THINGS I like THURSDAY!

The Nest Magazine – For those of you still in mourning over the death of the long-gone Budget Living magazine and the more recently, hard to comprehend demise of Domino magazine (R.I.P. forever!), be sure to seek out The Nest. Okay, it’s a younger sister to The Knot wedding magazine, and if there’s anything can be called a flaw, it’s that The Nest assumes you are fresh in the beginnings of a heterosexual marriage… BUT. It’s full of tips about home decor and design (everything, even the stuff that’s not my particular taste, is still NICE), easy but impressive recipes (not all vegan, of course, but there are ways to veganize most things!), and a general cheeriness targeted and hip, young people. But not in a pretentious way. It’s filling the void that has been left for a wonderful, creative lifestyle magazine since many are sinking due to the rise of, uh… internet blogs. Ahem.

Colleen / Vegan Treats Hook-up – Upon picking up some  extra work at my old bookstore job (health insurance for only $14/week!), I met my new pal Colleen. We realized that our circles of friends from years past were, in fact, the same circles, and we have likely met 8 years ago and just don’t recall. Anyhow, aside from the fact that she’s a clever graphic designer and a smart, refreshingly spunky lady, her sister just got a job at VEGAN TREATS. That means Colleen is constantly hooked up with donuts, caramel walnut brownies, and goodies like this huge T-rex-sized coconut glazed treat. I feel like she’s a drug supplier, but the drugs are coated in pink sprinkles.

Onion Goggles – I was introduced to these when I was cooking with my client Christa. She looked around the room, tucked her hand into a kitchen drawer, and said with hesitance, “Don’t think I’m crazy… These look stupid but they really work….” and pulled out a pair of these bad boys. WOW. Revolutionary. They do make you look like a mad scientist crossed with a scuba diver, but I say EMBRACE it!!! I can’t wait to get a pair so I don’t run away from the food processor, mascara dripping and burning my eyeballs. Like, I just want to make some salsa, not impair my vision.

Bumble Bars – These were recently on sale at the health food store, so I picked up one in the chai flavor. I was expecting a hard, teeth-hurting bar akin to the honey and sesame seed candies usually found in bulk bins. But au contraire. Instead I got a soft, chewy and wonderfully delicious snack. And gluten-free, vegan and organic means food makes tasty treats for everybody! The chai flavor was awesome, as I’m sure you can imagine. Watch out for other flavors like lemon, cherry chocolate and pineapple coconut.

FREE TRIP TO FLORIDA! – No, I’m not kidding! My boyfriend went to a networking event for work and seriously won the GRAND PRIZE which is a trip to Florida!!! You know what this means? MERMAIDS. Weeki Wachee Springs, you are a beautiful place of nostalgic kitsch and I am going to sneak into the water, turn into a mermaid once and for all, then frolic with manatees and eat cabbages with them.  Oh my gosh.

I went here when I was about 10 years old, and it was a dreamland. I’m beyond excited that I get to go back. I can still recite the ENTIRE “Little Mermaid” show, word for word, because we bought the cassette tape and I played it over and over on the drive home (oh yes, drive – Florida to Pennsylvania, my friends). Sorry, Mom!  I’m going to absolutely freak out and hopefully make a little video of me having sea turtle induced heart attacks and trying on fins.

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