Things I learned or have grown to understand more deeply this year:
Being CONCERNED is not the same thing as being UNDER THREAT
Feminism means ALL WOMEN. Not just the ones *YOU* deem ok. Whether they are a stripper (I picked that word intentionally because of it’s negative implications), a stay at home mother or a doctor, regardless of the color of their skin-ALL WOMEN. I repeat ALL WOMEN.
Calling someone names for doing something wrong is not helpful. (See also: leave people the fuck alone on planes)
Shaming any WOMAN or any PERSON for being naked is SLUT SHAMING. Whether you agree with their politics or not or their view of themselves and their body.
Read opinions you do not agree with and do not *respond* to them. READ THEM, THINK ABOUT THEM and FIGURE OUT HOW TO LEARN FROM THEM. Learn to listen. Responding is NOT listening (See also: people fighting on Facebook)
You don’t want to pay for abortion clinics, I don’t want to pay for wars. WE ALL PAY FOR SHIT WE DON’T WANT TO PAY FOR and that is never going to change.
You are not always right. No doubt about that one. That goes for each and every one of us.
And yes, there is always something YOU can do to help. ALWAYS.
Just because you cannot fight every battle does not mean you should not fight any.
2017 looks to be a tumultuous year. Let's hope we remember to look at for each other.
Tis the season for toys and fun!
One of my favorite things I did this year was visit the Toy and Miniature Museum in Kansas City, MO.
The collection of dollhouse pieces is especially impressive. Spend at least an hour here unless you're like me and want to read everything than make it about 3 hours.
The holidays are fast upon us and as such many of us are scrambling to find meaningful, useful gifts that in some way give back to our communities.
Let's be honest: donations are wonderful and I love to do them but I also love giving gifts. Our artisan, small business economy is important. It supports makers, jobs and families.
I put together a list of places I like to buy gifts and treats for all holidays not just Christmas. But, of course, these are great Christmas places too.
First up: Ethique Nouveau. A shop full of handmade gifts and treats that also is not-for-profit as it's sales support animal charities. I love going here and have bought tons of things from here. In addition, they host bake sale fundraisers for members of the community in need of help.
Next on the list is near my house and I have a hard time going in here and not buying things for myself. I love their air plant collection and they also carry gifts for Jewish holidays.
Indulge and Bloom never disappoints.
On the high-end of artisan gift giving and filled with tangible dreams is Larue's. Jewels, clothes, small gifts, art, hats...
Even when I can't afford to get something I do love to walk around and look at everything. So many works of art in one space.
If those kinds of gems don't peak your interest, head over to ZRS Fossils for truly unique gifts. Rocks, minerals, crystals, jewelry. It's like shopping in a museum.
On the eco-conscious end of gift giving locally is Moss Envy. I can't find my pictures for here but click the link to see what they have to offer.
They have lots of home goods and I've frequently used this spot for eco-friendly party needs.
Now onto edible and drinkable gifts:
Glam Doll Donuts would have to be on the list. Vegan donuts, cute items all related to pin-ups and donuts.
My list would not be complete without The Herbivorous Butcher. They do have many vegan cheeses and meats for great gift giving but they also carry artisan chips, nuts, chocolates, dog treats, etc..
Bonus: Millner Heritage Winery. Not in Minneapolis though you can find their products in stores here. They make wonderful wines for dinner and parties. If you can make it out to the winery the tour is amazing. And when it's cold there's warm, mulled wine.
Much luck and Happy Holidays!
This weekend during my Open House the election was on everyone's mind. (No surprise)Most especially since many of the people who stopped by stand to lose a great deal with the new administration myself included. The conversation turned to womens health and this bit I wrote was brought up. It was requested I repost it. So here it is. I recently read 72,000 donations had been made to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence's name. You know what Planned Parenthood help me do? Get antibiotics for my pneumonia when I was a broke twenty something. Now I have insurance through the ACA and like a lot of other people I need my health insurance that's about to be taken from me. And so do my friends.
The Unicorn Visit
The girl came into her room after being out all night and was surprised to find the unicorn standing by her bed.
“Good morning,” the unicorn said in a clipped British accent. “Did you have a good time?”
Unsure what to say, and feeling a blush creep into her cheeks, she stood awkwardly by the door and shifted around in stocking feet.
“My, my! It must’ve been a good time if you can no longer speak,” the unicorn teased her.
“I don’t mean to be rude,” she stammered. “I’m just quite shocked to find you in my room. My father said unicorns only visit pure girls. Girls who’ve no sexuality or sexual relationships with anyone. He told me I am not a good person, as I’ve a boyfriend.”
The unicorn raised its eyebrow skeptically. Well, it would’ve raised its eyebrow skeptically if unicorns had eyebrows to raise.
“I beg your pardon, Miss, but I must say, your father is a bit of a judgmental creep. And not just a small amount of a hypocrite,” it finished, muttering to itself.
“What? I’m sorry, Mr. Unicorn, I didn’t hear that last part.” The girl stepped a bit closer.
“Nothing, dear. If you don’t mind, please do not call me ‘Mister’. I prefer to be a non-gender-specified creature so I can visit anyone I wish and not make them uncomfortable. A side note, darling, ask your father what he gets up to on Tuesday nights down at the tavern, and we’ll see how judgmental he is then.”
“Okay?” The girl cocked her head to the side and, sweet as can be, tried to puzzle out what that meant. “What is that on my bedside table?” She pointed past the unicorn.
“Ahh, yes. The reason for my visit. Now, I most assuredly do not presume to judge you for having sexual relations with anyone who is a consenting adult. However, I’ve made it my job to visit people of all shapes and sizes and preferences and make them accountable to their safety and their partners’ sexual safety. One can be fun, but one must also be wise. That’s what we really do, us unicorns… Educate. Honestly, I am quite tired of these silly, faux tales of us running around judging everyone. We enjoy a good romp as much as the next beast. That said, go ahead and open your gifts.”
The girl set her smashingly cute high heels on the floor and wove over to the table. She unwrapped cheerfully festooned boxes full of condoms, birth control, dental dams, and many other things to make life a bit easier.
“Do you think you might find those useful, milady?” the unicorn asked in a silly voice, trying to ease the girl’s discomfort. “Really, you’ve nothing to be ashamed of. And most importantly, you should be taking care of yourself. Never mind what these ridiculous people try to tell you to control you.”
“Why, yes, I think I would find them useful.” She turned and looked at the unicorn. “Truthfully, I do get a little tired of hearing the crap people say when I know they are full of b.s. They’re always telling us to look to the princess for virtuous leadership.”
“Believe me when I say, when she gets her chance the princess will speak out, as she enjoys a good time as much as anyone. Now, dear, I also left you a daring little number in the closet. I must be on my way. The princess in question has asked me to visit her ladies-in-waiting. Waiting for what, I always wonder?” The unicorn laughed and strutted out the door, but not before turning around and reminding her, “Being sexually active is a great deal of fun, but do not forget your annual exam.” With that, the unicorn disappeared into a puff of glitter.
Since we don’t have unicorns, we need Planned Parenthood.
I've been adding new things to my shop as I prepare for my next craft show. You can see them here: GirlyGeekChic.
Prep for the holidays seems to be in full swing though without snow here in Minnesota it doesn't feel like it yet for me.
I hope we get some flakes soon. Behold!
Guardians of the Key Necklace can be found here: Owl Necklace
The Gothic Garden Necklace can be found here: Key Necklace.
Blood Moon Necklace can be found here: Moon Necklace.
The Celestial Love of the Sun can be found here: Sun Necklace.
Creatures of the Dark Necklace can be found here: Mermaid Skeleton Necklace.
The Darker Mermaid Necklace can be found here: Creatures of the Dark Necklace.
Thank you for looking!
We are headed straight to the end of the year and as such will come the New Year's Resolutions. I have been reading a lot lately how the vegan food movement has been growing in leaps and bounds over the last couple of years and that delights me completely. Whatever reasons you start to eat less meat there is one factor that can also be good: Your diet will get healthier and more adventurous.
That said it can be hard to know where to go and what to order. A lot of places these days do have clearly marked menus but I have done three previous posts about how to order vegan if you don't have a clearly marked menu. You can start with this information here if you like and there will be links to the next two posts as well.
If you are considering cutting back on meat consumption or doing away with it all together, allow me to share with you some places to try out to see what kinds of things you might enjoy. There are some well-known favorite places as well as some lesser known establishments.
Let's start with a bit of brunch.
Pizza Luce is famous for it's great vegan pizza but they also serve breakfast. It is only on the weekends and for a while they only served it in Duluth and St. Paul. They have expanded and I recently went and had one of my favorites: Vegan Quinoa Pancakes with warm apple compote. They also have a tofu scramble I love.
When you're looking for a veg lunch and you want it to be quick, look no further than Reverie Cafe. They serve all vegan food and when I was there, my companion and I tried the TLT and Berbere BBQ sandwich, both were great. Tasty and not too heavy. It's funny to me that I like veggie versions of BLT sandwiches, I used to really dislike them. But the veggie version here and at The Depot Tavern are super yummy.
The one person working by themselves that afternoon was totally great and friendly despite being relatively busy.
If you're looking for something a bit healthier head down to The Wedge Table. The Co-Op has expanded into a new space that has sit-in dining and more importantly: vegan cupcakes. They have a handful of options each time I have been that are vegan but my favorite is the Mayan Grains Bowl. Quinoa with black beans, sweet potatoes, kale, avocado slices, onions and avocado dressing. I add the grilled seitan as well. It's simple ingredients mixed together in a flavorful way.
I am going to share three places I think make great dinner stops. Though of course, you can eat there whenever you like! The first is a fully interactive experience. I have done this twice now and it's so fun and the more people you invite the more fun it can be. Little Szechuan in St. Paul offers Hotpot. Now if you've never had this before it can be a bit daunting. You sit at a table with a burner with a pot on top (and you can pick a completely vegetarian oil). Then you choose from a menu all the things you'd like to fry in the oil. Everything from lotus root to mushrooms to tofu in all forms. You then head over to the "bar" where you can create your own mixture of flavor oils, salts, powders and spice to dip these things in after they are cooked.
You take turns cooking things up and mixing and so you kind of never exactly know what you're going to get. I love this and I also love that it can be super spicy. But that's my preference. You definitely don't have to go spicy.
Added bonus: each pot is split in two so you can keep your side gluten free if you need to.
Never have I ever been in a place that smells as good as Everest on Grand. Located in St. Paul and in a cute neighborhood, this is one of my favorite places to eat in the Twin Cities. I usually go here for dinner but I am told they also have a vegan friendly lunch buffet. Everything I have tried on the menu I have liked. From lentil soup to momos to curry. They have an extensive veg menu and it is actually to me, a super great place to eat in winter. There is something very warming about the food. Some of the more decadent things include Tofu Pakoras and Momos (I once saw a little girl about 7-8 years old eat 20 veggie momos when I was there). For curry I really enjoy the Matar Curry and Kabuli Chana. They do sometimes additionally have one with asparagus that is beyond yummy. And again, you can get some real spice here.
In a similar vein, here in Minneapolis you can eat at a long time great place and favorite stop of mine: Gorkha Palace. Active in the community, kind people and just really good food. I've written about them before and they will likely always be on my favorites list. You can also have their momos with tomato chutney at the Mill City Farmer's Market in the summer time. I love sitting by the river and enjoying them.
Yes, I love momos. And Chana. Though my favorite and it can be ass-kickingly hot is Channa Saag. The veggies pakoras are quite good and come in a large quantity. The leftovers of food from here heat back up quite well.
Last but certainly not least is dessert. My new favorite ice cream comes from Milk Jam Creamery.
I love, love, love dark chocolate and none is better in ice cream form than the Black ice cream at Milkjam. It's usually busy and well worth the wait. However, I am a tiny bit miffed that you can't get one of the ice cream sandwiches made with Glam Doll donuts since they don't have vegan ones. I know, I know, champagne problems.
Speaking of which, Milkjam also has Champagne floats.
So go forth and conquer! I will have more for you at the end of the year. ENJOY!
It's my birthday in a few days and I've been looking back on the last year thinking about what has been my favorite things about it. It's been a year much better than last year for starters so, that's good. I lost both my pets last year and that took a lot out of me. There were other things but I think that was the hardest. This year has had a fair number of annoyingly expensive issues but whatever. Money is money, sometimes there's enough of it and sometimes there is not and that's unlikely to change.
One thing that has been stellar is that I have traveled more this year than any previous year. I usually spend about 2 1/2 weeks to three weeks traveling per year. This last year I've already traveled over a month's worth of time and that is amazing to me. I hope it continues to grow.
One of the most remarkable places I've ever been, I went to in Jan. It was the Cloud Bridge Nature Reserve in Costa Rica. Located high in the mountains it is a place of astonishing beauty. Cloud forests have become one of my favorite places to explore. They are usually amazing and honestly, the temperatures are often the kind I like.
Cloud Bridge is no exception. Plus, I am a total butterfly obsessed nut and this a great place to be for that interest. Including getting to see the glass-winged butterfly in the wild. We took more pictures than I can count so, I picked a few favorites and they don't even begin to do this place justice. I might add, this is not an easy hike and as such I get to have pride in how hard I worked to get around the reserve.
Good grief, I've been meaning to write this post for some time now. I went to Houston at the end of January and start of February. My sister was getting married and it was a wonderful time. I didn't go out to eat too much as we made food together as a family a couple of times and of course, the wedding.
I did write about one place I went when I was there and I had wanted to go for a long time: The Johnson Space Center.
So here are a few food places in Houston and around Houston (my sister got married on Galveston Bay) where you can get some good vegan food, donuts and coffee.
I always have a tough time finding good vegan mochas. Especially in the south. Somehow I got lucky this time and there was an adorable place a few blocks form the hotel called The Art of Coffee. It was filled with local art on the Kemah Boardwalk. An adorable neighborhood filled with candy colored homes.
We found a veg place that had really great reviews by the name of Field of Greens. I thought my tofu sandwich was simple, grilled, flavorful and of course, seasoned fries as I was on vacation. I also had a smoothie that I thought was not too bad. Not the best but still good.
My favorite, FAVORITE thing about visiting Texas is the Mexican and Tex-Mex food. This amazing place where they made fresh guacamole was one of the best I've been to in the last few years. Mamacita's was excellent. The margaritas were on the rocks and tangy. The food was fresh and they had no issue accommodating dietary requests. I loved my food here.
My new favorite naughty food adventure to take when on a trip is to find vegan donuts. This is a new tradition and Houston didn't disappoint. The place that was open when I had time to go (there are other options) was Hugs and Donuts. They had several vegan cake donuts for the taking and the blueberry one was divine. We got there near closing time in the early afternoon and they gave what was left to the kids outside so as not to waste them which I thought was even better.