Wine Not? | Knit Cardigan + Tee + Ripped Jeans + Ankle Boots

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Hey there! Last week was spent up in Northern California for a retreat. As I recently mentioned, I started working for a farmed animal sanctuary campaign back in September. Our entire team works remotely though so it was super fun to meet everyone in person - and of course, to spend time with the 500 rescued animals! We were even able to help out with their annual Thank the Turkeys event (see a video of the cuteness here). I feel so fortunate to be able to do what I love (advocating for animals and sharing the benefits of veganism) every day. There is nothing else I can imagine myself doing for a living. It feels like exactly where I'm supposed to be, and I am so grateful to have ended up here.

Chunky gray knit cardigan (also seen herehere & here): Target
[similar - only $30]

Burgundy and white striped t-shirt (also seen here): Old Navy
[similar - on sale!]

Light wash ripped skinny jeans (also seen here, here & here): Target

Cognac belt (also seen here, here & here): Gap

Nude ankle boots with cutouts (also seen here & here): Target
[similar - under $40]

14K gold "A" initial necklace (also seen here, here & here): c/o Sivado Studio - 15% off!

Gold bracelets (also seen here, here & here): Madewell via Shopbop and c/o oNecklace

Today's outfit post is similar to what I'll most likely be wearing for Thanksgiving next week. Matt and I are as casual as they come (especially since moving to Southern California) so this is about as dressed up as it'll get for our holiday at home. What do you typically do (and wear) for Tofurky Day?

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Simple Ways to Live a Little More Vegan

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

November is World Vegan Month! If you're new here, and somehow couldn't already tell, I'm a vegan. (You didn't think you could meet a veg head and not know about it in the first two minutes, right? Kidding, kidding! That's a false stereotype 😉) I am a lifelong animal lover but it wasn't until I was a teenager that I realized loving all animals means including animals that were farmed for my food; thus, I became a vegetarian at 14 years old. I made the connection my freshman year of high school when I did a research project on animal rights. Said research led me to countless gruesome images of slaughterhouses, factory farms, and labs that conducted vivisection. I went vegetarian overnight, never looked back -- and vowed to "one day go vegan." You see, I made the excuse that since I lived in Small Town, Ohio there was no feasible way for me to cut out dairy and eggs. Well, I continued lying to myself about it throughout college. And then through the early years of my adult life. And then fast forward 14 more years since I first stopped eating meat, and after a handful of half-assed, failed attempts at trying out plant-based living, I finally fully committed to the lifestyle at age 27. I share this story because it just goes to show that every single vegan has their own journey, whether they were born and raised plant-based (I have personally never met anyone who belongs in that category, however) or tried 400 times and finally on attempt #401, it finally stuck. We all get here on our own timelines and with the method that works best for you. Now, I'm not going to lie to you - if you are reading this, YES, I do want you to stop eating meat, dairy, and eggs, wearing animal skins as fabrics, and to switch over to cruelty-free brands of your favorite cosmetics, cleaning supplies, etc. But I do also understand that hearing all of that can seem way overwhelming to commit to all at once and to quit cold tofurky (that's a classic vegan joke there for ya) overnight. That's why I continue to share ongoing simple ideas for you to add a little more veg and a lot less cruelty to your day-to-day life (read the first set of easy tips here).

Start with one step you can take right now

Pledge to yourself that, for example, every breakfast you consume will be vegan. Or that you'll only get the plant-based option when dining out, no matter where you go. Or that you will watch one animal welfare documentary a month. These can really add up to big changes over time.

Purchase vegan treats for your pets

Every single veg product you buy to replace your typical meat/eggs/dairy makes a difference, no matter how seemingly small it may be. Your companion animals need their fruits and veggies too, so why not make their tasty treats plant-based? The two favorites in our household are V-dog and Zuke's.

Take your friends to a vegan place the next time you go out

You're probably (re: hopefully) already cutting down your own meat consumption and eating Beyond Burgers when you can find them at the store, but why stop with yourself? Invite all of your loved ones to join you in your journey to a plant-based lifestyle. The next time you're meeting for lunch suggest the local vegan spot so they can also see how delicious the food tastes too!

Follow all of the farm animal protection groups on social media

Ready to really learn about the harsh realities of factory farming? Follow all the top farmed animal advocacy groups such as The Humane League, Animal Equality, Mercy For Animals, etc. They frequently post undercover footage that makes it impossible to want to continue to support these industries with your hard-earned money. (Hey, it worked for me! Forcing myself to watch an undercover video from MFA is what finally made it truly stick. You never know what'll be your final straw!)

Share the knowledge you discover

So you took the step to educate yourself about the realities of factory farming? Bravo! Now go one step farther and share what you learned. It can be as simple as hitting "Share" on a Facebook post from one of the orgs listed above, or you can write a personal blurb about where you are currently in your journey to cutting out animal products and why people should join you. You never know who you'll impact. (Pretty much every time I post something vegan-related, I have a slight twinge of "Oh my gosh, am I going to offend/annoy/frighten people?!" only to then be sent a message from someone I never expected to hear from asking for advice. It's so motivating to keep going despite our innate fears of other's personal opinions!)

- - - - -

What steps are you taking towards a cruelty-free lifestyle? If you're already vegan, what are your top tips?

- - - - -

Well, I hope you found that helpful! I am headed up to Northern California for the next few days for our work retreat. I'm so excited to hang out with the team and the rescued farm animals!

Lastly - but equally as important! - since today is Election Day, please don't forget to get out and VOTE. ** If you're in California, make to vote YES on Prop 12! **

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Autumn Attire | Cardigan + Tank + Skinny Jeans + Ankle Boots

Friday, October 26, 2018

Happy Friday! We made it. What are you up to these next two glorious days? This weekend involves fitting in some more fall fun for us (and my mama's birthday -- Happy B-day, Mom!). My friend and I are hitting up another pumpkin patch today before coming back here to carve them by a fire in our backyard, cider in hand of course. On Sunday we are headed up to Orange County for the day to go to Knott's Berry Farm. I've never been before but I love me some roller coasters! And then somehow next week it's already Halloween, quickly followed by the election (make sure you're registered to vote at, please!), and then I head up to Northern California for a retreat at the farm animal sanctuary I started working for recently! Autumn really is shaping up to, once again, be the best time of the year 😊

Navy open-front knit cardigan (also seen here, here & here): Gap

Gray floral print tank top (also seen here): Old Navy

Light wash ripped skinny jeans (also seen here, here & here): Target
[similar - on sale!]

Nude studded ankle boots (also seen here, here & here): Old Navy
[similar - under $40]

14k gold triangle necklace: c/o Sivado Studio - currently 25% off!

Gold bracelet (also seen here, here & here): Target

Cognac belt (also seen here, here & here): Gap

What are you wearing for Halloween? We don't have any plans for the holiday this year so I don't have a costume planned, unfortunately. I'll most likely be sportin' my favorite jogger sweatpants and an oversized tee, as I watch The Office and Parks & Recreation Halloween episode reruns. 👻

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Neutral Parties | Military Jacket + Raw Hem Jeans + Ankle Boots

Friday, October 19, 2018

Hello! How has your fall bucket list been going? This past weekend Matt and I took a day trip to Julian (just like the latest LunaVida post suggested 💁). It was super busy so we didn't stick around the actual town for very long. (Long enough to grab some pumpkin butter and vegan apple pie though. Obviously.) We decided instead to take a drive through the woodsy areas and happened upon a pumpkin patch. Like, a legitimate pumpkin patch that you walked through the fields to pick your favorite! It was exactly what I needed after what had been a pretty stressful week. High praises to serene autumn activities that can always save the day!

Olive green military jacket (also seen here, here & here): Old Navy
[similar - under $40!]

Black tank top: Old Navy
[similar - 30% off right now]

Raw hem high-waisted skinny jeans (also seen here): J.Crew
[similar - on sale!]

Nude ankle boots with cutouts (also seen here): Target
[similar - currently BOGO 50% off boots]

Urban Expressions nude crossbody bag: DSW

Gold discs necklace: c/o Happiness Boutique

24K gold "A" initial bar necklace (also seen here, here & here): c/o oNecklace

What have you been up to so far this October? We still have quite a few fall fun items to check off our list which makes me so happy. This really is the best season (and the clothes are for real the cutest too 😉).

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Fun Fall Things to Do in San Diego

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Raise your hand if you love to do all the fall things every October and November? 🙋 After discussing how this season always seems to get away from us each year, a friend of mine (hi, Kristen!) had the genius idea to create a spreadsheet and Google Calendar of all the fall activities we planned to do, and - here's the kicker - actually go out and do them. I know. It's a wild notion to make a plan and then stick to it but we're gonna try our damnedest! A little over a week in, and so far, so good. We've watched a scary film, we've hiked, we've art festival-ed, we've volunteered for the midterm elections (speaking of, make sure you're registered to vote here and then GO VOTE!), and we have plans for outdoor Nightmare Before Christmas-watching this weekend. We are really taking autumn by the reigns this year! Thankfully SoCal has plenty to offer us fall lovers so I thought if you're local, this list we've created may also be of benefit to you. Hope to see you out and about in this beautiful city of ours!

Hit up movies on the lawn

San Diego has some of the best year-round weather known to humankind. It may not be chilly during the days here just yet but at night the temps drop. It's a perfect opportunity to grab a warm drink, a blanket, and catch a free Halloween-themed movie at the park!

Get your #basic on and visit a pumpkin patch

Of course. This is a necessity no matter where you live. Here is a list of local SD County spots! 

Take a day trip to Knott's Berry Farm

We are headed up there at the end of this month in time for their Halloween festivities. They offer family-friendly fun during the day and spooky stuff after sunset, so there's something for everyone!

Check out Balboa Park's Haunted Trail

Honestly, I've never personally been to this before because no one I know here likes haunted houses... 😐 But I hear it is v terrifying. And I wish I could go. (Take me with you?) **Another honorable mention is The Haunted Hotel which is located downtown in the Gaslamp District. It claims to be "ranked #1 Scariest Haunt in America... and is the longest running haunted house in San Diego." (!!!)

Go on a ghost tour

San Diego has some very famous haunted spots. If you're feeling brave and looking for some paranormal activity, schedule a walking tour!

Head to Belmont Park for their Boomont & Fall Fest

Looking for something less scary and a little more family-friendly? Head to the beach to check out Belmont Park's free entertainment and festive activities. (Why not get on some rides while you're there too?)

Take a scenic drive to go apple-picking in Julian

I've discussed my love of this tiny town before (read about it here). Somehow though, I've never gone to an orchard there - and they're famous for apples! This is a must do this autumn.

- - - - -

What fall festivities are you most excited about this season? Or do you plan to cozy up at home with blankets, movies, and tea? The beautiful thing about this time of year is that all of those options are equally as appealing 🍃🍁🍂

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Cheetah Girl | Twist Back Top + High-Waisted Jeans + Flats

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Hey there! Who was terrified of high-waisted denim (AKA "mom jeans") when we first started seeing them a couple years ago? 🙋 I will admit I was pretty uneasy with this particular trend. Then I saw these J.Crew skinny jeans on sale this summer and couldn't resist trying them. Thankfully my (very heroic) risk paid off because I'm a convert now! (I, too, am shocked to be saying that.) There's just something irresistible about the distressing, raw hems, and most importantly, that extra pseudo length they give one's legs. Plus it's nice being able to bend over and not have to do the plumber's crack hand cover. (You know exactly what I'm talking about.)

Black long sleeve twist-back top: J.Crew - on sale for under $20!

Distressed hem high waisted skinny jeans: J.Crew
[similar - currently 40% off!]

Leopard print d'Orsay flats (also seen here, here & here): American Eagle

Layered gold necklaces (also seen here, here & here): c/o Happiness Boutique and c/o oNecklace

Gold bracelets (also seen here, here & here): Target and Madewell via Shopbop

Splendid LA reversible vegan leather tote bag: Shopbop (This faux leather is so good)

Gold aviator sunglasses: Old Navy - on sale for $8!

What's a trend of which you were once afraid? Did you open your mind to it eventually or are you still not willing to budge? I get it either way. I used to be scared of maxi dresses but then saw the light. Something I could never get behind though is those huge rubbery platform sandals that came back from the 90s for a bit. If it's not a member of the Spice Girls wearing them, I'm sorry but it just can't be pulled off. 🙅

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