Friday, December 31, 2010

So this is (Christmas &) the New Year...

*Sigh* I just love the holidays. I've seen family and had a pretty good time this year. It was a good end to what has actually been the worst year of my life. I was in a serious car wreck in May that has left me with neck pain and back issues. My mother's health fluctuated between bad and worse. My grandfather died in July and I battled various health concerns the whole year. I really hope that 2011 has some better things in store for me and my loved ones.

Aurora opening her present of gourmet doggy treats ^_^

Over the Christmas break I've even gotten to rest some which I really needed due to my health issues + 2 jobs + being a full time student. I'm very blessed to be able to spend this time with my loved ones and get to eat lots of delicious food. And of course I'm also blessed because my boyfriend and family always spoil me with their gifts. Here's some of the highlights:
a vintage Disney Alice in Wonderland thermos from my boyfriend.
bento box set with Alice in Wonderland drawings by a Japanese artist, also from the BF

two Hello Kitty bento boxes with HK bento accessories from my mom

Babycakes cupcake maker from my grandma

Ninja blender and food processor from my mom

I'm so excited to try the bento and kitchen stuff out!
I'm actually working 4 p.m. until midnight on New Year's Eve which kind of sucks. My boyfriend is at home alone and I was supposed to go out to eat with my family, but my job got in the way of any celebrations. To cheer myself up, I've been thinking of some things I want to happen in the new year.
For my New Year's resolutions/intentions/wishes/hopes, I want to:
1. Utilize my bento boxes and accessories as well as the wonderful cookbooks I got for Christmas
2. Actually use the Ninja and Babycakes and not let them collect dust in the kitchen.
3. Be more considerate of those close to me. Usually I'm almost too considerate of others but the rough year I had made it to where I was in a daze and wasn't always aware of how I was acting or the feelings of others.
4. Graduate in May. I'm supposed to and only health problems stand in my way. If I can push through them, I graduate on time and can continue on with life.
5. Address my health issues more vigorously than I did this year. I had a hard time with everything that went on in my life so I wasn't able to focus on taking care of myself as well as I wish I could have.
6. Find a better doctor if mine continues to be a pain.
7. Be true to myself and not hide my feelings or pretend for the sake of others.
8. Stand up for myself.
9. Learn to relax! Take things in stride and not be such a worry wart!

I'll leave you with some pictures from our Christmas meal (yes, there is lots of meat in the picture. My mom and I are the only vegans in a family of wannabe carnivores).
I had roasted veggies, lentils, saffron rice, green beans, corn, and homemade dark dark dark chocolate vegan fudge for dessert =]

Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Columbus trip

I recently went to Columbus, OH to finish my Christmas shopping. As I've said before, Columbus is only 2 hours from me and has a lot more to offer than my city. I went to Easton mall and got a lot accomplished but it was a grueling weekend of walking tons and shopping til I dropped. I ate at P.F. Chang's while I was at Easton (I always do when I visit) and was severely disappointed this time. I found out from my waitress that their tofu has wheat germ added to it. This makes very little sense to me and since the tofu is no longer gluten free, I couldn't partake in it. So instead I got the Buddha Bowl off of the GF menu which came to me as a big bowl of steamed broccoli. It had a couple mushrooms and carrots in it, but it was mostly broccoli. I love broccoli but I didn't want a whole bowl of it. I got the GF soy sauce on the side and dipped the veggies into it. The brown rice was also undercooked so it was kind of hard and chewy. It was a very bad experience.

I also ate at ZPizza. They have Daiya cheese and GF crust. I ordered mushrooms, zucchini, black olives, and artichokes as my toppings. This is what my pizza looked like:

You can't tell from the picture, but they didn't really cook the veggies and mushrooms. Despite this, the pizza was pretty good. The crust was better than expected. Not to bash ZPizza since I appreciate them offering Daiya and GF crust, but I have had a much better GF vegan pizza in Washington, D.C. at Pete's A Pizza. But Pete's doesn't have Daiya, they carry Teese which is my second favorite vegan cheese.

I went to Whole Foods to buy specialty foods because I only have a very tiny health food store where I live. Our store carries very little and consists of 3 aisles of food and some fridges. While at Whole Foods I looked (longingly) at their baked goods and came across these cupcakes, some of which were vegan but not GF:

So cute and festive!

I also visited a locally owned health food store, The Raisin Rack in Westerville, OH which is a suburb of Columbus. They have a food bar, salad bar, complete cafe menu, and smoothies. They had a lot of GF and vegan offerings so I had breakfast here before leaving to go back home. I got a really good tropical smoothie and the food bar.

No Columbus trip would be complete without a visit to Pattycake Bakery. I've mentioned them on here before because they are completely vegan and have GF offerings. I absolutely love them and so do my non-vegan friends and family! While there I picked up some of their Marry Me Blueberry Muffins (not GF) for family and my boyfriend. For myself I got a Buckeye Bar, Cranberry Almond cookie, and raw truffles. Delicious!

I'm really looking forward to Christmas. I get to see all of my family and my boyfriend is a wonderful gift giver. This is my favorite holiday and time of the year. I've already been watching Christmas movies that I love, such as The Year Without Santa Claus. I'm a sucker for claymation =]