Highlights of the Week, What Blogging Entails, Unsolicited Help & Advice


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Happy Easter to Everyone Celebrating It!  What Kind of Easter Celebrations and Plans have you had, or not had?  We did a very low key Easter Basket from the Easter Bunny.  The Dollar bins from Target served us well for the basket and the books and socks that Skylar recieved from the Easter Bunny.  Perfect!  I’ll get pictures posted tomorrow.

How has your weekend been going so far other than Easter?  I spent most of Saturday outside, and it was glorious!  Saturday morning we went for a family power walk with Skylar in the stroller and it was so nice being outside because it definitely wasn’t too hot, just perfectThen, Scott volunteered to take Skylar to the park and I went to the Pool, alone!

Swimming pool

It was not crowded at all.  And there’s another family pool in my community so this was the low-key adults-only pool

Adults only swimming pool

 And I loved every second of magazine reading on my chaise lounge!

Lounge chair with towel on it

Remember These I broke into the Hers,  poolside, for an hour.  An amazing 60 minutes, I tell ya!

Three magazines on countertop

After the pool, I went for a run.

I am really thinking I am going to just Go For It with My Goal of likely Embarking upon a Fitness Competition and doing Bikini Shows!!    So I figured there was no time like the present and it was a perfect day to bust out a 4 mile run.  And I felt so fast and free.  It was one of those runs that I could have ran about 10 miles.  All the runners reading know what I’m talking about when the stars just gloriously align like that and you could run forever and never tire.  Musta been all the poolside magazine reading..haha!

Time to Recap this Week’s Highlights in Food & Life.  If you missed Last Week’s Highlights and Recap Post check it out! 

Monday I Showed You Pictures from our Weekend Easter Egg Hunt

Young girl holding green and orange Easter eggs

Then we took pics with the Giant Stuffed Bunny

Young girl standing with next to the Easter bunny
Woman crouching with young girl sitting on her knee

And we saw “The” One and Only Easter Bunny

White rabbit on grass

I talked About Probiotics: What I Take


**I get it from iHerb.com and if you use my code: AVE630 you can save $5 off your First Order!**


How to Make Your Own Kefir, and Benefits of Probiotics

Homemade Kefir in jar

Green Food with Mustard, Mustard, oh, my reunited love lately

Mixed salad drizzled with mustard

For Dessert
I munched on some Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate

Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate diced up in bowl

Nibbled on Some Chocolate Inspirations Vegan Cinnamon Toast English Toffee with Almonds that I review in This Post

Vegan Cinnamon Toast Toffee with Almonds in package

And something big happened, an epiphany of sorts, happened for me regarding my Vegan Path: I discussed my transformation and light bulb moment that went off after seeing animals at a petting zoo this weekend.  I provided 5 of My Key Thoughts About It All.

A mental shift occurred for me from being Vegan largely for Health Reasons (See This Post) to also becoming a Vegan for Compassion.  I am now firmly in the camp of both, whereas previously I used to consider myself much more entrenched in the former. 

I asked you all if You Do Eat Meat, how Do you Reconcile ItIs it Ok to Eat Animals for youDoes it Matter if the Animal Has Been Organically Raised

The comments were amazing to read about each of your paths, how you reconcile what you eat, the vegetarian vs. vegan issue, some of you eat meat and explained how and why you are on that path

Tuesday I Highlighted and Gave a Synopsis of the 100+ Comments from my Veganism Post.
I Highlighted Both Meat-Eating, Vegetarian, and Vegan Comments and It Was So Awesome to Hear Everyone’s Thoughts On Why You Do or Don’t Eat Meat

I had a Blogger Meetup!

Two women sitting in booth with young girl standing beside them

Gave You A Tour of Whole Foods
Wall of Protein

Shelves full of protein powders

Wall of Chocolate: Cocoa & Carob Powder

Shelves full of Cocoa & Carob Powder
Shelves full of various Nut Butters
Shelves full of agave
The Mustard Wall.  Finally a wall I could afford.
Shelves full of various mustards

Got Some Bake-Able Insoles

 Hand holdig a pair of insolesInsole packaging saying to heat in oven at 225 degrees F
For the Baking Process and My Thoughts on Them and Why I need Insoles, Click Here

Reminded you About
My Raw Vegan Chocolate Brownies
Overhead of Raw Vegan Chocolate Brownies in clear containerRaw Vegan Chocolate Brownies-Slighly Different Recipe than 1st Link

Slice of one Raw Vegan Chocolate Brownie

And Vegan Fudge-10 Minute No-Bake Recipe

Slice of Vegan Fudge with sprinkles
Close up of sliced Vegan Fudge

And I ate some of my Coconut Oil Popcorn Blend  

Coconut Oil Popcorn with chocolate chips

I asked you about your grocery shopping style: turbo in-and-out or pokey label reader

Asked about the food finds that you can Only Purchase from Whole Foods

And I asked you if you think I Should Post a Progress Pictures & Info Tab for my Bikini and Fitness Goals.  I loved hearing your thoughts on this one!

 Wednesday I Gave You my Thoughts, and a Few of My Hesitations, Regarding Posting Progress Pictures and addressed Negative Comments

I made Raw Vegan Cabbage Wraps

Raw Vegan Cabbage Wraps in clear containerClose up of Raw Vegan Cabbage Wraps
 Hand showing inside one Raw Vegan Cabbage Wrap

 And Provided Various Filling Options Like Baked Sesame Maple Ginger Tofu

Sesame Maple Ginger Tofu on foil lined pan

Un-Chicky Salad Nut Pate

Close up of Un-Chicky Salad Nut Pate
Un-Chicky Salad Nut Pate on salad

Sweet-nTangy Chicken-Less Salad Pate

Sweet-nTangy Chicken-Less Salad Pate on romaine leaves

Close up of Sweet-nTangy Chicken-Less Salad PateAnother Way I like to Wrap my Veggies is in my Raw Vegan Cucumber Wraps 

Raw Vegan Cucumber Wraps in clear container

And there were Four Recipes for Dipping Sauces which make or break the wrap

From Peanut Sauce

Homemade Peanut Sauce in jar

To Sweet Hot Mustard & Orange Sauce

Sweet Hot Mustard & Orange Sauce in bowl

To Vegan Raw Cheddar Cheezy Sauce

Vegan Raw Cheddar Cheezy Sauce in blender

 And Vegan Slaw Dressing

Vegan Slaw Dressing in jar

I asked Do you practice or follow the religion of your childhood if you were raised with a faith?  Why or Why Not?  Do you believe in the things your childhood faith suggests now that you are an adult?  Or do you only identify with that faith because it’s just “there”, just “habit” or convenient?  Do you fear disassociating yourself from your childhood faith because you fear offending your family members?
There was a familiar trend that most people consider themselves spiritual rather than religious
but read the comments for yourself because there were many different experiences represented.

Thursday the Give Away Ended.  Did you Check and See Who Won  

Various Tazo products on countertop
Click Here if you Missed Who Won the Give Away

I Met with A Trainer and we discussed My Goal of likely embarking upon Fitness Competitions and doing Bikini Shows!  We discussed where he sees me now, what he sees for the future, what he recommends, and all in all, he’s just a great guy and a terrific resource!

Told You I Don’t Enjoy April Fool’s Jokes and why.  And many of you said the same thing in the Comments.

Gave You Many Recipes of Mine that Use Stevia because I won some

Various Stevia Products on countertop

My Guiltless & Fast Vanilla Hot Cocoa

My Guiltless & Fast Vanilla Hot Cocoa in mug

 Peanut Butter Banana Vanilla Oats Soften Overnight and they’re ready to Go in the Morning!

Close up of Peanut Butter Banana Vanilla Oats 

 Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

 Close up of Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

Homemade Vegan Gluten & Soy Free GranolaJust replace part of the brown sugar with NuNaturals Baking Blend

Homemade Vegan Gluten & Soy Free Granola in container

And Baked My Insoles 

Insoles in oven
Oven preheated to 225 degrees F

I Talked About Injuries and you Told Me if You Have Any Injuries or nagging aches and pains.  and, I told you about my random aches and injuries, too.

I also asked you if you’ve worked with a trainer and your experiences.   Loved these responses!

And asked those of you who are trainers what programs or certifications you did and what your experiences were and I got some great info in the comments

I ate some 5 minute, 3 Ingredient No-Bake Vegan Maple Flaxseed Cookies

 No-Bake Vegan Maple Flaxseed Cookies on plate
Close up of one No-Bake Vegan Maple Flaxseed Cookie

Some Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate

Sliced Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate
Diced up Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate in bowl

Friday I Got Some Cute Bowls

Various colored bowls stacked inside one another
Hand holding smaller purple speckled bowl
 Vegan Cole Slaw Salad 

First Layer the Cabbage in the Bottom of My Trough Bowl and Added Romaine, Asparagus, Sugar Snap Peas, Tomatoes, Carrots over the top

Mixed salad with mustard drizzle

Gave You a Recipe for Vegan Parmesean Cheeze
Raw Zucchini Pasta and Raw Marinara

Raw Zucchini Pasta and Raw Marinara
Vegan Parmesan Cheeze would be perfect on This Meal
Raw Zucchini Pasta and Raw Marinara mixed up on plate

Made Pumpkin Pie Spice Coconut Oil Popcorn

Pumpkin Pie Spice jarPopcorn in bowl with chocolate chips


 Newman's Own bar
Newman's Own bar in hand split in half

And Hot Topic Friday was About Nude Yoga and Going to a Nudist Colony
Hawaii Nude Yoga


I wanted to know what you thought about being nude, how comfortable you are with Nudity or if you could do a Nude Yoga Class, and You Can Read About Whether I’d Bare it All, Or Not, Here.
Loved the responses to this question, and there were some great comments about letting it all hang out, or not.

Yoga Today is Sirsasana (headstand)

Woman doing Sirsasana yoga pose

When going up into headstand, DO NOT DONKEY KICK UP!   You need to go up slowly and with control; start in downward dog, make a crown for your head with your hands, and start to walk your toes forward, forward, til you go up, up, and away.  No kicking up into headstand as it’s a sure-fire way to fall and get injured, severely.

Tip of the Day: My Cuisinart Food Processor in Stainless Steel Give Away!!!!!

Cuisinart Food Processor

Do I Need to Say More?  This is an Awesome Give Away and I Hope You’ve Entered to Win It!!!!

1. Best Thing You’re Ate or Done So Far This Weekend?
Best thing I’ve done was lay poolside and relax!  A no brainer. 

2. Easter Plans, Parties, Celebrations, or Family Fesitivities?  Any family stress and drama involved?  Anyone in your family “not get” why you’re a healthy eater, why you’re a vegetarian/vegan, why you don’t want certain foods or HFCS-laden candy after dinner?  Just wait til you have kids and random strangers hand out buckets of candy or relatives send it.  Not that a few pieces is bad, but for a small child, a couple pieces is one thing, bags and bags of it is another.  
As I mentioned, we didn’t have plans, and I love it!

3. What Blogging Entails & Unsolicited Advice
It seems that all I had to do was post earlier this week about Negative Comments In General, and What I Think of People Who Leave Them.

I also touched upon Unsolicited Advice in reference to what I expect to receive if I were to post fitness progress pictures on my blog.  

Well, it seems there was a alot of Unsolicited Advice out there in the Universe Waiting for me.  The latest round of unsolicited advice was from from non-bloggers, most of whom also never leave me any positive comments on any of my posts, either.  I don’t think another blogger would ever write to another blogger in this fashion because we realize that in one “simple” blog post, there are these aspects:

  • On the Tech Side: Learning about all the technical aspects of blogging from how to drop in HTML Code, learning Blogger or WordPress’ platforms, learning what self hosted vs. owning your own domain vs. or not means, learning how to drop in backgrounds and make layout changes.  It goes on and on.  
  • Recipe Development: For me, this is Hours!!!  I don’t just open a box and it eat.  I make it from raw ingredients from the ground up.  Just because you see a recipe on my blog, doesn’t mean that it turned out that way the first time.  I could have 20 hours, or more, and multiple efforts in the kitchen and lots of money in ingredients that you never see.
  • Grocery Shopping at multiple stores for Ingredients
  • Being in contact with various businesses and companies to keep Great Give Aways on my site for my readers to enjoy and to review products to suggest to my readers
  • Picture Taking and Uploading and Always carrying a camera: 50+ pics a day, every day.  Period.
  • Writing the Actual Posts (2 hours per post, sounds excessive, and it is, because I make recipes and post them in a step by step fashion, provide link backs, link to others’, it all takes time, and trust me, I am really trying to cut back because this is not always “fun”, it’s work)
  • Answering Readers Questions regarding Diet, Exercise, Raw Veganism, Food Allergies, Yoga Help, Recipe Help, Recipe Troubleshooting, you name it
  • Reading the Comments I Receive (probably the best part of blogging so this is a great one and because of course of all the great friends I’ve met and made in the ‘sphere!)
  • Commenting on Other Blogger’s Blogs and being a part of the ‘Sphere; participating in the community (this can easily be Hours per day for me because I try to leave comments for the people who comment on my blog, however as my readership continues to grow and grow, this will not continue to be possible at all times, but I really try to be a good and supportive friend and blogger to others)

It goes on and on and on when running a blog…

So I realize that people really do have good intentions when they offer unsolicited suggestions about things they don’t like about my blog, but I wonder if they realize that this is volunteer work and that all bloggers have lives and that blogging is volunteer work?  There are a handful of bloggers who can make a living or at least make more than a few bucks a month at their blog but this is truly just a very select few. 

For the rest of us who blog, we give freely of our time, energy, heart and soul, ideas, recipes, and we share our lives on a platter for the world to view and to evaluate or dare I say judge, as they wishAnd yes, some don’t like what we have to say or the way we live our lives or the manner in which I link back to old recipes or that I’ve been told I use “too much bold face type”, but really, I try my best to give so much to everyone who reads my blog.  I am so grateful for my readers and friends!  You guys are why I continue to blog!

So I am surprised when people write to me to tell me things that are wrong with my blog or things they don’t like.  Not that I am too arrogant, or proud, or think I “know it all” to accept feedback because we can all always learn and improve!  I don’t want to give that impression that this happens a ton (it doesn’t) or that I am not receptive to hearing suggestions, I just feel a little poked at and wonder how you handle criticism in general?  How do you Deal with Unsolicited Advice?  Do you react differently to unsolicited advice that you believe to be helpful vs. that which you feel is either irrelevant or petty?  

Do Family Members or Well-Meaning Friends Give You Unsolicited Advice?  Do you Enjoy It?  Does it Make You Feel Glad that They Cared Enough to Tell You or Annoyed and the Implication that You Don’t Know What You’re Doing is There?

I can’t wait to hear your answers and I hope you all have a wonderful day and I am off to spend time with my Family and enjoy this glorious weather!!!!!!!  Thanks you guys for being great friends, readers, and I wish you all an awesome (Easter) Sunday!!!!!  

Stay Tuned For Weekend Easter Pictures…

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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.