Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Changing Up to Cruelty-Free and Vegan Make-up

Although make-up is not in my routine much, I have been making effort (on a good day...usually not so, but more so than in the past) to go beyond lip gloss and lipstick in my routine with a little mineral make-up, mascara, and blush.  I have to admit, I like make-up.  It intrigues me even though I have no concept in application.  So loving make-up, I am usually looking up make-up products existing and new, but what is tough is after you find something you like...things may change and it is no longer 100% vegan.  Case in point, companies like Mac Cosmetics and Urban Decay recently made the decision to sell their products in China, in which possibly may require animal testing.  Bummer!

I have worked on transitioning out make-up that aren't vegan, but I admit that products I have like Mac, Urban Decay, etc. will be in my make-up bag for quite some time, as it will take a while to use up and I honestly feel it is wasteful to throw away, especially since I do not have the luxury to do so.

Anyhow the main purpose of this post is to direct you to a site that I like to use as reference when buying make-up.  The site is called Cruelty Free Face and it is run by Melisser Elliott.  I think it is absolutely awesome that this site is available, as it helps with the research.  Yes, there may be other companies that are cruelty-free and carry vegan make-up that aren't listed, but it's a thankful! :)

There is also Leaping Bunny that lists companies that do or do not test, but keep in mind it is only a source of cruelty-free.  Cruelty-free doesn't always mean vegan, so be sure to reach out to the companies regarding their products.  I, for one, usually reach out to the companies to see if 1) they test on animals and 2) if their make-up is vegan, and if not all, which ones are.

Happy beautifying your beautiful self! ♥

NEWS UPDATE 7/6/12 (from Urban Decay): We have decided NOT to start selling Urban Decay products in China. For more information, please visit

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Pastry Weekend: Pepples Donut Farm & Cinnaholic

The best way to wind down is to go on a sugar overload of the finest desserts/pastries. This weekend was that...and I have no complaints except I want more!  This weekend I indulged myself with donuts and cinnamon rolls.  The donuts were my highlight because having vegan donuts is a rarity.  The last time I had donuts was a few years ago when I went to BabyCakes in LA.

On Saturday, I went to Pepples Donut Farm in Oakland.  The place borders Berkeley.  They had loads of different flavored donuts...(Not pictured: glazed yeast donuts/rolls, in which I have to try next time because glazed yeast donuts are my kind of donuts.).  They are all 100% organic and vegan.

I opted down to three donuts: Vanilla Cookie, Orange Creamsicle, and Candy Cap.

Each were sweet, but not too sweet and had a nice crumb to them.  They definitely satisfy my donut craving.  The Orange Creamsicle had a nicely rich, sweet tang to it.  The Vanilla Cookie was simply a tasty vanilla donut with cookie crumbs.  My favorite...I must say was the Candy Cap.  What interest me in getting the donut was that the gentleman at the counter told me that it is a mushroom/fungi that gives off a maple syrup like flavor.  It was quite nice.  It was sweet and had earthiness-like flavor.

While at Pepples, I decided to have brunch there.  I ordered the Almond Belgian Waffle with a side of Field Roast's Spicy Chipotle Sausage.  The waffle was very hearty and delightful.  The batter is made of almonds.  When eating it, I tasted bananas, so I assume there were bananas in it, but I am not too sure.  The syrup was nice...Candy Cap syrup.   The Field Roast Sausage, I had many times, in which is really good.  If you never had it, go to your nearest health food store and pick some up.  Surprising the biggest highlight of my trip was a cilantro sauce that is set at the table.  It woke up my senses and brought out the flavors of the sausage.  I LOVE the sauce...yum.  It was a refreshing sauce of spice.

On Sunday, I went to Point Reyes with the family and we spotted wild elk.  Such a lovely sight as we were driving alongside the prairie. 

On the way back, I had to stop by Cinnaholic in Berkeley (right across the street from UC Berkeley).  I heard so much about it, so I knew I had to make a stop to try it.  There were so many flavor/topping choices.  I really didn't know how to customize mine, so I went with the suggestions in the display case.

If I had to do it again, I would go with cookie dough, marshmallows, and maybe even strawberries, but there is always next time. Keep in mind, this place is 100% Vegan.  Anyhow, I chose the Coconut Cream Pie and my son had his customized with brownies, blueberries, and caramel frosting.

Both were sensationally divine.  They were warm and very moist.  Sooooooo good and very filling.  Mmmmm!

I must say it was a delectable weekend. ♥

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Veganism Hits Television

It has been super super super busy in my household.  A few more days and I am off to California.  Anyhow, I didn't think I would post for a while, but I just wanted to share my thoughts on how cool I think it is that veganism has been showing up left and right on TV.  There have been segments on networks like CNN, FOX, NBC, VH1, etc...and shows like Rachael Ray Show, The Today Show, Ellen, etc.  The of Vegan Is Love (Book Review) Ruby Roth, author of Chloe's Kitchen Chloe Coscarelli, and Ellen Degeneres's chef and author of Vegan Cooking for Carnivores Roberto Martin.  I also love that former President Bill Clinton mentions being vegan on shows such as Ellen, Late Show with David Letterman, etc.

Here are some clips for you to enjoy...

Ruby Roth on CNN


Chloe Coscarelli on the Today Show

Roberto Martin on the Today Show


Former President Bill Clinton on the Late Show with David Letterman

I love that veganism is becoming mainstream.  Each and every day someone is making a decision to become vegan.  I love it! ♥ 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spring Love Blooms: Neuaura Tulip and Reneu Temba

As many of you probably already know (from previous posts: #1 and #2) that I LOVE Neuaura!  This spring is no different.  There are so many unique, cute shoes this spring that would suit tastes of all kinds.  Not only that, Neuaura has recently launched it's new line Reneu, which are eco-friendly ballerinas that are made to travel.  OH...and I must not forget, the footbed of the shoes are made of molded memory foam.  How sweet is that?

Neuaura Tulip

The shoe that I was instantly drawn to from the line was the Tulip.  I knew that I had to have it, so it went straight on my list. These past years I have been very drawn to orange.  It's not my favorite color, but I found that it's a nice color that works well in fashion.  So it was love at first sight when I saw the Tulip in deep orange. The shoes and I are meant for each other.

These are absolutely the cutest!  I love how they are retro, yet modern at the same time.  They are super comfortable.  I seriously could walk in them all day.  They are my go to shoes this spring (and I will probably wear them whenever I can throughout the year...definitely could in Hawaii, but only if weather permits in California.  Current Update)!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE them!  Aren't they cute?!?

Enjoying my break at work.

Walking from class to class.

Reneu Temba

Introducing...drum roll, please...RENEU!  These ballerinas are super cool.  Not only do they fold up nicely and come with a travel pouch (which I think I accidently tossed out amidst, these shoes are embedded with a molded memory foam to cushion your step!  I must admit, I am usually not a fan of foldable ballerinas because the quality is flimsy for the very purpose.

Reneu has definitely set the bar.  Pure quality and comfort in mind.  The only thing that I must say, only because of personal preference is that I didn't really care for the elastic at the backing.  It's a little extra snug than I like, but again...that is just my personal preference.  Since we are on the topic of elastic, I was told by Arti Upadhyay, the founder of Neuaura/Reneu, that next year there will not be any elastic on the shoes.  I actually prefer this.  Anyhow, back to the shoes.  The memory foam is quite nice.  It is different from any ballerina that I have ever had.  Right now, there are two designs, Kestell and Temba, in several color options.  I definitely look forward to future designs.  I actually have high hopes for Reneu and that's because I know that Arti has high standards for her shoes.

MANY thanks to Neuaura for sending me these shoes.  I am a forever fan! ♥ 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Conscious Box: Monthly Delivery of Sustainable Products

If you are those who like sampling or like discovering products, there is a company called Conscious Box that does the job of gathering all sorts of ethical (minus the fact that there may be products with "organic milk" or "raw honey" in it...bummer), sustainable products on a monthly basis and sending it right to your mailbox.  For the most part, products sent are mostly vegan, since several of their staff members are vegan.


If I were to sign up for this service, I would prefer an option to opt-out of the non-vegan items.  I was bummed to see that two of the items I received had milk in it.  It just seems so wasteful, as a vegan.  Other than that, I was pleased to see the variety of items that were in the box.  I was also pleased to see that they are eco-friendly with ALL aspects of their packaging (Click on the picture above for details.).

My favorite items from the box I received (complimentary) was the raw chocolate from Cloud 9  and the Himalayan Salt (was useful for a dish my husband was making).

The delivery service has three options: 1 month, 3 months, or 6 months.  One thing to note is that the box is packed to the fullest and there are also coupons that are included from some of the sample products. Coupons are always a good thing, especially if you like the product. ♥ 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Vegan Places to Eat ~ O'ahu, Hawaii

This past month has flew by.  It's been a very off month for me.  With all that has been going on, I recently found out that we will be relocating back to California!  I am very excited about this, as I will be starting a new chapter in a different part from where I am originally from.  So the coming months will be quite busy for me, so apologies ahead for the neglect.  I appreciate the visits, especially since this blog is all in fun...with love, of course.

Since I am leaving Hawaii, I wanted to share with you a few places that you can eat at in case you ever visit O'ahu.

Loving Hut
1614 South King St.
Honolulu, HI 96826

On my order list:
Spicy Moana
Tasty Glory
Summer Rolls
Heavenly Salad

Licious Dishes
The Shops at Dole Cannery
650 Iwilei Road. Suite 170
Honolulu, HI 96817
808-536-9680 or 808-753-0050

Raw vegan meal plans, but they have a "Grab and Go"lunch-type meals refrigerated.

On my order list:
Living Lasagna
Not Tuna Salad
Macho Nachos
Wicked Chocolate Tart

Simple Joy
1145 South King St.
Honolulu, HI 96814

On my order list:
Tempura Vegetables
Mushroom Linguine
Roasted Platter

Zpizza (not a vegan restaurant)
Ward Centre - Auahi Street Shops
1200 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96814


151 Hekili St.
Kailua, HI 96734

All pizzas can be veganized, but I usually order the Berkeley Vegan.  I always asked them to clean the blades when ordering and they are very considerate of this.

Peace Cafe
2239 South King Street.
Honolulu, HI 96826

I have never been, but I wanted to make sure I list them since they're a vegan eatery.

Hawaii also has two Whole Foods.  One in Honolulu, HI (Kahala) and Kailua, HI.  There is also a chain that is unique to Hawaii called Down to Earth.  There are four in O'ahu.  One in Honolulu, Aiea, Kailua, and Kapolei.

Have fun in paradise. ♥

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Book Review ~ The Inspired Vegan by Bryant Terry

The author of Vegan Soul Kitchen, Bryant Terry, has come out with another book The Inspired Vegan.  Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to try out any of the recipes, but I must say that there are some creative recipes that looks well worth the try.  One that I would love to try is the "Smoky Tomatoes, Roasted Plantains, and Crumbled Tempeh".  It has chipotle, bay leaves, garlic, and cilantro as part of the ingredients.  Interesting mix of flavors and textures. Though, I would change the tempeh for fried tofu and sesame seeds instead because I am not a big fan of tempeh.

The book is called Inspired Vegan because his goal is to inspire people to think outside the box when it comes to his recipes. The book is broken up by seasons (seasonal fruits and vegetables), but he encourages substitutions to be made using "whatever is readily available".  His book has a mix of recipes from different cultures from African American, Chinese, Indian, West African, as well as other cultures. His approach is simplicity.

What makes this book interesting is that it is not a typical cookbook.  Bryant Terry takes you into his world with hardships of his neighborhood to sweet memories throughout his life. He tells a story.  The story behind the people and places he has been to that inspired the recipes of his book.  "A decade ago I started dreaming of ways to make fresh, affordable food more widely accessible, which would help eliminate health disparities between low-income and higher-income people living in cities."

I really like that with each recipe, he ties it with a musical selection.  It gives you an idea of his mood when it comes to that particular recipe.  Each recipe is unique to its song and inspiration.  "If I did my job well, The Inspired Vegan will move seamlessly from your kitchen countertop to your coffee table to your nightstand." ♥

*I was sent a reviewer's copy.