Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This and That

I recently acquired Netflix... oops, there goes my social life!  Even though I'd heard of this magical website/service, I'd never thought to check it out until now.  There are so many choices it makes my brain hurt!  I had my first mini Netflix marathon last night - on a work night.  Bad idea but, somehow totally worth the bleary eyes I had today.  If you don't already have it, you should totally get it!  Warning: It's very addictive.

Here are some of the other things that are  currently occupying my brain and time:

Eco Stiletto
This website is not only fabulous but informative too!  I've only just discovered it but I'm currently reading The Big List of Things That Suck.  It's totally worth a look, especially if you care about the size of your carbon footprint.

Want to put a little good in your life?  This website fascinates me and I learn something new each day.  I love their little slogan, too:  Good finds that give back.  Everything featured in Milkshake gives back or is good in some way.  How fabulous is that?

A Call For Change
I read this letter on Tegan and Sara's website last week (this letter is regarding 'misogynistic and homophobic' lyrics by a rap artist and the media's response).  Since then, I have been reading the responses/backlash/feedback on blogs, Twitter, and all over the web.  Most responses were very supportive of Sara's letter, but some were not.  Those were the responses that I found interesting because they shocked me a little bit.  It's shocking because those who did not agree with Sara were calling Tyler's lyrics "art" and "creative expression".  What!?  I did a Google and YouTube search on "Tyler, the Creator" (his stage name, I guess?) because I'd never heard of him before.  It turns out that Tyler is a 20 year old rapper from L.A.  I didn't really watch an entire video on YouTube because he wasn't worth watching, but during an interview he used the word fa*got, ni*ger, and b*tch several times within 30 seconds.  I'm not kidding.  I think his vocabulary is ignorant, not 'creative' or 'artistic'.  And I for one say shame on the media for praising his "creative expression".  If you haven't read this yet, please do.  And while you're at it, check out Tyler's response to Tegan and Sara on his Twitter page.  I would add a link, but I don't want that filth on my blog.

And last, but not least:

This American Life
 This is by far my favorite podcast and I try to listen to it whenever I can.   The stories are so incredibly interesting that I'm hooked as soon as Ira Glass starts to speak.  I love listening to it while I'm cleaning my house or out for a walk with my dog.  I've even listened to an episode or two at the gym, but I don't recommend it.  I got carried away while listening to the story that when I actually focused on what I was doing, I realized that I was strolling on the treadmill.  Not an effective workout.

So there you have it.  A few of my favorite things.  I hope you get a chance to check out some of these websites and let me know what you think of them... or better yet, leave a comment on their website.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mmm, soup!

Sometimes I crave soup.  And lately I’ve been craving it a whole lot.  Nothing too heavy, just a light fresh soup with whatever veggies I have in the fridge or whatever looks good to me at the moment.  Today I made a super delicious soup so I thought I would share it here.  This soup will last me a couple of days and I’ll eat it for breakfast and then again for lunch or dinner.  I love having a bit of soup at breakfast with some steamed greens and a little bit of oatmeal or something.  It makes me feel so good first thing in the morning.  You should definitely try soup for breakfast if you haven’t yet.
Here’s my soup:
3 cups water
¼ red onion roughly chopped
1 carrot cut into bite size pieces
1 daikon cut into bite size pieces
1 parsnip cut into bite size pieces
¼ or ½ a tomato (depending on the size) cut into bite size pieces
1 or 2 handfuls of shredded cabbage
small handful of rappini (stems and greens chopped separately)
a few drops of Shoyu
1 1/2 tsp. of Barley Miso (optional)

Place the first five ingredients in a medium pot over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook for a few minutes longer.  Add the rappini stems and shoyu.  Simmer for 2 - 3 minutes.  Add the cabbage.  Place the miso in a small cup and stir in a small amount of the soup broth until the miso is dissolved.  Add the miso mixture into the soup and simmer for 2 minutes more.  Stir in the tomatoes and rappini greens just until wilted and still bright green.  Remove the pot from heat.  To serve, ladle the soup into small bowls and enjoy.  So delish! 

  *I made my first Miso soup using a recipe from Alicia Silverstone's book The Kind Diet.  It was so tasty! This recipe was inspired by that one using the vegetables I had in my fridge.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

This One is for you Mom!

This is a shout out to my mom, the most amazing person I know.
     I am thankful for so many things in my life, but mostly I am thankful for having you as my mom!  No matter what I say or do, or the choices I make (good, bad, ugly, fabulous) you are always there for me.  When I'm feeling down you always have a kind word (and a hug) to cheer me up.  
     You are constantly encouraging me to do my best and you are my number one cheerleader.  I don't think I would be the person I am today without your love and support. 
     So thanks mom, for always being there for me.  You are the best mom in the whole world and I am so lucky that you are mine!
     Happy Mother’s Day!!
     Love you so much,
     Ves xoxo

A European Vegan?

 Yes, it’s true.  It may not seem so strange to most people, but those people did not grow up in my house.  Family gatherings consisted of the entire Serbian community coming over to our house and sitting down to a big slab of meat in the center of the table.  My dad and male relatives would stand around the spit outside and watch while a pig or lamb roasted on it.  I wasn’t very interested in being a part of that process growing up nor did I enjoy eating the meat when it was done.  Of course, when we were little we didn’t really have a choice.  If it was put on a plate in front of you, you ate it.
As I got older this became less of an issue and I ate whatever I liked, which definitely did NOT include pig or lamb or red meat for that matter. Anywho, one day I stumbled upon a website that gave me a little too much information into what actually happens to the animals before they hit my grocers fridge.  I’m a very sensitive person and needless to say I did not react well.  In fact, I cried like a baby.  And then I swore off meat.  And then a few weeks after that I swore off dairy, eggs and everything else containing animal products. 
But, I haven’t looked back since!  I love being vegan and I’m constantly learning new things about the health benefits, delicious foods, and the benefits to the planet.  I don’t miss any of the foods that I used to love, like cheese, yogurt, eggs, and so many other foods… I can go on and on but this blog would never end.  I’m not a superhero and I’m not depriving myself.  My friends compliment me on my will power but, to be honest, there is no will power involved.  I don’t want those foods.  Period.  I don’t want any animals to be harmed so that I can enjoy a piece of cheese, a slice of turkey, or a cream puff.  It’s that simple.
And so, that’s why I’ve decided to start this blog.  I’m kinda new at being a vegan and I’m sure other people are as well.  I plan to blog about the new things that I learn, like recipes and such.  And I welcome anyone who would like to, to share here what they have learned as well. 

Thanks for reading!
Ves xx
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