Health, Beauty, Food, & Household Favorites, Friend Meetup, Pressure to Have Amazing Blog Content Daily


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Hi Friends!  What’s shaking for you today?  I ran errands today.  Oh boy, did I ever:  the regular grocery store, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods (only for Vegenaise), the bank, the post office, and I tanned. Oh, I know, it’s very exciting stuff but the feeling of productivity does rock.  Not to mention, it’s hot as hades out.  Like 92F-ish and humid.  I also got a 3 mile run in pushing Skylar in the jogging stroller (75 pounds of dead weight, give or take) and a 30 minute lifting session in my hot garage.  I was a hot, sweaty mess.  No pictures, you don’t really want to see the sweat pool I was!

My day yesterday was more mellow and fun.  I met up with my friend Jenny for some girl talk.  Jenny has a pool and it is so hot here but we didn’t get in.  It’s far too much work to manage a 7 week old, a 2.5 year old and a 3.5 year old around a body of water and still get the Girl Talk in.  So we sat on the couch, the kids played, and we gabbed.  It was fabulous!  

Here’s a few pictures of Skylar and I at Jenny‘s house yesterday

Woman and child hugging and smiling

Close up of child on carpet looking away smiling
Child with arms around woman's neck smiling
Little girl giving a huge smile
 Everyone needs real life friends!   Love my blog friends but there is no substitute for some in-the-flesh girl talk some times!  Can’t wait to see Jenny again soon! 

After I left Jenny, I went tanningMy camera hated the darkness AND the mirror.  Horrible pictures but I tried.

Photo taken in mirror after tanning session
Woman taking photo in mirror by tanning bed
 I know, it’s hot and sunny and I could just lay out.  But I didn’t.  
I took the 12 minute shortcut to bronzing.  Yes, I fake-n-bake and I like it.

I have no idea if you guys care what I buy but here are a few Favorites:

These Razor Blades.  They hurt the wallet, $14.99 plus tax for 4 blades at Target.  So like 4 bucks per cartridge but they are great blades and last many, many uses. 

Venus Embrace Razor Blades box
I Shave Daily so I keep Gillette in business.  See here about my Laser Hair Removal, Waxing, etc thoughts.

I’ve never had a cavity and floss twice a day.  I love this floss because my teeth have really tight contact points and this is the only floss that truly glides through my teeth without my teeth shredding the floss or the floss snapping.

Two containers of floss

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Lotion and Olay Toner

Cocoa Butter and Olay Toner bottles
 For the money, both are awesome products, they are readily available at mainstream stores, and have been staples in my life for over a decade.  They work.  They may not have ingredients some people like or use.  That’s fine.  For me, these are what I like, I can find them anywhere, and they are affordable.   Organic, natural, holistic specialty products are great but not always practical for me.

Speaking of more natural products, this is the only shower cleaner in the “Natural” family that even remotely works for me.

Method Tub-N-Tile cleanerClose up of bottle of Method Tub-N-Time cleaner
I spritz this daily in my shower after I get out, take my scrub brush and run it over the tiles for 10 seconds, and that prevents any buildup or need for “deep cleaning”.   And it has no bleach so no horrible smell that lingers and gives me a headache for days!  I despise bleach in cleaning products!  Sadly though, most of the mainstream products contain bleach and the natural ones don’t, but I don’t like how they work, i.e. they don’t work for me, most of the time.  This one works.

I tried a new Shampoo and Conditioner.  A reader, can’t remember whom, sorry! told me she liked Aussie. 

Aussie Brand Shampoo and ConditionersClose up of bottle of Aussie shampoo

 Hate the word Moist.  But, the scent reminds me of junior high and getting ready with my girlfriends and them spraying a can of Aussie aerosol hairspray.  Big hair was coveted in the 80s, I tell ya and anyone who wanted big hair went with Rave or Aussie products!  Verdict on the shampoo and conditioner: Not amazing, not awful.  Worth the 2.99 each.

For Drugstore shampoo and conditioner though, I like These a lot that I mentioned Here
L'Oreal Vive Pro Shampoo and Conditioners
Close up of bottle of shampoo saying Very Dry/Damaged Hair

My Splurge Here is my true new BFF.   

L'Oreal Absolut RepairClose up of Absolut Repair
I want to buy the shampoo and conditioner in this line Jessica swears by it and she’s got great hair. 

And I love TJ’s coffee.  Such a good value.

Bay Blend and Dark Sumatra Coffee Containers
I think the 12 oz of Sumatra for $4.99 is my favorite but as long as it’s a pretty dark to ultra dark roast, I’m not picky.

And as I said, I went to WF’s solely for Vegenaise.  It’s a staple for my these 3 dressing recipes:

Vegan Slaw Dressing using Reduced Fat Veganaise  

Vegan Slaw Horseradish Relish Dressing 

Two Containers of Vegenaise
I much prefer Vegenaise to Spectrum’s Vegan Mayo, by a long shot

From Yesterday…
What a Hot Topic kind of Post it was!

First, the Buttery Nipple Shot

Bottles of Butershots Burst and Baileys
It’s excellent, and it sounds like some of you have had it before and like it, too! 

And the Red Headed Slut was mentioned many times.  Lots of you love Sluts.  The Red Headed ones.  I am not a Jager girl.  Katie is though.  I never was into Jager.  Bless all of you who can hang with Jager Bombs.  Not me!

Then the whole topic of feeling Boxed In or Trapped by Labels.   Many of you do feel it which is why you try hard not to label yourself.  

I asked “ What to do when the label fits 99.9% of the time?  Do you deny yourself things the other .1%?”  Most of you said, no, you have it, you enjoy it, you go about living your life and I think that’s great!

Even if you don’t agree with my stance, I appreciate you not attacking me personallyAs I am a vegan 99.9% of the time.   No one should ever be attacked, but it seems that the really strong anti-dairy stance would be better directed at people who frequent Dairy Queen and pound down Blizzards. 

You don’t have to convince me of the pitfalls of dairy.  See This Post: Dairy FAQ’s, Calcium, Myths, Recipes.  That’s not to say though that my 1 ounce of Bailey’s is sending me to Vegan Hell.  It’s a balance.  Enjoy life, don’t stress.  Stress and fanatical thinking will send you to an early grave at worst, and suck the joy right out of life at best. 

Which brings me to the next question….I also asked if the mental/emotional aspect of stressing out over a food choice does more damage than the said “unhealthy” choice?  Most of you resoundingly said, yes, it does.  My thoughts are to stop stressing, loosen the noose around your neck, because many times it’s self-imposed anyway, and just enjoy what you want! 

Sometimes the labels we give ourselves are helpful; other times they seem to imprison us, make us restrict or deny that which may be pleasurable.   There are many reasons, paths, and avenues that people take given their life path which brings them to make a particular food choice.   I encourage everyone to make sure they are making choices they want, that feel good, and to continually re-evaluate your choices because what was a fit at age 15 may not be a fit at age 25 or at age 50.  Life is in flux and committing to something forever, without re-visiting your rationale and making sure it’s still a good fit, isn’t usually a good thing.  

Finally, I asked if as a blogger you feel pressure to only post certain recipes or only post certain foods because you fear backlash, judgment, cruel comments, or even losing friendships because people don’t agree with your choices if you were to post about certain things?  Many of you said that yes, you handily omit some of your “transgressions”, “cheats” (I dislike this word choice), and blog about food/choices that are known to be accepted and popular among other bloggers and readers.

I frankly am bored to tears by oatmeal bowls and nut butters and although it may not be “healthy” to say you drank a Diet Coke and ate some Cheetos out of the vending machine, you know what, that’s life, it happens, it’s real.  Let’s start keeping it more real in the ‘sphere!

All in all, the comments were great!  Passionate, respectful, and from the heart.  That’s all I can ask for.  I don’t have time to paraphrase them all, but check out them out here. 

Green Food Today: Raw Vegan Cucumber Wraps

Overhead of Raw Vegan Cucumber Wraps in container
Side view of Raw Vegan Cucumber Wraps in container
With Sweet Hot Sauce Drizzled on top of the wraps.  All over a Bed of Greens
Raw Vegan Cucumber Wraps with Sweet Hot Sauce

Dessert No Bake Vegan Rum Cake Balls
I also included my Caribbean Rum Cake story in the original post & recipe which may crack you up.

No Bake Vegan Rum Cake Balls
Close up of No Bake Vegan Rum Cake Balls

Gym & Weights Workout Today From This Tab: Arms/Back/Legs and Abs.   
Used my Home Gym/FreeWeights & Bowflex
Did Abs with my Exercise Balls from This Post

Lately, I have been enjoying my home gym, sweating like a beast in my garage, and just getting the workout in and done without having to leave the comfort of home.  It’s been nice not chasing out to the gym and I’ve gotten incredibly resourceful with a couple Exercise Balls, a yoga mat, and a pair of 12 pound dumbbellsI don’t think my Progress has suffered at all which is great!  There will be plenty of time when it’s cold out that I can’t hack it in the garage and I will need to drive to the actual gym.

Tip of the Day: Shoutout for my friend Alisa, of Go Dairy Free.   She’s putting together a free recipe ebook and is looking for healthy, easy Back to School recipes from the healthy blogging community.  If you think you have something to submit to her, click here.

I submitted my No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Protein Bars because they don’t require an oven, a Vita-Mix, a dehydrator, all the ingredients can be found at the regular grocery store, and come together in about 10 minutes with a bowl and a spoon.  Oh and kids and adults love them.  And they’re portable.  

Overhead of one sliced No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Protein Bar
Side of No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Protein Bar
Close up of end of No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Protein Bar

1. What are some of your Health, Beauty, Food, or Household Product Favorites?

2. Are you doing anything fun for the weekend?  Any plans yet?
I’m working but I do have a few fun things planned for early next week.  Can’t wait!

3.  Pressure to Have New, “Amazing”, Awesome Content, Daily
Bloggers are people, too.  Not every day do I create a culinary masterpiece, make my own laundry soap, or soak and dehydrate nuts for a raw cracker recipe that takes 18 hours to make.  No, not all days are “masterpiece days” like that. 

Unfortunately, many bloggers don’t post about their “real life” moments and things they do outside of blogging like I post about.  Sometimes they just show a bowl of oatmeal or an apple or a granola bar they ate, and call that a blog post.  For their blog, that fits, that works.  I have a feeling my readers expect more of me and I put pressure on myself to always have awesome posts.   The truth is, sometimes my food isn’t awesome, but my life is fun to write about, so that’s what I post about.

But, I have had some safety scares about posting too much about my real life.

Some days I feel obligated to  always have “amazing” content.  But as I just said, not all days are that way.  Some days are just Target, housework, and throw some veggies in a bowl and read ABC books.  That’s it.  Nothing “amazing” about it; but it’s the stuff that life is made of.

So, I guess it is my hope that my readers can accept that not every day is “amazing” from a blog content perspective.  Some days are amazing as a mother and a wife and just as a human being walking through the world and living my life, but that doesn’t always translate wonderfully into blog content. 

3.  As a blogger, do you feel pressure to come up with content?  Do you always have a running commentary in your head that ooohh, that would make for a great blog post?  I sure do!

4. As a blog reader, do you notice when a post lacks a stellar recipe or do you ever think, oh that post was lame? 
You probably don’t notice and if you read blogs for things other than recipes and food, and you are also reading about the blogger’s life, then it probably doesn’t matter to you, but your thoughts please!  And thank you to the dozens of readers who have de-lurked the past week.  I think this post about lurkers shook some of your out of the woodwork…hah!

Stay Tuned For A Give Away…

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.