Grocery Store Finds: Thrive Market

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Whole Foods is often referred to as “Whole Paycheck,” and we all know why — the place can be EXPENSIVE. A couple weeks ago, I was doing my regular grocery shopping for the week, which includes buying four KIND bars (my favorite pre-workout snack), and as I was checking out, P looks at my four KIND bars and asks if I had ever looked into buying them in bulk instead of individually. To be honest, I really hadn’t thought about this, but because he is a numbers/finance guy, apparently he has.

The next day after doing some research, he found my KIND bars on Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Thrive Market. Since I’m not an Amazon Prime member (meaning no free shipping) and Walmart.com didn’t have the flavors I liked, I went to the Thrive Market website. I was amazed to find my favorite “dry goods” that I buy regularly at Whole Foods sold on Thrive Market for a discounted price. I couldn’t believe it!

My favorite granola (Purely Elizabeth), my KIND bars (all the flavors I like), olive oil, spices, rice, etc. It was AMAZING. P also found his favorites, including KIND granola and Emergen-C — both for several dollars less than he usually pays at Whole Foods.

Needless to say, it didn’t take much convincing to sign up for Thrive Market and make my first order. I bought several bags of granola, three boxes of KIND bars, olive oil, salt, pepper and some of P’s requests (granola and Emergen-C). Because I spent over $49, I got free shipping and free coconut oil and protein powder. I also saved an additional 15 percent off my first order.

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The package came only four business days after I made my order online (I ordered on a Friday and received it the following Wednesday). The packaging was very secure, especially for the olive and coconut oil. We only had one issue with a bag of granola, which I emailed Thrive Market about right after and they immediately issued me a credit and discount on my next order. Overall, my experience was great!

On top of that, I saved a lot of money. Each bag of granola was $1.04 less than I pay at Whole Foods, and I saved $0.20 on each KIND bar. While that doesn’t seem like a whole lot of money in one week, over the course of the year that’s $27.04 on granola + $41.60 on KIND bars, which more than pays for the membership fee of $59.99 annually. And that’s only for two items that I purchased. P also saved money on his items!

Another aspect I loved about Thrive Market was the wide selection of health foods they had. They have all of the (in my opinion) “odd” ingredients that my healthy recipes call for (like almond flour, almond oil, hemp seeds, etc). And they have categories for Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegan and Raw diets. Those categories make it easy for people that follow those diets to find what they are looking for and possible discover new things!

Thrive Market also has a variety of beauty products, vitamins/probiotics and household supplies. I haven’t purchased any of these products yet, but I’ve definitely browsed the categories looking at all they have to offer (A LOT!).

Finally, for every paid membership to Thrive Market, you are also donating a Thrive Market membership to a low-income family. As Thrive Market stated on their website:

“Every year, 49 million Americans experience food insecurity while 80 percent of low-income families resort to buying food they know isn’t healthy just to make ends meet.”

Your Thrive Market membership can give low-income families an opportunity to invest in their health too!

So if you are a health food shopper, at least check out the Thrive Market website and see the brands/foods they have to offer. And then next time you are at Whole Foods or your regular grocery store, do a comparison of the prices. You may be amazed to see how much you could save with a Thrive Market membership! I’m definitely looking forward to discovering new things and making my next order!

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To Eat Meat or Not to Eat Meat

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First of all, THANK YOU to everyone who reached out to me regarding last week’s post. To be honest, it was really hard for me to write and talk about some of those things, but hearing all of your feedback and support made it so worth it. Part of the reason I started this blog was to talk about my struggles with a healthy body image.

Several years ago (before I started blogging), I stumbled upon a blogger who openly shared about her struggles with an eating disorder. Her openness and vulnerability inspired me to want to be more open about my own issues in hopes that not only others could relate and know they were not alone, but that we would combat these negative thoughts together.

Satan wants us to keep all of our sin struggles to ourself. He doesn’t want us to be authentic and vulnerable with others and God because he knows we are set free when we confess our shortcomings.

Two passages on this topic come to mind:

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. (Psalm 32:3-5)

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)

So if you are struggling with a healthy body image or an eating disorder, talk to someone. Don’t give Satan the power by keeping it to yourself. I hope to continue to write about eating issues and share my journey to finding freedom from my struggles.

But now onto the real topic of discussion for today: my transition to eating meat (only chicken so far) and what I think this will look like in the future.

I knew about a month or so ago that I wanted to surprise P for Valentine’s Day with barbecue chicken. He LOVES barbecue, but we have not been able to eat it together since we’ve been dating because barbecue restaurants rarely have anything vegetarian to eat (except maybe a baked potato and cole slaw). So I thought the ultimate surprise would be to not only make his favorite kind of food but eat meat all at the same time!

But there was no way though that my stomach was going to be able to handle barbecue chicken at the first go around, so I spent a couple weeks prepping myself to get there, mentally and physically. I had also never cooked chicken before, so that was something I needed to do some research on.

Prior to going to the grocery store, I did research to learn about Whole Foods meat grading scale and where the chicken comes from at my local Whole Foods. Once I had confirmed that the chicken was hormone-free and antibiotic-free, I was ready to try it. I asked the butcher for only half of a breast (got to start somewhere) and after a confused glance or two, he eventually obliged.

In my research I had also found this AMAZING tutorial on how to cook chicken. And when I went to cook the chicken, it turned out perfectly the first time! (This was a miracle in and of itself.) I seasoned my chicken with a little olive oil and lemon pepper (the same way I cook most of my fish), but only ate half of the half breast because I was concerned it wouldn’t sit well the first time. But I felt find the rest of the night and the next day when I ate the rest of it for lunch. (This was a good sign!)

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the first chicken meal
Two weeks later, I tried chicken again and upped the intake to half a breast per meal, seasoned and cooked the same way. And again I felt fine after eating it. So after this second experience, I decided I was ready to make and eat the barbecue chicken.

I found this recipe for barbecue chicken “burgers” and was especially drawn to it because I could throw all the ingredients into the crockpot and not have to worry about it. The recipe suggested eating the “burgers” with guacamole and shredded cheese, so I did exactly that. I also made some roasted okra (P’s favorite) and bought sweet potato tortilla chips at Whole Foods (these were a BIG hit!).

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chicken burger, okra and sweet potato tortilla chips
Despite my nerves, everything turned out great and his reaction was priceless! I wish I could have gotten it on camera because he nearly cried. Yes, cried! He was so excited! And he LOVED the food as well. It couldn’t have gone any better.

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he was so surprised!
I felt totally fine after eating the barbecue chicken the first time, but when I tried eating some of the leftovers the next day, that didn’t sit as well. I think moderation is key, and I overdid it by trying to eat the two meals so close together.

Overall, I would say it was a very successful surprise! It was something that I know meant a lot to P, so I’m glad I did it.

But there were (and still are) some mixed emotions after, only because I feel like I have failed at being a vegetarian. This is completely irrational thinking, considering I was a vegetarian for 5 and a half years (and you can’t really “fail” at being a vegetarian), but I can’t get the thoughts out of my head.

So what does this mean moving forward? Am I a meat-eater? A part-time vegetarian? Honestly, I don’t know. It’s been hard to label, and I frankly don’t want to put a label on it. I have a tendency to do things ALL or NOTHING, 0 or 100, so this type of restriction I don’t think is good for my personality type.

I like the idea of eating what makes sense in each situation. For me, I think this looks like still eating mostly vegetarian or pescatarian. I love eating a lot of fruits, vegetables and whole-grains for my meals. But I think sometimes there will be moments where eating chicken or some type of meat is my only option and instead of eating nothing (which I have done), eating the meat is the better route to go.

I’ll update y’all as I go along because this is a journey, and I’m not sure where it’s taking me right now. In the meantime, thank you for your support, love and encouragement! It means the world to me.

The Year of the Chicken

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This past weekend I had chicken for the first time in five and a half years. Well, technically that’s only partially true because I first tried it a couple weeks ago, so that I could get my stomach ready for the “big reveal,” but you get the point.

I’ve been a vegetarian for five and a half years. And I love being a vegetarian. After all I had a Vegeversary Party to celebrate five years of it! I also cook lots of vegetarian dishes (several of which I have shared: here, here and here). Part of what defines me is being a vegetarian. So why change? Why eat chicken?

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I was thinking about eating meat again, that I was calling this the “year of the chicken.” When I first became a vegetarian, I always knew that I would eventually start eating meat again. I never thought it would be a forever lifestyle, mostly because I didn’t think it would be sustainable with a husband and family. But having been single for most of my twenties (with a few short-term boyfriends here and there), I never saw a reason to start eating meat again since I was usually only cooking for myself. So five and a half years later, here I am.

When I started dating P, I told him all of this. And although being a vegetarian was (and I quote) “not his favorite thing about me,” he accepted it in hopes that someday I would eat meat again (someday being sooner rather than later). It wasn’t a big deal. He ate everything I made (vegetarian or not). He would almost always have me choose restaurants, so that I wouldn’t have issues finding something. And when in the rare occurrence, he would pick, he would look up the menus and find a few things for me just so I had some options (he’s the sweetest, right??).

Hear me when I say, I did not start eating meat again solely for my boyfriend. He definitely played a significant part in the decision, particularly in speeding up the timing of when I did it, but there’s so much more to it.

Another big contributing factor was the annoyance of it in social situations. (I talked a little bit about this in my Thanksgiving post.) Whenever you go to someone’s house for dinner or you go to a nice restaurant, there are times when being vegetarian is not feasible. I remember several instances where the only thing I could eat at a party was a dinner roll and some cheese or even restaurants that I had to make a meal out of random sides. And when we went to Colorado over New Year’s, there was literally nothing I could eat in the house for breakfast or dinner. Everything had meat in it.

And you don’t want to be the person that picks through their food or rudely rejects a dish that someone prepared. You don’t want to be difficult every time you go out to eat. You don’t want it to be a big deal, but sometimes it is. So when I stumbled across this TED talk a couple months ago, the speaker’s points sparked my interest. I had never thought about being a vegetarian part-time because for me, it was always all or nothing. But his argument made me think a little differently.

And that’s not all. Health-wise, I think I used being vegetarian as a crutch in a lot of instances. I used it as a way to be restrictive in my eating without being “suspicious” of having disordered eating patterns. There were many times where I wasn’t eating properly, not getting enough protein, not getting enough calories, and I justified it in my head because of the “diet” I was on.

Now, do I think that being a vegetarian for five and half years was a cover up for an eating disorder? Not all the time, no. I know I had pure intentions to start and continued to have pure intentions for most of the time I was a vegetarian. With that said though, if I’m being brutally honest, I know at least part of the reason I stayed a vegetarian for so long was because I feared eating meat again. I feared gaining weight.

Even typing this now, I feel so silly saying that. Who fears chicken because they think they will gain weight? I know how irrational I sound, but it’s how I felt, how I still feel as I venture into new territory.

So with all those reasons in hand, I decided this was the year. I knew it would please at least my mom and my boyfriend. I knew it would give me more flexibility in social situations. And I knew I needed to get over my irrational fear of gaining weight. It was time.

Next week I’ll share how I handled the transition (those first couple meals) and what I think my diet will look like moving forward.

Back to the Basics: Part One

unsplash treesThe best way I can describe 2016 in the 20 days we’ve had so far is like drinking out of a firehose. It’s funny because I have always thought of January as a sleepy month, a month where you’re getting over the post-holiday blues and getting back into the swing of things. But not this year.

And I truly can’t complain. The activities and events that have filled my calendar so far have been fun, rewarding and beneficial. I love all of the different things I have going on in my life right now. But that doesn’t deter from the fact that I need a regroup. I need to evaluate priorities again and get rid of the “clutter.”

My new year’s resolutions were mostly about my faith. And that is purposeful because it is the biggest area I want to see growth over the next year. But after reading so many inspiring posts and articles these past few weeks, I’ve been inspired to take the approach I’m taking with my faith to all areas of my life. So this is going to be a “back to the basics” year.

This plays out in several ways, but mostly boils down to de-cluttering, to getting rid of things in my life that are meaningless so that I can make time for the things that are important. This is a lesson I’m trying to learn and re-learn.

Last year, I got really hung up on the details, the little things in life that in the grand scheme of things weren’t the most important. I over-extended myself into so many different areas that I wasn’t able to focus on the things that mean the most to me. This year, I can’t promise that I won’t over-extend myself (because who am I kidding?!), but I am going to promise to not spend so much time in the details and non-critical, non-important things of life.

P makes fun of me with this because I have a never-ending to do list filled with mostly menial tasks that I have a really hard time prioritizing. He always asks me what’s on my “must do” list instead. Hilarious, thanks P. but that is what this year is going to be about. Tackling my “must do’s” so that I don’t sacrifice the “basics” of life.

As best as I could categorize, here is where I see this playing out:

Health

I need to get more sleep PERIOD. I need to make it a priority to be in bed at 10 during the week no matter what. How can I expect to be productive and effective without a good night’s sleep?

I also need to drink more water. I spend so much time and energy on my diet and eating healthy it blows my mind that something as easy as drinking water is difficult for me. Although I’m not making it a resolution like last year, I need to make a point to be drinking more water.

I’ve been calling this the “year of the chicken.” There are several reasons why I’m going to be looking into adding meat back into my life (but we will save those for another post). I want to re-look at the dietary choices I’m making and evaluate what I think is most healthy for me in this season.

Finally, I want to get back to cooking more regularly and cooking different things. Because of my 2014 resolution, I have a few go-to’s that I always make. But I want to expand my horizons this year and get back into cooking new things. How are you going to learn if you don’t try, right?

De-cluttering

I need to de-clutter. Mind you, my house would not be categorized as cluttered. I clean out my closet and things at least once or twice a year. Everything is always picked up and clean. But after reading so many articles about a minimalistic wardrobe and de-cluttering your house, I want to re-look at this again. Plus, it’s good to have a good clean-out every now and then.

And on that note, I just bought Marie Kondo’s book and can’t wait to dive into it. I’ve heard such wonderful things about it and hope to incorporate some of her de-cluttering concepts, which I know will translate themselves to all areas of my life.

Time

Time is the ultimate enemy for me. I never seem to have enough time to do everything I want to do. This year, I really need to hone in on where I’m spending my time. How can I manage those 5-10 minute pockets of downtime better and not scroll through my Instagram feed for the 100th time that day? How can I make the most of my time while remaining flexible and free for some spontaneity too? How can I make time for the things that matter the most to me? These are all questions I need to process through and evaluate.

I also want to make more time for reading. During the first half of last year, I was reading about three books a month and loving it. But during the back half, I was lucky to read one book a month. Now there are a number of factors for this (looking at you, P), but hopefully I can make it a priority to make more time for it. After all, there are so many benefits to reading.

And lastly my blog. Writing and sharing what’s on my heart has been such a joy for me this past year and a half. There are so many ideas floating around in my head that I would love to write and execute on, but time always seems to get in my way. I hope to find a better way to schedule time for writing this year because writing and using my creativity to come up with post ideas have become a favorite outlet of mine.

Now this is not meant to be another round of resolutions. Good grief, I don’t think adding resolutions would help get “back to the basics,” do you? This list is however a reminder to myself of the areas where I wasn’t successful last year and where I want see growth in 2016. So hopefully on December 31, 2016, I will be able to look back and say I successfully got back to basics and formed healthy habits again.

Part two will be coming your way shortly. And for that part, I want to focus on my faith. Stay tuned.

Eat With Joy

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I read a book a couple years ago that changed my life and my relationship with food. The premise of the book was redeeming God’s gift of food in a culture that struggles with obesity and eating disorders. Instead of seeing certain foods as “good” and “bad,” the book challenged me to see food as God’s good gift of provision and care for us. I am forever grateful that I read it.

The holidays are a hard season for people with complicated food relationships. I know that full well because I’ve had a complicated relationship with food since I can remember. At parties especially, my lack of control over the menu would give me anxiety about what I was going to eat and how I was going to work it off the next day.

I know not everyone struggles with an unhealthy relationship with food, but for those of you that do, this year I want to challenge you (as I challenge myself) to eat with joy.

Don’t look at the mashed potatoes and pecan pie and see the calorie count.

Instead eat with joy that God has given you food as a symbol of his constant provision and care. (Matthew 6:25-34)

Don’t skip your grandma’s stuffing because you know how many sticks of butter the recipe calls for.

Instead eat with joy that God has created all of those flavors and foods as a gift for you to savor and enjoy. (Genesis 9:3)

Don’t waste your time and energy thinking about how you’re going to work off the meal the next day.

But instead eat with joy that God has given you family to eat and fellowship with during the holidays. (Acts 2:46-47)

But ultimately, we can eat with joy because God doesn’t want you to be enslaved to your unhealthy relationship with food. He wants to set you FREE from it! (Romans 6; Romans 14)

So I hope you are able to savor each meal and each conversation you have this Thanksgiving. And if you find yourself getting anxious about the food, remember that your Creator created food for you to enjoy! He gives us perfect gifts (James 1:17)! So receive that gift and eat with joy!

Vegetarian Thanksgiving

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The holidays are a tricky time of year to be a vegetarian. I always wrestle with wanting to be a good guest, while also not wanting to get sick, so I end up with a lot of anxiety about what I will eat when celebrating with family and friends. The social aspect of being a vegetarian is something I have always had a hard time with.

With that said, over the past few weeks I have had several people ask me about vegetarian options for Thanksgiving, and truthfully I am happy with eating a variety of sides. You can easily make a meal out of them (or at least I always seem to be able to), so I don’t need anything special made. If I did have one suggestion it would be having a good salad option (I like this one) because it gives me something to eat outside of all the starch-heavy side dishes.

But if you are feeling extra generous and want to make your vegetarian guest something special (although again definitely not necessary!), here are two dishes that could easily be pulled together with ingredients you would likely have on hand for other Thanksgiving dishes:

Stuffed Sweet Potato

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I liked this recipe because it took no time at all to pull together. I left the bacon out for obvious reasons, and used my crock pot to cook the sweet potato. (By the way, have you done this before? I do it all the time with baked and sweet potatoes. You can wrap them in foil and cook them on low in the slow cooker for 5-6 hours. It’s AMAZING and so easy!) Not only was it easy to make, but it offered a filling option for a vegetarian if a lot of your side dishes have meat in them. They will be plenty satisfied eating alone or with an extra side or two.

Baked Fish in Parchment

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This fish recipe is another great option if you have a pescatarian guest (like me!). It also was easy to pull together and uses ingredients you would likely have on hand for your Thanksgiving meal — French green beans, tomatoes, artichoke hearts. I found the fish very filling and thought it would pair well with some of the other Thanksgiving fixin’s on hand — mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, etc.

I also thought this fish recipe looked delicious (and easy) as another option. But if you are still stumped, The New York Times created a really cool meal planner that allows you to adjust dishes based on dietary restrictions and the amount of people coming! It’s cool and really helpful!

All in all, if you have a vegetarian guest (or for that matter any guest with a dietary restriction), we don’t want you to feel the need to make us anything special. We can easily make a meal with what’s available! It’s more about being with family and friends than the food anyway. And plus, there’s always dessert!

Do you have any vegetarian Thanksgiving ideas? What about Christmas dishes? I would love to hear them!

#SomethingNew November: Pie, Custard and Macaroons

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Let’s face it, November is the month of unhealthy eating. Between tailgate food, all of the delicious pumpkin things out, not to mention Thanksgiving (the most caloric meal of the year), I think November takes the cake as being the month of decadent eating. So what did I have in mind for my #SomethingNew this month? Trying three dessert places, of course! I mean there is no better month to appease my sweet tooth than November.

Something you should know about me is that I don’t only have a sweet tooth, I have sweet teeth. I seriously LOVE all things sweet — cookies, cake, candy, ice cream, brownies — you name it, I love it. So I was super excited to get to try some new dessert places!

My go-to dessert places have always been Eatzi’s (for their carrot cake — it’s AMAZING), Sprinkles (for any of their cupcakes — I truly love them all) and any frozen yogurt place in the area. But for this #SomethingNew I decided to try three out-of-the-box desserts options: pie, frozen custard and macaroons.

I have had my eye on each one for a while now, but hadn’t gotten around to actually going to any of them. It takes a little push for me to try new things (as we have learned), so this was exactly the push I needed to get out there and go!

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JOY Macaroons

I had heard about JOY Macaroons’ ice cream sandwich macaroons back in July when I went to the Bastille Day celebration in Bishop Arts. But by the time I got to their cart, they were all sold out of the sanwiches. The thought of a macaroon ice cream sandwich intrigued me, so I put it in the back of my mind to try later.

Fast forward a few months, and here we are! JOY Macaroons is right outside of Bishop Arts (only a few streets down). The interior of the shop is very “hipster” and cool, and they have a lot of interesting macaroon flavors, like bourbon pumpkin and cranberry orange. But I was there to try the sandwich.

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The ice cream sandwich flavors were also very different: there was a fig one and a sesame one as well as a few others that were out-of-the-box. I ended up with the milk chocolate orange and my friend Kim got the vanilla.

I really enjoyed the texture of the sandwich — it was a lot lighter than a normal ice cream sandwich and the macaroon itself was delicious. My only qualm was that you couldn’t pick your macaroon or ice cream flavors separately, and they had some pretty obscure flavors. You had to be adventurous.

Overall though, I think they make a great macaroon, and I would definitely eat the ice cream sandwich again if I was in the area. I just don’t know if I would drive all the way out there for it.

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Wild About Harry’s 

I lived right down the street from Wild About Harry’s for two years and never made it in there. I had heard so many great things about their frozen custard, especially from a lot of local Dallasites, so I finally made a point to try it this month.

Walking in, I was immediately reminded of a place back home we used to go when we were kids, called Cock Robin. It would kind of be like a dairy queen, but with a little more of a hometown feel. Wild About Harry’s had this same vibe. I could see it being one of those places where you go after a high school football game or after riding bikes on the Katy Trail with your family.

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I got a toffee crunch ice cream cone, and it was really good. The custard was definitely a lot creamier than frozen yogurt or “normal” ice cream. My only complaint would be the lack of toffee pieces in the scoop, but overall it was really good. If I was ever in the mood for a good ice cream cone again, I definitely know the place to go.

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Emporium Pies

‘I truly saved the best for last. While all of the dessert places were great in their own merit, Emporium Pies hands-down won the battle of the best dessert.

I tried their Cloud 9 pie, and it was unbelievable. I didn’t really know what I was getting into when I ordered it, but I thought ‘I like butterscotch and caramel so we will give it a try.’ And WOW. This seasonal pie is their most popular during the fall, and I can completely understand why.

IMG_5108I typically go for fruit pies, so it was definitely different than I was used to pie-wise. But different in the best way. The crust was flakey and delicious, and the filling was gooey and rich. You couldn’t stop eating it, even though it was very sweet and filling. It tasted just like caramel and butterscotch. Truly to die for!

My boyfriend, Peyton got The Nannerz (Emporium Pie’s version of a banana cream pie), and that was really good too. I’m usually not a huge fan of banana desserts, but I ended up liking that pie as well, just not as much as my slice of heaven.

I will definitely be going back to Emporium Pies. The atmosphere was adorable — you felt like you were at grandma’s house, and the pies spoke for themselves. No wonder there was a line out the door and around the corner. I can’t wait to try one of their fruit pies in the spring!

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Do you have a favorite dessert place in Dallas? I would love to try it! Comment below.

My Vegeversary

Five years ago I made the decision to become a vegetarian. I was taking a class in college called Nature of Values (where we examined different value systems), and one of the many books we read was about valuing what we are putting in our bodies. After reading the book and watching this documentary (something we also did in class), I made the decision not to eat meat anymore.

Contrary to popular belief, this actually had (and still has) nothing to do with animal cruelty. What really bothered me after reading the book was learning about all of the hormones that are injected into the meat we eat everyday. The saying “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” comes to mind here. Now that I knew what was going into the food I was eating, I couldn’t “un know” it. Now, technically I could have found a local farm or gotten hormone-free meat from Whole Foods, but I was in college, so these weren’t feasible options at the time (limited time and resources). It was either going to be all or nothing, so I chose nothing. And it’s been that way for five years.

So I had a party. Because why not celebrate the little things in life! IMG_4880IMG_4881 IMG_4884 IMG_4883

I bought some fun fall decorations, crafted a little and had my closest friends over for a home-cooked vegetarian meal!

For appetizers, I wanted to keep it simple, so I went with raw veggies and spinach dip (I mean what is a vegetarian party with out veggies!) and sliced cheese with cranberry and pumpkin seed pita chips. For drinks, we had Moscow Mules (these were surprisingly super simple to make) and (lots of) wine.

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For the main dish, I made vegetarian chili with cornbread (I used Greek yogurt and shredded cheese for the fixings on top). It was the perfect dish to make for a large group. And it was a major hit because everyone gobbled it up before I could take any pictures of it (I’m okay with that!)! For dessert, I made an apple and cranberry cobbler from my new favorite cookbook. It was so simple to make and turned out delicious as well.

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All in all, we had a wonderful time! I’m so thankful for friends who are willing to celebrate this milestone vegeversary with me!

Do I think I’ll be a vegetarian forever? Probably not. And I’m sure I could write a whole other post on that. But for right now being a vegetarian is working for me, so I’ll take it one day at a time. Until next year, friends!

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Party Supplies:
– Vegeversary Banner: supplies from Michael’s (and handcrafted by yours truly!)
– Tassel Garland: LoveGarlands
– Napkins, Plates, “Happy Fall Y’all” cups: Swoozie’s
– Straws: Michael’s (they have great deals on party supplies!)