Monday, May 25, 2009

It's Not Spring Without a Little Bling Bling

Friday night I had the most awesome job of baking and giving out (free!) over 150 vegan mini cupcakes to a crafty crowd of Houstonians at the Spring Bling event. Held at Sew Crafty (my go to spot for learning all kinds of crafts), several local artists came out to show off their handmade goodies. Plus there was drop-in crafting fun for everyone! Plus appetizers, wine, candy, and vegan cupcakes, of course.
These vanilla minis with lemony buttercream were the most blinged out of all my cupcakes. Hot pink disco dust is my new favorite thing to sprinkle on cupcakes!
The crowd favorite was definitely the green tea minis with green tea glaze and finished with a marzipan flower (a la VCTOTW).
And no cupcake tower would be complete without at least some chocolate, and these minis served double duty. Chocolate cake topped with a swirl of mocha hazelnut mousse. They may not be pretty, but damn they were good!

A shout out to all of the local crafters! You ladies inspire me.
A Punkin Card Company
Apt 3305 (I couldn't resist purchasing a dessert-themed sugar bowl and creamer from her)
Knotty by Nature

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Walking Like a Vegan Chic

Have you heard that Vegetarian Shoes and Bags is now Vegan Chic? And they have an even bigger selection of 100% vegan shoes, as well as bags, belts, wallets, and clothing! The easy-to-navigate website makes it a cinch to find what you're looking for. Eco-sneakers for running errands around town? Check. Gladiator sandals for brunch with the girls? Check. Sexy peep-toe pumps for a night out with your honey? Check. Best of all, they have plenty of very affordable shoes (plus bags, wallets, and belts) in all the latest styles.

So what look did I go for? Some super sexy, oxford-detailed vegan pumps in cappuccino that will take me from the office to an evening of cocktails with friends. The Caroleena pump by Neuaura has a glossy brown finish with details that makes these shoes look more expensive than they actually are, but these shoes are built to last! I chose to wear mine without the ankle strap.
So the shoes look good but do they feel good? I felt these shoes ran true to size, though slightly on the narrow side (perfect for my narrow feet). The wide heel makes it such that I don't feel like I'm having to balance on my toes while walking. They certainly aren't as comfortable as my trusty flats, and if I didn't have a desk job I probably wouldn't last in them all day. But I thought they were cute enough to withstand a little pain. (no blisters, just sore arches and ankles)
A lot of my friends often remark that they wouldn't waste their time purchasing shoes online... too risky. But I have found that with a little practice (yes, this likely involves returning a pair or two of shoes), you learn what brands and styles fit your feet. And for most vegans, there aren't too many options at local stores for quality footware. What are your experiences with buying shoes online?

Thanks to Vegan Chic for the opportunity to review a pair of shoes! They must have known that shoes are my weakness....

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I Know You Were Expecting Mighty O's...

Has it really been almost two months since I last posted? I didn't mean to drop off the face of blogworld, but it has been an emotionally challenging past few weeks and I really needed some time away. I am trying this weekend to catch up all of your blog posts, and can't wait to see what everyone has been up to!
It feels like forever ago that I was promising yall photos of all the Mighty O's I was going to consume in Seattle. Unfortunately, that trip didn't happen, but I wasn't about to go without donuts! So I used Vegan YumYum's recipe to make these baked donuts with chocolate glaze and vegan sprinkles. A suitable substitute until I can get back up to Seattle.

To celebrate Earth Day our local vegan group organized a potluck picnic, which always means lots of great food to sample! Since we were minus a kitchen at my place (we were getting wood floors installed throughout the house), I went with a simple but classic picnic favorite... potato salad! My favorite recipe lately has been the one from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch, but I just spotted an avocado potato salad in the new Vegan Brunch book that I'm excited to try.

Did I mention I visited NYC for a long weekend as well? Despite the rainy weather, John and I walked up and down Manhattan Island in search of good vegan (for me) and Italian (for him) food, while seeing some of the sights along the way. One of the coolest things we saw was on Ellis Island, where John's grandparents had their names engraved on the immigrant wall... a piece of family history! So I know you're waiting now for food pics, but I didn't take any! So instead you get a photo of me on the Brooklyn Bridge....

Okay, so maybe I took one or two food photos, here is a spelt chocolate cupcake from Babycakes! I also picked up their new cookbook, and am excited to try some of their recipes in my own kitchen. In addition to Babycakes, this was the food line-up: fauz meat dinner at Red Bamboo, pizza in Little Italy, fancy dinner at Candle 79, and brunch at Counter. I desperately wanted to make it to Lulu's for ice cream but ran out of time. Gives me yet another reason to return.

And check out the goodies I got in the mail this week...

Amey sent me homemade cookies! From the top down they are maple walnut, chocolate cherry almond (my favorite of the three), and chocolate chip. Thanks so much Amey for sweetening up my week; these cookies put a big smile on my face.

No plans to be disappearing again. I have a shoe and book review to post soon!