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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Vegan Skin Care Haul

Vegan skin care products might as well be nonexistent if you don't search extensively for them. One can't simply take a trip to their local drugstore and purchase a face wash that hasn't been tested on animals. It's even harder to find a skincare product that doesn't contain animal derived ingredients, such as glycerin. Go ahead, take a look at the face wash you're currently using. Glycerin is a main ingredient, isn't it? Yup, I'm not surprised.
Now since I essentially typed out a whole conversation with myself, let's get to the haul.

100% Pure Blood Orange Shower Gel
I found this gem in Ulta, which was super surprising since this is the only vegan brand in all of Ulta. This product leaves my skin feeling super soft and it doesn't irritate my skin in the slightest. And, most importantly, the blood orange smell is fantastic. The price was a little steep, but there isn't much of a market for vegan shower gel, so it will suit.

The Fanciful Fox Blemish Stick
I've been using this Blemish Stick for the past week, and let me tell you, it's cleared most of my problem spots within the first 3 days. LOVE this.

The Fanciful Fox Complexion Bar Soap
My skin can go from one extreme to another over night, especially now with the change of seasons. This soap is PERFECT for those days when my face decides it wants to be oily. I only used this soap twice since I got it, but I already absolutely love it. My face felt super clean after washing and my pores looked remarkably clean. The smell is a little bit more on the natural side, but it's kind of growing on me.
Ps this product doubles as an antibacterial soup which is something I haven't had in my skin care regimen since before I turned vegan. Really happy about that.

JustTheGoods Face Wash
After searching far and wide through Etsy, I came across this brand and I am so glad I did. This face wash does exactly what it's supposed to do; wash my face. I've only used it two times since I got it (two days ago) and I'm already very happy with it.

JustTheGoods Acne Prone Skin Moisturizer
This moisturizer is my absolute favorite moisturizer at the moment. I love the scent and it leaves my face super soft. It's also supposed to help with acne so I can't complain.

About the Brands
100% Pure
Unlike the other two brands mentioned in this haul, 100% Pure isn't handmade. It is, however, 100% pure, natural, and most products are vegan (the others vegetarian).

For more information, visit the 100% Pure website by clicking HERE

The Fanciful Fox
The Fanciful Fox is a mother daughter team who create handmade vegan and cruelty free goodies out of Brooklyn.

For more information, visit The Fanciful Fox website by clicking HERE

As you can see on the little card that came in the mail with my products, Just the Goods is handmade and all natural out of Winnipeg. This brand is also a part of The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

For more informartion, visit JustTheGoods website by clicking HERE

About my Skin
My skin is every skin type bundled into one confused and sensitive face. I have very dry skin after washing my face, despite the fact that I nearly drown myself in all the water I drink in a day. I also have very oily skin towards the end of the day. I have a few breakouts every now and again, nothing extraordinary. My skin is super, super sensitive. I have some spots near my eyes that sometimes break out in eczema, so I can't experiment with harsh products at all. Using all natural and vegan products was probably the best thing I could have done for my skin, as the eczema has vanished and my breakouts have subsided.

xo, Sarah Holt

This post was not sponsored. All the above opinions are my own.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Autumn To-Do List

This time each year, I make spectacular plans for festive autumn activities and without fail, every year, I do absolutely nothing. The fall season just goes by entirely too fast and before I know it, I'm eating Christmas dinner. A few minutes ago I thought, "hey, why not put my to-do list in writing, that means I have to do it, right?". Well that's the idea at least. I will follow through this year.

Here is a list of all the fun and autumn-y activities I will complete before December 21st.

1. Pick Pumpkins
Pumpkin picking is most definitely my favorite thing about the autumn season, that is, when I actually get out of my house and do it.
2. Carve Pumpkins
Carving pumpkins is right up there with picking the pumpkins. I just love everything about pumpkins.
3. Feed Apples to Horses
Now, this may seem like a very specific and not really fall-like activity, but to me, autumn is all about horses gallivanting around their little horse farms and eating apples. Also, I've always wanted to feed an apple to a horse, so it's on the list.
4. Jump in a Leaf Pile
Jumping in a huge pile of leaves was an autumn necessity growing up and I want to relive the spectacularness as a 19 (almost 20) year old.
5. Do Something Spectacular on October 5th
This year, on the 5th of October, I will be turning 20. Crazy, I know. I need to think of something extraordinary to do as a celebration of my 20 years on this planet. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to share in the comments... please.
6. Bake a Vegan Pie
Last year, I attempted to make a vegan pumpkin pie and it turned out to be a complete and total failure. This year, I want to make the best vegan pumpkin pie there is (which won't happen, but wishful thinking, right?)
7. Drink Vegan Hot Chocolate
Vegan hot chocolate is something I've been struggling to find for a while. This year, I need to find the perfect cup of hot chocolate. I need to.

And that's all I have for right now. If any of you have something extremely spectacular I absolutely need to do this fall season, please please please let me know.

xo, Sarah Holt

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Changes and Other Thoughts

When I first created this blog (about a year ago) the main objective was to conquer my ongoing anxiety by submerging myself into something that wouldn't make me over think. A few months after my blog got a little bit of a following (I'm talking 100 readers), in good ol' Sarah fashion, I started to get worked up about missing scheduled uploads or not including the best quality of photos. Well, about 5 minutes ago, I finally gained awareness of all my stress and worry. I allowed myself to take a step back and really think about what I find to be important. 

I realized:
1. I love writing, although I'm not very good at it.
2. I love getting feedback from the lovely people who read my blog.
3. I love getting excited about something and thinking, "I want to write about this for my blog!"
4. I hate stressing over missed uploads.
5. I hate thinking, "well this could be an okay post, but my readers would like to read about it"

And all those realizations poured out about 10 minutes ago now.

I want to write about the things I like to write about, and that could change over time. 
Right now, I like pastel things and thrift shopping and do it yourself projects and clean eating and vegan makeup/haircare and lots of other things I can't really think of on the spot.

From this point on, I won't have scheduled uploading days or a specific topic to cover on that day. I will, however, try to get two posts up per week. 

Going back to the very first day of writing on this blog, my motto was, "experiencing more, worrying less". The motto is now back and apparent and the theme is more relevant than ever. I'm ridding my self of the worry and stuffing myself with the experience.

That's all I have for you guys today... an internal conversation I had with myself and typed out for your reading pleasure.

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xo, Sarah Holt

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Philadelphia | Adventure of the Day

A few weeks ago, I spent the day in historic Philadelphia, the birthplace of electricity and independence. Below are a few highlights.

My mom, sister, and I first ventured over to the Wells Fargo Center for a glimpse of the second day of the NHL draft. I got a little artsy with this shot.

We then drove into central Philadelphia. Below is a picture of Philly's massive City Hall with a tiny William Penn on top.

We then stopped for a bite at HipCityVeg which is an amazing little vegan restaurant (A+ rating from me) You probably recognize the green lemonade from my last blog post. It was just so amazing, you'll be seeing lots more of the green beauty in posts to come. Speaking of posts to come, a blog post all about this gem of a restaurant will be up shortly.

We then spent a few more hours just walking around and hanging out.

Philly is definitely one of my favorite places to visit.
What city do you love visiting?

xo, Sarah Holt

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

May Favorites

It's that time of the month again. It's May Favorites time! What "time of the month" were you thinking?!?
This month I've been trying to get out more, and I'd say my efforts were successful. I volunteered a bunch, went to parks, the zoo, and the beach. That's an insanely busy month for me. In the midst of all the excitement, I managed to obsess over lots and lots of things. Here's my favorites from the month of May.
PS, I didn't take enough pictures this month for a Monthly Snippets post. Ooops.

Real Techniques Brushes
I dabbled in the world of makeup brushes and absolutely fell in love with the Real Techniques brushes. I have the Expert Face Brush and the Blush Brush and I absolutely love them. I may have a whole post dedicated to these brushes coming soon. Don't hold me to that. But maybe.

(I found it extremely difficult to capture the beauty of these brushes in a photo so I'll leave you here with the link to the Real Techniques website so you can take a look at the professionally photographed photos) 

Brown Sandals
I picked up these bad boys at a Ross a little over a month ago. AND I LOVE THEM. I'm not familiar with the brand, but they're Sbicca. I've wanted brown sandals for a while and these are exactly what I've been searching for. I didn't even tell you the best part... they were only $10. What. I love them, I love them, I love them.

 I was never the type of person who thought differently of someone based on their looks, and after reading this, I think it's safe to say I never will. Wonder is in the point of view of August, a fifth grade boy born with a cleft palate and other facial deformities. I know what you're thinking, "a fifth grader?", but yes, a fifth grader. This book is technically classified as a "children's novel", but I think everyone, whether you're 21 or 84, can learn something from this book. Kleenex Warning: I cried a lot while reading this. 

(I borrowed the book from someone and forgot to take a picture before returning it. Again, ooops)

Rita's Water Ice
I'm not entirely sure where exactly throughout the country Rita's Water Ice is located, but here in New Jersey, there's one on every corner. Nicely weathered days aren't officially nice until you take a trip to Rita's. I recently tried the Alex's Lemonade Water Ice and it was amazing. I love lemonade and I love water ice and I love charities. Rita's combined all three of those things into one delicious frozen dessert and I love them for that.

The Beach
The beach is a majestic place. I think that's all I really have to say about that.

Samika Vlogs
I've been watching lots of YouTube lately. Well, okay, I always watch lots of YouTube. Recently, I stumbled upon Samika Vlogs and I am super glad I did. Sam and Jennika (Samika... get it??!!) are a young married couple who graduated from college and moved into a new apartment last month. They are also expecting a baby really, really soon. On top of all that, they vlog their life daily. I'm not entirely sure how they manage all of that. I have a hard time posting two blog posts a week on here, I can't imagine uploading a video everyday. 

Glass Posse
Sam's sister, Kristy, makes up 1/5 of The Glass Posse. The rest of the posse consists of Kristy's husband, Jason, and their three daughters, Pheobe, Lolly, and Pickle (don't worry, they didn't name their daughter Pickle. They use fake names). Kristy vlogs her typical daily life, living in New York City.
PS, I still really want to try the seaweed. I haven't found any in stores yet, but I'm still looking.

And those are my favorites from May! Not a whole lot of tangible objects this month... I guess that's a good thing. Not buying into the whole consumerism thing and all.

xo, Sarah Holt

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Friday, May 30, 2014

Vegan Chewing Gum?

Vegan gum is something I've recently discovered. But does that mean regular gum isn't vegan? Believe it or not, the gum you're chomping on right now probably isn't even vegetarian.
Most chewing gums, like Trident, have an ingredient called Glycerol. Glycerol is essentially animal fat. There are some vegan sources of glycerol, which is called vegetable glycerol. The animal derived glycerol can be found in cosmetics, soaps, toothpastes, ointments, medicines, and brake fluids along with chewing gum. (what?!? BRAKE FLUID? That surprised me, as well)

After discovering the un-vegan-ness of chewing gum, my first instinct was to find a vegan alternative. I stumbled upon Pur Gum and immediately ordered it. To my suprirse, this vegan gum turned out to be more flavorful than most non-vegan gums. Granted, the flavor doesn't last nearly as long as, say, Extra, but it does the job well.

Pur Gum is aspartame free, gluten free, vegan, nut free, diabetic friendly, Swiss made, and non GMO.

What is aspartame? Aspartame is a low calorie sweetener. It has been debated whether or not this sugar substitute is, in fact, harmful to humans. In my opinion, I'd rather not consume a sweetener that some scientist claim to be "the most dangerous substance for consumption". Thumbs up to Pur Gum for being aspartame free!

Find out more over at pur-gum.com

xo, Sarah Holt

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

300 Followers Update

Somehow, this very blog has managed to reach 300 followers. This may not seem like a huge milestone to most of you reading this, but 300 real-life human beings reading my poorly typed words is a massive deal for me. I am extremely excited and unimaginably appreciative of every single person who takes the time to read the posts I type up while lying in bed at 3 in the morning.
Lately, my sole focus hasn't been on this blog. I've been somewhat busy, but more so lazy. Believe me, I have about 50 drafted posts just waiting to be published. I could make up a list of reasons as to why I haven't posted anything in the past week, but I'd rather focus on what I want to do in the future with this blog.
As you all know, I have a vegan diet. If you didn't know, well then you probably haven't been here too long. In that case, welcome to my blog! My name is Sarah and I like to talk about vegetables.
As I was saying, vegan diets. Somehow, unintentionally, this blog turned into a space on the internet where I like to write about my experiences in the small world of dairy- and meat-free topics. This blog also allows me to be as crafty as my little heart desires, which is amazing. I'm honestly just trying to write useful posts while having fun along the way.
I am now dedicated, more than ever, to putting my all into creating posts you can all learn a thing or two from.

Lastly, I want to let you guys in on a few of my favorite blogs who deserve 300 more readers.
In no specific order, here are 3 of my favorite blogs:

Little Green Sofie
If you like smoothies, you'll love Sofie. She comes up with the most amazing smoothie recipes that are super easy to make. She also posts lovely "Cheerful Sunday" posts which I look forward to reading every Sunday.

Maeva types out all of her posts in English and in French, which I think is truly impressive. She deserves all the followers for that alone.

M + K
These bloggers are twin sisters, which I find super cool for some reason. They both have extremely cool style and I love reading their thoughts and ramblings on fashion.

I want to read each and every one of your blogs, so comment a link and I'll check them out!

xo, Sarah Holt

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Adventure of the Day | Mother's Day

This is the first of (hopefully) many posts titled "Adventure of the Day". I'm trying to experience as much as I can. The ultimate plan is to have these posts motivate me, and maybe even motivate you guys reading this, to get out there and experience more. Now, back to the Mother's Day Adventure.

For us Americans, Mother's Day was yesterday (May 11th). The following pictures are bits from the day.

I made my mom a card out of watercolors. I also made her a picture book titled How to be the World's Best Mom. Lastly, I framed pictures of my brother, sister, and myself from over the years.

We got my Grandmom a bunch of goodies.

One of those goodies included a personalized Yankee Candle!

My mom, my sister, me, and my grandmom

We then spent the rest of the day at the beach.

I just want to remind everyone reading this to love and appreciate your mothers. They gave birth to you, it's the least you can do. And even if they didn't birth you, moms everywhere are incredible human beings who deserve the recognition. Tell your mom you love her everyday, not just on Mother's Day. 
She deserves it.

xo, Sarah Holt

Monday, May 5, 2014

Vegan Raspberry Frozen Yogurt | Recipe

Before converting to a vegan diet, I was never really a big fan of "fro-yo". I actually I hated it. For some reason, now that I can't have frozen yogurt, I desperately crave it. I recently came across dairy-free yogurt in the organic/vegan section of my local grocery store and decided to give it a freeze in an attempt to make my own vegan fro-yo, and I must say, it wasn't half bad. It was actually really, really good. It may be my new favorite snack. I loved it so much, I wanted to share the recipe with my lovely internet friends.

What You'll Need:
Vegan Vanilla Yogurt

What You'll Need To Do:
Chop up the raspberries by hand or in a blender
(I used my NutriBullet)
Chunky to smooth ratio is up to you, I prefer mine on the chunkier side
Add the yogurt to the berry mixture and blend
At this point, the yogurt and raspberry mixture is edible and absolutely amazing. You can stop here and have an incredible fruit and vegan yogurt blend, but it tastes even tastier frozen
Freeze the blended yogurt and berries for a minimum of 3-5 hours
Annnnnnnd you're done!

This is the perfect snack for spring and summer nights.
I will definitely be making this fro-yo recipe throughout the warm months. Probably even the cold months too, it's that good.

xo, Sarah Holt

Friday, May 2, 2014

April Snippets

Before you all say, "hey! Where's your April Favorites?!?!", I can explain. I decided to create a new "series" on my blog called Monthly Snippets in the place of the previous, unoriginal, Monthly Favorites. In these new Monthly Snippets posts, you'll be able to see a bunch of pictures that I've taken throughout the month. Sweet and Simple. Here are my snippets of April.

My dogs got haircuts and I took an excessive amount of pictures to document the adorableness 

(unintentional beach haircut photoshoot)

My brother, grandmom, sister, and myself

My brother's hockey practice

A few watercolors I painted throughout April

Lastly, I received an award and a few other goodies for volunteering at an elementary school!

Not amazing beyond amazing, but those were my snippets of April!

xo, Sarah Holt

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Monday, April 21, 2014

DIY Earth Day Terrarium

In the spirit of Earth Day, there are lots of fun things we can all do to help make our environment just a tad bit greener. Want to bring the green indoors? Terrariums are essentially miniature ecosystems we can witness right under our noses. 

Terrariums are super easy to make and even easier to maintain.

What You'll Need:
Any Size Glass Jar/Bowl
Potting Soil
Activated Charcoal (also known as activated carbon)
River Rocks
Terrarium Plants

Helpful Tips: 
I was able to find both the river rocks and the activated charcoal in the fish section of Walmart. 
I was able to find the glass jars at my local thrift store.

What You'll Need To Do:
Fill bowl/jar about an inch thick with river rocks
Pour a thin layer of activated charcoal over the rocks

Fill the rest of the bowl with soil (leaving about an inch or more of the jar unfilled)

Insert the plants sporadically throughout jar

And that's it! 

In order to keep these beautiful creations beautiful, occasional waterings are necessary. Depending on the plants, a minimum of 4 hours of light is also necessary. Other than that, terrariums pretty much take care of themselves.

These Earth Day Terrariums make the perfect center piece, desk ornament, science project, and all around cool looking plant. 

Fun fact: terrariums not only look super cool, but they also purify the air which make them AMAZING for people like me who have allergies.

xo, Sarah Holt

Monday, April 14, 2014

Too Much Information | Tag

I really liked a few of these questions in this tag which is why I ended up answering all fifty questions. Let me tell you, answering fifty questions about yourself is a major commitment. If you read this post all the way through, you're a saint.
1. What are you wearing? A t-shirt and leggings
2. Ever been in love? I've fallen in love with every animal I've ever met
3. Ever had a terrible breakup? I've had my heart broken by every animal I've ever walked away from
4. How tall are you? 5'1"
5. How much do you weigh? I only know this because I recently had a checkup at the doctors, I honestly never weigh myself. I weigh 98 lbs (take my height into consideration here)
6. Any tattoos? No
7. Any piercings? General ear stuff
8. OTP? Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters
9. Favorite Show? I honestly don't watch much tv, but I have been watching Chrisley Knows Best and it's amazing
10. Favorite bands? The Beatles, Nirvana, the 1975, Haim, Queen... I could go on and on. 
11. Something you miss? Ignorance
12. Favorite song? Eleanor Rigby
13. How old are you? 19 but I get mistaken for a 12 year old daily:(
14. Zodiac sign? Libra
15. Quality you look for in a partner? He would have to laugh at my jokes
16. Favorite Quote? "Whatever you are, be a good one" quoted from good ol' Abraham Lincoln
17. Favorite actor? I like almost every comedic actor
18. Favorite color? Every shade of blue
19. Loud music or soft? Depends on my mood, but a majority of the time I prefer soft music
20. Where do you go when you’re sad? My room
21. How long does it take you to shower? I could shower all day long
22. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? About 15 minutes
23. Ever been in a physical fight? I once punched my brother because he told me to, not out of anger or anything
24. Turn on? Sense of humor
25. Turn off? Mean people in general
26. The reason you created your blog? I always say "boredom", but really, I wanted to become more social. I waited until I got out of high school to create my blog because I didn't want the acknowledgment from people I may know, whether it was good or bad. As of right now, I really don't care what those people think because I really love creating posts.
27. Fears? I have a fear of everything. Bridges were always a big fear of mine, but I've gradually gotten over that one.
28. Last thing that made you cry? I think about a lot of things and I usually end up crying when I write in my journal. That sounds really pathetic but I have a lot of anxiety or "stress" as people like to call it.
29. Last time you said you loved someone? I tell my family I love them everyday. I tell my dogs I love them 1,000,000 times a day.
30. Meaning behind your blog's name? I used xosarahholt for all my online names so it just stuck
31. Last book you read? The Fault in Our Stars and it is the best book ever written
32. The book you’re currently reading? I started reading Looking for Alaska before I read TFiOS, but I'm currently still halfway through. I had to take a break because I couldn't read behind all the tears. I haven't started back up since.
33. Last show you watched? I'm currently watching Doc McStuffins. I keep Disney on when I'm alone in my room and I also happen to really like this show. Don't judge. 
34. Last person you talked to? My brother
35. The relationship between you and the person you last texted? It was from my sister and she's my sister
36. Favorite food? Vegan Mac and Cheese or the vegan Cookies and Cream cake I got from Whole Foods. Let's say both.
37. Place you want to visit? Anywhere with a view
38. Last place you were? I went walking through a park this morning
39. Do you have a crush? I have a new crush everyday

40. Last time you kissed someone? I kissed my dogs this morning
41. Last time you were insulted? I get insulted over everything. I can't remember what I got upset over last.
42. Favorite flavor of sweet? Root beer flavored lollipops are the absolute best
43. What instruments do you play? I used to play piano. I took lessons and everything.
44. Favorite piece of jewelry? A turquoise ring my Grandmom gave me. It's really the only piece of jewelry I ever wear.
45. Last sport you played? I walk almost everyday, but that's not really a sport. I used to play soccer when I was 8.
46. Last song you sang? Do you want to build a snowmaaaaan?
47. Favourite chat up line? Hello
48. Have you ever used it? I use it waaay too often, it's like a common greeting or something.
49. Last time you hung out with anyone? I can't even think of the last time I've hung out with a friend. I went shopping with my Mom and Grandmom yesterday, does that count?
50. Who should answer these questions next? Anyone who made it through all fifty of these questions.
xo, Sarah Holt
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

VEGAN Chik'n Tenders | Review

There's a vegan substitute for almost everything meat related nowadays. Having a yummy spaghetti dinner but missing the meatballs? Vegans can enjoy the Italian dish, too. Craving a cheese burger but can't experience the majesticness because of your vegan diet? There's a wide selection of vegan cheese and vegan burgers out there. All you have to do is take a quick trip to your local grocery store's freezer section. How simple is that?

Gardein is a vegan and vegetarian frozen, fast food brand. They're dedicated to "creating healthier versions of the food people love to eat". I discovered Gradien's products a few months ago while looking through the freezer section of my local grocery store. I was shocked to find vegan products that actually taste really, really good. Gardein has a product called 7 Grain Crispy Tenders. If any of you have ever tried Trader Joe's Meatless Chik'n Tenders, Gardein's Crispy Tenders are equally amazing, but much more accessible.

You can find the Nutrition Facts on this product by clicking HERE!

Making these Crispy Tenders is super easy and super quick. Most frozen foods claim to be "crispy", but never actually turn out crispy. Well, my friends, Gardein defies the laws of freezer food by actually living up to their written expectations. Every product I've tried so far, including the 7 Grain Crispy Tenders, turned out AMAZING and crispy and not soggy, which is amazing.

I recommend Gardein's 7 Grain Crispy Tenders to vegans, healthy eaters, and anyone who's a fan of real chicken tenders. Here's a little fun fact for you all. My brother, a non-vegan, LOVES Gardein's 7 Grain Crispy Tenders. He often eats the whole bag, without my consent. I mean it's fine, I appreciate him eating healthy. That just means, in my house, these things go quick.

I give Gardein's 7 Grain Crispy Tenders 5/5 love hearts!!

Thinking of giving a vegan lifestyle a try? Gardein has this really cool thing called Meatless Mondays. Click HERE for more information. I actually learned a few things, too.

xo, Sarah Holt

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