Sunday, August 28, 2016

FYH Vegan Egg & Breakfast Sandwiches

Good morning! I'm working at my desk on this fine Sunday after fueling up on a properly large and delicious breakfast sandwich, washed down with a cup of coffee. You all know I'm vegan, and for awhile now I've been hearing about Follow Your Heart's (FYH) Vegan Egg. I first heard of FYH when someone on one of the vegan facebook pages I follow posted their Vegan Bleu Cheese dressing. I really missed Wedge Salad, so I set about the streets of Omaha to find some. To my disappointment, I discovered, at that time, that FYH products weren't sold here. So, in an effort to get what I wanted, I asked my local Akin's if they could special-order it for me. They did! After I bought all their first case, I had them order more. 

I noticed, not long after that, that Hy-Vee started carrying a couple of their sliced cheeses, and now, a few months later, I can find a good selection of FYH at all my usual vegan haunts: Hy-Vee, Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, and Akin's. I was in Natural Grocers stocking up on Daiya (it was on sale!), tofu, Better than Bouillon, TVP, and nooch (nutritional yeast), and I ran across FYH's vegan egg. I brought some home and immediately set about making my usual breakfast sandwich. This sandwich is composed of a chickpea omelette (find a recipe for this in my Cooking & Recipes tab), Daiya shreds (or any other vegan cheese you prefer), and homemade TVP sausage. This time, instead of the chickpea omelette, I used the FYH egg.

I have to say, I cannot believe how much like an egg this stuff looks, smells, and tastes like what I remember eggs as. I didn't scramble it, as suggested, but otherwise followed the simple instructions. I fried it as a small, whole, eggy omelette. I topped it with the Daiya shreds, and then my homemade TVP sausage. It was amazingly delicious!  You have to try this stuff.

This is the finished sandwich! Here's the recipe for the TVP sausage. The only differences I do with the sausage is that I double the recipe and then add 3/4 cup of vital wheat gluten. I keep these on hand for making sandwiches, for crumbling on pizza, or throwing into some pasta.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

August Subscriptions

Good morning! I'm back with another post about my monthly subs. If you follow my blog you already know that once a month I get an Ipsy and a Lousiville Vegan Jerky subscription. Today, I'm going to combine both into one post.

Here's my August Ipsy sub bag and it's contents.

This is Neuma's hair-styling, smoothing crème. I've gotten some interesting hair care products from Ipsy, and I'm starting to use them on the weekends. Why only weekends? Because I only do basic makeup and hair for work. It's just too time-consuming to go all-out for work, besides, I believe in saving my best looks for going out and such.

This is the second Formula X nail polish I've received from Ipsy. The first was a gold, and this is a pale, opaque pink. It's called Dollface.

This three-toned bronzer from Beaute Basics looks interesting. I've received one other bronzer from Ipsy and like that one, I'll use this one as a blush. I admit, I'm not into bronzing or contouring. I only do contouring on the very rare occasion, but they make really great blushes. I'm excited to try this one out.

This is tarteist mascara from tarte. I'm excited to try this! I love the different mascaras I've gotten over time from Ipsy, and since this is my first product from tarte, I'm, again, excited.

This is a liquid lip color from Trust Fund Beauty. It's not the first product I've gotten from them, from Ipsy, although it's the first liquid lip color from them. My last item from this line was a nail polish. Ipsy has a theme every month, and they base it off your personal profile, so this and the pale pink nail color are part of that.

Last, but not least, is my Louisville Vegan Jerky subscription! I love this sub so much! In fact, the one on the far left (the Maple Bacon) is from last month's sub because I try and stretch them out to make it to the next month. I guess I succeeded!

Anyway, the sub is one bag of a test flavor and two bags of their standard flavors. This month's test flavor is Sweet Chili Garlic. YUM! It's my new favorite next to the Carolina BBQ one, and this one packs a kick. It's got the flavor of sweet thai chile sauce with a backnote of garlic. How can you go wrong?!

The other two flavors are the Bourbon Smoked Chipotle and Bourbon Smoked Black Pepper. I love both of those, as well as the Maple Bacon from last month. Oh, hell, I love them all!

I hoped you enjoyed my subs as much I did. Have a fantastic day!

Love, H.A.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Weekend in Iowa

A view of a pond in Broken Kettle Grasslands.

A different pond in BKG.

One of the many bison that help the Nature Conservancy maintain BKG.

Another view of the bison, looking up towards one of the Loess Hill ridges.

The female bison--who was in heat--being chased by a male.

A view over the Loess Hills at BKG.

A view of the Iowa landscape from the gravel road that leads to my dad's house. The clouds were gorgeous this Sunday.

The old cemetery where my family is buried.

My husband and I are both originally from Northwest Iowa. This last weekend, we made the short journey up there to visit friends and family, and ended up having a really nice trip.

One of my nearest and dearest friends from high school works for the Nature Conservancy. She took me over to Broken Kettle Grasslands--located in the Loess Hills north of Sioux City, Iowa--where I got a VIP tour of the land. It's got a visitor center, but past that, no visitors are allowed, so it was a treat for me. We took a UTV up and down the hills, having a great time, where I got to see the bison that help maintain the land; the pens where the bison get their yearly "check ups"; the different flora and fauna of the Loess Hills; and, of course, the wide, sweeping views of the countryside seen from the top of the Iowa Mountains (my nickname for the Loess Hills). We could see 25 miles north to the Dakota Dome, which is located in Vermillion, SD. After a good three hours, and a nice sunburn later, we left the BKG and stopped in LeMars where we ate lunch and had margaritas.

That evening, I retrieved my husband and daughter, and we went back over to my friend's house where we grilled a delicious meal of cauliflower, portabello mushroom caps, and some roasted veggies. We capped off the evening by making it to my husband's friend reunion. Every year, his friends have a reunion, and while there wasn't many of us there, we still had a nice visit around a campfire in the woods with some beers.

Sunday we spent some time with both my mother-in-law and my folks. As we were just getting out on the road, I thought about the family graves out at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. My paternal grandparents helped my dad raise me, and, because of it, I was very close with them. I was especially close with my grandmother, who was essentially my mother, and her death still effects me deeply, even after fourteen years. I haven't been to the cemetery since they laid her to rest, so I knew it was time.

It was quite an emotional moment for me to stand over my grandparents, and I cried deeply as I thought about how much I missed them. I was glad to see them at the same time. Next to their graves is a joint grave. Buried there were my grandma's two younger brothers who died from scarlet fever, and buried at their feet are my brother and sister. My siblings were twin preemies, who were born nearly two years before me. One was stillborn, and the other lived briefly. For years their graves went unmarked, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that their names had been engraved on the tombstone (thanks Dad). Next to those four, lie my grandmother's great-grandparents. While I had never met them, since I spent lots of time with my grandma, I felt like I knew them since she kept their memories alive with stories.

After that, we headed home, where we make it in time to relax for a few hours before beginning a new work week. My husband got to spend time with his family so was very pleased with the weekend as well.

Until next time,


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

I've Updated!

Hey everyone! So, I've been thinking for awhile now that what this website needed was a face lift. After tossing around a few ideas, this is what I came up with. I made the background myself using a few images (I've gotten quite good at photo editing), and then based my fonts and colors around it. I chose the images and style that I did because I love adventure. 

Whether it's here, abroad, traveling, dancing, hiking, reading, or loving, I'm all about adventure. I spent so much of my life letting it pass by me, that I forgot to live. As you know from following me here all these years, that I like to live my life to the fullest whenever possible. It seems only fitting that my blog reflects that style.

There's another dimension as well. When I went through my major shift at the dawn of my 40th birthday, I made changes in my life. As another five years has almost passed me by, I feel another shift approaching. I've been through a lot these past five years, and you've been there with me through it all. Life has fallen into place for me really, and I'm more than ready to fill it with memories and moments. 

Join me, will you?  

Much love,