Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sweet Frogger

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It feels like there are a lot of memorials on this blog lately. We don’t mean to be so sad. But it’s truly been a period of time marked by loss for us. I promise to get back to recipes and good news very soon; today though, I want to remember Frogger.

frogger-1_lrFrogger was an African Dwarf Frog. We got her in a very tiny box at the mall with a snail, some bamboo and a companion male frog. Well, the snail died the next day. And we did some reading – only to discover how insane and cruel it was to keep all these sea animals in such a small box. Frogger and her guy got an upgrade to a larger tank with plants (and their bamboo), rocks, as well as a small castle to hide in and a tank filter. The fella didn’t last long. We are fairly sure Frogger ate all the food and starved him.  They fought all the time, anyhow. So we went to an aquarium store and got her another male and another snail. The next male frog lasted even less time – but she liked the snail. We called him Mr. Snuffles.

Frogger and Mr. Snuffles hid around their tank together for years. We often saw her with a frog-hand on him, and they would rest that way for hours. The day Mr. Snuffles passed, we found her with one hand on the front of the tank and the other on a lifeless Mr. Snuffles. After we cleaned him out (he is buried in our yard by the roses, along with the male frogs and now Frogger,  as well), she hid for days until we got a new snail friend. Again, they became buddies and were in the same part of the tank all the time. She never rested a hand on this one, though.

frogger-2_lrEvery day I would check in on Frogger and her snail pal. Actually, several times a day. When I put my laptop by her tank, she usually would sit at the glass, watching me. I’m not sure how much awareness she had of me or the world beyond her tank, but I believe she knew we were friends.  I’ll confess, when we were out of town even one day, I had a pet sitter come in and check on Frogger.  I wanted to always be sure she was comfortable – or as comfortable as we knew how to make her. After reading What a Fish Knows by Jonathan Balcombe, I suspect Frogger had a good deal of awareness, honestly. (You should read it!)

It’s impossible to guess how many times she made me smile. I’d find her floating in “Zen position,” enjoying her tank sometimes. She was an aquatic frog and lived in water, but breathed air via lungs not gills, and would float, all “Zenned out” on the surface to breathe. It was awesome to see her happy and floating, or find her hiding in her castle. Like I said, we were friends. She was part of life here.

Late Sunday night I checked on her before bed, as I do every night. And Monday morning, she had passed, bringing to a close seven and half years with our little family.

Her snail friend is still moving about the tank and I know I’ll need to find a friend for him soon. But at the moment, my heart hurts every time I look into the tank and Frogger’s sweet little eyes don’t search me out and come to the glass. I can’t bear to think of buying another frog, knowing what I do now about the sea life as pets industry. It’s a messed up thing. Yet, I don’t want the snail to be alone, either. Sigh… dilemmas. Time will bring us the answer, I know.

frogger-3_lrIn memorial to Frogger, we made a donation to Fish Feel, a small 501c3 organization dedicated to promoting the recognition of fish as sentient beings deserving of respect and protection. Despite fish constituting the largest category of animals used for food (including as farmed animal feed), and despite huge numbers of fish harmed for research, “sport,” and aquaria, their well-being receives very little attention, even from the animal protection community. After all these years with Frogger, I have no doubt she was a sentient being.

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It was our privilege to be her guardians.

Hatched… unknown. Joined our family April 2009; died September 5, 2016.

We will miss you, sweet Frogger!

Frogger

Getting Some Ink

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We love famous vegans. We’ve met a few over the years… Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Gene Baur, Dr. Neal Barnard, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. They’re kind of a big deal.

But maybe, just maybe, we can share in that spotlight for a minute. It’s our 15 seconds of shared fame.

See, we produce events for Baltimore Vegan Drinks. Back in February, we co-produced a Vegan Mac and Cheese Smackdown with the rock stars over at PEP Foods. We all agreed it would be a super fundraiser for PEP Foods and just a fun good time – who doesn’t love mac and cheese? Well, more than 1000 people came. Baltimore really showed up. It was amazing.

And then, the Washington Post used it as the lede for a huge article on vegan mac. DAMN! The story started on the front of the food section and jumped twice. It was a LOT of ink committed to vegan mac and cheese.

Vegan Mac ArticleIn addition to using quotes from Rissa (aka the Bohemian Girl), they also interviewed our friend Brenda from PEP Foods, as well as famed vegan author and Food Network winner, Chef Chloe Coscarelli in New York City, and the owners of Annie’s Organics. How did I land with all these folks? For real???

WashPostArticle2_lrAnyhow, check out the link to the article here. There are four vegan mac and cheese recipes, as well as the prose section by reporter Kristen Hartke. We love the article’s angle on vegan food, and plan to try all the mac recipes over the next few weeks.

Wonder how Isa Chandra or Gene Baur felt the first time they were quoted in a major international newspaper? Seeing how they’re both big vegan celebs now, I’m sure it’s just another day. Everyone has the FIRST time though… for us, this was the first time the Washington Post called to talk about vegan food. Here’s hoping they call again!

 

Growth

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Writing recipes and posts for this blog is incredibly enjoyable. We love being here for our followers and readers, and when we see GOOD NEWS, like the stats that we had 15,000 visitors last year, we’re just delighted!

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While many of you don’t comment or leave us notes, we’re tickled that you’re out there in the world (mostly USA, Canada and England) and stopping by our little swath of the internet. We hope you visit often and we are open to messages from you!

In 2014, according to WordPress, most visitors came to us from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr, as well as directly typing in the web address. Considering we don’t have accounts for this blog on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or Tumblr, we want to thank whoever is out there tweeting, pinning and posting about us!! We appreciate you!

Our most popular post in 2014 was the Lemon Pepper Beyond Meat Sandwich with Herb Mayo.

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It was closely followed by another Beyond Meat recipe, 5-Way Cincinnati  Chili.

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Two oldies but goodies are still getting mad hits, too…

The Beginner’s Tofu Brownies, a recipe we highlighted from the Washington Post in May 2012 ~

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And Banana Bread Pudding, from West Philly Vegan’s blog, highlighted in our post from July 2012.

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We put up 120 posts in 2014 and we hope to do even better for you in 2015! So please keep sharing on social media, and we will keep giving you our best vegan  recipes, reviews and eco-products! This blog was started in 2011, and we hope year four is the best one yet!

Thanks for being part of the dirty hippie & bohemian girl!

Vote for the BEST vegan stuff!

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Now is the time to exercise your right to be heard ~ on the topic of general vegan awesomeness, that is. It’s the annual VegNews Veggie Awards and it’s your turn to make your opinion count for these small vegan businesses.

You can vote for best non-dairy milk, best chocolate bar, best vegan cheese, best vegan restaurant. Then there are fun categories like fave veg celebrity and best fake “meat” – can we suggest Beyond Meat for your vote? For some small businesses, like the vegan B&B category, these votes are a huge deal to the success of their business! Don’t forget our friends, recently profiled, at the Ginger Cat B&B in New York.

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As you cast your vote remember – any support you give to vegan businesses helps them grow. All small businesses struggle, so make your votes count and ask others to get online and rally behind all these companies by participating in the VegNews Veggie Awards 2014! Click over to VegNews here and get going!

 

The Numbers

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We recently got a fun note from WordPress, our host for this blog.

They told us that 10,000 of YOU visited US in 2013.

Those are the numbers. And we are humbled!

So thanks, and keep coming back! We love when folks stop by to visit. Feel free to leave a comment and let us know you were here, or “like” us on Facebook. We update regularly on FB with eco and vegan topics of all kinds.

Gracias!

No Miss Nails

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While browsing around on Vegan Essentials, I spotted No Miss nail polish. Though I’m far from a glamour girl, I do enjoy a nice mani-pedi. There’s just something about having finished tips and toes that makes me feel a little more put-together. 🙂 For some time, I already shopped for polishes with no animal ingredients/testing, and selected formaldehyde-free brands. But after looking into No Miss, I had to try it.

This Ft. Lauderdale, Florida-based company was founded to create cosmetics that don’t contain ingredients damaging to people or the environment. They are committed to developing non-chemical, non-cancerous product with no animal ingredients and no animal testing. Sounds great to me.

No Miss offers more than 150 shades, so there’s plenty to choose from. You can coordinate with every outfit – from goth to preppy to bridal to office-professional. For the young at heart, even glow-in-the-dark and glitter varieties are available! All polishes are formaldehyde-, toluene-, camphor- and phthalate-free. They dry fast, don’t chip and last like crazy. In fact, long after we had passed the “one week test” deadline, both I and my friend who tried the polish with me couldn’t believe how well the colors held up! We both used  No Miss Base Coat, followed by Hollywood Honey for me and Plant City Punch for her. The top was sealed with No Miss It’s Dry Fast-Dry Top Coat.

No Miss polishes are incredibly vivid and glossy. They contain UV inhibitors to protect your nails from the sun. Each polish is between $7 and $9, plus shipping. They’re also available at retailers, like Whole Foods and locally in Maryland at Roots Market. Oh – and be sure to pick up a bottle of No Miss’ vanilla-scented Almost Natural Polish Remover, which contains no acetone and no ethyl aceate. It isn’t stinky or as toxic as your usual commercial polish remover and works well to remove No Miss polishes – which don’t give up easily – they want to stay on your nails!

As an extra bonus, No Miss also makes eyeliner, mascara, dye-free eyeshadow, eye make-up remover, lip glosses and healing lip balms. Gorgeous!

We’re Yelping!

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It’s fun. It’s helpful. It’s like listening to a table full of opinionated friends bicker about whose mama makes the best cornbread. Yep – it’s Yelp.

We decided to step into the fray, since looking for vegan food online can be a maze – and Yelp can shed some light. The more vegans and vegetarians there are talking on Yelp, the more restaurant owners will hear our voices. And the more we can help other folks out there looking for good veggie eats.

It’s day one around here for our new page on Yelp

So give us a little time and we’ll keep telling you about the places we eat/have eaten. Feel free to do the same…