sunny vegan » food, photography, and fun

refreshing friday ~ light chocolate chip shake

 

The girls, the dog and I have been in Scottsdale this week kicking off our Summer of Fun. Ya know what? It’s hot here! I mean REALLY hot, like almost 110 degrees. We are fine with that as most of our week has been spent playing in the pool, reading and eating cold stuff. We have had our share of popsicles this week and when I just had to have a vegan milkshake, I didn’t expect all of the trouble finding my ingredients in a new town would bring. After 3 different groceries stores who didn’t offer even one vegan ice cream option, we headed to AJ’s fine foods since I was fairly sure they would have it. They did- yippee- so we could finally get back to the original craving, an old fashioned chocolate chip milkshake.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup ice
1/2 cup light soy milk
1 1/2 cups vegan vanilla ice cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon vegan chocolate chips

Method:

combine ice and soy milk in blender and mix well, until ice is in very small pieces. add ice cream and vanilla and blend until smooth. add chocolate chips and mix just until they are chopped and incorporated. garnish with additional chips, chocolate sauce or cocoa powder.

 

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The Artist’s Way Toolkit ~ BlogHer book club review

The Artist’s Way Toolkit it based on the bestselling book series by Julia Cameron. Julia recommends two main exercises that will help to remove blocks and self-sabotaging tendencies: morning pages and artist’s dates. Morning pages are three pages of writing, performed daily, about anything at all. This exercise overcomes the writer’s internal censor and makes writing habitual, she claims. The artist’s date is a weekly block of two hours spent observing, experiencing, and sensing. The balance of the recording describes how the artist can overcome human tendencies such as jealousy, fear, and addiction. The toolkit provides you with a Contract, Thea Artists Date, Artist’s Way Exercises, Creativity Pages and Creativity Notes as tools to use on your creative journey.
I was really excited about this review and the toolkit only to feel quite lost as I logged onto the site. I was not familiar with Julia Cameron or the Artist Way series and I feel like that was my downfall. If you have read the books and enjoyed them, the toolkit could be a great addition to you writing activities. Providing an online journal and one place to keep all of your writing, notes and photos is a great idea if you spend a lot of time online. On the other hand, if you prefer to explore your artistic side outdoors, taking a laptop or tablet to your outdoor place may be a huge distraction. Julia Cameron and the Artists Way series have certainly inspired many people over the past few years and if you are one of those people, the Toolkit may be perfect for you.

I hope you check out the BlogHer book club for more on the Artist’s Way and other great books, it always has interesting discussions which are very easy to join!

 

I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are certainly my own.

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a new brew ~ Michelob Ultra Light Cider

Backyard bbq’s, the beach, lounging by the pool, sipping a cool drink in the warm weather. Yup, that’s what summer is is all about. Hanging with friends and family and chillin’, I mean literally keeping cool.
I spend a lot of time in Scottsdale , Arizona where the heat is truly unbearable. There are misters and pools everywhere, but when it’s 112 degrees outside, there isn’t much to do except sit still and try to cool off. Yes, I do spend some time by the pool with a drink in hand and this year I have a new favorite, Michelob Ultra Light Cider.
When you pop the top, the cool crisp scent of apples is amazing. It offers such a pure clean taste made with all natural ingredients and sweetened with stevia, this is the perfect alternative to sticky sweet cocktails and heavy beer.
While this may be the first cider Anheuser-Bush has made, they certainly took the time to get it just right. The color, crisp fresh taste, light sweetness and pretty package all had me at hello! Adding to that, it’s naturally gluten-free and only 120 calories! Yup, this is my new summer drink of choice, feel free to bring some by this summer.
For more information please visit the Michelob ULTRA Light Cider page on BlogHer.com and the Sponsor’s site.
What favorite summer meal or activity to you think would go best with Michelob ULTRA Cider?

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strawberry basil salad.

pretty strawberries salad spinach vegan vegetarian tofu baslamic basil

I swear, salads get a bad rap. As a diet, boring, tasteless side dish. But in reality, salads need to be front and center! Savor the gorgeous colors, textures, and fresh flavors of summer in a tasty yet light way that keeps you full and cool despite the heat.

In this salad, I wanted to the veggies and berries to take center stage so I kept the dressing simple. No time to make your own dressing? Not a problem, there are some great bottled vegan balsamic and poppy-seed dressings out there. Take the time to enjoy the tart strawberries, delicate spinach and earthy fresh basil – it’s really a great blend of texture and flavor.

What is your favorite summer salad??

Ingredients:

dressing-  makes approximation 1 cup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon agave
salt and pepper to taste

salad-
3 cups organic spinach
2/3 cup strawberries- thinly sliced
2 tablespoons basil – chiffonade  or ribbon cut
1/4 cup tofu feta – optional

Method:

layer spinach and strawberries onto plate, drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons dressing, top with tofu feta and basil.

pretty strawberry strawberries blossom flower jar centerpiece

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June 7, 2012 - 7:06 pm

Nicole - This might be the most delicious thing I have every laid eyes on. I could get lost in your blog for hours.

June 7, 2012 - 7:34 pm

Amanda - Ahhhh, Nicole that is so sweet! Thank you so much for stopping by =)

June 7, 2012 - 8:39 pm

Laural Out Loud - I went to an educational dinner put on by the California Strawberry Council last year, and discovered just how amazing strawberries are in savory dishes. LOVE this salad idea!

Sliding into first ~ a kindergarten promotion

As many of you are parents and can relate to this, thought I would share this with you all!

Well, it was a big day here. A day I have been dreading and excited for all at the same time.

Teagan graduated from kindergarten. *sob* Don’t get me wrong, I knew there was no way to avoid it (I tried) and she has had an absolutely wonderful year!  Surrounded by the absolute Best Teacher EVER, the sweetest students and such giving parent volunteers made her first year of elementary school something to be cherished. Something I am having a very hard time letting go of.

Gosh, I have so much I wanted to say but my emotions, as usual, have gotten the best of me. I’m just going to share part of our day with you and maybe I’ll be able to write more later.

 

Sliding into first…

with her best buddy, they are so sweet to each other…

so glad I still had the camera out for this one, her friend ran up and said “Do you want to sign my yearbook?”  seriously the cutest 5 year olds =)

followed by hopscotch and messy hair. 

That’s all for now, going to spend the evening holding on tightly to the last few days she has in kindergarten.

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