Pulled Jackfruit

I made pulled jackfruit for Christmas dinner and it was bomb. I have had jackfruit before at Bahama Breeze which if you don’t know it’s a seafood restaurant. I had jackfruit tacos and they were underwhelming to say the least. Under-seasoned, no texture, nothing. Plus the jackfruit had a weird sweet tasting aftertaste that I wasn’t a fan of. Huge miss. But I decided not to completely be done with jackfruit and so I got a can from Whole Foods and decided to make pulled jackfruit for my meal with greens, squash /zucchini and vegan cornbread.

I was going to do roasted rainbow carrots but I was at work while the grocery shopping happened and they were forgotten. But the pulled jackfruit was so good and I got it crispy and juicy.

1 can of jackfruit

Olive oil

Pepper

Pepper flakes

Salt

Garlic

Paprika

Brown sugar

Water

Barbecue sauce of choice

All in a pan shred the jackfruit with a fork and add all the ingredients. Let it simmer on medium and get the water to cook off then move the heat to low and smooth the jackfruit out in the pan so that some bits can get crispy. I like runny barbecue sauce so I already knew I was going to smother the jackfruit in this thin sauce. And eat it with pickles since I was eating cornbread I didn’t put it on a bun just had it as the “meat” of my plate.

So, even if you’ve tried something you thought was nasty try cooking it at home and see if you feel the same way. Most of the time it’s really not the food it’s how it’s cooked.

Thanks for coming to my ted talk lol

Impossible Burger

I tried the impossible burger at bareburger in Atlanta on Friday and it was everything and then some. Before becoming vegan I was definitely a burger girl. I craved them like people crave soda. I had tried the beyond burger but had yet to try the famous impassible burger. And let me just tell you if you’re a vegan and holding back from trying it you’re missing out.

I’ve heard people say it’s too meaty. Too meat texture like. And I know it’s testing methods are controversial in the vegan community. But I’m all for the greater good if vegan innovators can get more meat eaters to try vegan foods I’m for it.

The burger did taste like a real burger or from what I remember the texture was real burger like. It was good. It was juicy. I liked the texture. I liked the flavor. I did the build your own burger at Bareburger and got 1 impossible patty, a brioche bun (which wasn’t vegan cause they were hot of sprouted buns and I wanted my first impossible burger experience to be with a bun) vegan cheese, vegan mayo, sweet pickles, organic ketchup, mustard, lettuce, and guacamole. It was divine. I don’t really know how to explain the flavor besides it tasted like a burger would taste – the one thing that kept me from freaking out about how burger like it was – was that the patty didn’t hold together as well as a burger patty. It did fall apart at the end with all my toppings and burger falling out the bun but it was messy in a fun way.

Bareburger is a rather new place in Atlanta and it was cute I liked the decor. It was like hip with bears in suits paintings on the walls.

My daughter got a “cubby” meal which for her was a grilled cheese, fries, apple slices and a fruit punch juice box. She loved it. I didn’t think she would like the sweet potato, kale, and wild rice patty which was the other non meat option for kid meals. My daughter is still picky and won’t eat veggies so I went with what I knew she would eat. I’m always iffy about if I should get a 2 year old an almost $10 meal and tbh if we go back to Bareburger I’ll probably just get her fries and maybe bring her a grilled cheese from home (lol). Bareburger also offers vegan milkshakes and I tried the velvis which was coconut ice cream, banana, peanut butter, chocolate sauce, and hemp milk. It was so good. Creamy but not too sweet and the perfect ending to my impossible burger.

The one downside to Bareburger was the small quantity of fries honestly Sage got maybe 7 fries with her meal and I had a tiny rectangular tray of them. But I guess if we wanted more we could’ve ordered more. Other than that I did like Bareburger and I loved the impossible burger and will definitely eat it again. I’ve seen on their Instagram that their patties should be in stores come 2019 which I’m all here for so I can just enjoy them at home.

Crystal of the Month

I’ve gone through some deep emotional trauma the last few weeks and have been feeling out of wack mentally and emotionally. A lot of unhealed issues dealing with worthiness and men resurfacing. Because of this I’ve been sleeping with rose quartz every night trying to give myself and extra dose of self love and warm feelings. But I have also been sleeping with chrysocolla. Chrysocolla is a blue-green crystal that looks spotted like a robins egg. It has calming nurturing energy. Enhances physic ability and intuition. Alleviates feelings of anxiety (which I need). Is divine feminine energy.

Chrysocolla is blue so it is calming in nature and it gives you a sense of self assurance that I really need right now. Compassion, gentleness and authentic expression are also qualities chrysocolla will bring out of you. Chrysocolla will help you with saying or not saying something you’ll regret.

In terms of health chrysocolla helps with physical aliments and swelling. As a feminine crystal it will also help with hormonal balance. It also has the ability to heal ovarian cysts. Chrysocolla will keep your temper in check with it’s calming properties. Wear or work with one daily for even temperance. Chrysocolla as a blue crystal has a relationship with the throat chakra and will help aid in compassionate speech when worked with.

Wearing or meditating with chrysocolla will also help with the psychic ability clairaudience which is the ability to hear spirits, energy and guidance. This deals with the throat chakra. It will also help in developing or deepening clarirsentience which is the ability to feel or sense the presence of spirits, energy, emotions or guidance in the solar plexus chakra.

Throat chakra. Self-love. Chrysocolla is a lot of compassion for self wrapped up in this blue crystal. A stone of communication. Empowerment and teaching. Helps with anxiety and depression.

I mediated with chrysocolla Tuesday night as I couldn’t sleep and had really deep sleep I woke up feeling like I had been asleep for years. And all the emotional trauma I had been experiencing has been softened which was much needed. Chrysocolla was a crystal I bought a couple years ago wanting to get more in touch with my divine feminine and it has helped me in many other ways. If you’re into crystals or want to be chrysocolla is a crystal that is needed in your collection.

Dry Brushing

I’ve never had difficult skin and in the past two years the little problems I had I cleared up from being vegan, drinking enough water, and dry brushing. I get comments all the time on how smooth and soft my skin is and I know these 3 things are what help me maintain smooth skin. I know a diet change is a big thing and drinking water doesn’t solve everything so that leaves dry brushing a small self-care practice that everyone can do. I started dry brushing during my pregnancy but wasn’t very consistent with it. I dry brush every day now before I shower. I know people do it after a shower then apply oil but I find doing it before my shower more helpful for me. And I do apply oil after I shower. I usually use almond oil but any oil with skin benefits can be used.

I bought my dry brush from target I don’t remember how much it was but I know it was less than $15 cause I’m cheap. It works perfectly fine so don’t think you need an expensive dry brush to get smooth soft skin. You only need a natural bristle brush. I do recommend however that you have a separate dry brush for your face that’s just my preference my skin on my face is really sensitive and I just don’t want to mix the two. (I never use the same face cloth for my face and body too).

Dry Brushing is beneficial for a number of reasons. It exfoliates your skin while giving it a massage. You’re supposed to dry brush slowly in circular motions. And you are only supposed to do it 3 times a week according to some people but I’m not good at routines that aren’t everyday so I do it every night.

I do wash or clean my brush once a week with Dr.Bronners baby castille soap just to get rid of dead skin and whatever might be on the bristles.

  • Benefits of dry brushing:
    • It sheds dead skin cells
      Results in smoother brighter skin
      Helps with ingrown hairs
    • stimulates nervous system
    • Increases blood circulation
    • It is said but not proved to help with cellulite and aid in digestion

    I personally noticed how much smoother my skin is when I consistently dry brush. Also my skin seems brighter. And I just feel better because I’m going the extra mile taking care of my skin and my body.

    The firmness of the bristles from a natural brush don’t hurt or bother my sensitive skin but I’ve seen some people say it bothers theirs so keep this in mind if your skin is really sensitive. Make sure that you do moisturize after your shower because dry brushing can lead to dry skin.

    What do you do that’s a self-care indulgent but simple routine? Let me know and let me know if you have any questions about dry brushing or if you try it.

    Here’s a video of me demonstrating slow circular motions when dry brushing. Doing my whole body does usually take 7-10 minutes but you don’t have to go as slow.

    An Introduction to Astrology

    If you pay attention to my posts you’ll have noticed that I mention my sign or Sage’s sign sometimes even for minor things. So, I thought let’s do an intro to astrology post for those who don’t know a lot about astrology or feel like it’s not for them.

    I’m just going to do a little back history and cover the very basics of astrology. The sun sign, moon sign, and rising sign. I’ll talk about my own. What astrology books I read who I follow on social media that has the best astrology advice and even tackle mercury retrograde which goes direct today.

    Sun sign:

    the sign that the sun was in at the time of your birth is your sun sign. The sun is the most important “planet” to earth. It sustains us. It is also the most important influence in your zodiac or birth chart. And in many ways determines how others see you. It is the very surface layer of who you are in terms of signs. Your external self.

    Moon sign:

    In the most basic terms your moon sign is your emotions. It’s where the moon was in the sky at the time of your birth. The Moon is the part of you that you see. The moon is your personality. It is your subconscious. The you that reacts. Your instinct. In many ways your moon personality is what you keep hidden from others.

    Rising sign:

    Your ascendent or rising sign is a very important part of your horoscope. The rising sign is the sign that reflects your outward demeanor and to determined how the outside world looks at you. This sign represents your outer personality. Your “image”. The rising and sun sign usually blend together giving a unique outward personality which is why some people of the same sun sign can be totally different as the rising sign is crucial to the personality. Your rising sign is the sign that was rising over the eastern horizon at the time of your birth.

    That explains the gist of the signs that I find to be the most important in a birth chart but the Venus (love) and the Mercury (communication) signs are very important too in my opinion (maybe a second introduction post next month).

    I am a Gemini sun-Scorpio rising-Capricorn moon. And I’ll talk about these signs a bit because I think these 3 signs are some of the most misunderstood of the zodiac.

    As a Gemini I know the stereotypes are that we’re flighty, two faced, wishy-washy. But I think Gemini’s are the misunderstood sign because we want to be understood so much by our peers. We wrap so much of our worth into this feeling of being understood by others we forget to understand and learn ourselves. I honestly think Gemini’s are the child of the zodiac they (we) need so much reassurance, love, support and connection from those we love. Y’all know the problematic Gemini’s but some other famous gems are: Prince and Bob Dylan.

    Scorpio’s I know are seen as secretive, the whole sex thing, and mysterious these qualities aren’t necessarily bad but explain very little about the Scorpio. Who is very self-conscious and afraid of being hurt so keeps people at distance (secretive) afraid of showing their real selves. Some famous Scorpio risings are Prince (again) and Diana Ross.

    Capricorn’s like most earth signs I know are said to be practical and emotionless even boring (rolls eyes) but this is way far from the truth. As a Capricorn moon I’m insecure, I overthink everything, I analyze everything. I make everything emotional even when it’s not. Some famous Capricorn moons are: Anais Nin and Ernest Hemingway.

    That’s my little insight on those signs so if you are one of these 3 there ya go.

    On to the history of astrology for y’all who don’t believe it’s real.

    Astrology has been studied for the past 5,000 years. Greek philosophers formulated the theory of Man in Microcosm that is, the human being is a miniature version of the cosmos. According to this concept everything in nature has a parallel in human beings, and thus humankind and the universe are linked together in a system of correlations. The study of the Sun, Moon and stars began well before recorded history. Ancient astrologers charted the movement of planets and stars and made predictions about eclipses, upheavals, famine and fortune. In ancient societies religion and astrology were linked. Astrologers were usually priests. Most ancient societies studied astrology like the Egyptians, Babylonians, and the Greek and Roman empires. After the fall of Rome astrology went into decline. And didn’t recover until after A.D. 1200. Astrology became very linked with superstition during the Roman era where Christianity was becoming widespread and astrology was thought of as the work of the devil. Though astrology wasn’t practiced in Europe during this time it was still practiced and remained a serious science in other countries. During the Renaissance there was a resurgence of astrology. And throughout history it has declined and bloomed again and again as times and people have changed.

    Now astrology an old practice is becoming even more popular mainstream where they’re are astrologers working even on social media (as I’ll list below)

    Mercury retrograde. Mercury is the planet of communication, intelligence, perception and intellectual energy. Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo. When a planet is in retrograde it is the backward motion of a planet traveling through the zodiac. During mercury retrograde things dealing with communication, perception and intelligence can be thrown off. And can turn into deceit, coldness, and argumentativeness.

    Mercury was in retrograde but is now direct starting today. So, if any issues arose for you during this last retrograde of the year look for the lesson and if you can mend what can be fixed. (November 16-December 6).

    So, that’s a lot of information to process and I think that’s all I’m going to talk about in this first introduction of astrology. I was into zodiacs before astrology. And would read my horoscope everyday in middle and high school. It wasn’t until maybe 3-4 years ago I learned of birth charts and all the other signs that we each are that astrology and zodiacs and horoscopes started to make more sense. As a introverted sometimes shy Gemini just reading my sun sign doesn’t really relate to me. Plus there’s way more insight in horoscopes and astrology now than there was 10 years ago and it’s not just you’ll meet someone new today stuff.

    I probably will do a follow up post on Venus and Mercury signs and also talk about the houses and why they are important in understanding the birth chart.

    Some astrologers that I follow on Instagram are: @jaliessasipress , @thehoodwitch , and @thevoluptuouswitch.

    And on Twitter @audrykitching and @mysticxlipstick

    This is the astrology book where I get most of my information on charts and understanding the signs.

    December Playlist

    Hey y’all,

    This months playlist is all my favs from this year. So, it’s some older 2018 songs and some that just came out that I’ve had on repeat.

    Can’t believe it’s December again already. And in 28 days it’ll be a new year. What are some goals or intentions you want to focus on for the new year?

    I’m writing, planning and setting my intentions this week. And might have a post on intention setting and manifesting some point in this month.

    Hope everyone has a purposeful and eye opening last month of 2018!

    December Playlist

    here’s a video of me listening to Summer Walker’s “Smartwater” if you don’t listen to her you should!

    Tofu Salad Bowl

    Doing something a little different for this post. I recorded a video because I’ve been wanting to start doing some video things. It’s not at all professional I shot it on my iPhone 8 and then edited it in iMovie I don’t have any editing software but if I like this whole video thing I’ll invest in a camera and software.

    So, this is a video and rough recipe of a salad I’ve been doing lately for lunch/dinner.

    First blot your tofu then cut it into chunks or squares.

    Season them how you want. I was doing an Asian inspired salad so I used ginger, coconut aminos, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and siracha. You can see in the video I don’t use measurements it was too hard with one hand. And then I baked them at 400 degrees for 35 minutes to get them crispy on the outside.

    The salad was a mix I bought from Publix with cabbage, cut brussel sprouts, and kale and I added chopped carrots.

    Finished tofu. If you’re baking tofu and not using oil like me I recommend using parchment paper and not foil it gets the tofu crispy on the outside but soft on the inside like a really good french fry.

    And added siracha, follow your heart vegan Caesar dressing and walnut “cheese”.

    This is a really filling salad and I know I won’t be hungry again until way later and will probably have a banana smoothie.

    edit- I ate this around 1pm yesterday and I ended-up eating another salad later in the evening but used lettuce (I know) and today I feel so sick. I threw the bag away already. While I was eating something told me to stop because the lettuce wasn’t crunchy at all and I had a bad feeling about buying lettuce when I bought it (should’ve listened to instinct). So, I hope y’all are all staying safe with your greens right now and not taking your body or health for granted.

    Potty Training

    I began potty training Sage over the summer but I’m not going to lie I wasn’t consistent at all. Between work and other things potty-training wasn’t a priority on my list of daily things to do. We transitioned to pull-ups with no fuss. Then started sitting her on the potty to get her used to it. And it kind of became a game for her. She liked sitting on the toilet and saying she had to go potty (even though she wasn’t yet) and she liked feeling a sense of independence and saying “I do it”. She did get really interested in her female parts during this time too and would ask me what things were down there for the first time.This led to print out coloring sheets with labeled body parts.

    So, potty training is just an overall learning experience I wasn’t prepared for. My sister suggested (because she did this with my niece) that I should give Sage a reward like candy for using the bathroom in the toilet but I didn’t really like the idea so I never started it. Sage found it enjoyable without the “treat” and is now telling me when she has to go potty on her own without me asking her.

    She still wears pull-ups to bed (haven’t figured this one out yet) but during the day she doesn’t (this includes during naps) and she hasn’t had many accidents once she got the hang of it. In the beginning she did have a couple accidents and wet herself while wearing underwear but she fully understands now and can feel the difference between her pull-up and undies- and if she’s wearing undies will say she has to go potty.

    We got to this stage of understanding by having talks after she would have accidents me telling her I wasn’t mad at her and reminding her to tell me when she had to go potty. I also just started taking her to the bathroom every hour when she had on undies. This got her in the habit of knowing okay when I feel the urge to go I need to go to the bathroom. Talking and explaining things to Sage repeatedly really helped her to understand and get the concept of using the bathroom.

    Getting her to use the bathroom to go poo I knew would be hard I don’t know about other toddlers but Sage would always go to the same spot squat down and poo then tell me she had. But the transition to her using the toilet and pooping really wasn’t that bad.

    Every time Sage uses the bathroom in the potty she exclaims “I did it” so it is fun for her she likes knowing she can do something with her body on her own. Still working on the wiping but I’m so proud of my baby. Sage does use a separate like booster toilet seat because she’s dramatic and swears she’ll fall in the toilet without it. So, if you’re having trouble getting your little one to be comfortable sitting on the toilet seat I suggest purchasing a kiddie one.

    I’m going to leave some tips that I found helpful and links.

    1. You should definitely purchase toddler flushable wipes. These were a game changer because Sage would go through the motions using so much tissue when she didn’t even use the bathroom. Also it helps them be able to wipe themselves more efficiently. I get mine from target they’re the up and up brand and super affordable.

    2. Like I said I suggest getting a training seat for an actual toilet but there also are those toddler/baby toilets that could be helpful in the very beginning with just helping your child get used to the act of sitting on a potty. You can also let your child personalize this mini toilet with stickers, paint, etc.

    3. Help your child get comfortable with the toilet. So, whatever they need to feel comfortable using the bathroom do it.

    4. Kids learn by imitation so having an open door policy is a good start to showing your child how to use the bathroom and correctly wipe. I did this even before potty training because I’m usually the only one home with my daughter and need to be able to keep an eye on her even when nature calls.

    5. Let your child pick out their underwear Sage has trolls and poppy and of course that motivated her to want to wear undies instead of her pull-ups. The little things will help your child get used to this change smoothly.

    Here’s some links I used while potty training with more tips to help ya potty train your little one.

    https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a548953/potty-training-for-girls

    https://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/potty-training/tips/potty-training-tips/

    Friendsgiving 2018

    Friendships are important. Some might even say more important than family. Friendships are people that you choose, you share with, you trust. And what better way to celebrate friendships than having a Friendsgiving chilling with your friends, eating, and showing them how much you appreciate them. Thanksgiving is about giving thanks. Bring grateful. Being appreciative. And just like we are grateful for family we should also be grateful for friendships. Since last year my closest friend has been hosting a vegan Friendsgiving at her house. Last year I brought Sage to the Friendsgiving and oddly I have no pictures from it – but this year I just wanted to hang out with my friends and have a rare but needed time off from mom duties.

    I bought a vegan cherry pie from Whole Foods because I had to work all weekend and was being lazy and didn’t want to bake/cook anything. It was really good but next year I’ll probably suck it up and just make something because it was $15. There was vegan or seitan fried “chicken” cheesy vegan scalloped potato’s, vegan macaroni and cheese, and a cucumber- onion-tomato salad. I’ve had cashew cheese macaroni before and it was so rich and filling but so good. I may never do macaroni another way now. And the cucumber salad was very needed because everything else was heavy.

    We played uno and jenga. My friends boyfriend has a studio in their house where he makes beats and we attempted (and I use this loosely) to make a beat. We watched big mouth, drank wine. And talked.

    I ate my leftovers Sunday morning before I went to work and they were even better than I remembered! I left the macaroni for Sage to eat so hopefully she likes it as much as I did cause that’s how I’ll be making it from now on.

    I’m an anti social person I like my me time and my own space more than others. I also can feed off others energy really easily and I get anxiety / stress from situations that can go “bad”. The people I do like to engage with I love them. They are very close and very important to me so Friendsgiving is easily one of my favorite social outings of the year. I like eating, drinking, and being with my friends.

    If you’re like me and most of your family lives in a different state or if you have to work on thanksgiving having a Friendsgiving another day than on the actual holiday can allow you to experience the feeling of thanksgiving and celebrate. Everyone needs someone get in the spirit of celebrating who is there and shows up for you.

    If you don’t have a Friendsgiving tradition I say start one! Even this year it’s not too late yet!

    Mom Talk #4

    This mom talk might be a little sensitive to some mommas. Because I’m talking about co-parenting this month. I never thought I would identify as a single mom. Sage’s father was there my whole pregnancy and after for 9 months we did live together and try to make things work. There of course was a limbo period where we didn’t know what we were doing but I think we’re almost (knock on wood) in an okay place. I don’t have set rules or regulations for co-parenting I don’t like confrontation and have a hard time asserting myself. I’m learning to ask for what I want. Whether is a night off to hang out with my friends or just a night off for self-care. At first it was hard for me to ask for help with buying things Sage needed or ask for a break but co-parenting does get easier. I know society has conditioned women to believe their place is at home with their kids and sacrifice sacrifice sacrifice but that doesn’t have to be your reality. You can be happy with your child or children and happy alone having a night off (and this is whether you co-parent or have a husband). Never be afraid to ask for what it is you need as a mother to feel your best mentally and emotionally.

    Sage is not yet on a set schedule when it comes to co-parenting but I would like her to be (if any of you co-parenting moms or dads have tips on scheduling let me know). I have had issues with accountability sometimes Sage’s father doesn’t do as much as he should and the responsibility usually falls on me to provide financially. As well as being her primary caretaker (which is why identify as a single mom). But he is there for her he’s her dad and really her best friend they have a bond and when he is around it’s like I don’t exist – so I make things work for her.

    However, co-parenting is not about the parents and all about the child. Well, it’s a little about the parents because things need to be worked out and parents need to be on the same understanding when it comes to their child’s needs. But other than that it’s about doing what’s best for the child and not taking things personally when things come up (cause they will). Parenting isn’t a perfect system and co-parenting isn’t either. There is a lot of growth that has to happen with both parents for things to work. Separating your personal relationship from your co-parenting relationship with your child’s other parent is key to making this relationship work.

    Co-parenting should be consistent similar rules, discipline, and rewards so your child knows what to expect with both parents this also won’t lead to confusion. Never vent to your child about the parent in a co-parenting situation. Stay focused on your child and less worried about what the other parent is or isn’t doing – however if problems do arise setting a meeting time without children present to talk through issues and resolve them will be beneficial to all involved.

    Co-parenting is team work. Approach the relationship in a business like manner and keep conversations focused on your child as to not get past feelings mixed up. Always be respectful in dealing with the other parent and communicate effectively. Request for things instead of demanding and making comments about things that you want to happen but aren’t. And realize that with any relationship a co-parenting one requires work and communication to work effectively. If you and the other parent can stay focused on your child things should run smoothly. Also make big decisions together don’t make them in the spur of the moment then later talk to the other parent about it. Being mindful will go along way in keeping the relationship healthy and unstrained.

    Your child’s emotional and mental well-being is more important than any petty thing that can come up in a co-parenting relationship just remember this and keep this in mind and co-parenting might at least feel better when things do come up.

    Personally, I do my best to only focus on Sage when it comes to co-parenting as long as she is okay and happy I try not to let a lot of things bother me. If you co-parent and you feel overly stressed in an area whether it’s financially, mentally, emotionally or even in your physical body it may be time to communicate this with your co-parenting partner and come up with a plan to get things more relaxed. I know moms feel the need to do a be all things but we don’t have to anymore it’s okay to help and expect help from the person who helped bring your child into this world. Do not be afraid. And co-parenting gets easier and if it doesn’t take legal measures to get what you need for your child and for you.