Disclosure: this post was sponsored by Arbor Day Foundation
"We inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees."
This is the mission statement of the Arbor Day Foundation, a wonderful organization that is the largest nonprofit dedicated to planting trees. I ordered some of their holiday items to give to loved ones and was very impressed by the quality, design and environmental benefit.
The holidays are all about generosity and love. I want you to know how much I appreciate your support and dedication to making the world a more conscious, compassionate place. What better way to show how much you mean to me than by giving you what you want: more videos and free products! And I'm not talking the run-of-the-mill video series and giveaway here, I'm talking EPIC! More specifically, 12 videos plus a chance to win over 20 vegan products worth over $2,700. You read that right.
This list of Valentine’s tips appeared in my inbox from a site called Queendom.com - these ideas are so sweet and simple I had to share.
· Forget the dozen roses. Buy one, wrapped with a ribbon. (I add: **make sure it is organic, locally grown and fair-trade!**)
· Show up at your partner's workplace and whisk him or her away for (a healthy) lunch.
· Place a love note in your partner’s lunch bag or on the bathroom mirror.
· Grab a blanket, a bottle of wine, and drive out to a place where you can see the stars. (better yet, bike, walk or take public transportation!)
· Slow dance in your living room. (or get silly and dance to a fun, old school song!)
· Meet at a local hang-out and pretend you’re two strangers flirting with each other.
· Build a little bonfire in your backyard and make chocolate (vegan) Smores.
· Get tango or salsa lessons together.
And remember, V-Day doesn't have to be about being in a relationship - celebrate it with your friends, family, animal companions and/or yourself! I explored the importance of this (and following your heart) in this video with Charles from RawYouth.org:
Well, it's beyond December 21, 2012 and we're still here: phew! Admit it - you knew we'd be safe all along (I know I did). As silly as the fear of the end of the world seems in hindsight, I'm grateful for the awareness it brought me. I felt inspired to really look deep inside and examine my life, and find all the opportunities I had to grow. These feelings are often reserved for New Years, so it's as if like we got a head start on our resolutions and intentions for 2013!
What a great way to use up all those lingering candy canes - would be a lovely treat for New Years Eve! I found an organic, corn syrup-free variety at Whole Foods and they were perfect for this! The recipe results in a sweet, decadent, salty and crunchy dessert that will delight children and adults alike.
It's free of gluten and soy, and it can be relatively low in sugar if you use a ultra dark chocolate, a raw chocolate and/or one sweetened with stevia or xylitol. It can also be low in salt if you use salt-free tortilla chips and even low in oil and nut-free if you leave out the coconut oil.
"Since the beginning of time, humans have shown innate ability to take something good and make it way better. This action has improved the lives of generations."
The statement above (from the Way Better Snacks website) reminded me that we have the capacity to make a big change for the better at any moment, especially when we work together. I write this a day after the tragedy in Connecticut, which took the lives of many innocent children and adults. This event left the whole country, if not the world, in a state of shock and sadness, in a period of time that is meant for joy and celebration amongst family and friends. I've picked up two major points from conversations online and in person: people are ready to do something to prevent tragedy and they're making it a priority to cherish their loved ones. But I wonder, why does it take tragedy to come to these realizations?
I'm not kidding when I say this is one of the best recipes I've ever made. Unfortunately I can't take all the credit because Jason Wrobel is mostly responsible for this creation, which probably explains why it tastes so darn good.
Imagine the crunch of an amazingly flavorful sweet potato chip paired with a creamy, salty, buttery squash dip and the sweet tarty taste of pomegranate seeds. This is a dish that will knock the socks off you and anyone you serve it to, so I highly recommend you take it to a party to impress anyone who snags a bite before they fly off the plate. Jason and I created this right after Thanksgiving and think that it makes a perfect holiday hors d'oeuvre, but it's great at any point in fall, winter or early spring. Heck, you might even crave it in the summer!
As usual, it's gluten and soy-free but it contains oil (coconut) and a tad of salt - you can omit the latter two if you'd like (perhaps with veggie broth), just don't count on it being as flavorful. This is a super easy and simple recipe, but it will take 45 minutes to an hour to finish due to oven time.
Can you believe today is the last day of November?! I sure can’t. The holidays are in full swing and I hope you had a magnificent Thanksgiving. Check out this video if you’re curious what delicious plant-based cuisine I feasted on; my meal was epic! My favorite dishes were Jason Wrobel’s Shiitake Kabocha Quinoa (recipe coming soon) and Justin Feldman’s Cornbread Stuffing - mmmm mmm mmm!!
I wasn't planning on writing about V-Day this year because there's already so much coverage on other sites/I haven't had time, but decided to do a quick video summarizing my thoughts and tips. Additionally, I asked the Eco-Vegan Gal community for their advice and got some great responses, so here are some resources for you: