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Monday, March 31, 2014

March Favorites

Throughout the entire month of March, I've fallen completely head over heals in love with way too many inanimate objects. But hey, I'm a teenage girl, I'm allowed to get giddy over tiny things. Here are my March Favorites!!

e.l.f. Essential Lip Stain
This lip tint isn't a color I'd typically pick for myself, but I love it. It's essentially a marker you can use to draw on your lips. This product does tend to rub off with chapped lips, so I have to triple moisturize when I wear this which is sort of annoying. But I love the color. It only costs $2 and I bought it in the shade Nude Nectar.

Tangle Teezer
I recently purchased a tangle teezer after hearing rave reviews from multiple people. Let me tell you, the hype for this product is completely necessary and appropriate. This brush is magic. That's all there is to it.

Vegan Shamrock Shakes
Just looking at the pictures of the Vegan Shamrock Shakes I made earlier this month makes me crave mint and vanilla so much. Take a look at my Vegan Shamrock Shake Recipe if you haven't!

Frozen (the Movie + the Soundtrack)
Frozen has taken over my life. The soundtrack has been the only thing I listen to while in the car and I honestly memorized every part of the movie. It is literally taking over. Highly recommend the movie and the soundtrack to everyone. I will warn you, it does have a tendency to take complete control over your life. In the best way possible.

Band Tees
I am OBSESSED with these shirts I purchased from Forever 21 this month. I love Nirvana and The Beatles so much which makes me love these tees so much.

Margate T Bar Geek Shoes from Top Shop
These shoes are A M A Z I N G. I actually call them my "confidence shoes". They seriously give me confidence. My feet feel so snazzy and proper and amazing when I wear them. I also catch people looking at my feet all time when I wear these bad boys which is really weird but amazing.
You can find the shoes over at Top Shop by clicking HERE!

Bettie Jelly Heeled Sandals from Missguided
I guess you can say I went shoe crazy this month, but that's okay. These shoes are adorable and they are great for spring/summer because they're a sandal. I love them!
You can find these shoes over at Missguided by clicking HERE!

Doctors (and other medical people)
This month has been crazy. Not making any excuses for my lack of posts this month, but I've had more doctors appointments consecutively throughout the end of February and March than I've ever had. I just really appreciate doctors. They're pretty cool.

xo, Sarah Holt

Monday, March 24, 2014

DIY Mother's Day Mugs

Completely stuck on a creative and cute gift idea for your mom (or mum) this Mother's Day? Moms everywhere love homemade gifts. It's a scientific fact. These DIY Mother's Day Mugs are 100% customizable which make them the perfect Mother's Day gift.

Before we dive straight into this DIY, Mother's Day here in the United States isn't for a few more months. However, Mother's Day in the United Kingdom is in a few days which is why this post is so early (for us Americans, at least). I have another Mother's Day DIY gift idea post coming in May closer to Mother's Day in the US!

Now, here's how to make you're very own customized mugs!

What You'll Need:
White Ceramic Mug
Bake-On Ceramic Paint (acrylic paint + glossy coat is not permanent)
Black Sharpie or Sharpie Pen (colored Sharpies tend to change color when in the oven)
Various Paint Brushes
Stamps or Stencils (preferably stencils; it's really hard to stamp mugs)

What You'll Need To Do:
Clean off mug
Paint mug using stencils, stamps, or freehand (if using stamps, use the paint, not stamp ink)
Remember, your mom will appreciate the effort, no matter how sloppy the handwriting!!
Turn on oven to 360°F (180°C)
DO NOT PREHEAT (this can crack the mug)
Immediately after turning on, place mug in oven
Allow mug to bake for 30 minutes
After 30 minutes, let mug and oven cool down
Once cool, remove mug and you're done!

After baking, your mug is now microwave and dishwasher safe (only if you use ceramic paints or sharpies)

"Foxy Momma"

"♥ u"

"Owl Always Love You"

"Mummy Dearest"

Other Cute Sayings For Mother's Day Mugs:
"World's Greatest Mom"
"#1 Mom"
"I love you to the moon and back" w/ painted moon and stars
"You're purrrrfect" w/ painted cats
"You're Cool"

No matter your age, your mom will love this gift. Like I said before, moms love ANYTHING handmade.

xo, Sarah Holt

Monday, March 17, 2014

Vegan Shamrock Shake | Recipe

Having a vegan diet during holiday months can be difficult and daunting. This recipe is to make the hardship that is St. Patrick's day a bit better. McDonald's famous Shamrock Shake was by far my favorite part of the Irish holiday. I honestly looked forward to it every year until I realized, this year I can't taste the glory that is a milkshake made up of mainly green dye.... but there is a vegan substitute for everything nowadays. Here's how to make your own Vegan Shamrock Shake.

(Serves 3-4)
What You'll Need:
1+1/4 cups Almond Milk
2 cups Vanilla Vegan Ice Cream
1/4 tsp Mint Extract (Not peppermint)
Green Food Coloring
Maraschino Cherries
Vegan Whipped Cream
Sprinkles and other festive things are AMAZING, but completely optional

What You'll Need To Do:
Blend together the almond milk (I used Silk), vanilla vegan ice cream (I used Rice Dream), mint extract, and a few drops of green food coloring.
Once it's all blended, pour in a festive glass (or not festive, I'm not judging your holiday spirit).
Top it off with some vegan whipped cream (I used Soyatoo!), a yummy cherry, and other festive goodies!
AND YOU'RE DONE! It's that easy.

Not typically healthy, but we're allowed to indulge on the holidays, right?

xo, Sarah Holt

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Skeptic's Guide to Vegetarianism + My Vegetarian/Vegan Story

If you've had an internal debate deciding whether or not vegetarianism is the right choice for your lifestyle, this is the post where I try to win you over. No, I'm not linking you to the horrifyingly gruesome videos of chickens and cows being tortured. I haven't eaten meat for over 5 years, and not once have I watched a single "vegetarian propaganda" video.

What is vegetarianism?
Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat. Those meats can include, red meat, poultry, seafood, or any other animal that was living at one time. Now there's some people out there who call themselves vegetarians, but still eat fish. Those people would be called pescetarians.
There are different variations of the way people practice vegetarianism. There are ovo-vegetarians who eat eggs, but no other dairy products. There are lacto-vegetarians who eat dairy products, but not eggs. And finally, there are ovo-lacto vegetarians who do not eat eggs or dairy products.
(I thank my 10th grade Nutrition teacher for my extensive knowledge on vegetarians)

What is veganism?
Veganism is essentially just vegetarianism kicked up a notch. Vegans do not eat any animal products, may that be meat, eggs, dairy or honey. Vegans also refrain from buying manufactured animal products, like leather. This also includes the consumption of normal things like granulated sugar, baking soda (which you wouldn't consume on it's own, I hope), or the use of a majority of all makeup brands like Cover Girl. "But why", you may ask. Most granulated sugars contain bone char (disgusting, I know), while a majority of baking sodas are tested on animals along with a majority of makeup brands, such as Cover Girl.

Converting over to vegetarianism/veganism may seem super difficult, but not when you have your trusty friend the internet on your side! There are loads of people out there who share yummy recipes, cool vegan products, and other animal friendly items. I have a post on my blog listing all the makeup brands I've found to be against animal-cruelty in my Vegan Makeup Bag post!

My Vegetarian/Vegan Story
Originally, I became a vegetarian for the sake of animals. I have a personal reason as to why I stopped eating meat, but I'd rather keep that, well, personal. Basically, I just love animals. I love them too much to know that there are living, breathing creatures out there being killed for our dining pleasure. Once I realized humans can survive on a plant based diet, there wasn't really any other option for me. I wasn't eating meat anymore. Game over. That's all. I was a vegetarian. That was five years ago.
Last August, I decided by November 24 (the 5 year mark of being a vegetarian) I wanted to be a full-fledged vegan. I gave myself 3 months to slowly wean myself off cheese, milk, eggs, and other dairy products. I found that method to be very effective rather than cutting dairy out cold turkey (I realize the irony).
Now, 3 months later, I take vegan dietary supplements every day that have been approved by my doctor. I also make a conscious effort to eat mostly raw foods. That may seem undesirable, having to keep track of what you eat everyday, but I think that's something we forget when we eat meals out of cardboard boxes. Once you start looking at the ingredients in processed foods, you begin to realize how scary the things you're putting in your body really are. There's this thing called soy lecithin, which is essentially in all processed foods, that is super bad for you. Turning vegan allowed me to understand these little things that I wouldn't have even cared about otherwise.

Vegetarianism is a humane way to live your life, we all know that. Vegetarianism is also a very healthy way to life your life, if you do it right. I made a little list on all the benefits I've experienced after converting over to a vegetarian lifestyle.

The Humane Benefits
If you have any type of compassion towards animals, cutting out meat from your diet will seriously take a huge weight off your shoulders. I felt this sort of constant sigh of relief knowing I'm not causing any harm to any living creature out there. I think the humane benefits are a lot more rewarding than any other benefit I've received from vegetarianism/veganism.

The Health Benefits
When you do it right, a vegetarian diet can be AMAZING for your health. It's been said that eating less meat can help your heart and decrease your risk of cancer and other diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Some people cut out meat for the weight loss, but I haven't eaten meat since I was 14. If I weighed less than what I weighed at 14, I think that might be a problem. I think my diet now is 100% better than my diet 5 years ago. I understand what I'm putting in my body and I love that.

The Environmental Benefits
This wasn't something I found out until recently. Cutting out meat can help the environment. There's this thing called "greenhouse gas" which is basically what is said to cause global warming. Raising cattle for beef and milk spews a whole lot of greenhouse gases. I know, just one person cutting out meat won't help solve this gigantic problem, but it's a start.

The Lifestyle Benefits
Before I was a vegetarian, I thought nothing of eating at fast food restaurants. We all know fast food is bad for us, but we eat it anyway, right? Well I took away the option of eating at fast food restaurants the moment I became a vegetarian and I am so thankful for that. If I carried on eating at McDonalds as I was at 14, who knows how clogged my arteries would be by now! I care way too much about my body now to ever go back to a lifestyle that doesn't involve vegan substitutes.

Sorry for the wordy post if you're not into that type of thing. I've been debating whether or not I wanted to make a post in regards of my vegetarian story for a while now. I'm really pleased with what I've written and I hope I've got a few readers out there thinking of converting. It was the best decision I've ever made in my life.

xo, Sarah Holt

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Vegan Smart Nutritional Shake | Review

I received this little gem of a nutritional shake in my Vegan Cuts February Snack Box (check out my review on the entire box by clicking HERE). I thought it was a super cool product, which is why I wanted to write it it's very own review.

The instructions are as followed:

Directions (adults):
Mix 1 packet of VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake in 9 to 11 ounces of ice-cold water, juice or non-dairy beverage, shake well and enjoy.
VeganSmart is also a delicious, nutrient-supplementing addition to your favorite smoothie recipe- just blend and enjoy! Take one, or more servings daily for optimal health.

The benefits are amazing as well!

In one packet there's: (% daily value)
160 calories, 50% Protein, 24% Dietary Fiber, 50% vitamin A, 50% vitamin C, 150% vitamin D, 50% vitamin K, 50% Thiamin, 50%Riboflavin, 50% Niacin, 50% vitamin B6, 50% Folate, 150% vitamin B12, 50% Biotin, 50% Pantothenic Acid, 50% Iron

I blended the VeganSmart mix and almond milk together using my handy dandy Nutribullet (which I am in love with). 

The taste was super vanilla-y, but very powdery. I wasn't sure if it needed more almond milk, so I kept adding milk but the powdery taste wouldn't fade. I then decided to follow the second set of instructions and add a banana and a few blueberries.

The blueberries made ALL THE DIFFERENCE. I was on the fence about this nutritional shake up until I added the blueberries and banana. Blueberries and vanilla combined together tastes magical. It seriously tastes and looks amazing. 

I give the Vegan Smart Nutritional Shake 5/5 stars. I love this mix blended with blueberries. It's definitely my new favorite drink. I recommend this nutritional shake to vegans or anyone in need of a dietary supplement because this mix is fabulous. I LOVE IT.

xo, Sarah Holt

Monday, March 3, 2014

Closet Confidential | Tag

I originally came across this tag on Essie Button's Youtube channel. If you haven't heard of or seen any of Essie Button's videos/blog posts, I highly suggest you check her out. She's one of my favorite Youtubers/beauty bloggers. I'm pretty sure Fleur of Fleur DeForce was the mastermind who came up with this tag, so check her out her video too, if you haven't already.

What is the oldest item in your closet?
The oldest item in my closet isn't even remotely stylish. It's a very worn t-shirt I got in middle school with our school mascot on it. I got it over 6 years ago. Didn't do the math until I typed that. Crazy.

What is the newest item?
This fabulously AMAZING pair of Topshop shoes that are absolutely AMAZING. I love them so much and I never want to take them off my feet ever. (keep your eyes peeled for a cool spring haul featuring these beauties coming out some time this month!)

What is your most expensive item?
The Topshop shoes above. They were $64 and that's a lot for me. I really never spend much on clothes/shoes. Forever 21 is my all time favorite store, which says a lot about my typical price range. I did recently purchase two pairs of Levis and they were pretty expensive, but totally worth it.

What is the cheapest/most affordable item? (that you wear/use a lot!)
Half of my closet is Forever 21, so I'd like to say a majority of my wardrobe is pretty affordable. I can't remember how much it cost, but I definitely wear this denim shirt the most out of anything in my closet. I bought it from Forever 21 about 2 years ago when denim shirts weren't sold at every store everywhere. I think I may have even picked it up from the men's section of Forever 21, but I'm not entirely sure.

What was your biggest bargain?
I got this jacket from Forever 21, maybe 3 or 4 years ago, on sale for... wait for it... 5 dollars. What. This jacket became my favorite over time and I love it so much. So. Much.

What was your biggest waste of money?
I hate buying clothes that collect dust in my closet, but it happens a lot. I've gotten better at being super picky while looking at clothes on the rack. I look at the fabric quality, sleeves, buttons, shoulders, etc. to avoid wasting a single penny.
I was a big fan of Uggs, 6 or so years ago, and they weren't cheap. I had over 5 pairs. It was out of hand and the moment I became vegetarian I dropped that trend, if it was even ever a real trend. My mom now wears them all, so I guess they weren't a major waste of money.

Show us 3 favorite items right now!
This amazing Beatles shirt from Forever 21. I love it so much.

These canvas shoes from H&M. They are a definite staple. I wear either pair pretty much every day. I originally had a blue pair over 3 years ago that got extremely worn because, well, I wore them too much. I was able to find the same canvas shoes again recently in blue and grey and they'e amazing. I love them so much.

Lastly, a super plain and super boring grey v-neck shirt from Target. I throw this shirt on with a pair of jeans, and it's usually my favorite outfit.

EssieButton's Bonus Question:
What is an item you love but everyone else hates?
These dalmation footsie pajamas (or onesie, whatever your preference). I bought it without anyone knowing and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. The first time I wore them around the house, my entire family asked me why I was wearing a cow costume. I love the pajamas and I love dalmations so I don't care what anyone thinks.

If you managed to read this whole post, I tag you to make your own Closet Confidential post. Make sure you tell me if you do by commenting down below. I'd love to read about your favorite items and what not.

xo, Sarah Holt