sunny vegan » food, photography, and fun

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vegan and green living.

Let’s face it, being vegan is about much more than what we eat.

While some people may be following a vegan diet for health reasons, most vegan and vegetarians chose their lifestyle based on moral reasons. A life that follows  “the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals”. So you can see that this has SO much to do with our lives besides just what we eat. It extends to practically every aspect of our lives and choices we make every day.  It’s about what I wear, my makeup, where I shop, how I clean and companies I chose to support.
I am the first to admit that this can be overwhelming! How can I possibly know everything about EVERYTHING I use?
I can’t. Plain and simple, I do my absolute best to avoid anything containing or exploiting animals.

The one thing I have found to make my life much easier is to find companies that align with my vegan values and stick with them.

Seventh Generation is one of those companies. Since they were founded in 1988 they have never EVER tested on animals. In fact, that is one of their core commitments. They also do not use any animal ingredients in any of their products! So when I go to the store and see a Seventh Generation product, I know it fits in perfectly with my lifestyle.

Now that you know they are vegan approved and animal friendly, watch this video to see  how they can make your home and family safer too…


warm cranberry punch


warm cranberry holiday drink with orange and clove - thanksgiving and christmas

Do you sense a warming theme? Yes, it’s like 50 degrees here in San Diego, brrrrrr, so I need to keep warm with drinks like this cranberry orange punch. I have a thing for cranberries. The way they pop when you bite into them, the mostly sour yet sweet taste and that gorgeous red color! I do a little dance when I find that fresh cranberries are on the produce shelves every fall.
Not everyone likes cranberries as much as I do, I get that. But you will love this warm punch for the Holidays and as a great alternative to warm apple cider.  The whole house currently smells of wonderful fall comforts and this is one pretty drink that’s easy to make ahead and serve at you next fall or winter party.


Ingredients:       makes 3 servings, double for 6 servings

2 cups cranberry juice
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
2 thick slices orange studded with whole cloves


place all ingredients in large pan and simmer over low heat for one hour. strain if desired.
*alternate method: place all ingredients into crock pot and cook on low for 4 hours.


and a look at it in the pan, so pretty and made the house smell great!

warm cranberry punch with orange and cloves

November 16, 2012 - 2:25 pm

amy - this looks amazing! I must try this, we are always looking for warm drinks during the holidays. Thanks for linking up with us over at together in the kitchen!

amy from evy’s tree

November 17, 2012 - 9:42 am

Ashley - Yum! It looks so good AND beautiful. I’m glad I found your blog through the link up. Thanks for joining us 🙂

November 17, 2012 - 5:22 pm

The Domestic Fringe - Yum. This sounds delicious. I love warm drinks this time of the year.

why I love alphabet photography…


You know how you want to personalize your home? and you know how after awhile, everyone’s accessories start to look alike?
Well, Alphabet Photography is great because of how personal it really is.

Let me start with the ordering process. You go to their site Alphabet Photography then enter in the word or words you want. I chose our last name since I kinda like it- ha ha
Once you enter your word and view the photos, you may change each letter individually until you get the exact look you are going for! Yup, change every letter, as many times as you like, and then you can look at your frame options with your personalized artwork for a full preview. Let me just say the the gorgeous artwork I received looks just like my preview, but even better in person.  It also arrived safely packaged with tons of bubble wrap and wrapped in craft paper, very important when shipping framed artwork. The chocolate frame is gorgeous, the letters double matted and each photo would look great alone but are perfect together. Each piece is also signed by the artist which I adore.

The family loves how cool our name looks in custom letters. It truly personalizes our space with something you are not going to see anywhere else because it was crafted especially for us.
As the holiday’s approach and you worry about what to get your Mother ( or grandfather or uncle who has everything) definitely check out Alphabet Photography for a completely personal gift  they are sure to love.


The perfect customized gift that includes photographs from all over the world, this is the original Alphabet Photography. Celebrity owners include: Prince Charles, Prince William and Kate, Tyra Banks, Ryan Seacrest, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, John Schneider, Nelly Furtado, and many more!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Alphabet Photography. The opinions and text are all mine.

Reflected in You ~ a book review

Reflected in You. Sylvia Day. New York, New York: The Penguin Group


Reflected in You by Sylvia Day is the second novel of this trilogy. Gideon Cross is an extremely handsome billionaire who is dealing with a dark past. The new relationship between Gideon and Eva is electric and passionate in what may very well be a dangerous way. Bound together by need and passion, this couple is pushed to the edge of dangerous obsession.

While I haven’t read the first in the series, Bared to You yet, I was instantly drawn into the relationship between Eva and Gideon. Sylvia Day’s wonderfully addictive writing style pulls you through the entire novel wanting for more. There are certainly steamy sections to the book, but that isn’t the entire book which I really appreciated. I instantly fell for all of the characters and their flaws. From the beginning of the book, you join Eva and Gideon on a turbulent emotional ride full of twists, turns, passion, anger and insecurity. Reflected in You is a great fun and sexy read, I can’t wait for the net book.

Have you read this yet? Join the discussions on the BlogHer Book Club and share you thoughts. 


This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

warming white bean soup

easy healthy vegan white bean soup with thyme and garlicI need soup today. NEED it. This white bean soup with thyme is healthy and so comforting on a chilly day like today. As you wrap your hands around a warm cup of soup, the relaxation and comfort instantly set in. Ahhhhh, soup.

This recipe is for my friend Isabel who thinks she can’t make soup from scratch. Well, here you go! It’s quick, easy, kid friendly and healthy.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion- diced
2 cloves fresh garlic- chopped
2- 15 ounce cans white beans- drained and rinsed
6 sprigs fresh thyme- remove leaves from stem plus additional for garnish
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup vegan milk
1/2 teaspoon
dash red pepper flakes – optional or add to individual servings


heat olive oil in large pot. add onion and garlic, cook over medium heat until onions are tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. add remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes. use an immersion blender or allow to cool and blend in food processor or blender until desired consistency. salt and pepper to taste.


warming white bean soup with garlic, lemon and thyme

February 18, 2013 - 4:59 am

Susan - I made this soup over the weekend and was pleasantly surprised by how quick and easy it was. I didn’t have a food processor handy so I left the soup chunky and rustic, which worked as well, although I’d recommend making sure the garlic and onions are sliced finely.

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