Vegan Living (A first for me!)

DSC09461  DSC09459

The first host family that we stayed with were vegans, which means that they did not consume any animal products. No meat as well as no cheese, milk or even honey. This was a new challenge for me as I am in love with cheese. However, I was challenged to learn to make what I wanted, without the animal byproducts. I looked up recipes and was able to make so many new foods.

The first one I tried to make was almond milk. The recipe is really simple and I have another post on just making almond milk.



This actually turned out amazing! It is sweet and I put a couple of drops of vanilla in it and sprinkled a little cinnamon on top and I felt like I was at Starbucks!

The second thing I tried was vegan bread. The ingredients were only flour, yeast, olive oil, and water.

This turned out even better than I imagined! I wont lie, I was expecting something awful and doughy. But they tasted just like biscuits!

Some other natural remedies I learned:

*Using salt to cleanse ‘skeeter bite wounds. Tasha was getting chewed up one day and after scratching all afternoon, I learned that salt (along with lemon, garlic or onions) rubbed on bug bites, calms the itch so that they can heal.

*A healthier and more natural way of cleaning is with the use of vinegar and the juice from lemons

*Lemons rubbed under the arms in the shower along with a little baking soda reduce underarm body oder dramatically. Thus virtually eliminating the need for deoderant.

*Parasites like fleas hate the smell and taste of garlic. For dogs that spend a lot of time outside, crush garlic and add some water and a bit of olive oil. Mix it together and you have a homemade flea repellant. The oil drowns the flea and they suffocate. (This of course works best if the dogs are outside dogs or on a farm). This reduces the burning and harmful chemicals from store bought flea killers

Does anyone else have any awesome Vegan or organic recipes/suggestions?


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And the count down has begun. Hold on to your hats!!

Hey everyone! so sorry we went AWOL for a while! There has been so much to so with preparations for the trip and getting things together for the final countdown (dun dun dun!). I woke up Sunday morning and  thought we leave in exactly one month (holy moly thats so soon!)


You never know how much stuff you have in your home until you’re ready to move out.

well maybe it isnt that much, but it sure feels like it!! We both contacted some local charity organizations to collect the items in our apartments. It was bittersweet but knowing that the furniture would be given to someone who needs it was well worth it!

Oh! And my passport came in the mail last week! Things. Just. Got. Real. -_-

We have a lot of upcomming information and cant wait to post it all!!

International health concerns: Why I choose not to leak from both ends

illustration by Liz Szabo, USA Today

I have been taking more of an effort to learn about different health concerns around the world. Staying healthy is obviously a big concerns for those who are traveling away from home, especially internationally. Airports, taxi cabs, communal bathrooms all increase the chances for getting sick. I recently read a great blog that had a lot of wonderful travel information. Check it out here. Different countries have higher statistics of travelers who become sick after being exposed to new germs that the traveler would not normally come in contact with.

But I refuse to fall to these statistics!

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a listing of travel guidelines for travelers to read to ensure their health while away from home. They give information on being “Proactive, Prepared, and Protected!” Along with the CDC information, I have compiled a list of helpful tips to use when traveling, both close to home and miles away.

photo via

1. Know the health concerns of where you are going: Be sure to learn about vaccines that are needed if you are going to another country or even another continent. (Dont forget about the flu shot) Growing up and living primarily in one area can make a traveler more susceptible to health concerns that are not native where you live. Also be sure to learn about the water quality of the area that you are traveling to also. If necessary, have water purification tablets or a water filter. (nothing is worse that being caught with your pants down, literally!)

2. Be sure to have a list of all health issues: I have learned when traveling, both alone and with friends that it is important to make sure that if something were to happen, emergency personnel knew my allergies, emergency contacts and important health information about me. Be sure to have a list of medication allergies as well as a list of current medications that you may be taking for quick reference in the event of an emergency.

3. Have bug spray: Creepy Crawlies are all over the world. Being from the western part of the world, I know that there are many critters that I have yet to discover. Critters that can cause rashes, welts, fevers, and… *ahem* leakage that I am not interested in having. Be sure to have antiseptic spray or antihistamine spray in the event that you are allergic to a new bug bite.

4. Wash hands: This is a bit of a given, but should be taken more seriously with being in a new area. It is one thing to not wash your hands after petting your family pet, and quite another after grabbing the handrail of a street car in another country. Be mindful of not touching your face or eyes until hands are clean.

5. Be careful of new foods: I love food. Period. And it takes a lot to separate me from it. But I am always careful when I travel to other countries where food borne illnesses can be a concern. I enjoy going to street markets and farmers markets but am always careful of what I eat and how it is prepared. Be sure to know what is in food that is prepared and always be aware of consuming raw foods in a new country as well.

This is a good list to reference to when traveling internationally and wanting to be aware of potential health concerns and the possibility of bodily leakage (which im sure I speak for everyone when I say no one wants to experience this)

Do any of you have suggestions for other travel health concerns? I’d love to hear them!

Bedtime monsters and pole dancers

I’ve started to learn a lot about myself over the last couple of weeks.

I think I will forever not be a morning person no matter how early I go to bed

I find it rather rejuvenating standing outside in the rain

I prefer to make the dinner rather than do the dishes

There is a very grey line between leaving your leg outside of the covers at night just enough to keep you cool and exposing your leg enough for a monster to grab you

This. is. Kiddie.

I rescued her off of a wooden beam. I heard her meowing when I was walking my dog. I plucked her off the pole and set her on the ground.

What am I going to do with this cat? I said to myself

Oh, I will put posters up and her owners will call!

No one called.

That was in 2009.

September 2009

She started out as “the new kitty”, something informal so as not to get attached.

When 2009 came and went and I still
had her, I dropped the formalities and just called her kiddy, but got creative
changed the t to a d and added the “ie” to the end


So, this said kiddie sleeps on my bed at night.

I have to ninja my way out of the bed in the morning so as not to bother her.

She likes to sleep close to me and occasionally rests her paw on me.

Which is cool, ya know, at 5:30 in the afternoon when I’m on the couch.

2:42am, when i leap up thinking it is the above described leg grabbing monster,

at what age do many of us develop our fear of the darkness? The stillness of night? What is it about the lights off vs the lights on that makes ones mind wander?  Why do we assume that the boogie man cannot find us under the covers as opposed to on top of them?