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Friday, February 28, 2014

February Favorites

February has been an interesting month, to say the least. Here's a nifty little post on all the things I've managed to fall in love with, in the course of a whopping 28 days.

Rimmel's Extra Wow Lash Mascara
I wrote a review on this mascara and why I'm completely obsessed with it. That's how much I love it. Rimmel is also a brand against Animal Cruelty which gives this product a huge thumbs up from me. Check out my Rimmel's Extra Wow Lash Review post for more details.

The Vamps
After discovering 5 Seconds of Summer, I promised myself I wouldn't obsess over another boy band. I broke that promise the moment I laid eyes on Bradley Simpson. Scratch that, the band as a whole is pretty good at looking good. Their music is great, too. I got carried away talking about their looks, sorry.

Super Awesome Notebook 
I bought this super awesome notebook from Marshalls which is perfect, because I've been coming up with a bunch of super awesome ideas for blog posts. In the photo below, you will notice the notebook is accompanied by my favorite magic wand pen (which is also super awesome).

Vegan Cuts February Snack Box
I could list every single item I received in the Vegan Cuts Snack Box as a favorite this month, which is why I vaguely added the entire box to the list. Take a look at my Vegan Cuts February Snack Box Review post to find out why I love it so.

My Bed
I've spent more time in my bed throughout the month of February than I've ever before. Laziness may be to blame, but I don't mind. I just love my bed so much.

February hasn't been filled with excitement, as you can tell. I'll try to be a bit more interesting throughout March. I promise. Maybe. Or I'll stay in bed again. Yeah.

xo, Sarah Holt

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Vegan Cuts Snack Box | Review

Vegan Cuts is a lovely company founded by a lovely vegan couple, John and Jill, whose goal is to "live a life of abundance while making choices that show compassion towards all living creatures". They have this wonderful thing called the Vegan Cuts Snack Box. When I stumbled upon this beauty, I couldn't give up the opportunity to receive a box filled with snacks I can actually eat every month for only $20.

Check out the Vegan Cuts website by clicking HERE for more information!

I ordered the February box and below are the wondrous contents.

I was very surprised and pleased with the amount of goodies when I first opened the box. Granted, it didn't magically open looking as photo-ready as pictured above, but that's how it went down in my mind. It felt like Christmas.

This was my first time trying the traditional guayusa tea by Runa and I fell in love! Although I couldn't try the cinnamon-lemongrass tea, being I'm allergic to cinnamon, I gave it to my sister and she fell in love with it. I don't normally drink any type of caffeine, but I allow the occasional tea here and there. This tea is totally worth it.

I think that's all I have to say in order for my fellow vegan readers to understand how much of a delicacy this is. This bar is tasty and amazing and chocolate. I LOVE IT. I need to stock my pantry with this little gem.

Lots of brands sell these chips, and they're amazing, but I would buy this brand and this brand only solely based on it's packaging. It's supposed to look like newspaper articles and I love it. 

First of all, the packaging? Adorable. The contents? Amazing. Vegan/gluten free strawberry macaroons. Amazing. Incredible. Love it.

I love the concept of this nutritional shake. I'm always looking for nutrient-rich breakfast shakes and this one is definitely something I'll be buying in bulk. Love the vanilla flavor.

My jaw dropped when I first saw this beautiful bag of vegan cheddar flavored kettle chips. I thought my days of cheddar chips were no more, but I was wrong. Thank you so much, Vegan Cuts, for including this fabulous bag. I am proud to admit, I finished this bag within two days of receiving them. A+

This is a "food bar" that is cherry flavored with almonds, quinoa, chia, and millet. I absolutely love the taste. The cherry flavor doesn't taste like artificial cherry and I love that. It's soft and delicious. I'm really not great at coming up with descriptive adjectives so lets stick with amazing.
This brand, Two Degrees, does this really cool thing. When you buy something, they give a meal to a hungry child. I think that's absolutely amazing and even more of a reason to try these delicious bars.

This teeny chocolate is AMAZING. It's a heart shaped cherry truffle and I love it. It has a cherry flavor, but not super strong like most cherry flavored chocolates. This was definitely one of my favorites out of the whole box.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Nakd Berry Delight bar. I'm not really a fan of this bar. It's not horrible, but I just can't decide whether or not I like it. Very odd. But nice? I'm not sure.
Can you tell I hate making slightly negative comments? 

I am so glad I ordered this box, although I was a bit hesitant at first. I love everything I received this month. I give the Vegan Cuts February Snack Box 5/5 stars. For a lack of better adjectives, it is simply amazing.

xo, Sarah Holt

PS this post was not a sponsored post. I absolutely love Vegan Cuts. This review was so amazing because I think Vegan Cuts is amazing.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Vegan Asian Lettuce Wrap | Recipe

This wrap was inspired by the delicious masterpiece that is PF Chang's Lettuce Wrap. I absolutely LOVE their lettuce wrap which is why I had to come up with a vegan rendition. This recipe consists of vegan substitutes, but you can always replace the "fake meat" with whatever tickles your fancy. 

This recipe serves about 4 dishes

(The inside bits)

What You'll Need:
1 cup Brown Rice, cooked
2 cups Fake Meat (I used Boca Ground Crumbles)
1/2 Onion, minced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Rice Vinegar
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
1 tablespoon Peanut Butter
1/2 tablespoon Water
2 teaspoons Hot Sauce
1/2 cup Carrots, shredded
1/2 of a 8 oz. can of Sliced Water Chestnuts, drained and chopped
1/4 cup Peanuts, chopped

What You'll Need To Do:
Heat "meat", onions, and garlic on skillet
Add salt and pepper to taste
In a separate bowl, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, peanut butter, water, and hot sauce
Remove "meat" mixture from heat
Mix together the "meat" mixture, liquid combo, carrots, water chestnuts, peanuts and brown rice in a bowl 

(The juicy bit)

What You'll Need:
1/4 cup Vegan Cane Sugar
1/2 cup Water
2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
2 tablespoons Ketchup
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1/8 teaspoon Sesame Oil
Dash of Hot Sauce

What You'll Need To Do:
Combine all the above ingredients together in a bowl
Depending on your taste buds, add as much hot sauce as your little heart desires

(The fun bit)

What You'll Need:
Head of Iceberg Lettuce

What You'll Need To Do:
Peal off individual layers of lettuce
Wash lettuce
Dry Lettuce
Use lettuce as wrap and fill with mixture
Drizzle on the special sauce
Wrap it up

You just made a 4 star restaurant's most famous dish in the comfort of your own kitchen!

Also, had to include a picture of me MASTERING the chop sticks at PF Changs. That is all.

xo, Sarah Holt

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Almond Butter | Review

Peanut butter is a pantry staple. Everyone knows it's true. Peanut butter is a simple and quick, protein-filled addition for breakfast, lunch, and even dinner.
In the healthy food world, this little gem known as almond butter surfaced quite recently. It's essentially the same exact concept as peanut butter, but with almonds.

There is only one ingredient in Trader Joe's Almond Butter and that's dry roasted almonds.
 So why is almond butter a whole lot healthier for you than peanut butter? Let's hash this out.

Almond Butter vs. Peanut Butter

Almond butter is a great alternative for people with peanuts allergies.
Almond butter has more fiber, potassium, manganese, iron and calcium than peanut butter.
Almond butter has about half the saturated fat as peanut butter, although almond butter has a higher total fat content (but it's healthy fat).

Almonds are not legumes, which means almond butter is not rich in protein, unlike peanut butter which is super rich in protein.
Almond butter is a whole lot more expansive than peanut butter i.e. $2 for a jar of peanut butter vs. $8 for the same size jar of almond butter.

Ways to Eat Almond Butter

Almond butter and jelly sandwiches
Spread on toast/bread
Banana sandwiches
Almond butter and banana sandwiches
Spread on pancakes/waffles/crepes
Spread on celery sticks
Sandwiched inside Oreos
Spread on apples

This list can go on and on. Almond butter can be eaten in all the same ways as peanut butter, but you'd consume healthier benefits from almond butter.

As you can tell, the only down side to almond butter is the cost. It is a bit expensive, but I'd say it's worth it. Sometimes I prefer the taste of almonds over peanuts, so it's a nice change. I give almond butter 4/5 stars, deducting one star because of the cost and the lack of protein. Other than that, amazing and delicious.

xo, Sarah Holt

Some people say they like peanut butter on pickles. Have you ever tried that combination? Would you try it with almond butter?

Monday, February 17, 2014

What's In My Bag? | Tag

I know you're all just dying to know... What does a 19 year old girl keep in her bag? Well you no longer have to wait in suspense for the riveting answer. Here it is. The very exciting, What's In My Bag tag.

This may come as a complete surprise to you all, but I don't go out in public very often. I do, however, keep a not-so-organized purse handy in the rare case I do ever leave the house. I didn't get a chance to look through my bag before diving straight into this post, so this should be fun!

I got this bag at Forever 21 back in October. I checked their website to see if they still had it so I could link it, but unfortunately I couldn't find it. Forever 21 always has really cute, inexpensive bags similar to this one anyway, so you'd probably have lots of luck finding a similar one. (I love Forever 21 so much. I want to swim in sea of clothes in their warehouse. I LOVE IT) 
This bag is faux leather with gold hardware. I usually don't go for the bags with gold anything, but this shade of gold is very subtle and I actually really like it.

As you can tell, there is no organization method I follow. I have a really hard time keeping things in the right compartments. I'm not sure why.

4 pens because 5 would be silly.
Gum wrappers and an old grocery list.
Sticky notes and a hair tie.
My DS plus it's games (idk)
Airheads from Halloween... I probably shouldn't admit that.
A phone case because I never really commit to a case. I just like my phone naked sometimes, okay?
Headphones. I never typed out the word headphones and now that I think of it, that word is really strange. It doesn't even sound like a real word. Phones for your head? What? Or earphones. Weird as well.
Compact kitty mirror from Forever 21.
Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Cream aka Miracle Cream.
Loose change because I never have time to unzip my wallet. 
Wallet (finally, some normalcy).

If I were going out, I'd keep my phone in my bag. I would also have my house keys mixed in with the mess, but I currently have no clue where I last put them. I should probably look for them. 

I tag anyone and everyone reading this to make a What's In My Bag? post!

xo, Sarah Holt

Friday, February 14, 2014

Lazy Day/Night-In Routine + Banana Oatmeal Recipe

Today being Valentine's Day, I took it as the perfect opportunity to show you guys how I'm celebrating the love-filled day with this Lazy Day/Night In Routine post. This is typically how I spend most of my weekends, when I plan on staying in all day. Thankfully, most of my days do consist of me actually getting out of bed and leaving the house at least once.

I usually sleep-in on lazy days.
When I finally wake up, I like to change out of my pajamas so my day can be a bit productive. Despite the logic there, I stayed in my pajamas all day (I wasn't expecting productivity anyway).
Slippers are a must.
Slippers- Target
Pajama Bottoms- Target
Fluffy Robe- Marshalls
I then like to wash my face and do other hygienic morning things at this time (brush teeth, hair, gargle, etc.).
I follow up with a few hours of watching Youtube videos, or Netflix. Maybe spend a few more hours on Tumblr, if I'm feeling ambitious, depends on the mood.

Awwe, Tumblr! I was planning on it.
Really weird fact... I love the Tinker Bell movies. So that's what takes up most of my Netflix's life. Tinker Bell. Didn't realize how lame that sounded until I typed it out.

This usually takes up most of the daylight hours.

The meals I eat on lazy days are nowhere near planned. I eat whatever I have in the fridge/cupboard. This is when buying healthy snack food comes in handy. Today, I decided to make myself Banana Oatmeal, since time was on my side.

Banana Oatmeal Recipe
Serving Size: 2

What You'll Need:
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup oats (I used quick cooking oats)
1 banana, sliced
1 tbsp. chia seeds
Dash of brown sugar

What You'll Need To Do:
Combine water and almond milk in pot and bring to a boil

Lower heat to a simmer and add in oats

Add banana chunks (the banana serves as a very healthy sweetener)

Mix in chia seeds (for protein, fiber, antioxidants, calcium and omega-3)

Let simmer for about 5-8 minutes (if using quick oats) until water/milk is absorbed

Remove from heat

Sprinkle brown sugar on top

Let cool and enjoy!

Night Time:
A night-in, to me, consists of relaxation and even more relaxation. You can achieve this by taking a bubble bath (aromatherapy can do wonders), read a book or whatever else sets your muscles at ease. Showers relax me 98% more than baths, so your relaxation method is completely up to you.
After my shower, I like to wear a face mask. Face masks allow my face to relieve tension and I absolutely love the feeling of the muscles in my face relieving all the built up pressure.

This brand, Freeman Feeling Beautiful, is cruelty free

While my face mask is drying, I like to paint my nails. Since it's Valentine's Day, I decided to go with a pink nail color. I used e.l.f. in the color Flirty Fuchsia.

E.L.F. is also a cruelty free brand

I then light a few candles for about an hour before I fall asleep. It is very very important not to fall asleep with candles lit. We don't want a relaxed filled day to turn into a stressed and flamed filled night.

The combination of Fluffy Towels and Pink Sand creates a medley of beautifulness. My nose is very happy with me when I burn these two candles together.

How do you spend you lazy days/nights-in? Comment down below!

xo, Sarah Holt