Dunkin’ Donuts Goes Vegan and Emails Me.

As a follower of Compassion Over Killing, I was excited to read their post about Dunkin Donuts Adding almond milk to its menu to “accommodate guests looking for a non-dairy alternative.” One of the main reasons I don’t go to DD for my coffee fix is because of this very reason, so to know that they are now offering dairy alternatives made my day. Every time I go to a restaurant or shop that doesn’t offer vegan alternatives (Nordstrom Cafe, I’m talking to you on your food sitch) I make sure to nicely mention to the manager that it would be wonderful if they did. I think it is so important that we speak up for what we believe in and nicely ask for alternatives. It can’t hurt. People tend to think nothing can change with large corporations because they don’t listen, but I believe if they hear it from enough people the tides will change.

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While I am happy on the milk front and applaud their changes, DD’s vegan food options are few and far between so I reached out to Dunkins’ customer service to ask for more vegan choices, particularly a donut. The next day I received an email from their customer service and the reply was positive. I wanted to share their response with you to show that companies do pay attention to what consumers want and if enough of us demand change it can and will happen.

Letter from Dunkin’ Donuts:
Thank you for contacting Dunkin’ Donuts. We appreciate your interest in vegetarian and vegan offerings.

While most of our yeast donuts do not contain milk, milk product or egg as a direct ingredient, a small percentage do contain these and therefore cannot be considered vegan products. This variation is a result of different preparation methods.

The products listed below do not contain milk, milk product or egg as a direct ingredient and could be considered vegan:

Vegan Food Offerings
Bagels – all varieties except sour cream and onion
Bagel Twists – all varieties except cheddar cheese & sour cream and onion
English Muffin
Hash Browns
Flatbread
French Roll

Vegan Beverage Offerings
Turbo Shot
Espresso
Hot/Iced Black Coffee
Hot/Iced Coffee with Almond Milk
Hot/Iced Lattes with Almond Milk
Hot/Iced Macchiatos with Almond Milk
Coffee Coolattas with Almond Milk
Flavor Shots – all varieties
Flavor Swirls – Mocha and Peppermint Mocha
Black Tea
Green Tea
Iced Tea – Sweetened or Unsweetened
Sweet Tea

Donuts are still missing on this list so I encourage you all to email customerservice@dunkinbrands.com and ask for Dunkin’ Donuts to work on adding some vegan donut options to their menu. Let’s be the change we want to see in the world! xx, Beth

Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing.

My MIL makes a famous Caesar dressing recipe passed down through my husband’s family but it includes a TON of parmesan cheese and anchovies. So this week we decided to make a vegan version of our family favorite dressing and it did not disappoint. The base of the dressing is hummus which gives it a creamy / cheese effect, while the capers fake the anchovy taste. It was a hit. Get the recipe below.

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// Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker //

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup plain hummus (we used garlic hummus)
  • 1 tsp spicy mustard (the TJ’s mustard is a little overwhelming so try for a mild mustard)
  • 2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp capers, finely minced/smashed + 3 tsp brining juice from the capers jar
  • 3 Tbsp fresh minced garlic (4-5 cloves)
  • Pinch each sea salt + pepper to taste
  • optional: 1-2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) olive oil (for added creaminess)
  • optional: 1-2 tsp maple syrup (if you need to add some sweetness)

We let it sit for an hour while we walked before adding to our salad. Get the Full Recipe and Tips at Minimalist Baker. xx, Beth

Fixer Upper // 8.8.16

Now that we are living in our home we have been so busy just enjoying it that we haven’t really done much to it. Plus we need a lot of furniture so it is hard to put things away when we don’t have anywhere to put the things. We finally got our hood installed this weekend which adds a lot to the kitchen and now we are trying to chose a backsplash that fits our style (see Pinterest board below). There is something nice about taking your time with decorating instead of rushing it as I like to research and really think things through before I commit.

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 4.38.56 PM// My HOME Pinterest board //

We have started the process for the driveway, choosing the pavers we want and putting a deposit down with the vendor. He pulled the permit today and the pavers take two weeks to make (of course we want a color not in stock) so hopefully we have a driveway at the beginning of September. For now, we ghetto yardpark. This week we also have the shower glass & mirror company coming out to remeasure. It takes about 7 – 10 business days and then they come back for the final install. It will be so nice to have a mirror in our bathroom and not have to use the one in the hallway every day.

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Plant Based Goodness.

Thought I would share what I have been eating lately to give you some plant based inspo.

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This has become our go-to salad for lazy nights (aka the nights I am in charge of dinner). We chop up romaine, add cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives and hearts of palm. Hubs makes an amazing salad dressing he keeps a secret, but I know it has mustard, nutritional yeast and spices in it.

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The Chickpea is a newer spot in Boynton Beach my friend told me about. They have meat options as well so it isn’t a #vegan joint, but their falafel is TO DIE FOR and I literally crave their lemon quinoa. You can make your own “bowl” and add a ton of healthy and vegan options to you heart’s desire. Obsessed.

IMG_9154I have been challenging myself to get in my greens by making a smoothie every single day. I ripped off the Whole Foods “Green Dream” smoothie which is just: gala apple, spinach, kale and pineapple. Blend with some water and you are good to go. I swear that in one week my nails started growing like Nosferato after having this every day.

IMG_9258To get myself back into the swing of things I went on Loni Jane’s Instagram and it reminded me to make some Rawnola again (chop up dates, coconut flakes and oats until it’s chunky). I have been enjoying this in the morning with almond milk and fruit. Sometimes I just snack on it if I am wanting something sweet.

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Finally went to an asian market for the first time since I was a kid living in Virginia (they have a lot of them there surprisingly) and went a little crazy buying everything from sauces to rice noodles. The actual reason I was supposed to go was for sushi rice and nori so my husband could make us mango & avocado sushi rolls. Which he did last night and they were amazing and I love him to death. xx

Plantbased Grocery Haul & Meal Ideas.

We did our plant based grocery haul at Trader Joe’s on Sunday to prepare for the week and it feels so good to be prepared. This haul will last us about 4 days of meals, maybe 5 if we stretch it. We have some leftover staple items from our last haul that are not pictured like oats, frozen veggies, rice cakes, hummus, peanut butter and veggie patties in the freezer. This haul cost us only $100 for two people and included spices to fill our spice rack, so if  you took those out everything cost under $100.

Breakfast // I made a batch of Loni Jane’s RAWNOLA (pulse dates, oats + coconut flakes) to eat with almond milk and fruit. You can also top your smoothies with the rawnola. We bought spinach, frozen fruit and chia seeds to make smoothies in the morning too – I have been trying to make a smoothie with spinach every morning and my nails have been growing like crazy after only doing it for a week. Lately, my husband likes apples with peanut butter for breakfast or avocado smashed on rice cakes.

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Snacks // Apples with pb, Avocados with salt + pepper, rice cakes with avo or pb, Smoothies / smoothie bowls, Date rolls, PB Oat Balls: Mix 1/2 C PB + 1C oats + 1/3C honey, roll into balls🙂

Lunch // I made homemade Falafel on Sunday for our lunches this week to go either with a wrap and hummus or on a salad. Falafel Recipe {makes 14}: 1 Can Chickpeas, 1/3 C parsley, 4 garlic cloves, cumin to season. Blend ingredients, chill mixture for 30 mins to 1hr, roll into balls and cook in Grapeseed oil on medium heat until browned. Voila! My husband also likes to put veggies and hummus into a wrap for his lunch so he rotates that with the falafel.

Dinners // I think this can be the hardest for those transitioning into a pb lifestyle so here are some ideas using what we are actually eating this week.
Sunday – Roasted cauliflower tossed in hot sauce + potatoes cut into “french fries” with S&P
Monday – Huge Greek salad with hearts of palm, grilled artichokes on top
Tuesday – Eggplant (not pictured), spinach with organic marinara sauce
Wednesday – Corn “Chowder” with almond milk, mirepoix, potatoes, corn (Full recipe to come)
Stretch night – When we have very little left in the fridge we will make hash browns with the potatoes, salad with what is leftover or sautee spinach with any veggies we have. We also bought quinoa so you can easily turn this into a hot or cold dish with leftover veggies.
Thursday – We want to make veggie nori rolls but need to pick up the sushi rice and nori paper. We will fill them with the avocado and cucumber we already have on hand.

Hope that this gives some plant based ideas as to what to buy at the grocery store and how to turn these random veggies and fruits into enough “meals” to get you through the week. xx, Beth

Fixer Upper // Life After the CO.

So things have been crazy at the new house, but I wanted to give an update. We got our CO on July 21st and started moving in the next day as soon as our house was professionally cleaned. Read about what to do once you get your CO (certificate of occupancy) here. Our final check and holdback amount was sent out last night the 27th, so the bank only took 4 business days this time and now we are done with them. From the final check we have to pay money to the GC and then we get some of it back, still to be determined from his final invoice. But overall, this #203k Loan nightmare is over. Footloose dance time…

We moved everything out of my MIL’s house and our storage unit (done paying that!) by Sunday and had everything in our house almost put away by Monday. When we moved in with my MIL we really cleared a lot out so we didn’t have as much to move in. On Saturday and Sunday I set up our Ikea closet which wasn’t hard to put together but was difficult to know where I want everything to go – check out the pics after the jump.

// Our finished kitchen //IMG_9085

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Fixer Upper // Final Certificate of Occupancy.

Our plumbing inspection finally passed on Tuesday, we had to call it in ourselves as the plumber has somehow disappeared. Yesterday the GC tried to call in our CO (certificate of occupancy, which you need to live in the house) with the city and they claimed the system had an issue and wouldn’t let us call it in. The whole department was at a seminar so we couldn’t get anywhere until today. My husband and I didn’t sleep last night imagining all the things that could put us back more time and money, setting ourselves up for the heartbreak that was sure to await us this morning as it has become our norm. As soon as the building department opened this morning my husband walked in and our home inspector, who knows our whole #203k saga, was standing inside and asked my hubs why he was there. Luckily the inspector knows everything about our build, sat down at the computer to look into the issue, and it turns out it was just a fee that needed to be paid. Once it was paid the inspector went to our house and gave us our final CO within about 30 minutes. Which means we are done with the city and can move into our house!

I have cried a few times today when I think about how happy I am to be done with this portion of our lives and start the next phase. It has been such a long and stressful road. Our patience and endurance has really been tested. Luckily our marriage is stronger then ever. We still have plenty of things to do to the house don’t get me wrong (hello driveway), but we can actually LIVE in the house we pay a mortgage for, not to mention electric and water bills. We no longer have to live in just a bedroom with two dogs and pay for a storage unit, budgeting every penny each month because we owe a sub more money or need something new added on like extra dimmers that cost $30 each. Now we can just waste our hard-earned money on decorating. You know, the fun stuff.

AFTER

Read on for what to do with your CO once you have it >>

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

With every home move comes a great opportunity to clear away the clutter and offload things that are no longer serving you. My sister in law told me over the weekend about the book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and I was so motivated just hearing what she learned from it that I took to our closets and drawers last night to purge before our big move into the casa. I had heard people say the book changed their lives so I was more than happy to jump right in and transform my own. Here is what I learned in just three hours of purging without even buying the book.

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Fixer Upper Monday // 7.18.16

Last week dragged on as we tried to solve a small plumbing issue, which is holding up our CO. Minor work was done like adding sliding door hardware and some other punch list items like cleaning the windows and doors. They also came out and did a final coat of paint on the walls, which looks pretty similar to the primer color #whiteonwhite. On Saturday the plumber came out to fix the one last thing we need for his final inspection to pass ( a scalding valve which is code in Florida fyi), he is supposed to call in his inspection today.

This morning we met with the 203k Loan Consultant for our last and final draw, which is huge. I cannot wait to be done with the bank. Once plumbing passes, we can call the CO and once I have the CO we can submit the final paperwork to the bank and the final check will be cut which means I will be done with them and the GC once the check comes in. The awesome news is that as soon as we have the CO we can move in regardless of the bank, so we are hoping this is the week! We went to our storage unit on Saturday and went through what we could so we could clear out some clutter before even moving in.

// Final Paint – BM “Chantilly Lace” //IMG_8957

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Fixer Upper Monday // 7.11.16

Happy Mondayyyyy. This weekend was huge for us because the plumber showed up on Saturday with two guys and they knocked everything out in our house. It took about nine hours total for three men to install and test every fixture and we now have running water. I could cry, but I didn’t  for once. It almost doesn’t feel real that we are so close to the end. The plumber is calling his inspection on Tuesday so if he passes we can then call our final CO. There are many items you don’t need  to call in a final CO such as glass shower enclosures, paint, etc. as those are decorative and not integral to making the house livable. Once we have plumbing approved we should be good to go. Hopefully they don’t care about the fact that we don’t have a driveway, but we have started getting bids on that so we can show we are in the process at least.

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// Master Bathroom //

The shower tile still needs to be grouted and the floor tile needs to be sealed which will make it the same color as the wall tile. Some final trim needs to go in here but otherwise this room is done other than decorations. Next we will be getting a custom mirror for above the sink and a glass enclosure for around the shower. Tip on Fixtures: Make sure to order all fixtures in the same finish so everything matches, we went with polished chrome for everything.

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