Tuesday, September 30, 2014

VEGFEST GUELPH 2014 - A Dream Come True



After planning Vegfest Guelph for over a year, the Vegfest Guelph Team could not have been happier with the outcome. Yes, torrential rains lasted a couple hours in the early morning of Sunday Sept. 21st, but the team never lost hope. The volunteers, vendors, speakers and musicians showed up with excitement and positive attitudes ready to spread the vegan love. The sun came out and it turned into a beautiful day. The Goldie Mill and GYMC in the downtown Guelph area had easily over 1,500 people come through and share in our special event on this fabulous day.

I personally joined the Vegfest Guelph Team about a year ago. I had just moved to Guelph and had been living the vegan lifestyle for just over a year. I had been to some vegan meetups and potlucks, but I needed more. I needed to take more action and to inspire more people to BE THE CHANGE (my favourite motto if you have not already noticed). To me that was what Vegfest Guelph was all about-- opening eyes and minds, educating and inspiring others to make changes in their hearts, minds, souls and take action to benefit the beautiful innocent beings that are on this earth WITH US, not for us. 

What is the point of this blog post? Simply to send out an important reminder to myself and to you readers that change starts with one simple action and that action can inspire and spiral into a chain of positive reactions and actions which will create the glorious change. The huge event, Vegfest Guelph, which attracted hundreds of people on Sunday Sept. 21st, began in the mind of only one person. That one person discussed it with another, and then an entire team came together. What a shame it would have been if that one person did not take action after being inspired herself, from other vegan festivals and positive changes. Now I think of the hundreds of people who were inspired at Vegfest Guelph and I smile at the thought of the small actions that they will now take that will continue to create a much more peaceful and beautiful world full of love and happiness for all beings. 

PS - the food was awesome :) 

Super grateful to have had my hubby volunteering all day, and my sister to have come with her band to perform at our event. For my mom and Ed to have have come to share in this special day and to bring my favourite furry sister Coco :) Thank you. It meant everything to me to have you all there.

Please check out our more Vegfest Guelph photos that were taken by Shari Lovell who was so generous to donate her time and resources for our event. VEGFEST GUELPH PHOTOS

Shari is a dear friend to Ryan and I. She caught our surprise proposal at the Tough Mudder event a couple years ago and uploaded a video on Youtube for us. (keep in mind we did not know her at this point- so generous of her :) Shari was then asked to be our wedding photographer and it was such a pleasure to have her there. Thank you for everything Shari.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

INSPIRATION

   Inspiration is a beautiful thing. What inspires me? Honestly, I cannot think of something that does not inspire me. When I witness something beautiful such as an act of kindness, the simple peace in nature or even just a smile from a stranger, I am filled with that blissful feeling of love and hope. When I witness destruction, anger or injustice, I am with filled with an urge to take action to create change.  When I pay attention to the world around me I am inspired.

    I have not always been inspired and I feel that many people have a hard time being inspired. I do believe that in order to have the capability to be inspired one needs to be mindful, to have a clear head. It is hard to have a clear mind in a world filled with anger, destruction and injustice. Through personal experiences and observations of the world around me I feel that it is safe to say many people seek to escape the world through meaningless distractions and through addictions that they have allowed to develop in order to numb the pain of what they have experienced in the past or what they fear they may experience in the future. In other words, I believe many people unknowingly block themselves off from the possibility being inspired and inspiring others.

    I believe that true inspiration, the kind where action usually follows, cannot come to one who is in a brain fog, to one who is distracted or numb. My mind was once caught it the thickest of fogs, for many years. It is not to say that I got nothing done in that time, that I made no accomplishments, or that I was never inspired, but when I look back all I see is fog. In that time I fought hard for temporary periods of relief from my fears and it was in those moments that I was able to live life. I am inspired by my past and my own journey and the hard times that I endured which have given me the strength to face the ongoing challenges in my life today. I am now able to be grateful for my blessings despite the trials that continue to be thrown my way.  I am able to look back with satisfaction on the past few months of my life. With my head out of the fog I have been able to live in the moment and to appreciate the good and the bad in this world, after all how good is “good” if one has never tasted “bad”. Since having a clear mind and opening my eyes I have been inspired and that inspiration has led me to inspire others. It has given me a purpose and it gives me a feeling of great peace, as though I am doing what I am meant to do.

    I now live to inspire. I want to give love in every way that I can, to generate more love which I believe is the key to true happiness. Love is the key to the defeat of fear. Fear leads to everything ugly and I believe that love can free one from hurtful thoughts and emotions and bring a sense of peace, a clear head, and a chance to be inspired and become inspiration for others. Once inspired I believe it is our duty to inspire others. Inspiration is a blissful feeling, a feeling full of love and hope. I continue to be inspired by others, I live to inspire. Be the change.



My talented and creative cousin-in-law had the brilliant idea of getting friends and family to write about what inspires them and is now sharing their inspiration stories with others on her blog. Please check out Star Spider's blog here --->  HAPPY MUSING 



Friday, June 13, 2014

CHOCOLATE BANANA COCONUT CREAM CAKE

Call me a cheater and in this case I will take it as a compliment! Last weekend we celebrated my little sisters birthday. I wanted to make her a cake this year :) Believe it or not I do not enjoy baking so much, from scratch that is. So I decided to get some vegan cake mixes and make her a yummy cake!

 Cake mixes do not get much healthier than this.
You can find these fabulous mixes at Winners! $5.99 each. 
They have a few more flavours such as lemon poppy seed and lavender.

 So I baked both cakes. 
I dug a little chocolate cake out to make room for the cream. 
Dumped in the banana cream.- mashed banana with coconut whip :)
 Covered the masterpiece with coconut cream and bananas :D
 Everyone LOVED the cake. Moist and DELICIOUS!
 One slice for the birthday girl....and then another.
 We finished the cake pretty quickly :P
*Nothing wrong with a messy cake- the taste is what counts*
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY LOVELY SISTER.
So the coconut cream was a huge hit. It was requested for breakfast in
the morning. Strawberries & Cream = heavenly bliss :D

Coconut cream is easy to make and 100% healthier 
than any other whipped creams.It is also 
INCREDIBLY-SINFULLY-DELICIOUS!
Oh She Glows has an incredible recipe 
ENJOY!

Monday, June 2, 2014

NIAGARA VEGFEST 2014

     I finally went to my first Vegfest! Yesterday I was at the Niagara Vegfest with the Vegfest Guelph team for the entire day. It was fantastic! My heart was full of joy all day long :) I could not believe how incredibly busy the Vegfest was, how many people there were and all of the vendors that took part. I got to try loads of great vegan food and I met so many new people.

Vegfest Guelph got a table as a vendor at Niagara 
Vegfest simply to spread the great news, 
that Guelph is starting a vegfest of its own!

7am - 7:30pm - SUPER LONG DAY OF FUN!
Ready to inspire and to be inspired :)
Vegfest Guelph is selling t-shirts to help raise 
money for Sept. 21st! These shirts were selling super fast at the Niagara Vegfest! Great news is that you can purchase these super awesome t-shirts online! HERE---> Vegfest Guelph's T-Shirts
It was such a busy day that from about 10:45am to 
5:30pm I could not see the other side of the building. 
This picture was taken when things started to clear up.
There were loads of vendors inside and many food 
trucks and other vendors outside.

Check out Niagara Vegfest on Facebook ---> Niagara Vegfest Facebook Page

Come out and support the first ever Vegfest in Guelph on September 21st!!! Start by liking the Vegfest Guelph Facebook page and sharing with your family and friends :) ---> Vegfest Guelph Facebook Page

The best part about yesterday was the simple fact that it was all for the beautiful animals that so many people love. The love is spreading, the minds are opening and the world is changing :D  

Monday, May 26, 2014

HONEYMOON - Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

A few days ago my husband and I returned from our much needed vacation, our honeymoon. A few months before that I told Ryan that for our honeymoon I would like to go wherever he wanted to go and do whatever he wanted to do. Ryan planned the perfect honeymoon destination with the most adventurous honeymoon activities. It was the trip of a lifetime and we will always hold the memories we made there close to our hearts. 

Ryan decided he wanted to go scuba diving with me, I started to regret giving him the power of planning our honeymoon. One of my biggest fears is what lies beneath the waves of the sea. I have been stung by a very poisonous jellyfish (portuguese man-of-war) and have always feared many other creatures of the sea. Ryan then mentioned the Galapagos Islands and showed me the resort with all of the activities we would be doing, I was thrilled! I took my diving course about a month ago and we did a practice pool dive together the night before we left. At that point I felt confident and was excited to get to the ocean. 

We spent one night in Guayaquil, Ecuador and then flew to Santa Cruz (one of the four inhabited Galapagos islands) for a couple nights and then took a boat ride to Isabela (another Galapagos island) and then back to Santa Cruz for two more nights. It was a shorter trip than we wanted but expensive to say the least. We did so much and saw so much each day, we lived it to the fullest!

We had beautiful suites and rooms for our honeymoon.
All of the beautiful and FREE wildlife were breathtaking.
Los Gemelos
The Galapagos Islands
Crystal Clear Water
Marine Iguanas
Snorkeling - a great warm up to scuba diving :P
Las Grietas
Our restaurant deck view
Sierra Negra Volcano - Lava fields, last erruption 2005
Marine Iguanas were everywhere, beautiful little dinosaurs.
Loads of gorgeous birds.
The famous Blue Footed Boobies.
My first dive! "Everything is really good"
Surgeon Fish
Star Fish
School of Baracuda
Sea Lions were also everywhere :) In boats, on rocks, 
on shore and took over our hotel deck. 
Flamingos in the lagoon 
We stayed at the Red Mangrove Adventure Lodge in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz and did the Darwin Adventure Tour. The staff were amazing. The food was delicious and super easy to eat vegan, and the lodge was breath taking! Check it out here ---- Red Mangrove Adventure Lodge This trip is highly recommended to anyone who loves beauty, nature, animals, adventure and learning!  

We took about 2000 pictures and saw many more incredible animals such as the endemic Galapagos penguins, land iguanas, numerous birds, sea turtles, sharks and more! 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Veggie Ranch For Two

So being newly weds and low on cash my hubby and I need to get creative for gift ideas. Instead of a Mother's Day box of chocolates and flowers for his mom, and a birthday gift for his dad (which would have been some sort of wolf painting and those cost loads ;P) we decided to make it a little more personal and a lot more tasty! 

Ryan designed two gift cards to Veggie Ranch, our make-believe vegan restaurant in our very own home. 

Ryan's parents came over today for a viewing of our honeymoon photos along with their trip photos, a delicious vegan meal, and a dog walk by the river. It was a great day and a gift we will certainly keep giving! Family time is our favourite time!

 Our gift cards that Ryan designed :)
 Official Veggie Ranch Menu for May 25/14 :P
All dishes were named with a Galapagos theme :)
 MARINE MANGO SMOOTHIE
 BEACH BUM KALE CHIPS
All Dressed flavour
 FRIGATE FRITTERS
Made with my new favourite root vegetable --- YUCCA/CASSAVA
We were introduced to this delicious vegetable in Galapagos
 SURFIN' SAUSAGE FUSILLI
With incredible tofurky sausages - Italian style
and spicy red pepper tomato sauce
COCONUT CREAM FRUIT PARFAIT
Loaded with papaya which was everywhere in the Galapagos :)
as well as raspberries and blueberries.
Coconut cream is easy to make and 100% healthier 
than any other whipped creams.It is also INCREDIBLY-SINFULLY-DELICIOUS!
Oh She Glows has an incredible recipe ---- Coconut Whipped Cream
*NOTE* This meal ended up costing lots of money, but it was worth it! We had a great time with our family and we all loved the food :)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Pancake Sunday!--- Double Chocolate Chip

     Pancakes! Or maybe pan cookies? Or just fried blobs of chocolate 'gooeyness'. Who really cares as long as it tastes good right? Well for Mother's day brunch we certainly were going for something a little more presentable, but our test run still hit the spot.

     "They taste like cookies"***"A little soft on the inside"***"I'll have the burnt ones"--- It was a learning experience :P Fun family time and lots of good laughs.

 oatmeal, almond milk, water, flax meal, chocolate chips
 mini vegan chocolate chips
 melting due to the hot water added to the oatmeal...oops!
 chocolate oatmeal pancake batter
 more chocolate chips!
 YUM :)
  Double Chocolate Chip & Banana Pancakes!