want? What about my childhood dreams? The dreams I thought I was supposed to chase after. What’s a girl to do…

Several years of college, a husband, a big move across country, moving back to my hometown and a baby later my priorities have changed. Don’t get me wrong, this is NOT a bad thing, I still want a version of that dream but altered a little. My priorities have changed because I decided I wanted them to. After living in big cities and getting a glimpse of the world I thought I wanted to be a part of, I really found out that it would not bring me the happiness I thought it would. I started to crave roots, simplicity and something more grounding. Moving away from the place I grew up and my comfort zones and then coming back home actually made me discover parts of myself that were not yet realized. I’m so tired of chasing, striving, trying to go after [enter something desired] and letting life fly by. I just want to be content with where I am right here, right now. I want to stop and smell the roses, if you will, the roses that I grew myself in my own garden. Too many times there were comments I’d make stating “Oh I want to do this or that…when I retire”. I finally started listening to myself say that and realizing I’d have a pretty long To Do list once I hit that retirement day. Then one day, someone said to me, “Don’t wait until you retire, do it NOW!”. If that will bring you joy, do it now. Seriously? Hello! I don’t want to wait until I retire to finally start traveling and seeing the world. I don’t want to wait until I retire to start painting again. I don’t want to wait until I retire to start doing work that brings me pleasure. I certainly don’t want to wait until I’m retired to finally start enjoying life. Why do we put ourselves through this? Now is as good a time as any, so why not now? I’m not saying it’s a sin to have dreams for the future….what I’m saying is why wait to start living? I used to answer this question so easily with an excuse, but it was just that, an excuse. There is always going to be something in the way, but there will always be a way around it. Put on your big girl boots and kick that negative bastard out of the way! Living like this is pretty exhausting sometimes and really it can be pretty daunting. I was finding myself feeling so inadequate. Life is way to precious of a gift to spend most of your days feeling inadequate, negative or discontent. Life is too short to keep putting happiness off. I realized I owed it to myself and my family to stop feeling this way. We all are here on earth to do and to experience greatness, don’t wait forever to start discovering it. This is truth.

Ok, so how does this whole abstract rambling/pep talk have anything to do with my blog, or anything else for that matter? I knew I wanted to have a blog and I had waited for a long time to actually start it because nothing was ‘perfect’ yet. All these stupid excuses would pop into my head. I had to wait until I had just the perfect spot in my busy weeks to write. But I also didn’t want to wait another 500 years until I retire to finally do it. I work a part-time job, I’m a full time Mom, I keep a home, I have social events to attend. I will always be busy (please note, this is a good kind of busy-a busy that I enjoy). So, I just started it. Screw you excuses!!! This baby is something that I can utilize a) as a creative outlet b) to help me achieve my dreams and goals right now instead of 500 years from now. I started taking small steps and putting my wheels in motion. Besides this blog, I started a monthly Ladies Art Night with a few of my friends. I started painting again, after about 2 years. I started working on decorating our house (after almost a whole year of living in it! Yikes!). I finally got a dress form and started working on a dress (this dress is a big part of one of my dreams!). All of these actions give fuel to the fire. The more fuel, the bigger the fire. I’m seeing good results from finally doing something. Freedom and awareness is a result. I can be in the moment when I’m playing with my son, look at his smiling face and feel the happiness he gives to me instead of hurrying along with my head down. It sounds crazy that putting things in action creates space to breathe and live in the moment. But it works. As a family, we are getting closer and closer to seeing our dreams come to fruition and further and further from letting excuses and obstacles push them away. This may sound completely silly, but when I gave into a spark of inspiration and started working on a dress instead of waiting for a better time, I actually started shaking and felt completely giddy. I was allowing myself the experience and relishing each moment. It was so exhilarating. Imagine what I would have missed out on if I would have dismissed that spark. I still have a lot of work to do and a lot of plans to lay down, but it’s all about little steps right? I don’t intend to wake up tomorrow and boom-all my dreams came true while I was sleeping. That would take the fun out of it! Journey vs. destination. Stagnancy is not an option for me anymore.

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Let’s not wait until we retire. We owe it to ourselves to truly live, enjoy and be content here and now.

Thank you for listening.

-Kelly, Little Vegan Homemaker

THIRSTY? ~ Happy International Green Smoothie Day!

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Here is a little green smoothie love for ya’ll on International Green Smoothie Day! This beauty is inspired by Stellan’s favorites. It makes me so happy when Stellan gets super excited to see the blender being pulled out. He knows what’s soon to come his way! My little bug LOVES smoothies. He also LOVES greens of all kinds. It’s funny to think, while I was in the midst of my rocky first trimester, I thought for sure my baby would hate greens. I had a major case of food aversion as well as pretty bad morning sickness. The sight of my beloved kale made me gag…seriously. No more picking kale out of the garden. No more seeing a container of my favorite kale and potato soup every time I opened the freezer. The smell of it was even worse. Collards, spinach, chard, bok choy, cabbage, lettuce of any kind all made me sick. I was pretty sad because I was in a groove of having an energy-giving green smoothie every morning. I thought for sure that meant baby boy would have a distaste for greens. Much to my joyful surprise, he loves them. Steamed, sauteed, pureed, blended…you name it, he’ll eat it. Don’t be shy why trying new foods with your babies. You will be surprised at what they will eat.

For those with kiddos, smoothies are brilliant. You can throw all kinds of nutrient dense foods into a smoothie and they taste so good. 
 
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Now if I could only get him to love avocados….

Stellan’s Favorite Green Smoothie

  • Handful of fresh or frozen baby kale 
  • Handful of fresh or frozen spinach
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple 
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup frozen papaya (1/2 cup if you like it a little sweeter)
  • 1/2 fresh nectarine 
  • 1/4 tsp spirulina
  • 1/4 tsp freeze dried wheatgrass 
  • 1 small carrot, cut up into quarters
  • Purified cold water, fill up your blender with as much as you’d like. Little water will make a thick smoothie and a lot will make a thin smoothie.

Throw it all into your high speed blender, add the water and blend away.

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Enjoy. Feel the energy. Feel the glow. Get a little on your chin!

-Kelly, Little Vegan Homemaker

Thirsty? ~ Pineapple + Cilantro Water

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I don’t love cilantro. I don’t mind it, I know it’s good for me so I eat it. But I do however like pineapple enhanced with cilantro. Soapy herb plus sultry sweet tropical fruit blended…who knew? I got the idea from Ms. Jane over at Blend It and Mend It. I really love her videos. You can find loads of “beauty water” recipes on her website or on her YouTube channel.

Pineapple + Cilantro Water

  • 1/2 fresh or frozen pineapple, chopped
  • handful of fresh cilantro
  • 1″ nub of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 5-6 ice cubes (optional)

Throw all of the above in your high speed blender, fill it with cold filtered water to just below the max line. Blend well. Bam. Easy as pie.

Drink a few glasses over ice through out your day to stay hydrated.

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Enjoy!

-Kelly, Little Vegan Homemaker

Weeds, be gone!

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I love to garden, I love to watch itsy bitsy plants grow into big, healthy, beautiful veggies or flowers. I hate to weed. Alas, these two must go hand in hand. Weeding just takes up too much of my precious time! Last fall we moved into a house with a good size yard…an open canvas for landscaping…this was pretty exciting for me. On the flip side, I’ve had a really hard time keeping up with the pesky weeds! Especially the crab grass that insists on growing in the cracks between bricks all the way up our front pathway.

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Not a pretty sight

The sweet little old lady who lives next door always comes over when she sees me hunched over the front path and says, “I have some Roundup you can use! It will destroy those weeds and you won’t have to pull so hard when you pick them.” I always politely decline the offer and tell her I don’t mind pulling them. When really it is a bother, I just don’t want to spray that nasty chemical concoction anywhere near my yard. I started doing a little research and found a natural remedy to my annoyance.

Hot water and vinegar. Amen.

One part hot water, one part vinegar is the combo that I’ve used that works the best. I’ve tried a little less vinegar and that works fine on the wispy weeds but to get at the thick crab grass you need more acidity. Do be careful to not get this on your precious grass or other vegetation you actually want to flourish. It will take everything down.

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Seriously. It works. It sounds like a no brainer…what is there that vinegar can’t do? Spray it on or dump it on, wait a day or so and the weeds will be fried. Then they pull out with hardly any effort at all. It’s a beautiful thing!

Here are some of the most elegant photographs you will ever set your gorgeous eyes on! Sorry, this post definitely has some boring photos, but good information right? I also wanted to make sure you see how good this works.

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Since we are on the lovely topic of gardening and such. I would like to share with you a new favorite of mine. I was gifted Ten Thousand Villages Rosemary Gardener’s Soap for my Birthday a couple of weeks ago and it’s perfection in a bar.

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It exfoliates the dirt right off and yet it doesn’t dry out my skin like many other bar soaps do. Of course it’s always extra nice when your hands are left soft and smelling fresh. Ten Thousand Villages is a company that “provides vital, fair income to Third World people by marketing their handcrafts and telling their stories in North America.” I love supporting companies like this. Besides a product that is amazing, the company heart is in the right place producing fair trade, ethical products that provide artisans with work so they can provide for their families. The Artisan group this particular soap comes from is the Palma Rural Centre in Tamilnadu, India. It makes me really happy to be able to purchase items that give back. For those of you who are located in Western Michigan, you can pick up Ten Thousand Villages Gardener’s Soap and other soaps from Global Infusion. Fair Trade is just one of the numerous small ways you can make a difference for the good of the world. Thank you to my honey for giving me this delightful gift.

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Happy gardening (and weeding),

-Kelly, Little Vegan Homemaker

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