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    Vegan Lasagna

    Hey Everyone! If you follow me on Instagram you see that I’ve been posting meals I cook. Adopting a plant based lifestyle has definitely been a journey and I am learning new things all the time. From cooking to recipes to foods this lifestyle opened up a new world for me. I was so inspired in the beginning, that is why I started posting food in the first place, soon it started to inspire others because people I know were asking me questions about how to take the plant based route. If you want to know what exactly I eat and don’t eat or need a few tips and resources to help kick start your journey you can click here. I have a few posts that may be helpful so type “plant based” in the search bar of my blog to pull of all of the posts.

    *Ladies especially, be sure to check out my post on going plant based, down there!

    I recently made vegan lasagna for the first time and it was GREAT! I will probably add meatless meat next time, however like I said it is GREAT without it. It is unfortunate I don’t have a picture of what it looked like when it was done, (cooking and taking pics and cleaning as you go is alot lol) but I did get a pic of when I was making it. Here is the link to recipe I followed for the ricotta cheese, which was AMAZING!  https://www.fooduzzi.com/2017/04/vegan-cashew-ricotta/

    Here is how to make the lasagna:

    1. Start boiling your lasagna noodles and preheat your oven to 350F.
    2. Sautee the zucchini, shredded carrots, mushrooms, and spinach with a little olive oil,  garlic, onions, and peppers for about 5 minutes. Just long enough to wilt the spinach a little and to soften the other veggies a bit.
    3. Keep in mind your cashews have to soak for at least 2 hours to make the ricotta cheese. So you can make it ahead or if your cashews are soaked and ready go, make your ricotta now.
    4. By then your noodles should be done.
    5. Start with a layer of sauce (I used organic tomato basil) at the bottom of the pan, then noodles, then spread the ricotta cheese on, add your veggies, and a little more sauce. Repeat this starting with the noodles until you have about 3 layers, then sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top!
    6. Cover with foil, Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Boom. Vegan Lasagna.

    A couple people wanted the details on this so I hope this was helpful! Even if you give this to meat eaters I’m almost sure they will still like it. I love it vegan lasagna is simple and full of flavor! Who says vegan can’t have comfort food?

    If you try this meal drop a line in the comments and let me know how it turns out!

    Thanks for stopping by!

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    Fall 2017 Trend Report

    It’s starting to feel like fall outside! I’m currently trying to make myself a couple of fall pieces and figure out exactly what I’m going to be wearing this winter and fall.. lol Fashion week has definitely been giving me all types of inspiration. I wish I could cover every fashion show and all the things that caught my interest but between celebs, street style, and the fashion designers, I wouldn’t know where to begin. I know one day I’m going to get invited to the shows and I can’t wait to just be in the building near all the inspiration that fuels my creativity and this blog. So on to the Fall Trend Report. Here are a few things I think are going to be big this fall. Check www.pantone.com if you want to see the fall 2017 color palate.

    PLAID– Thanks Laquan Smith. His show was all about adult uniforms. lol These sexy plaid wrap skirts and oversized cardigans read urban, educated, and chic. The fact that the show was set up like a school gym added to the vibe even more. I adore Laquan Smiths aesthetic.  The summer and spring were all about gingham but this fall is back to plaids, camo print, leopard print, and faux fur…

    SMALL PURSES– As seen by like every designer.. I noticed handbags were getting alot smaller. I’m torn on it. Bigger bags are easier to throw all of your belongings in but I find that small bags keep you from having so much junk in the first place. lol The designs are getting more and more clever to make these tiny bags pop with attitude and style.

    WHAT IS THAT? VELVET! This is going to be a huge one. Expect to see all types of items coming out in the luxe material. Velvet is one of those tricky materials to me. It looks great, very luxe, but I’ve tried to sew with it and have failed miserably.. As for velvet clothing I totally see myself rocking a velvet blazer or bootie.

    METALLIC, SHINY, GLITTER– Another big trend this year. I’ve seen so many silver boots and shiny metallic shoes on the runway this season! I’ve also spotted shiny pumps paired with girly or frilly socks to give you a Dorothy from Wizard of Oz look.

    KITTEN HEELS, LOAFERS, PLATFORMS-Last year was all about slippers, slides and mules. This year were going back to the Classics. These are 3 type of shoes that really never go out of style. They just come back better..

    DECONSTRUCTED BUTTON UPS– Coming out in a major sexy way, deconstructed clothing is all about pattern mixing and clashing, overlayed textures and shapes, and an overall distressed, yet clean vibe. I’ve been seeing this for a while now but I think its definitely going to be a hit this fall and spring. Think about all those button ups that have an unexpected element of surprise.

    EMBROIDERED EVERYTHANG! From shoes to hats to clothing embroidered pieces are popping up all around and I love it. It really adds an upgrade to an otherwise basic item. Once it’s embroidered it seems like the item is one of a kind now.

     

     

    SIMPLE OR MINIMAL LAYERING– I mentioned a while back that fashion was moving towards a more relaxed and loose silhouette. I think layering compliments a relaxed attitude and outfit. It’s like yes I’m wearing a shirt, under a dress. over top of jeans, I do it because I’m cool. lol I personally am not one of those people who likes my clothes super tight. So I get along with the layering and loose, relaxed styles.

    SS16 NEW YORK STREET FASHION
     

    What trends will you be trying this fall?? Do you follow the trends at all? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you!

     

     

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    Summer Camp 2017!!!

    Whew… Summer is finally over for me! This 9 weeks was a great experience, and although I spent most of my time working I enjoyed the work I was doing. In addition to teaching sewing and fashion design I was also teaching yoga on the weekends, so developing, creating, and learning my teaching style has been an experience in itself. It’s funny how you learn while teaching.. You go into the classroom and you cannot predict what these kids are going to say, do, or feel at any moment so every day is a new opportunity to see how creative your problem solving skills are.  The girls kept me on my toes and laughing all the time. If you checked my Instagram stories you got a glimpse of what we did on the daily.. lol

    So the theme of camp this year was to Go BIG. The “B.I.G” stood for Being in Gratitude. I thought this was  a beautiful concept to introduce to children and even to remind us adults about the importance of gratitude. I remember being in team training at the very beginning of summer and the leader said “we want to focus on building character muscles.” She went on to say that virtues (courage, respect, patience, loyalty, compassion etc.) are like muscles that must be used in order to grow. So in order to cultivate the virtues, particularly gratitude, you simply have to practice gratitude everyday. Contrary to the popular saying, gratitude is not an attitude, it is a practice. In the same way you would lift weights everyday to become stronger you have to practice the virtues daily, in order to build character. I could go on and on about this, being a yoga teacher conversations like this get me excited. So I may have been the only one who enjoyed training that day.. lol

    I tried to combine character building activities with our fashion activities. In addition to highlighting a different virtue every week, I also did things like have them say something they were grateful for at the beginning of each day, saying a positive compliment about someones work, or noticing when you or someone else does something kind. On the last day of camp I had them write a letter of gratitude to someone they were thankful for. I know that is kind of a cliche activity but, I told them people don’t hand write thank you letters anymore, we text or simply say thank you, which is fine but you can ALWAYS hand write a letter, note, or card to someone and thank them.

    At the end of the 2 weeks instead of a normal fashion show or presentation, we set the room up as an art gallery. Each camper had their own little area to display everything they created. This way is was more personal, and the girls felt so important having people come around in awe of their work, ask questions, take pictures, etc. I really just hope all the girls I’ve taught this summer, enjoyed the experience and learned something about sewing, fashion, or even themselves! Click the links to read the blog posts about Fashion Design.

    https://www.esfcamps.com/riverdale/passion-for-fashion/

    https://www.esfcamps.com/georgetownprep/specialty-major-camps-inventors-fashion-design/

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    Classic Ankara Skirt

    Thank you for visiting my blog! This is a quick post. I wanted to make this Ankara set because I feel like I see it every summer, it’s easy to make, and the skirt is a classic silhouette that is flattering on most body types. I got this fabric when I was in New York, 6 yards only cost me $20, and I have some left over so definitely worth it! The top is just a long piece of fabric tied at the back.

    The skirt has a side zipper and pockets. At first I wasn’t going to do pockets so I put the zipper on the side but then the skirt seemed kind of sad without them, so added them in. LOL If I would have known I was going to do pockets I probably would have put the zipper in the back, however I don’t mind the way it is now. This skirt can be worn pretty much anywhere, and it can be paired with a tank top for a more casual look. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram @itsnichelleb to stay updated on my fashion and food adventures!

    Thanks again for visiting! Happy Tuesday!

     

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    Easy & Quick Grilled Veggies

    Before going plant based I was never excited about vegetables. They were good to me, I ate them, but I never took time in preparing just vegetables as a meal for myself. I love grilled foods and experimented with a couple vegan grilled recipes over the summer like the “carrot dog” lol. I love carrots by the way, probably my favorite vegetable. I used to HATE cooked carrots but they grew on me as I expanded my veggie palette. Anyway this is a quick easy vegan summer meal that can be paired with grilled corn on the cob, baby potatoes, or vegan burgers!

    One Saturday I was in the house, hungry thinking of something to eat and I thought to myself, “I haven’t been to a cookout all summer, today is a good day to have one.” So I went to the grocery store, got some veggies, and got to grilling. I used this indoor George Foreman grill I’ve had for years. It hasn’t failed me yet and the cleanup is a breeze so I love it.  Grilling veggies is so easy I think a young child could do it. All you do is wash, cut, toss veggies in a bit of olive oil, season, and throw on the grill. If you want to keep it simple with your seasonings, salt and pepper always works. If you want to take it up a notch, you can add other herbs and spices thyme, garlic, onion, rosemary, sage, oregano, dried basil, balsamic vinegar, or fresh cracked pepper. Some people use foil packets but I did not only because I wanted to see the grill marks. lol The veggies only need a few minutes to grill because you don’t want them to get soggy. Just the right amount of grilled char so the veggies still have flavor, nutrition, and a bit of crunch.  I added peppers and onions for flavor. So delicious! Have you ever grilled a vegan meal before or been to a vegan cookout? Do tell!

     

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    Minimalism: A Starter Guide to Living With Less

    Happy Friday! Welcome come back to my blog!! In this post I’m going to discuss and give you some tips on how you can begin to live minimally. I’m sure you may have heard the word “minimalism” being thrown around within the last couple of years. However, the practice of living with less is in fact not new… So, what exactly is it and what’s all the hype around it? Keep reading to learn why you should incorporate “minimalism” into your life, wardrobe, and home.

     According to becomingminimalist.com Put very simply “Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.

    The rest of this info was just too good to leave out. lol

    MINIMALISM IS FREEDOM FROM THE PASSION TO POSSESS.

    Modern culture has bought into the lie that the good life is found in accumulating things—in possessing as much as possible. They believe that more and bigger is better and have inadvertently subscribed to the idea that happiness can be purchased at a department store. But they are wrong. Minimalism brings freedom from the all-consuming passion to possess. It steps off the treadmill of consumerism and dares to seek happiness elsewhere. It values relationships, experiences, and soul-care. And in doing so, it finds life.

    MINIMALISM IS FREEDOM FROM MODERN MANIA.

    Our world lives at a feverish pace. We are too hurried, too rushed, and too stressed. We work long, passionate hours to pay the bills, but fall deeper into debt. We rush from one activity to another—even multitasking along the way—but never seem to get everything done. We remain in constant connection with others through our cell phones, but true life-changing relationships continue to elude us. Minimalism slows down life and frees us from this modern hysteria to live faster. It finds freedom to disengage. It seeks to keep only the essentials. It seeks to remove the frivolous and keep the significant. And in doing so, it values the intentional endeavors that add value to life.

    MINIMALISM IS FREEDOM FROM DUPLICITY.

    Although nobody intentionally chooses it, most people live in duplicity. They live one life around their family, one life around their co-workers, and another life around their neighbors. The lifestyle they have chosen requires them to portray a certain external image dependent upon their circumstances. They are tossed and turned by the most recent advertising campaign or the demands of their employer. On the other hand, a simple life is united and consistent.

    MINIMALISM IS COUNTER-CULTURAL.

    We live in a world that idolizes celebrities. They are photographed for magazines, interviewed on the radio, and recorded for television. Their lives are held up as the golden standard and are envied by many. People who live minimalist lives are not championed by the media in the same way. They don‘t fit into the consumerist culture that is promoted by corporations and politicians. Yet, they live a life that is attractive and inviting.

    While most people are chasing after success, glamour, and fame, minimalism calls out to us with a smaller, quieter, calmer voice. It invites us to slow down, consume less, but enjoy more. And when we meet someone living a simplified life, we often recognize that we have been chasing after the wrong things all along.

    MINIMALISM IS NOT EXTERNAL, BUT INTERNAL.

    After the external clutter has been removed, minimalism has the space to address the deepest heart issues that impact our relationships and life.”

    Here is the link to the website. https://www.becomingminimalist.com/

    Minimalism is the thought you live consciously, intentionally, and only with necessary items. The space in which you occupy is clean, organized, and most of all free from “things” that do not truly bring you joy or help you live happier. Really, I like to think cliché phrases “Less is More” and “Quality over Quantity” sum up what minimalism is about.

    I first heard about Minimalism from a movie on Netflix, called (surprise) “Minimalism.” If you haven’t seen it, I definitely recommend watching it before you begin your journey. It was watching Minimalism that propelled me to donate half my wardrobe. Doing so truly made me examine how much excess clothing I had and made me ask myself what really serves me purpose and brings me joy. I realized I don’t want more clothes, I already have had a LOT of clothes. But, did I LOVE every piece of clothing? No. Were there items I was holding on to for no reason? Absolutely. Ladies, I’m sure you’ve stood in front of your closet full of clothes before and said “I don’t have anything to wear.” I had over 30 pairs of jeans but would really only wear about 10 of them. Why? lol So honestly it felt great to get rid of all the excess clothing and now only see clothing that I LOVE in there. It also helps when shopping because of course being the D.I.Y person that I am, I (kind of) don’t buy things I know I can make. However, the fashion lover in me will always enjoy picking up a ready to wear garment off the rack and that’s ok. I’m just a more conscious shopper now. Practicing minimalism removes you from possession and attachment to things that are in fact replaceable.

     

     

    Minimalist Fashion- I kind of just talked about my experience with minimizing my closet but here are a few tips and resources that may help you declutter or minimize your wardrobe.

    · Donate or discard it if you haven’t worn it in the past year or 2, that goes for accessories too. Take every single clothing item you own and ask yourself do you LOVE it? Please note there is a difference between like and love. Lol

    · Kon Marie says the secret to success is to “Start by discarding. Then organize your space thoroughly, completely, and in one go.”

    · If you want to dress “like a minimalist” or just get an idea of what it’s all about as it pertains to fashion http://www.refinery29.com/minimalism is a great resource. They have a whole section on their website dedicated just to minimalism with tons of pictures and articles. So now moving on to minimalism in the home. This is a big one and after my clothing, this one was next.

    Minimalist Home- The space you live in truly affects your energy. Therefore it should appeal to all your senses, be free of clutter, and everything should have a designated place.. If you don’t think the way your home or space is set up affects your energy just think of the ancient art and science of Feng Shui. According to Brophy of www.realsimple.com, “Feng Shui is a practice based on the idea that our homes are a mirror of what’s happening inside us. The purpose of feng shui is to get your environment in alignment with who you are and where you want to go—to harmonize your energy with your home’s energy. You do that by carefully considering what you bring in, how you arrange your rooms, and how you maintain the place. Everything has energy, even inanimate objects. Feng shui helps guide that energy and lets it flow freely through your home.” So while we may call it minimalism, the Chinese have been calling is feng shui. Lol When it comes to minimalism in the home the book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”  is great! This is an old book but it’s great if you’re one of those people who cleans your home and somehow its messy again within the next couple of days or week. Lol Guilty. Minimalism isn’t just about throwing all your stuff away, it’s about not having excess. So, if something brings you joy or value you should KEEP IT! However, you should be real with yourself about the items you own and if they really bring you joy or if they just add to the madness.

     

    Also, kind of a sidebar but some people think they can’t adopt a minimalist lifestyle because they have children, but that is not true and there are resources for that also. Think less toys, more teaching gratitude, enjoying simple pleasures, and spending quality time with your child. Start by googling “Minimalist with children” for more tips on this.

     

     

    Overall Minimalist Lifestyle- So I hope by now you have an idea of what minimalism is all about. If I could leave you with anything to help you as you embark on your journey to minimalism it would be:

    1. Know your journey to minimalism will not be or look like anyone else’s. Own it.

    2. If you go about this correctly you may be forced to ask yourself some challenging questions or deal with some mysterious emotions. Just be open and ready. This journey to less is so freeing!

    3. Write down the reasons you want to live simply or declutter. You have to visualize the destination before you start.

    4.  Dress with less. Ask yourself if you really need that new outfit it or do you just want it.

    5. You don’t have to eat less but eating more simply/ lighter and cooking your own meals may be a great addition to this lifestyle change.

    6. Constantly question your possessions. Do I need that or do I want it? When is the last time I’ve used this? Can it be donated? How would my life be if I didn’t have this? Etc. All questions I now ask myself on the regular.

    7. Get rid of duplicates, don’t have excess, and discard or donate. This goes for household items and clothing items.

    8. Don’t forget LESS IS MORE and QUALITY OVER QUANTITY. I personally would rather have a closet full of dreamy quality clothing I absolutely love, than a bunch of cheap ok pieces from Forever 21. (no shade forever21) The same with your home, it may be better to have a sparse apartment with amazing art or items you really love than to have a space filled with clutter and things you think are just ok.

    9. Forgive yourself and keep trying if you hit a bump on the road. Don’t give up and once you conquer, don’t revert.

    10. And lastly my yoga teacher said something profound in class one day. We were talking about living modestly and the few lines she said went something like: “We don’t need more choices, all we need is an elevated capacity to make choices. We don’t need more information, we need the wisdom to use all the info we already have. We don’t need another religion we need the experience of a lifestyle or path that creates a spiritual fitness to act on our beliefs.”

    Also the book “Goodbye Things” is another great recommendation I received.

    I hope this post helped you jumpstart your way to minimalism.  Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog, follow me on IG and Facebook, Comment, Like, tell a friend, it is all appreciated!

    Peace, Love, and Light.

     

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    A Quick Trip to New Orleans!

     

    You ever want to pack a weekend worth of clothes, go to the airport, and hop on a flight a few states away for no reason at all. lol Maybe its just me, but that’s exactly how I was feeling like when I bought my plane ticket to go to New Orleans. I needed this trip to take my mind off of work and get inspired. As you can see I haven’t sewn anything lately and that’s because I’ve been really uninspired lol. My fabrics haven’t been speaking to me and I overall was in a very “blah” mood. lol

    So a quick getaway was just what I needed and I squeezed in a lot of sightseeing in my 4 days here. I went to a huge art studio (Studio Be), Whitney Plantation, restaurants, farmers/flea markets, crystal shopping, bar hopping, music listening, yoga and aerial classes, and even some other cool places that only a local would know about. lol

    It was kind of hard to be in New Orleans and not think about Hurricane Katrina. I was only 14 when Hurricane Katrina happened so I didn’t really understand all the logistics, time, money, resources, people, and support that goes into rebuilding peoples lives from scratch. A local had mentioned that time in New Orleans is measured in BK or AK. Before Katrina or After Katrina. Another one questioned if there was even life before Katrina because they lost every single thing. Every childhood picture, article of clothing, even childhood friends were never seen again after Katrina. So I had several humbling moments being there and listening to their stories. Keeping right on with the humbleness and gratitude was visiting the Whitney Plantation. Another eye-opening experience. I’ve read books and seen pictures about plantation life, but to be there, standing on plantation grounds, and imagining for one second I could have been someone’s property, I could have been a slave, it was almost unthinkable.

    I was putting myself in other peoples shoes a lot while I was there, which is ok and can be great to help you sympathize or empathize with someone, but through yoga I am reminded (and I remind you) not dwell in other peoples shoes. It is normal that sometimes, it is just too hard to see the suffering, and that we just want to give up. (Like I did with meat) Some things are so cruel, so inconceivable for the empathic and sensitive ones, that it can become hell just to think about it. It can even ruin a person’s life and make him/her lose her willingness to continue to live. During this trip I was also reminded to stay strong during the suffering. All the anger, sadness, and grief I experience when I visit places like Whitney Plantation or the African American Museum, I have to let it go at some point because it serves me no purpose to hold on to those thoughts or that energy. Once we know certain things, it’s our whole life that changes, even the whole meaning of Life that can change. That is why studying, growing, reading, evolving, using your knowledge is so important and powerful. Don’t live in an ignorant bliss, I would rather know and be aware of everything.

     

    The wall that broke during Hurricane Katrina.
    The Tree of Life in Audubon Park. A historic oak tree estimated to be about 500 years old!

     

    The riverboat.
    Another art studio we briefly visited named Frenchy.
    A memorial to the slaves that were beheaded in The Slave Revolt of 1811. About 500 slaves marching in protest, ended in a blood bath as they were captured and sent back to their respective plantations, where they were then shot at gun point and had their heads hung on spikes along the Mississippi River. All slaves were made to view this sight as a reminder and warning to never revolt.
    The Big House. The slave owner would live here. An interesting fact about houses back then they had no hallways, stairs, or closets. This was done to keep the house as cool as possible.
    Whitney Plantation.
    The Blacksmith house. A couple scenes from Django were shot here.
    Oak trees on the plantation.

  • Uncategorized

    Going Plant Based.. Down There?!

    Hello and Happy Friday everyone, ItsNichelleB thanks for visiting my blog! Today’s post is about feminine hygiene products and going plant based or vegan, not only as it pertains to what you put in your body (food) but also what you put ON your body. Over the past couple of years I feel like we’ve stepped into an era of health consciousness. People are looking for alternatives to traditional medicines, reading labels, and googling ingredients… I mean think about the dairy industry, there were never so many options for milk on the shelves until the last 5 years or so.. There is an organic, natural, or “free and clear” alternative for almost everything nowadays. I feel the same kind of spotlight has been put on the feminine hygiene industry. More and more female consumers started to spread the word that most brand name pads and tampons are harmful, and now better options have come out. I just wish we could to go back to when agriculture wasn’t so exploited and everything we bought wasn’t loaded with chemicals, fillers, pesticides, etc. It’s like what is safe now? Is this really organic? Can I trust this company? lol Conscious consumers just want to know the truth about what is in our products and how they are made.

    Since becoming pescatarian, I have become conscious of the food I eat, but it’s easy to overlook other important factors besides food that are considered unhealthy or unsafe. Things like household cleaning items, air fresheners, candles, soaps, lotion, and feminine products, all come in contact with our bodies directly or indirectly at some point.

    After learning more about this about a year ago I switched to a “free and clear” laundry detergent and deodorant about a year ago. That was a good start but as more information and products came out, it made me ponder the soap, lotion, and feminine care products I was using.

    So I did the next best thing I know to do, and I researched it.. lol Finding out what was really in pads, tampons, and Dove soap did open my eyes. So after finding out that info, I researched organic/vegan toiletries, and trust me ladies there is no need to keep using harmful tampons and pads anymore. Big brands like Always, Playtex, and Kotex are all about the dollar. There are other smaller companies that actually have our health in mind!

    Ok now on to the products..

    The va jay-jay wash I use is by @thehoneypotco and you can follow them on Instagram. This is a black-owned, plant-based, feminine care company that I love! Some of their products like the wash and their wipes have recently become available in Target stores, but other items may have to be ordered from their website. I didn’t buy their wipes because honestly they are like $10 for 20 wipes or something like that and I don’t use wipes down there that often.

    I have tried Seventh Generation pads, but not the tampons yet. They both cost about the same as regular pads or tampons but are of course organic and without any dyes and/or chemicals. I like them, they work for me, and they can be purchased at Target along with their baby wipes. I like baby wipes because they are really cheap, like $3 for 60, lol they are gentle enough to use down there, and if you’re too lazy to remove your makeup on those wild nights they are gentle enough to do that also. While you’re at it Seventh Generation also has great “free and clear” laundry detergent. lol

    I use Dr.Bronners Hemp Lavender and Peppermint soap on my body and I like it, although I may be kind of bias because I just love the smell of lavender. lol I actually have been experimenting with soaps lately. I’ve tried the Coconut Hibiscus soap by Shea Moisture, and another natural soap from a friend. I don’t see myself ever going back to traditional soaps like Dove anymore. Shea Moisture also has a “cruelty free” makeup remover I really like, it is pictured.

    As far as lotion I was using Palmers Cocoa Butter, but according to my research the solid jar is vegan, the lotion is not. Although I use cocoa butter lotion sometimes, a lot of the time I just use raw Shea Butter. I have made my own lotion/body butter by blending the raw shea butter with some essential oil, almond oil, and coconut oil. I added lavender essential oil to my last batch of shea butter lotion and it was great. The options are endless for making your own lotion! You truly don’t need all those extra fillers, just to moisturize your skin.

    Lastly my deodorant, I’ve been stopped using regular deodorants like Secret and Degree. I use Arm & Hammer Essentials Unscented deodorant. It is vegan, no aluminum, parabens, or colorants, and the price is cool. Of course there are deodorant brands out there but if you’re not ready to pay $8-10 for deodorant then you may want to consider making your own. As with lotion, there are plenty of options, and you only need a few ingredients you probably already have.

    So there you have it! No need use soap with animal fat in it, no need for chlorine processing in pads, no need to stick plastic up there with tampons! Our female parts are so sacred, and delicate, we should treat them as such! Go vegan down there! I especially recommend you go vegan down there if you experience feminine issues often such as UTI’s, yeast infections, discharge, or odors. Tampons, pads, soaps, sex, our periods, foods we eat all affect our pH balance! Also if you have been using pads or tampons for years which the average woman has, you may want to consider detoxing your vagina. I know you may be like “What detox my vagina?!” lol but yes you can and I’m not talking about a douche.. lol But that is a whole different blog post! lol If you have further questions about switching to vegan toiletries, essential oils, or anything else feel free to write a comment or email me!

    Below I have some links you can visit if you want to read about this in further detail or visit sites that sell plant-based hygiene products!

    https://www.bustle.com/articles/83591-are-tampons-safe-7-reasons-we-should-be-concerned-about-the-ingredients-in-feminine-hygiene-products

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/feminine-hygiene-products_b_3359581.html

    http://www.divacup.com

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    D.I.Y (Shrimp and Vegetable) Eggrolls

    Heyyy, ItsNichelleB! Welcome and thanks for visiting my blog. I haven’t been able to post as much fashion as I would like to because as I mentioned in the beginning of the year, yoga school is very time consuming, but it’s almost over and I couldn’t be more excited! lol I just have one more part to finish before I get my certificate and I’ll be back in the sewing lab! lol

    Anyway this is another food post! Do you like the food posts? Is there anything you want to see me create? I’ve been having fun sharing my meals with you. Eggrolls are one of those foods that most people just buy because they probably don’t know how easy it is to make your own. Of course the best part about making it yourself is that you can customize it to taste exactly how you want. I researched Pinterest and found out to make eggrolls only required a few spices and ingredients. The only thing I didn’t have on hand for this recipe was the eggroll wraps and cabbage. I got the eggroll wraps from my local grocery store and they were about $3. The package has a little diagram on the back to show you how to roll an eggroll.

    Pictures of everything I used is below.

    MODIFICATIONS:  These eggrolls can also be baked. If you want a healthier version just place them on parchment paper and bake until golden brown.

    The ingredients can also be switched up, you can add chicken or pork instead of shrimp, or you can omit the meat and have a veggie eggroll!

    Some people (on Pinterest) say they just buy broccoli slaw for the filling, instead of fresh vegetables, that way you save time because you don’t have to cut or clean any vegetables!

    I sautéed the carrots, cabbage, onion, and broccoli for a few minutes with the salt, pepper, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil. You only want to cook it enough so that it softens up a bit. Don’t overcook it. After that you fill the eggrolls and roll them up! They cook really fast. So if you are frying them (like I did) stay near and only cook them for about 5 minutes or until golden brown! That’s all there is to it!

     

    Duck sauce for dipping!
    Soooo yummy!!!
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    Soba Noodles with Shrimp and Cilantro

    Hellooo everyone! ItsNichelleB, back with a recipe! This is a quick, simple, tasty meal that only takes about 45 minutes total to make. If you have never heard of soba noodles they are Japanese noodles made from buckwheat flour. Soba noodles resemble a spaghetti noodle, but they are gluten free and can be served hot or cold.

    I am all about simple, yet delicious meals. Recipes that involve more than 10 steps to cook it or more than 10 ingredients to make it are not my thing. lol (just kidding) There is this idea that to eat “healthy” you have to spend an excessive amount of time prepping and cooking your own food and that is just an excuse! lol I know because I am probably the most lazy, picky, pescatarian, plant based, eater ever. lol I wouldn’t say I “love” cooking, but I love knowing exactly what I’m eating and I know cooking is the only way to be sure of that. It does take time to get your research on, meal prep, make a new grocery list, and try new foods but its a fun journey that is very rewarding!

    This meal is great if you want a light lunch or dinner. It came out of a magazine, I just took a picture of the page and posted it below.

    *Disclaimer  I am not a chef, nor I did not study culinary arts. I have only researched food and studied the body in my leisure time for my benefit. I don’t offer advice on what is most healthy and what you should be eating simply because I am not a nutritionist and do not know EVERYTHING there is to know about food. I just want you to do the research on the foods you consume for yourself!

    Hope you try this meal!