Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wheels, Turkeys, The Walking Dead, and Steam From the Fountain Show!

This photo I posted over at my Travel Blog but the next 3 pics you won't find over there.  These photos are from our trip to Pigeon Forge, TN, last week.  Inside Pigeon Forge there is a new(er) destination called The Island.  You can read more about that and see more photos here

This first photo is of their Wheel.  The Island has LOTS of shops, restaurants, attractions, games, rides, and things to do with more on the way.  They are currently working on their 2nd phase adding more restaurants, tasting rooms, hotels, and shops.

This place is already neat but I think when it's complete it will be really special.

Just like everything else in Pigeon Forge - they are decked out for fall.  Harvest Time is BIG down there.  Outside of the Wheel they had this place where you could pose for photos - so I did.  Yup!  Just us 3 turkeys!  (teehee)

The layout out was amazing and the whole Island was incredibly clean and everyone was very friendly.  More on that at the link above if you are interested in hearing more.
Sometimes when I travel and see something that reminds me of a friend or family member I will snap a pic just for them.  I remember one time I saw  friend of mine on Facebook that took a photo of herself drinking beer thru a straw while in Vegas so the next time I went to Vegas I did the same thing and took a photo of me doing it and posted it and tagged it just for her.

In this case...a good friend of mine has a thing for "Darryl" on The Walking Dead so when I saw this cut out I HAD to take a pic for her and text it over right away!  I'm looking forward to the season premiere of The Walking Dead this coming month and I do like his character but I can't say that I'm obsessed with him like many other women I know.

And this photo I intentionally took, too, but for different reasons. 

I took LOTS of pictures at The Island - and many of them were of the fountains and water show - but this one I took because I wanted to get the fountains moving, the steam rolling, the rocks glistening, the sun shining, and the surrounding landscape with a little bit of the buildings showing in the back ground.  I think I was able to accomplish most - if not ALL of that.

For those of you wanting FOOD posts...stayed tuned I will have another blog post later today!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dollywood Photography From My iPhone

Over at my Travel Blog earlier today I posted More From Dollywood and there are plenty of more photos over there if you want to check those out but the ones I am posting here today are ones that I feel turned out exceptionally well especially since all I used was my iPhone to take them.  This is the first time I haven't taken an actual camera on vacation to take my 'good' photos.  Needless to say I was pleased with the outcome.  We were trying to travel light and most of what we did pack was for Paco.  We drove over 10 hours in my Fiat and it certainly got the job done.  We averaged about 400 miles a tank.  We only spent a bit over $100 for gas so that was AWESOME.  Now on to the photos, eh!?  This first one is one of the many mills that Dollywood featured.  It was functional and festive.  Inside you were able to purchase their fresh made breads that they made daily.
One of the many decorated gardens was this one.  It had flowers galore!  Not only that they had a turning Ferris Wheel that moved slowly with the potted flowers in each Ferris Wheel Car.  I stopped and stared at it for a few moments.

I mentioned in another post that we visited Dollywood at the beginning of this years Gospel and Harvest Time Festival.  It last about a month and a half and features over 350 live performances throughout the theme park.

While we were there we did see a number of preachers, reverends, pastors, etc from different denominations and faiths.  There's a small church there that is named after the doctor who delivered Dolly Parton as a baby.
One thing I will have to research more is if there is a connection to birds and birdhouses and Dollywood and/or Dolly Parton.  I saw a SLEW of birdhouses throughout the theme park.  And I don't mean just any old birdhouse.  I mean INVOLVED birdhouses that were colorful and creative...ones that were HUGE...ones that had multiple stories...even ones that were themed.  Some were unusual, some where tall yet thin, and others were just so stunning I couldn't help but snap a photo...or 10 photos!

This one was behind a kiosk.  I couldn't believe that it wasn't more out in the open!  It stood about 6 to 6 and a half feet tall, had 3 floors, windows, doors, a deck, etc.  It was very beautiful!  If we visit Dollywood again...I just might have to try and count how many birdhouses I see!

Going along and keeping with the Harvest Time theme - giant colorful displays like this one could be seen throughout the theme park. 

As you can see this is almost like a Christmas Tree made out of potted flowers that tier into the sky.  Behind it was Hay, Wheat, Corn Stalks, and other festive decor. 

You can tell that Dollywood goes above and beyond to change things up and make the place look amazing!  I hear that Christmas Time is even more involved, too! 

We saw several people working on adding lights to many of the standing structures.  I bet they were getting ready for the Christmas Time Festival.  I'm sure it takes a LONG time to decorate for that!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Kid at Heart

Eventho our vacation is over I am way behind at blogging about.  So over the next week or two I will be blogging pretty heavy on the trip.  The photos I post on this blog are different than the ones I post over at my Travel Blog.  So if you want to see more pics from the trip visit this site

Yes...I'm cross promoting a bit here!  But there is a method to my madness, too!  The post here at My Blissful Journey is about being a kid at heart.  It's one of the many things I reflected on during our trip.  I feel being a kid at heart is important. want to act your age most of the time...but it's important to break away from that and be FUN.  Be a little weird or crazy from time to time.  Do things out of the ordinary.  And what better time - than while you are on vacation, right?

These photos were taken at WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge.  Eventho a lot of the things inside this up-side-down building are geared more toward children and youth - there were many things I found interesting.  Many of them it didn't matter what age you were you could still enjoy them.  You can read more about that - and see additional photos from WonderWorks in this post

In the first photo you will see I'm have some fun with bubbles.  Very LARGE bubbles, that is.  Then out front in the lobby I found this psychedelic piano that was super groovy and had to get my photo taken with it...the hippie at heart I am.
Also in the lobby - looking UP - you saw this amazing sight!

Everything was up-side-down on the ceiling!  There was SO MUCH to look at!  When I look at this photo - I keep thinking to Alice in Wonderland!  Or even The Labyrinth...remember that movie with David Bowie!?  LOVE that movie!

On the travel blog (linked above) I wrote about the many Optical Illusions that were at WonderWorks.  It was one of my favorite parts of our visit to this tourist attraction.

Here's another one of those Optical Illusions.  It's a gorgeously colorful painting.  It looks FLAT but it's actually 3D.  The corners of the buildings in the front are pointed out and the alley-way between the buildings sink inward.

I tried to have my husband take a photo of my hands in front of it to show that it was in-fact 3D but it still didn't do it justice.

Here's another one taken from the side view.  It's laid out the same and in 3D but it's very well done almost too well done that you can't really tell even in the photo or from the side.

I guess you could relate this to The Mona Lisa painting - but only for the Optical Illusion of the eyes 'following' you and and necessarily because of the 3D-ness of it...Mona was flat and this wasn't...but still pretty cool, eh!?  What or which Optical Illusions do you like best?  What do you think about 'being a kid at heart'?  Do you take the time to be a kid every now and again!?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Surprises at Dollywood!

Check this out!  It's part of my lunch at one of the places inside Dollywood!  I had their Salad Bar which also included a Mac & Cheese Bar.  I asked them if I could do it with no meat or dairy and the wonderful lady who was doing the custom mac n cheese orders went back to the kitchen and found the olive oil and did mine vegan style!  I thanked her multiple times for the special treatment!  This is what we came up with!  Macaroni in Olive Oil with tomatoes, green onions, read peppers, onions, mushrooms and it turned out yummy!  A special shout out and THANK YOU to Dollywood!

One of the many things I enjoyed about Dollywood was the friendly ducks throughout the park just waiting to greet passerby's.  Everyone who worked at Dollywood treated them like guests of the park...they were completely free to come and go as they please.  There were many natural places for them to frequent including ponds and streams.

Another neat part of Dollywood was the artisans and their demonstrations.  This guy was one of the blown glass guys.  Everything they make during the day goes into the last part of the process to cool over night and then it's available for sale the next day in the gift shop next to the demo area.  I posted a bunch of photos of me over at the Travel Blog if you want to check it out and I will have a lot more from Dollywood in the very near future.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Vegan MoFo ~ Vegan Foods in the Cabin

While on vacation at the Cabin we decided to eat-in.  This was my dinner earlier.  Roasted Red Bell Pepper stuffed with White Rice seasoned with Wildtree's Garlic & Herb.  On top just a little bit of Daiya Cheese.  We also roasted up some zucchini and added Wildtree's Opa! Greek Seasoning.  It was wonderful!
Thanks to the local Kroger here I was able to find more vegan options than I thought I would.  The Daiya Cheese was at a super low price, too!  Only $1.50...I couldn't believe it!  Since I didn't want to overbuy I will be using these 4 ingredients quite a bit so I will be seeing what I can do with what I have.  I've posted a few things over at the Travel Blog if you want to check it's heavy on the photos...and mostly about WonderWorks so far!  It was FUN! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Winner...AND Another GIVEAWAY...Awesome Apple!

First I would like to say CONGRATS to the WINNER of the Wheatgrass Flavor of Garden of Life goodness!  Nicole was the winner!!!!  Thank you all for participating...but...wait...there's MORE!  Yup!  You GOT IT...another giveaway!  This time it's the APPLE Flavor of the Garden of Life RAW Perfect Food - it's organic - it's green - it's SUPER food!  And it can be yours!  All you have to do is comment on this post between now and Monday night!  I will draw one of the comments as the winner and contact you via email if you have indeed won...remember to let me know your email addy, tho!  Thanks!  US Shipping Addresses ONLY for this giveaway!  If you aren't into powders I will have some more giveaways next week you might enjoy, too!  Stay Tuned!

What Goes Into Perfect Food RAW?

Young cereal grass juices such as Barley, Alfalfa, Oat, Wheat, and Kamut are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. The green juices in Perfect Food RAW are grown organically, harvested at their nutritional peak, immediately juiced and dried at low temperatures. The RAW, organic cereal grass juice powders contained in Perfect Food RAW are loaded with chlorophyll and trace minerals for energy and support of already healthy blood sugar levels.†1
Each serving of Perfect Food RAW contains over 17 nutrient-dense veggie juices that are freeze-dried using a gentle process that maintains nutrient potency and freshness.
Perfect food RAW also contains over a dozen organic raw sprouts. Sprouting is a term that refers to the process where you unlock the nutrient potential within a seed and is a great way to increase the digestibility of seeds, nuts and legumes while maintaining their raw nutrient density.
Finally, Perfect Food RAW contains a host of live probiotics and enzymes. Enzymes are present in all raw foods and enhance the body’s ability to digest and assimilate the nutrients our food contains while probiotics are key to the optimal function of our digestive system.

What Can You Do With the APPLE Flavor? are a few things I have done in the past...

For an extra entry...when you comment...let me know what you want to try it with!  Good Luck!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Winner Annouced, More Vegan MoFo's, Happy Mail, Natural Cleaners, Vegan Snacks, & More!

Where - oh where - to begin!  LOTS to cover today!

First...CONGRATS to the WINNER of the Garden of Life Chocolate Cacao RAW PROTEIN....Jordan!  I emailed you - drop me a note with your info when you have the chance.  REMEMBER...if you didn't win this first one there is another chance to win a Garden of Life product over at this post.  I will draw a winner for that tomorrow!  Then...I will have a NEW giveaway stating tomorrow and ending Monday!  Stay Tuned!
This first photo is a picture of the soup I made last night!  It turned out AWESOME!!!  I think I will call it Creamy Chipotle Corn!  

Here's the recipe for the Creamy Chipotle Corn:

1.5 C Corn (in blender) PLUS 1/2 C added at the end - whole
2 C Almond Milk
2 Sun Dried Tomatoes
1 T Dried Basil
Handful Cashews
1 tea Onion Powder
1 Cap Full Sun Warrior Liquid Rush
1 tea Wildtree Garlic & Herb
Pinch (or more) Chili Garlic Sea Salt

This was AMAZING!

Last night I had a bit of a weird dinner.  I ended up throwing together some random foods and it turned out super yummy!  I have some Daiya Cheese I need to use before we leave town.  I used it here to cover some white rice with green peas and black beans.  I just the black beans was an attempt at 'refried beans' but my own way.  I used my Ninja as a food processor and put them on stove top added a little Lime Juice, Wildtree Garlic Galore, and a tablespoon of Daiya Onion & Chive Cream Cheese...and since I was little lighter on my 'greens' yesterday I added about a tablespoon of Garden of Life's Perfect Food Alkalizer & Detoxifier power to the black bean mixture.  I find these to be vegan comfort foods and they were tasty!

Another thing I haven't been able to blog about yet is my latest shipment from the Raw Food World!  Here is MOST of what I got...I took out a few things I bought for my Mother-In-Law, my Father, and a Friend...those items I have already featured in previous posts.  As for this shipment I was REALLY excited about a few things!  First...they have a new Kale Chip that I got, and I tried some of their Nori Nachos.  In the front you can see Pesto Walnuts.  OMG...try these!  I hate to say it but I'm already addicted to them.  I will be buying these often!  I thought I liked Living Nutz Vegan Cheesy flavored Almonds and I do but these are CRAZY GOOD!  I wanted to get some Probiotics to have on hand and I will be blogging about my Probiotic Adventures down the road.  I am now completely set on Nutritional Yeast and other cheesy alternative seasonings with the Rawmesan and other things I have been ordering the last few months.  Flavored Dulse and Kelps are checked off my 'to-get' pantry list, too!  YAY!  Another product I have been thinking about for MONTHS is Sun Warrior's Liquid Mineral RUSH.  I mentioned this in my blog post yesterday and it's all because of Jason Wrobel.  I used a cap full of it in the soup I mentioned above.  I'm interested in this because it has a neutral taste but because it is full of trace minerals, too!  As you can see I DID end up ordering some of the Turmeric Extract so when I am back home I will be tinkering with that, too!  One thing you might not be able to see real well in this shipment photo is a new sea salt I bought.  I know - I know...I don't usually use sea salt BUT this is Chili Garlic flavored and I couldn't resist.  It will probably last me's packs a powerful punch!  I used a pinch of it in the soup I made - recipe and link above. will see that I bought two items from a company called Earth Scents. Check this next photo out...I had bought the Multi-Purpose Cleaner before and fell in LOVE with it INSTANTLY!  So I bought another bottle even before I ran out of it.  My husband who is usually hesitant to try natural cleaning products even LOVED it!  I will be doing a full review down the road for the Raw Food World's website/blog.  I cannot say enough about this product!  It's great for windows because it won't streak and it's glorious on my counter tops...just LOOK!  So...YEAH...I'm stoked about Earth Scents now!  With this last order I decided to grab some of their Tub Scrub, too!  I haven't used it yet but even if it performs HALF of what their Multi-Purpose Cleaner did I will LOVE it!
And...YES...after a while of being on back-order I was FINALLY able or order the 80/10/10 Book.  I had borrowed it a while back and found myself wanting to buy it and have it on hand to use as a reference so I bit the bullet and ordered it when it was available again!  

I don't really like the term 'diet' - especially if people haven't ever heard of this book before.  It really is a lifestyle.  I'm certainly NOT going to follow this book to a "T" but I do like the info and will apply some of it to my life.

I know some of you already have this book - what did you find most helpful and what did you read in the book that you have NOT applied to your life?
And...last but certainly NOT least...with all of this HAPPY MAIL I received this week I also receive these little GEMS...Coconut Organics sent me some of their snacks.  I will keep some in my office and will be taking some along with me for our road trip.  I will be doing a FULL REVIEW on them soon but so far so good!  A real treat!

They have a Dark Chocolate - vegan - that is a TRUE Dark Chocolate flavor that is for sure!  Good for me - I'm a dark chocolate fan!  They also have their straight-up Coconut Chips that are toasted and wonderful.  Then they are known for their CocoBacon® Organic Coconut Bacon...yes...also vegan!  Have you tried these yet?  Are you a fan?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Contest/Giveaway - Wheat Grass Perfect Food RAW - from Garden of Life!

Yesterday I announced a Contest for the GoL's Chocolate Cacao RAW PROTEIN and it's going really well!  You still have a few hours to enter - check it out!  TODAY I have another giveaway/contest that I think you will LOVE just as much - if not MORE!  It's the Garden of Life Wheat Grass Perfect Food RAW.  You may have seen me post about using this product before in a few of my recipes including the Tropical Wheatgrass Smoothie I blogged about earlier today.

Yes...I've been a blogging fool lately!  I have 4 posts today so be sure to scroll down!

Other blog posts in the past I've used this product for are...
* Cheesy Protein Crackers that I used my dehydrator for
* Basil Pesto Spinach Snacks that are also dried
* Fruit Seed & Nut Protein Balls I did a while back do YOU win this product from Garden of Life from my Blog?  Just leave me a comment below with an active email addy for you and if you are the winner I will contact you.  I will choose 1 winner Friday around Midday!

Additional chances to win?  Just comment on any of my other 3 blog posts for TODAY!  Here are direct links for the other 3 blog posts today...
* A Few of My Fave YouTubers (and upcoming crafting project!)
* Vegan MoFo for today - Midweek Wrap-Up
* Updates on the Furkids as well as new Feathered Friends & Finders-Keepers

A Few Fave YouTubers & Blissful Crafting Journey ~ Vision Boards

One of my favorite Raw Food YouTubers is Megan Elizabeth but today in this blog post and in the video above you will see one of her crafting projects.  She's inspired me to pursue this.  I have been thinking about it for a few months now and I keep being drawn back to this idea of VISION BOARDS.  I think on a large scale I will be doing Vision Boards but on a smaller scale I will start doing Vision Books, too!  I can see myself doing a LOT of these once I get going and am wondering how I am going to 'store' all of them if they are so big so that's another reason I think I might do more books or pages than full boards.  I found this AWESOME Pinterest Page full of them!

Yes...I have been YouTubing a LOT the last several months and thought I would share another one of my faves with you!  Jason Wrobel!  I just LOVE his crazy sense of humor and creative recipes and the way he presents them.  His made-up catch phrases certainly don't hurt either.  In this video's he's making Vegan Tortilla Soup.  His videos are a work of art and so are his recipes!  And I'm NOT going to lie...I purchased Sun Warrior's Liquid Rush JUST BECAUSE of him and everything he has been using it in the past year or so!  I just got it in yesterday and can't wait to use it!!!!

Vegan MoFo ~ Midweek Eats Wrap-Up!

One of the posts from yesterday was about my NEW Favorite Creamy Vegan Tomato Sauce!  Yes...fresh is BEST but if you are feeling lazy or just want to give this one a whirl - it's darn right amazing!  So here is what I did with the sauce and it turned out terrific!  I did Brown Rice Pasta and mixed veggies.  Veggies were...Asparagus, Broccoli, Carrots, and Green Beans.  Also in the mix there were mushrooms and I added about a teaspoon of Hemp Seeds for the heck of it.  YUM!
This was one of my dishes from the end of last week!  Again Brown Rice Pasta but a different kind and the veggies were peas, corn, broccoli, carrots, and I think a small amount of edamame.  With this one, tho, I used Wildtree Wasabi Ginger Sauce for the flavor and it was GREAT!
And FINALLY...this wonderful SMOOTHIE.
Another spectacular attempt if I do say so myself!  Here's what I used...

2 C Coconut Water
1 Banana
1 C Frozen Mango
1/2 Lime
(optional) Fresh Mint OR NuNaturals Mint Stevia

I have to say that this is the BEST Wheatgrass related I have had to date!  Thanks GoL!
AND...speaking of Garden of still have time to enter the contest for their Chocolate Cacao RAW here!  And stay tuned...I will have another giveaway starting today and ending FRIDAY.

Furkids Updates, Feathered Friends, & Finders-Keepers

Thanks to everyone who has been asking about our dear Paco!  For a timeline of posts about his medical issues visit these posts:

No!  My Dear Paco! Posted Aug 26th

Now for the NEWEST Update on Paco and some info about Suzie as well.  This photo above I took this past weekend!  Suzie - on the right - has lost about 3 pounds in the past several months.  I took her in for some required shots and prep for her stay with a very nice guy we have locally that her and Riley will stay with next week.  He truly LOVES animals and is a great guy.  Anyways...we are to keep an eye on her - she's NOT eating less and she IS acting completely normal otherwise.  They have her down as 12 but I know that is NOT true...we've had her for that long.  And she was 2 when we adopted her.  However, the vet did say that now she is within her ideal weight - where as before she was a little bit on the heavy side for her size.  She's our "Queen Bee" of the house that is for sure!

As for Paco - he continues to IMPROVE!  On Friday his Platelet Count was 698!!!  He will remain on all of his meds for the next 5 months and we will be doing monthly checks in the meantime.  He has another round of Antibiotics but once he's done with those he will be down to 2 meds and a low dose tummy tamer for the lining of his stomach because of the steroids he's on.
In other news I have been making some new friends lately!  Check these 'guys' out!  I went over to my parents Sunday night and across the street these two were hanging out.  I had to take a few photos because these aren't birds I usually see in our area.  They aren't the best photos because I was trying to use my ZOOM on my iPhone before they walked away.
They were short and fat but super cool!  After asking a few people and doing some research we DID establish that they were a type of Heron.  My husband thought they were young Black Crowned Night Herons but I think they look more like the Green Heron photos I have seen.  Regardless I was super fortunate to spot these 'guys' because they are concerned 'least concern' by the conservation's not endangered but it could get to that point.  My mom said she's seen this charming pair of birds around their house and two of the neighbors properties in the last week to week and a half.  They are wondering if they are living in a nearby tree.
Also over the weekend...I was cleaning and found a package of Incense from Wild Berry.  I opened it up and decided to burn a half of a stick and they were still potent!  I remember when I was in college I used to buy Incense were ever I could find some but NOT for the reasons people may think!  Many of my college friends were NOT allowed to burn candles in their dorms or apartments so they burned these instead AND they were nice to put on window sills - they sun would hit them and release the oils, too, without having to burn them.  They were also CHEAP and the perfect price for college students on a budget!  So...yeah...I found a few sticks and was really shocked at the aroma in them still because I bet I have had these for at least 15 years because I don't remember buying them myself.  I'm thinking my father gave them to me because he gets samples at work for purchasing for a chain of C-Stores here.
OH!!!!!  And...I will have multiple posts again today so please check back AND if you haven't entered to WIN the Garden of Life Chocolate Cacao RAW PROTEIN Powder...there is STILL TIME...I will draw a winner tomorrow morning at 8am EST.  Check out THIS POST for more details and to enter!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

GIVEAWAY ~ Garden of Life's Chocolate Cacao RAW Protein ~ Vegan MoFo!

Hey Gang!  I have the very first of my giveaways happening today! 
WHAT am I giving away?
The Chocolate Cacao Flavor of RAW Protein Powder from Garden of Life!
WHY am I giving it away?
Because I think it's awesome & Garden of Life said I could!
WHEN am I giving away this wonderful prize?
RIGHT NOW...This is a SHORT entry period because I have TONS MORE PRIZES on tap!  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below saying you want to win and how I can get in touch with you to let you know if you are the winner!  US Residents ONLY for this giveaway, please.  I will be choosing 1 winner from all those who commented Thursday morning at 8am EST.

In case you haven't seen some of the things I have done with Cacao and/or this GoL product check out these blog posts below - if you comment on any of these posts in ADDITION to commenting on this original post your name will be 'added to the hat' an extra time for another chance to win...

Cinnamon Cacao Almond Milk was a good one!  And SUPER EASY!

Avocado Cacao Mousse - recipe listed was done with regular cacao powder but I have also tried it with GoL's Cacao Flavored Powder.

The Celebrate Shake I posted a while back can easily be converted to use this product in place of Cacao and/or Maca Powder.

More recently - you may have seen my Chocolate Plum Shocker Smoothie which I absolutely ADORE!

Another winner was the Chocolate Mint Milkshake I did a while back!

How about the Cinnamon Chocolate Smoothie I posted about?

Or a twist on the Super Sweet Avocado Treat?

So....HURRY UP and enter to win in COMMENTS below...I'll choose a winner on Thursday Morning at 8am EST...Again, PRIZE is...Garden of Life Chocolate Cacao RAW PROTEIN!!!!

Vegan MoFo ~ Vegan Findings

I had a late post yesterday and it explains a few things that will be happening over the next few weeks so be sure to check that out!  Today I have a few things I want to post including a GIVEAWAY later today so be sure to check back!  First I wanted to post a few things that I have found pretty AMAZING the last week or so and thought I would post it as a part of my Vegan MoFo stuff!  First up this WONDERFUL Jem Organic Raw Chocolate Superberry Maqui Camu Sprouted Almond Butter.  I can't say enough about this and I got it over at The Raw Food World.  Check out the first clickable banner on my sidebar and it will take you to their site.  It's rich, it's the perfect pouring or dipping thickness, and it delicious.  The berry notes are at just the right level of flavor without being too over powering.  Since I don't have dessert foods ofter - because I'm not a baker - and I can't find anyone who is a vegan baker locally - I grab things like this when I have a sweet tooth.  Oh!!!!  And what are those grapes there?  Why...they are Cotton Candy Grapes!  YES...Christine told me about them like 2 years ago and I finally found them in my region at Wegmans!
These are out-of-this-world sweet!  What a treat!  Truly 'natures candy'!  Some people have complained that they are too sweet for their liking but I just LOVE them.  I'm so grateful I was FINALLY able to find them - even if I had to drive 45 minutes to get them!
While I was at Wegman's I found this TERRIFIC Vegan Sauce!  I LOVE making my own but I have to say this is the BEST Vegan Sauce I have had that was store bought!  Later today I will be posting a recipe from last night's dinner!  The flavor is this was stellar!  It was truly tomato and basil and creamy and YUMMY!

Monday, September 15, 2014

State of Bliss Travel Blog

Just a quick blog post about a sub blog I started!  Feel free to check it out it's called State of Bliss TravelMyBlissfulJourney will ALWAYS be my main blog and website but this sub site is specifically about travel and adventures and will be heavy on the photos.  I will cross post and cross link when appropriate.  Check out this new site to see why I'm posting this gorgeous cabin!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Vegan Mofo ~ Super GREENS Pesto

I've mentioned before just how AWESOME our Basil Plants are doing on our Rooftop/Container Garden...well...I was FINALLY able to do something with the FRESH Basil!  I think I will call this Super GREENS Pesto!

Here's the recipe:

1 and a half C Brazil Nuts
2 Handfuls of FRESH Basil Leaves
2 tea Lime Juice
Splash of Grapeseed Oil (I used Wildtree's Lemon Flavor)
1 T Nutritional Yeast
1/2 C Water

Optional - but I used these add-ins pictured above - and they were AWESOME:

1 tea GoL's Wheatgrass Juice Powder
Wildtree Lemon Pepper to taste

You can see my FULL Plate for dinner that night, too!  I had White Rice with Pesto on top, Pine Nut Hummus and Raw Crackers, and mixed veggies!

One of the reasons I LOVE the GoL Wheat Grass is because of this...

Our CERTIFIED ORGANIC Greens are sustainably grown by our family farmers here in the USA. We harvest before the grain buds (to prevent gluten from forming) and then juice at the farm immediately after harvest. Our juice is gently low-temperature dried and powdered onsite locking in its nutritionally dense, organic goodness. The end result is highly bioavailable and many times more concentrated in nutrients, including Chlorophyll, than whole leaf grass powders, putting the GREEN IN YOUR GREENS!†

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Vegan MoFo ~ Cheesy Corn Grits Broccoli

Sometimes when I stock my pantry I grab items that are on sale and then not really know what to do with the product.  I have to admit corn grits isn't something I do a lot with but after I did this dish last night - I will be doing more in the future with this product.  The corn grits I bought were Bob's Red Mill's Brand and YELLOW Corn Grits.  Here's my recipe for this yummy comfort food.

1/2 C Yellow Corn Grits
2 Cups Water
1 C Broccoli (in Ninja/Food Processor)
2 T Nutritional Yeast
2 to 3 T Earth Balance

Optional Add Ins:
Sprinkle Wildtree California Garlic Pepper
Sprinkle (on top) Parma! Vegan Parmesan - Garlicky Green Flavor

Other Add In Ideas that I didn't Use in the Photo Above:
Spray (or two) Bragg's Liquid Aminos (if you want it a bit saltier)
GoL Perfect Food RAW - Green Super Food (if you want to get more 'greens' in there)

A few reasons I enjoy GoL's Green Super Food:

  • One serving of Perfect Food Super Green Powder is equivalent to 140g of fresh grass juice.
  • Excellent source of natural Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene and a good source of natural Vitamin C.
  • Contains spirulina that supports healthy immune function.
  • Contains algae and cereal grass juices that provide a natural source of alkalizing minerals.
  • Select ingredients in Perfect Food Super Green Formula are produced through the Garden of Life proprietary Poten-Zyme® fermentation process to make the nutrients more available to the body.
  • Includes a Probiotic Blend to support digestive health.
  • Supports healthy carbohydrate metabolism.
  • Great for those on low carbohydrate diets or people who are unable to eat enough green foods.
  • Perfect Food comes in two easy-to-use forms: Powder and Caplets.

Mailtime Monday...on Tuesday!

I LOVE getting mail!  I always have!  It could be a package or just a simple letter...I just LOVE it! 

Yesterday I received this neat Tea Box from Tea Box Express and I will be doing a Full Length Review over at Sororitea Sisters in the near future.  Tea Box Express is a monthly subscription service for tea lovers.  Each month you will get a featured tea and a few other tea related or tea themed items in your box.  This month Teatulia was the featured tea.  I have had this black tea from Teatulia before and it's a good go-to black tea.  The box is very well done with lovely 'thoughts' and things to make you smile along the way.

One of the other things that was featured in this month's box was tea honey.  No...this isn't vegan.  I will be giving this to my husband - he's a honey fan. 

Another item that I will be sharing because it's NOT vegan is this cookie.  I decided to pass this along to my mother in law.  This cookie was one you might see in a specialty gift shop that is a couple dollars each.
I do really like the tea bag holder or the spoon dish - I guess you could use it either way.  It's sitting on my desk at work, actually.

And you can see the teapot themed stir stick on the bottom of the one photo - it's really neat, too!  Eventho I use Agave I think this would work well with honey or a honey alternative or if you are one of those people who have a milk or milk alternative in your tea and just use it as a stir stick - it's still super cute!  Since I drink all of my teas straight-up with no additives I will most likely be using that for decor OR if I have guests over.

Another piece of HAPPY MAIL I received yesterday was a coupon for an Earth Balance item valued at $6.99 - I won it last week over at the VeganMoFo site!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Weekend Roundup & Rooftop Garden Updates

A little bit of a "Weekend Round Up" as well as an update on the Rooftop Garden/Container Garden in this post!  This past weekend my mom, dad, sister, and I were with our Wildtree Products at Merritt Winery outside of Dunkirk, NY, for the 2nd time this year.  The weather started off not-so-great but it ended on a more pleasant note.  I was able to take a photograph of their vineyards before we left Sunday Night.

My sister and parents went on a little outing not too long ago and grabbed a drink or two at a Greek Restaurant and saved me this bottle.  WHY?  You might ask?  Well, because it has a Unicorn on it - of course!  If you don't already know - I've been a life long unicorn collector...I added this to my collection.  I posted this photo on InstaGram and noticed Mythos Beer is really popular overseas...I saw posts from Greece, Turkey, Italy, and other countries, too!  Pretty neat!  I made a spot for this empty bottle in my Craft Room.
Another thing I wanted to take time today - to update you all on - was some more Rooftop Garden/Container Garden updates!  On the right are two Dragons Tongue Bean plants BUT on the left is a container of Yard Long Beans that are crawling over and attaching themselves to the Dragons Tongue.  The Yard Long Beans are CRAZY HUGE!  They really can grow up to a YARD long!  Hence the name!  One of these days I will try and take a pic of me holding one so you can see just how long they really are!  They are so cool!
Here are some peppers we are having luck with now!  These are the Big Jim Peppers!  They are supposed to be mild to medium on the heat scale.  I think we will let them go a bit longer before picking because they can get to be between 7 and 10 inches long and I've read they also can turn red, too!  These are doing pretty well under our stairs in partial sun.

Questions of the Day...How was your weekend?  Do anything interesting?  How's your garden going and growing?  Any surprises there?  Have you tried Yardlong Beans or Big Jim Peppers?  What are your thoughts on those two produce picks?

Paying It Forward

One story I didn't share with you from last week was the middle of everything going on with Riley's removal on his neck and then the MAJOR health issue Paco had been dealing with for a few weeks PLUS hubby's Crohn's being confirmed by a 2nd doctor...I was having a HELL of a week.  Before getting to work the one morning I decided to go to a local drive-thru where they have a few (vegan) bagel choices I sometimes go for when I'm short on time.  I decided to go thru their drive-thru.  I usually have them toast it but no butter or cheese.  I opt for a slice of tomato instead.  They are VERY accommodating!  ANYWAYS...I get up to pay and the girl told me my 'bill' was taken care of my the person in front of me.  I know this concept is nothing new but it's never happened to me.  That day my emotions couldn't handle everything and I was overwhelmed by the  kindness of a stranger I sort of FROZE - thanked the girl - drove away - and proceeded to BAWL my eyes out.  This simple act - with everything I had going on - I just couldn't BELIEVE it.  I was so thankful.  It's was so much that someone PAID for my breakfast that day but moreso that I had an angel of sorts that made me feel like someone out there understood I was having an emotional few weeks and I was at 'wits end'.  Regardless I was so taken back by it.  Less than a week later I decided to also Pay If Forward and go back to the same drive thru and do the same thing for someone behind me.  It felt good.  I'm going to continue to do that at least once a month in that same place.  I love doing nice things and try and do them often but it makes you really want to do more, too, when you aren't the only one who seems to care if you know what I mean.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Chocolate Plum Shocker Smoothie

This is my 3rd post for today so be sure to scroll down for more Vegan MoFo Fun, too!

Check out this vegan smoothie I made for snack last night!  I have decided to name it "Chocolate Plum Shocker".  Here's the recipe...

2 Plums
3/4 of a Banana
1 Scoop of GoL's Chocolate Cacao Raw Protein
2 C Coconut Water
2 T Agave Nectar from Wholesome Sweeteners
3 Drops of Vanilla Stevia from NuNaturals

This was EPIC!  This has to be in my Top 5 Smoothie attempts thus far!  The flavor was WONDERFUL!

A few more reasons I like this product...

It’s not only what RAW Protein contains, it’s also about what it doesn’t contain – there are no fillers, no artificial flavors and no synthetic ingredients and it's gluten-free and dairy-free.
So for those looking for highly nutritious, nutrient-dense, easily digestible, high quality protein nutrition, look no further than RAW Protein from Garden of Life.

Easily Digestible?  YES, Please! 

Vegan MoFo ~ Rare Breakfast & Raw Vegan Cheese Sauce

For today's Vegan MoFo Post I wanted to blog about these two photos and NO I didn't eat them together! First - I have a breakfast bowl from the weekend.  I had crackers, figs, and sprouted and flavored nuts.  The reason this is rare for me is because it's very unusual for me to find FRESH figs in a store in my region.  I actually found them a few weeks ago at Orchard Fresh in Orchard Park, NY.  They were still FRESH because of my Berry Breeze.  I will be blogging about my Berry Breeze often because it works and I LOVE it!  So...I was super excited about this fresh figs and have been snacking on them since I bought them but also savoring them because I don't get them often.

As for this photo of the Raw Vegan Cheese Sauce I made I have to tell you I adore it!  The base recipe was from one of Philip McCluskey's books.  I posted it on Instagram and tagged Philip and he responded.  He's so nice!  Very encouraging!  Since I stayed quite close to his recipe and didn't stray much I won't put the exact recipe here on my blog but I will tell you that I used the following ingredients it in...Nutritional Yeast, Hemp Butter, Lemon Juice, Basil, Garlic, and Turmeric.

Again...I will be blogging throughout the day today and I encourage you to visit again!  This is my 2nd blog post of the day so far so please scroll down, too!  Thanks so much!