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!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

MC-UNHAPPY DAY

  There is no happiness in McHappy day. McDonald's has a way of getting people to purchase their garbage, and most people are aware of the fact that it is garbage. Today is Mc"happy" Day, another way for McDonald's to get their dollars up and look pretty. McDonald's is far from pretty, it is actually a very ugly corporation. 

  Today $1 from every Big Mac, "Happy" Meal and McCafe beverage goes to various children's charities. That sounds good right? But look beyond the fat filled, mind fogging food. Look beyond the "happy" meal toys and charity pictures, because what is on the other side is very, very scary. McDonald's is a huge supporter of factory farming - a.k.a - the torture, slavery and murder of precious living beings. If your excuse for supporting something so ugly is the charity today, then think twice because if you really wanted to make a difference in the lives of children you can take other actions that will not cause pain and suffering to other beings. If you care at all about your own health then think twice because the fact is that garbage food is addictive and trust me, you do not want to go down that path. 

   I am all for helping others, hence the vegan lifestyle and teaching career, but when the term charity carries behind it the blood of innocent lives, well I am all for acting against such idiocy.


BE THE CHANGE - OTHER LIVES DEPEND ON IT

Monday, May 5, 2014

DOUBLE DATE @ THE HOGTOWN VEGAN, TORONTO

Yesterday my hubster and I had the pleasure of going out for brunch with our veggie cousins :D They introduced us to a vegan restaurant, a popular one I must add, in downtown Toronto. The Hogtown Vegan meal was a treat to say the least. Our plates were loaded with deep fried, finger lickin' (but we used forks) calorie high master pieces. I say master pieces because since going vegan almost two years ago I have not tried vegan chicken or eggs and oh my goodness I could not believe how much it felt and tasted like I was eating chicken and eggs! This is a must try restaurant for anyone who wants to go vegan but is having a hard time letting go of foods they love.


 Brunch Menu
 Unchicken & Waffles

 Tofu Rancheros
 Omelet
 PB & Banana French Toast
Piggy Receipt :)
 Ben & Star
These two creative love birds put together our wedding videos exactly four months ago yesterday. 
If you have not seen their talent check out our greatest gift of all ---> OUR WEDDING VIDEO
Thank you forever Ben & Star :D
Hubby & Me

Check out their other incredible menus! ----> The Hogtown Vegan

Sunday, May 4, 2014

PANCAKE SUNDAY! - APPLE CINNAMON OATMEAL PANCAKES

PANCAKE SUNDAY! What a wonderful day :D Today we basically had to work with what we had in our fridge and cupboards because there was not much left! It is amazing how much food my hubby and I eat :P What do you get when you have two healthy and active people?--- A large grocery bill and a fridge that always seems to get empty a little too fast. Not to worry, we had just what we needed for today's special recipe.

Oatmeal is a perfect pancake base to use and a super healthy whole food. No need for eggs, all you need is a little flax meal to hold your batter together and help it cook into pancake form. There are vegan egg replacers which I have actually never tried, no need to in my eyes. If you do not have flax meal then you can always use mashed bananas :) We had a couple apples left and some cinnamon for a little kick. These pancakes turned out amazing :D 

INGREDIENTS
- 2 cup oatmeal, powdered
- 2 tbsp flax meal (mixed with a 6 tbsp water)
- cinnamon (as much as your heart desires)
- almond milk (we just continued to add until we got the batter to the consistency we wanted) 
- 1 apple, diced 
- coconut oil (for the pan)
- maple syrup

PREPARATION 
1. Powder the oatmeal using a high-speed blender (thank you Vitamix!)
2. Add diced apples, cinnamon, flax meal and water. 
3. Continue to stir and add almond milk until you have the consistency you desire. We like thicker pancakes so we used less liquid (water or almond milk) than you would use if you wanted thinner pancakes. 
4. Heat pan, add coconut oil, and make some pancakes!

Some delicious organic ingredients :)
 Pancake batter
 Fry time
 Viola!
 Sprinkle with more cinnamon and show those cakes some love!
 Just delish!
DRIZZLE and ENJOY!