Vegan Dating: Thanksgiving Dinner

Vegan Thanksgiving

Written by the Donat a/k/a the Vegan Hubby

A brief guide for helping you survive a family Thanksgiving while maintaining your relationship with your vegan significant other.

So you’re dating a vegan. Life is tricky enough as is. And then Thanksgiving comes around just when you thought you were starting to get the hang of this vegan business. Sure hosting a vegan Thanksgiving is not too bad, but you and your significantly vegan other have been invited to a family Thanksgiving dinner and you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Your family will likely only have non-vegan food leaving your bf/gf hungry and cranky, which does not bode well for you. On the other hand, messing with your family’s traditional dishes will also likely irritate your already disapproving family; “Turkey isn’t even meat!” they will say. To survive this delicate situation, you will need to do some planning and prepping well ahead of time.

This should be no surprise that Thanksgiving is traditionally not a particularly vegan-friendly holiday with the table full of turkey, stuffing, gravy, buttered-up mashed potatoes, etc. If your family is anything like mine they go all out and make enough food for a small army, basically forcing people to take leftovers with them at the end of the night and removing their need to cook anything for the next week. However, more likely than not, there will be nothing vegan other than pickles and olives. A word from the wise: a typical vegan person will not be in the best mood when all they had to eat was pickles and olives while having to sit through the holiday with your family. This holiday can make or break your glorious relationship. Fear not though because there are a number of things that you can do to make it through this potentially rough evening.

Plan ahead and substitute: the burden falls on you to make sure you and your partner will have food at the table so plan ahead. Talk to you parents or host to let them know about the situation. Hopefully they are reasonable people and will help you out here. See what meals can be easily modified to be vegan such as gravy and mashed potatoes, there are dozens of great recipes online so just pick one. If the host insists on using butter, bring them a few sticks of Earth Balance vegan butter to use as a substitute. They will taste it, say it’s not bad, and then ask what it’s made out of (short answer: palm oil). My mom has this horrible aversion to the word margarine, which Earth Balance is not as there is no trans fat in it, so let them know that as well. She also kept asking me, “But is it healthy??” (short answer: “Is butter healthy?”). Unsweetened almond milk is a great substitute for any milk or cream that they use in recipes and nutritional yeast can be a great cheese imitator (and is also great for conversation). If the host wants to still have their traditional recipes, have them split the dishes in half so that one is the vegan version and one is not. It’s also fun to sometimes see the vegan version be the one to get eaten first, allowing you to gloat and grin a little. Continue Reading…

NaturaliDerm Organic Facial Moisturizer Review + Discount!

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When Wifey asked me to review a facial moisturizer, I was a little bit skeptical and hesitant to be testing it out. However, when I did swallow my pride and try the NaturaliDerm Organic Facial Moisturizer I was pleasantly surprised! It was completely different from any face lotion that I have ever seen or used before. I’ve actually been using it every night after showering since then. So let’s see the nice list of product features this lotion is able to sport:

Product Features:

  • Organic facial moisturizer
  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy
  • Contains antioxidants from Aloe, Shae butter and Witch Hazel
  • Unisex/neutral smell
  • Paraben free
  • No synthetic fragrance/color
  • Anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial
  • Quality ingredients
  • Smoothens skin
  • Made in the USA
  • 60 day no questions asked money back guarantee

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My Thoughts:

  • Love the ingredient list on this lotion, plus it’s organic! It has everything that it should have and nothing that it shouldn’t.
  • The bottle is small but it will last a long time! A tiny amount of the lotion is all that is needed to cover your entire face. The price is not cheap, but the quality shows.
  • The neutral smell means that I can use it too so it’s not just for women.
  • It is a great moisturizer, it is dense but light and leaves my skin feeling nice and smooth- not greasy. Continue Reading…

Citrus Lane Subscription Box for Baby Review – Newborn Box – October 2014

Citrus Lane Newborn Box October 2014

I enjoyed my Citrus Lane September Newborn Box so much that I extended my subscription for 6 months. Was it worth it? Check out the October box below and let me know what you think!

Included in the October 2014 Box:

  • Bake N Shake Donut Rattle from North American Bear Co.
  • Cage Bell from Hohner Kids
  • Where Do I Live Soft Book from Tiny Love
  • Calendula Baby Care from Weleda

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Bake N Shake Donut Rattle from North American Bear Co.:

Very cute and soft and machine washable (yay!). The rattle is a gentle sound and there is nothing sharp for a little one to hurt themselves on. Plus, a newborn chewing on a donut? Priceless.

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Cage Bell from Hohner Kids:

Be warned, the bell in this is very, very loud. I’m not a fan of plastic toys to begin with so I may donate this guy before hubby accidentally maliciously destroys it…

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Where Do I Live Soft Book from Tiny Love:

It’s never too early for your first book! I’m looking forward to using this with my little one during tummy time. There are lots of fabric flaps for little hands to grasp and the colors are bright and cheerful.

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Calendula Baby Care from Weleda:

While the size of this sample is a bit small, I do like Weleda products and will be happy to use this on our little one.

Overall Impression: 

I was very happy with this month’s box and am glad I resubscribed to Citrus Lane! Aside from the bell-that-hubby-hates, I will definitely use everything else in the box. If you want to subscribe and get your own boxes for little ones, click here and get 50% off your first month!*

What was your favorite item in the box? What do you think I’ll use most as a new mom?

 

(*I do get a referral reward from Citrus Lane if you join through my link. The discount is offered by Citrus Lane and may be stopped/changed without notice)

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Note: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for reading The Vegan Wifey and good luck in the sweepstakes!

BTipsy Professional Jumbo Lemon Squeezer Review & Giveaway!

BTipsy Lemon Squeezer

We had the pleasure of testing out the new BTipsy Professional Jumbo Lemon Squeezer generously provided to us by the manufacturer. I drink water with lemon or lime as my main beverage every day so anything that can help me conveniently squeeze those delicious citrus fruits has my heart from the start. This lemon squeezer comes with a simple design, simple directions and a very pleasant price tag. It’s definitely a great gadget to have around for anyone who likes to add citrus to their water, tea or mixed drinks.

Product Features:

  • Stainless steel design means that it is:
    • Dishwasher safe and easy to clean
    • Rust and peal free
    • Sturdy and will last for a long time
  • Comes with a 3 year risk-free warranty

Continue Reading…

Babies: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Belle and her Prince

Written by Donat a/k/a The Vegan Hubby

The sheer number of decisions that one has to make for our children is both astounding and fascinating to me. Before they are even born (or conceived even!) a hundred different decisions have already been decided about their future fate.

Driving back from one of our birth classes, wifey and I were discussing some of the things we part of the day’s workshop. We were talking about the pros and cons of yet another piece of the baby puzzle. It hit me at that moment just how many of these sorts of discussions we have already had and will continue to have in the near and distant future. These include everything from what vitamins to take before we even began trying, to the actual birth, to what we plan on doing after the baby is born.

Now I don’t mind these conversations, in fact I like them a lot. They provide tons of insight and clarity on how we both feel about different issues and we virtually always agree on what the “right” thing to do is. What really interests me is just how much of the baby’s life has already been decided without any input on their part. Obviously, he/she hasn’t even been born yet, he/she won’t even be able to talk for a while and certainly cannot make any informed decision for many years to come. It’s just that I never realized that (a) there were so many decisions to make and (b) that so many of them would have to be made far in advance. I think it might also be noted that we are probably not the typical expecting couple in the sense that we have thought about many things for a long time before getting pregnant, we’ve spent hours and hours researching information and we are probably a lot more proactive than most people. I am also quite all right with that considering the average couple in the U.S. is considerably overweight, malnourished and uninformed.

Deciding on what we believe to be the right thing is often an interesting process. Most of the time we make our decisions based on the conventional wisdom that is out thanks to reading up on articles, studies and books that are well respected (i.e. birth plan, diet, exercises). Sometimes we base our decisions on experiences we have personally already had (i.e. future schooling, raising, etc.). Other times we make them because despite what science or success stories have to say, we are just not doing it as it does not resonate with us at all (i.e. placenta consumption). This mix of intellect, experience and intuition just feels like the best way to go through everything in life, babies included. Continue Reading…

Frazoni Non-stick Silicone Baking Mat Review and Giveaway

Frazoni Baking Mat

During the holiday season, I do a lot of baking for gifts, parties, Tuesdays, etc. The downside to all this baking is a never ending pile of dishes to deal with. I especially hate scrubbing out greased pans so I was excited to try out the Frazoni Non-stick Silicone Baking Mat to avoid having to choose between greasing the cookie sheet or having to scrape a bit to get cookies off when I inevitably leave them on the sheet too long…

Product Features:

  • 11 1/32″ x 16 17/32″ (28x42cm)
  • Non-stick silicone baking mat
  • Can be used on a baking sheet or directly on the oven rack
  • Safe for use from -40°F to 480°F (-40°C to 250°C)
  • Baked goods slide off easily – no scraping needed
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Can be stored rolled up or flat
  • Used properly, Frazoni mats will last 2000+ uses!

My Review:

Cookies Slide Right Off - No Spatula Needed!

Cookies Slide Right Off – No Spatula Needed!

Continue Reading…

Vegan Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vegan Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are my go-to weekday cookies – quick, delicious, and reasonably nutritious. I make them so often I don’t think I have the recipe written down anywhere – it’s as much a part of my routine memory as how to fill the coffee maker (well, my non-pregnant routine) or make pasta marinara. Delicious straight out of the oven with an ice cold glass of almond milk or on their own – I dare you to have just one!

Ingredients:

1/2 c. Earth Balance or other vegan butter stick, softened

1/4 c. organic brown sugar

1/4 c. evaporated cane juice

1 t. arrowroot powder

1 T. water

1 t. vanilla

1/2 t. baking soda

1 c. + 2 T. white whole wheat flour

1/2 c. vegan chocolate bits

1/2 c. pecans, chopped (or walnuts, if desired)

Instructions:

Vegan Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Scooping the dough

Preheat oven to 375. Continue Reading…

Shandali Hot Yoga Towel Review!

Shandali Hot Yoga Towel

When Wifey told me that we were getting the chance to review the Shandali Hot Yoga towel, I was very excited! We do a weekly yoga session together on the weekends and I always use a small hand towel in order to get rid of any excess moisture or else I start slipping. Basically, as a guy, I don’t “glisten”, I sweat! So it seemed like a great idea to just have a full mat sized towel made just for that purpose. This weekend we gave this yoga towel its first test.

Product Features:

  • Lightweight, absorbent, quick-drying material
  • Full mat sized, so it covers the entire yoga mat
  • Made to prevent any slipping during the workout
  • Creates a hygienic layer between your skin and the mat
  • Machine washable and dryer safe
  • Soft, pleasant fabric
  • Lengthens the life of the yoga mat

Continue Reading…

Bluum Subscription Box Review – Second Trimester – October 2014

October 2014 Bluum Box

This month I decided to give Bluum box a try. Bluum sends goodies for mom and baby each month based on your child’s age and gender. My box is based on being in the second trimester and is gender neutral as we won’t know the sex of the baby until he/she is born in a few months.

Included in the October 2014 Box:

  1. Giggle Better Basics Striped Teething Tomato
  2. Loralin Design Baby Visitors Guest Book
  3. Healthy Mama Boost it Up! – Mighty Mango
  4. Jellystone Designs Organic Bangle – Eggplant

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1. Giggle Better Basics Striped Teething Tomato 
This is a cute 100% organic cotton teether. Bluum values it at $8, which is the MSRP but it’s only $4.99 on Giggle.com. I like that it’s organic and washable and the design is cute for a boy or girl.

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2. Loralin Design Baby Visitors Guest Book 
I never knew baby visiting guest books existed, but now that we have it, we will probably use to record first visitors and to give people something special to do when not holding the baby.  Bluum values it at $30. I never would have bought this on my own or requested on a registry but it could be fun to have and to look back on later.

October 2014 Bluum Box

3. Healthy Mama Boost it Up! – Mighty Mango

This item I did not like – it is not vegan and the ingredients are very sugar heavy. The first three ingredients are Filtered Water, Sugar, Whey Protein Isolate – not exactly a health drink. I had hubby bring this one into the office to give away and did not remember to take a picture first. Bluum values this at $3.49.

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4. Jellystone Designs Organic Bangle – Eggplant 
This a bangle bracelet made of silicone so that baby can teeth on it. It’s an interesting idea but I don’t think a teether would stay clean enough to go in baby’s mouth if you are wearing it all day. I would use as a teether or a bracelet but not both. Bluum values this at $15.

Bottom Line:

Bluum would make a fun gift but I will probably not continue subscribing on my own. Compared to Citrus Lane (which I did end up extending my subscription to) the items are a bit less practical for what I need right now as a first time mama. If you have the extra cash, it’s still a fun box.

What do you think of the Bluum box I received? Let me know in the comments!