Wish You Were Vegan | V-Neck Tee + Cropped Jeans + Sandals

Monday, June 18, 2018

Happy Monday! Today's OOTD may be the all-time simplest outfit ever featured on LunaVida. That's been my San Diego M.O. for the past nearly two years though. When we moved to Southern California, we'd heard it was super laid back here - and it turns out that description couldn't be any truer. The longer we are here, the more I find myself spending less and less time getting ready and more time in jeans, a t-shirt, and sandals. (The only reason my hair is even done in these photos is because the curls were leftover from family photos back in Ohio. If I'm being honest with you, a messy bun or braid are pretty much all my hair sees these days because I just really don't enjoy "doing" my hair if I don't have to 😬 Anyone else feel this way?)

"Wish you were vegan" black v-neck t-shirt: BEETxBEET - only $15!

Light wash cropped skinny jeans: Old Navy via my sister ;)
[similar - on sale!]

Black satin frayed crossband slide sandals (also seen here): Target

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

24K gold customized roman numeral bangle (also seen here, here & here): c/o oNecklace - 25% off!

Now that I'm thinking about it, does anyone actually like getting gussied up (yep... I just used that phrase) during the hot summertime months? Maybe that's why I've been especially unconcerned with hair and makeup as of late - because it just falls flat and melts off 😅

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Lined Up | Blouse + Ripped Jeans + Espadrille Wedges

Friday, June 8, 2018

Hey there! I'm currently in Ohio visiting my family. Whenever I'm back home, I always try to fit in all of my favorite Midwestern pastimes with my mom and sistas including but not limited to: a full day spent at Kings Island (it's an amusement park), roasting s'mores (vegan, obviously) over a backyard bonfire, trips to my favorite hometown park to skip rocks on the river while enjoying a shaved ice, and sitting outside at dusk listening to the crickets and searching for lightning bugs in the trees. That makes up the entirety of every childhood summer I ever had from about 8 - 18 years old. Growing up, I thought it was all so dang boring. Now that I'm an adult though, I can fully appreciate the fact that those sweet, simple memories are actually some of the all-time best. Thinking back on those times automatically makes me nostalgic and feel all warm and fuzzy. Long live Cincinnati summers 😌

Universal Thread red, white, and blue striped collared blouse: Target

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

Cognac ankle strap espadrille wedges (also seen here, here & here): Gap

14K gold X stud earrings (also seen here): c/o AUrate

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

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

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

Kinda off topic but also speaking of sweet summertime, how cute would this outfit be for the 4th of July (possibly with cutoffs rather than jeans though if it's super humid like it is here in Cinci)? Also, anytime I think of Independence Day my brain just runs straight to all the vegan hot dogs and burgers we get to eat... mmmmm.

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Tips for Transitioning From a Vegetarian to a Vegan Lifestyle

Monday, May 28, 2018

This may very well be one of my favorite blog posts I've had the pleasure of writing (which makes me wonder why I never thought of it prior to today?). It's said that you become an expert on a matter after doing it for 10,000 hours. Well, I can't claim to be an expert but I have most certainly spent more than 10,000 hours of my life telling myself it was time to go fully vegan from being a vegetarian. I've discussed it before but I went vegetarian when I was 14 years old. It then took me nearly 14 more years - and plenty of failed attempts over that decade-plus - to finally make the transition to veganism. Therefore, you can trust that I too know what it feels like to see the value of going plant-based but also not being quite sure how to make it work for you in the beginning. Scroll down to see a few of my tips for transitioning from a vegetarian to a vegan diet - and some of Matt's advice, too!

Find a way to veganize your favorite vegetarian products and recipes

There are so many awesome resources out there ranging from books to blog that can help. Do you love scrambled eggs? Try a tofu scramble for a healthier and cruelty-free version. (This one from Minimalist Baker is my all-time favorite! It's also my go-to food blog that I immediately visit every time I need a plant-based version of a recipe.) Love mayonnaise, ranch dressing, mac and cheese, and/or brownies, too? You're in luck then because there's a vegan brand out there that has already created it for you! (Some of my other personal favorites are Follow Your Heart, Chao, Violife, and so many others. These days there is a plant-based alternative for almost any food you can dream of, and Whole Foods carries tons of vegan brands if you don't know where to start!)

Stop worrying so much about the social aspects

One of the reasons excuses I always told myself was that it would be too difficult because societally veganism isn't totally understood by a lot of people. I was worried that I could never eat at a dinner party again (I've previously discussed this fear and the actual reality in this post) or that my family and friends would think I was "too radical." In my personal experience, I also stressed about just how many animal rights videos I could share on social media before people thought I had joined a cult. However, these videos are what made me finally commit to going vegan so I've since decided that I don't really mind if they throw some people off.  Because you know what I realized? If someone doesn't want to learn about the realities of factory farming, well then, they can just "mute" me or unfriend me. The others who force themselves to look at what's really happening are the ones who will hopefully be moved to change their lifestyles. Those are the same people who message me on Facebook or text me for advice on how to veganize their lives. They always remind me that sharing those uncomfortable posts, despite that a few people may silently judge me, is always worth spreading the knowledge because every time someone chooses not to eat meat for their next meal, an animal is saved and the amount of suffering is lessened. Those moments and people make me remember that I should stop worrying about temporarily upsetting my cousin twice removed with a video that shares the harsh reality of factory farming if it means innocent animals' lives could be spared.

Get involved somehow

It can be helpful to reach out to some local animal activist groups to get involved and meet like-minded people (many of whom are most likely plant-based and can physically be there to support you in your journey to veganism - and try out all the best restaurants together 😉). I actually did this the opposite way -- I went vegan which instilled the need to volunteer more for the cause, which then led to me becoming an activist and meeting other local activists who have now become friends. It's a great way to meet people and there is a group for whatever your views are on animal rights! Some ideas of possible organizations to check out are your local chapter of The Humane Society of the United StatesThe Humane League, Mercy For AnimalsAnonymous for the Voiceless, signature gathering/campaigning for pro-animal welfare ballot measures in your state, your local humane society, etc. Do some research and see which org's viewpoints best align with your own.

Watch the documentaries

If you ever feel yourself hardcore craving, flip on one of those Netflix documentaries to remind you why you wanted this change in the first place. Going vegan for the animals? Watch Earthlings. Care deeply for the environment? Check out Cowspiracy. Interested in the health benefits of being plant-based? What The Health is super informative. Need a movie rather than a doc? Okja is for you.

Work in phases if it helps you

Personally, the only way I could commit to going vegetarian and later vegan was to do so cold turkey (which is probably not that best phrase to use when speaking on this topic...). I recognize that most people I know who are veg did not do it this way though and that many people prefer to work in phases. What worked for Matt was first to stop buying animal products for our home, then he stopped eating it at family gatherings and restaurants, then when he felt comfortable, he full out stopped eating it anywhere, and finally, he stopped purchasing leather. This step-by-step method worked for him because he wasn't feeling pressured or overwhelmed by doing it all at once. You have to do whichever works best for you and will help you stick to your new lifestyle.

Don't beat yourself up if you slip up

"Progress not perfection" should be the newly plant-based person's motto. It's okay to not get it 100% correct every single time right off the bat. There will most likely be a time or two or three or ten when you quickly check a label or assume it's good to go (because why do you put dairy in so many unnecessary products, America?!) only to later rescan the ingredients list and see they snuck in something you didn't expect. It is OKAY. Don't fret or start to self-criticize. You did your best and had good intentions. Just use it as a lesson for the next time and soon enough you'll be the quickest list checker known to humankind 😏

- - - - -

Are you currently trying to lean into a more plant-based lifestyle or have you already transitioned to veganism? If so, what has worked best for you? Please share your tips, too!

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Florals For Spring... Groundbreaking | Off-The-Shoulder Maxi Dress + Denim Jacket

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Happy Wednesday! I just booked a trip home to see my family in Ohio for June which makes today a great day! Between multiple treks up to LA, a farm animal rescue fundraiser in Temecula (this off-the-shoulder floral dress in today's post is actually what I wore to that event), and various day trips around Southern California, it feels like I've barely been in La Jolla on the weekends for the past few months. I'm grateful though that I still get to experience a bit more of early summer in SoCal before I head to the Midwest for a week with mom, sistas, and nieces. Hooray for a new season and the opportunities that come along with it!

Dark wash denim jacket (also seen here, here & here): Kohl's

Floral print off-the-shoulder maxi dress (also seen here): c/o PinkBlush

LC Lauren Conrad brown cork sandals (also seen here, here & here): Kohl's

Brown skinny belt (also seen here & here): Forever 21

Raw ruby necklace (also seen here, here & here): LoveGemStudio

Gold half-moon necklace (also seen here & here): c/o Happiness Boutique

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

Urban Expressions vegan turquoise weaved crossbody bag (also seen here, here & here): DSW

What summer travel plans do you have coming up? I feel so lucky that I was finally able to find a cheap flight back east after weeks of searching because prices have been so high recently! I still have a few more upcoming trips I need to book but those summertime rates make my bank account so, so sad. Do you have any great websites I should check out?

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What I Love Most About Summer

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

I think we can all agree that today's blog post title is very fitting for a 4th-grade homework assignment. But ya know what? It's perfectly sunny and warm out today so I'm feelin' extra excited for the upcoming summer season. Thus, in the name of summer lovin', I'm sharing some of my favorite aspects of these fine months to come.

Black ruffled off-the-shoulder one-piece swimsuit: c/o PinkBlush
Who else is psyched that one-pieces are "back"? 🙋 My bathing suit collection has been steadily growing since moving to the beach and one-pieces have definitely come front and center. This one is so classic that it would also work as a bodysuit to go out in public in if you're into that sorta thing. Count me in!

Print shorts (also seen here and here): Forever 21

Wide-brimmed straw sun hat with black ribbon detail (also seen here, here & here): Target

- - - - -

1. Longer days for the win 🙌

I may be a night owl but that doesn't mean I can't obsess over the length of days. I am happiest when the sun is setting after 8 PM - it means more time for activities!!

2. Windows wide open every day and every night 💨

And I mean this both in the car and in the house! Something you may not know about Southern California is that a lot of places don't have central air conditioning. Case in point: our house. So come June, we've got all of our windows busted wide open with the ocean air surrounding us and it's my very favorite.

3. Trips to the beach, but of course 🐬

June means it's finally warm enough to go to the beach all the damn time. Although it's pretty much never warm enough to comfortably jump into the waters of the Pacific Ocean, summer is the one time of year that you can actually stick your feet in and be grateful for its coolness.

4. Is there a better time for trips than between June 21 through September 22? No, there is not. 🚗

I've got a long list of people and places I need to see. Thankfully summer is the perfect time to do so - including my sister and niece coming to see us and my best friend's bachelorette party and wedding!

5. The sounds that surround us 💞

Does anyone else ever miss the sounds of the soft wind and birds in the trees during the colder months? I know it's cheesy but I really do take notice when the noises come back when it starts to heat back up!

6. Outdoor events are king 🌴

Picnics, concerts, movies on the lawn, hikes, cookouts, farmers markets... they're all outside. They're all fun. They're all I wanna do.

7. The holidays are some of the very best of the year 💥

I mean, let's be honest, there are multiple long weekends which I think we can all agree automatically takes summer up a notch compared to other seasons. Plus, we get to grill out (veggie burgers and corn on the cob, of course) for Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, etc, etc, etc.

8. Dresses all day, every day 👗

There is nothing easier to wear than a sundress, in my humble opinion. They're comfortable and cute, and I will never get enough. Thanks to summer, we can wear them every dang day!

- - - - - 

What's your favorite part about summa, summa, summatime?

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Bow Out | Jacket + Tank Dress + Espadrille Slides

Monday, May 7, 2018

Happy Monday! We had the most beautiful spring weekend here in San Diego! It was pure perfection. Matt and I spent as many hours as we possibly could outdoors, enjoying the weather with the dogs. Yesterday really was my favorite type of day. We walked down to get coffee from one of our favorite local coffee shops and then headed up a hill to get a good view of the ocean. We happened upon a park and had the whole place to ourselves to just post up on a picnic table and take in the sights of our stunning city and coastline. We have lived here for over a year and a half now but we both have to pinch ourselves at least once a month that we actually ended up here. It's our own dream come true, and spring always reminds me even more so!

Tortoiseshell sunglasses (also seen herehere & here): Jeffrey Bay

Olive green cropped military jacket (also seen here, here & here): Forever 21

Gray tank dress: Old Navy
[similar - on sale!]

Not Rated blue bow slide flat espadrille sandals: Zappos

Gold half-moon necklace (also seen here): c/o Happiness Boutique

Wooden clutch (also seen here, here & here): c/o UncommonGoods
[similar - more than half off!]

Madewell gold circle ring (also seen here): Shopbop

Gold cuff bracelets (also seen here, here & here): Shopbop and c/o oNecklace - on sale!

14K gold X earrings: c/o AUrate New York
These new AUrate gold earrings are my absolute favorite staple accessory! I've been wearing them nearly every day since I got them. Another reason I love this brand aside from all of their gorgeous jewelry? They are ethically sourced, use real gold, made in NYC, and they give back to kids in need. Now that is my kind of company!

This is the first time I've worn a dress in a bit... and oh my gosh, my legs were PASTY. I decided it's officially time to start using sunless tanner for the first time in my life because I am not a fan of sunbathing and the skin damage that comes with it. Since I'm also not liking the translucent look on me, I feel like this is a solid compromise (with myself). I'm just hoping it doesn't come out orange and/or streaky. Wish me luck!

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PS: I also received this AUrate gold stackable ring that you will see in future posts. It's another piece that I can't stop wearing. And since it's so classic and sturdy, I plan to keep it in rotation for many, many years to come 😍
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