Panera is Vegan Friendly?!?! (!!!)

Yes, it is.

I somehow went to Panera twice this month, and was surprised to find vegan friendly items on the menu! Before going, I looked up the words “Panera,” “Vegan,” and “Items,” and was irritated by the lack of items (there was only one). Nevertheless, I went and ordered it anyway.

Just because I don’t want you guys to think I’m stalling, I’ll just come out right and say it. They’re the Broth Bowls.

The first one is a modified broth bowl, with quinoa and lentils. It normally has chicken, and for vegetarians, there is a cage free egg version. When I ordered it, I explicitly said that I didn’t want an egg either, and the lady at the register was very kind and said she would say to omit the egg and chicken from it. It still came out with an egg floating in it.

Don’t worry! My dad ate the egg. 
If you look at my plate you’ll notice a roll covered in oats, which I asked for, but I was randomly given the ordinary bread as well, for no extra charge…hehe. The grainy roll is called the Sprouted Grain Roll and is delicious, as well as the broth bowl itself. Even in the summer, in a place as hot as Texas, I still get cold indoors, and I find myself gravitating to hot entrees occasionally as a way to stay warm while I’m in the restaurant. Especially Panera, that I feel is always way colder than necessary. 
The next time I went to Panera was the sad day that my family dropped me off at college- and while it is nice to be here in college officially and living on my own, this meal was really silent and a gloomy cloud was above the lunch table the whole time. 
But back to the food! The other broth bowl that I didn’t have to modify at all (yeah, its great) was the Soba Noodle Bowl with Edamame. I got a sprouted grain roll on the side again. This was entirely vegan and my personal favorite between the two. Even though I know too much soy is bad in any diet, and that vegans are a bit more prone to consuming too much soy for their own good, I had to give it a go and don’t regret it one bit. 

What won me over was the variety of color in the bowl. I am completely in accord when doctors and nutritionists recommend a colorful diet. Not to mention the fact that it had food near the surface of the broth, and not just sinking at the bottom. So for more food in the same size bowl, I was happier with this meal. And the grain roll wasn’t behind either. This time the bread was warm!

Knowing more mainstream restaurants and chains carry vegan friendly options makes eating out so much easier for me, so I hope I helped some vegans out there who may have to eat on the run!

Thanks for reading!

Stormy.

This is actually my new favorite picture of me ever. My last favorite picture was taken almost 7 years ago. 

Today was a good day.
No, seriously. Contrary to how I appear to feel, I was pretty calm all day. You know those days when you stay in and listen to Fleetwood Mac and drink tea and relax? Yeah, today was like that, and it was rainy. I absolutely adore rain…that’s also why you see I’m indoors today. But anyway, I’ve noticed many people don’t find rain so nice- “humid and depressing” is the average response I get. After Nick (my bro-tographer; my brother/photographer) showed me the pictures he took, he left in a rush, so I couldn’t complain about how angry I looked and ask for a do-over. But after sixty seconds of thought (actually Nick said he wouldn’t take more pictures of me, so did I really have a choice?), I realized I rather liked how I looked. Honestly, I appear this way most of the time and do normally have a bit of a darker disposition, so I felt that today would be that moody post where I just go all out and just be myself, regardless of how boring I appear. On a lighter note, I finally got part of my hair to work in a bun! Let’s just savor this moment, Sarah. This moment will probably not repeat itself for a long time. And rompers. They are the truest element of my style. Rompers are the key to being cute and effortless and mostly the key to looking put together and style savvy. Keep in mind though, they will be your enemy when you make the mistake of drinking too much water. Try unbuttoning them in a hurry and see how efficient you are at it.

I literally said “Wait, isn’t it dark in here?” before Nick took this.
Just casually cowering in fear after hearing thunder.
Stay moody, and have a nice Thursday! xoxo

My Sunday Sendoff feat. Ruggles Green

On Sunday, my sister invited my family to eat lunch and walk around a bit and mainly enjoy each other’s company. The point was to have family time and send me off with a vegan meal. Obviously I was estatic all of a sudden when they told me I could choose a vegan friendly restaurant, so I almost immediately responded with Ruggles Green in City Centre, even though I was silently hoping someone would ask to go to an Indian restaurant, because I have wanted to go try Indian food for a very long time.

**Disclaimer**
All pictures on my post today were taken with an iPhone six, so don’t be alarmed by the drastic change in the quality of the pictures! 
Carry On! 🙂

I got the veggie wrap and a side quinoa salad, both vegan! And I grabbed some pickles that were prepared in-house. 

I think now would be a good time to also mention that I am a huge fan of food-porn, also known as a pre-food ritual of being grateful for the food — actually, I just really like taking pictures of food. There’s no legitimate way of justifying it, just that I like looking at food. So just expect more food posts in the future!

After somehow destroying the wrap ( I hate being such a messy eater) and being joyful and staring at my vegan feast in awe, we all ended up walking around City Centre and staring at macarons- I need to find a place that makes vegan macarons…does that even exist?– and not getting them because I couldn’t find vegan versions. In the end, we packed up and moved our sunday party to Starbucks, and I decided to take pictures because I honestly don’t have casual candid pictures of my whole family, and I figured this was a great time to record in pictures.

Aww, look at the kids. Behold the closest people I have to me, genetically speaking. 

My mom is so classy that she refuses to cover her coffee with the plastic covers and prefers to drink her beverages as if they were tea-cups. 

And Dad loves the covers. 

Behold!  My sister MP drinking what appears to be snow. (Vanilla bean frap FYI)

I had a Mango Black tea lemonade…I’m really predictable. 

Behold! My brother/photographer, contemplating the simple things in life, like his mocha frappuccino. 

He requested a selfie. And it looks like my straw is up my nose. 

The family who drinks Starbucks together stays together.

Thanks for reading, and have a happy Tuesday!

the Sun also Sets Quickly.

Days until I leave for college: 5 (!!!)

I returned to Kemah Boardwalk for the first time since 2010.  I was thirteen then, which added to the nostalgia and my growing awareness of just how old I really am. I realized that my parents don’t always remember to bring a camera along so we can look back on what we did, so I did! I’m not sure how I looked with both a cross-body bag and a camera bag crisscrossing over my outfit…oh well! 
At first it was all nice and light and full of late afternoon laziness…
When we got there, we had just been cooped up in a car for two and a half hours, so we walked around a bit to liven up our legs, and if you were me, you hobbled about to pop your knees. After a bit, we stopped trying to ignore the fact that we were all secretly starving even though we had eaten pretty recently. We popped into the Flying Dutchman (I promise its real, I’m not referencing Spongebob), and we stared at the sunset. It was so nice, that I didn’t even take pictures, preferring to just stare at it. And then stuff my face later with food. 
Everyone runs away the moment I pull out a camera…fine…I see how it is…

And the sun set between the time we sat down to eat and the time we decided to pull out the camera…

 And then my brother took over the camera and asked me to pose– just kidding, he wanted to take a picture of the ocean behind me, and I was in the frame, so he told me to smile anyway.

The picture minus mom equals me, probably not smiling. See? She was necessary.

 My mom didn’t want the pictures to miss out on her presence. It was totally understandable. 

I called him Kemah Kat. He does’t actually answer to it, though, surprisingly. 

 I SAW A CAT. We spotted three around all of the boardwalk, actually, but this was the closest the cat ever came to me. I tried to make it come closer by staring at it without blinking, but it sadly didn’t work, and my contacts got dry and burned, so that was clearly was not one of my stellar ideas.

Even typing this post I’m laughing at this picture, because that is my face when I’m not in resting bitch face. 

This is what I got in return from my brother after I asked at least thirty times for a picture that I quote “won’t make me look lazy, tired, gross, or anything else with a negative connotation.” (“I run a blog, you know, Nick. I have to look decent.”) I’m still trying to check off at least one of those requirements, but I got kick out of this picture anyways.

Why can’t this pole just not exist?! I like everything else about the picture!!!?!!!
Oh, my top is Stradivarius,my shorts are by Gap, my bag is from fossil, my flip-flops are from AE, and my earrings are Colombian. 

My brother and I got on the ferris wheel- my favorite because I like the views- and we got our own gondola, and my parents got the next one, so every seven seconds, they floated past and waved at us. By now, it was pretty late though, so we really just saw the distant scattered lights on the bay, a relaxing view regardless.

An imposing structure built to scare and torment me. 

Fun fact: I’m terrified of rides that try to scare you by using speed and height. But I was also feeling excited after going on another ride that’s not pictured here called the Aviator, and that one happens to go pretty high for me, so I made another nonsensical decision and promised my mom I would go on this ride picture above called the Pharaoh’s Fury. I don’t really feel obligated to tell you if I carried out that promise.

The gondola on the far right- my parents were in there! 
For the memories and nostalgia of being surrounded by hundreds of people I don’t know, and the funnel cake people would trail on the ground, and the soda left everywhere, and the constant smell of sweat, not sea salt, I’ll say I had fun. No, really though, I had fun. 
Just a friendly tip, though; don’t wear dangly earrings when its windy out. Don’t ask. 
Courtesy of yours truly. 
Thanks for reading!!!
P.S. I didn’t go on it. She thinks I’ll make it up to her “next time”. *laughs nervously*

Diary of a Vegan: Month One

Today, I complete one month as a vegan.
I wanted to talk about this journey- not to sound preachy or force this idea upon anyone, but also as a way to keep track of the little things I have accomplished for now. I also know many people who don’t actually know as much as they think about this lifestyle, and while there are quite a few vegan food bloggers/vloggers I can name off the top of my head right now, the majority of the people I personally know are still a bit in the dark. To give an example, I know a few people who think vegans are radical vegetarians who fight for the rights of animals…which I guess could be plausible, but is still off the mark.

How I define the vegan lifestyle: When a person decides to cut meat and dairy out of their diet, and any food that contains an animal byproduct.

One thing I learned quickly was that food companies tend to sneak animal products into food that normally shouldn’t have. This is mostly in canned or boxed goods, so I don’t plan on continuing that anytime soon. For example, I was going to eat some falafel that my mom made last night, and then my sister decided to tell me that the box clearly listed gelatin as one of the ingredients. Sigh.

Here is where I would like to amend the title of this blog post. I have been a vegan about 99% of the time, which is why I’m calling this my vegan diary. Because the truth is, this is a process, and a trip to Vegantopia. And I’m still miles away. But, I have taken major steps by completely cutting out dairy and meat.

So far, I have felt healthier, and lighter- compared to when I used to eat meat, and I would feel heavy and drowsy. And as for energy, I feel full of energy all the time. What’s nice is that I feel great so far, and that’s a great way to start!

Thanks for reading!

One Last Time!!

More like “One Last Adventure.” More like “One Last Hurrah and Stuff.” More like “One Last Attempt to Finish the Ultimate-Never-Ending-Bucket-List.”

Annnyway, today, I have a guest to introduce! My best friend (actually, my oldest friend) Jordan joined me today on a quest. The objective: to go to the Montrose area in Houston. The goal? To actually get to know a popular, hipster-y area of our city. Plus, I figured it would up my hipster status a little bit. And as a an anxious college student in need of reassurance of her youth and ability to act immaturely, this was genius. So, in classic immature behavior, we set out today in search of food, coffee, small shops, independent stores, art, culture, vintage items, antiques, and photo opportunities. Besides, she’s leaving soon (insert sobbing emoji + sad girl emoji), so it was only more motivating to take pictures of super cliche best friend poses, which, in our case today, came out hilarious, and I decided to keep a few unpublished so I can laugh at them later. So here goes- and I hope I inspire you all to travel your cities and immerse yourselves in them.

Shout-out to Jord for reading this. I call her ‘Jord’ (sometimes).
Jordan’s Outfit:
Top: Agaci, Shorts: AE, Sandals: Target, Bag: Fossil, Accessories: gifts
Smiling at my jewels and laughing at the world…there was NO way I could get my scarf to look normal.

My outfit:
Top: H&M, Shorts: Gap, Sandals: Ivanka Trump, Bag: Fossil, Sunglasses: Target, Scarf: some indie shop

We found a cute vintage store with a matching mural…
And a few antique shops that were too dark for decent pictures but were very colorful and intriguing at the same time…

There were so many pretty mirrors to look at! Some of them were from as early as the fifties!

And an awesome photo that really screamed 1960’s feminism…yeah, that’s my head at the bottom right corner
And this mini statue that as extremely intricate given its petite size…

The last antique store we walked by…

A baby toy set in a glass case…
We found an even more colorful mural, which obviously meant more photos…

This counts as a smile I think…
We walked around a bit more until we found the Menil Collection- a free art gallery in Houston full of surrealist/modern/classic/ancient art…

And here are some trees that were a really intense green color near the Menil Collection…

The view from above…aka my two week old pedicure…

We never figured out if this coin had a symbolic or artistic meaning, or if that was the number of trees planted before this one…

GUYS GUYS GUYS- we found a swing in front of the Menil Collection…

We took turns, of course…

We found a spiritual chapel next door and figured, “why not?”

And we left five minutes later…
And we ended the day with some Starbucks, and good laughs. So it was basically like every episode of Cheers, except since we’re not 21, we had Starbucks instead. So it was more like “Cheers: Basic Edition.” 
All in all, it was awesome. And bittersweet at the same time. Thanks Jordan for hanging out today!!!! 
Love ya!- 
Your best friend
P.S. Who knew we were so stylish? I think we gained major hipster cred today. 
P.S.S. Bonus points to those who sang the title like Ariana Grande. You found the deeper meaning of the title and my reasons for using it. 

summertime.

“One of these mornings you’re gonna rise,

rise up singing.

 You’re gonna spread your wings,child, and take, take to the sky,
Lord, the sky.” 
– Janis Joplin, “Summertime”


and you thought I was going to smile again… made you look.
this was surprisingly not itchy, and it smelled good in the grass too.
Hat: a street vendor in Colombia
Sunglasses:  gifted
Shirt/Shorts: A&F
Flip-flops: AE
the only source of shade out back.

 Hi everyone! Sorry about the brief delay in posts! I was doing some collegy stuff and collegy things in the middle of nowhere, where I was denied the following:

a) solid internet service
b) vegan food ;(
c) reliable and constant air-conditioning

But, being the little trooper that I am *sheepish smile*, I made do with it, and actually enjoyed myself bountifully. See my souvenir? No? Scroll up to that last picture- its my anklet which, ahem, I made myself. I think it adds a bit to my outfit here, that has little to no color today, unless you look at the minute details. 

This blog, besides being a visual reminder of my style evolution, is also a place for me to remember dumb little things,or inspiration, or other miscellaneous items. Woohoo for the random and the odd! Today, my mother called me a hippie. I don’t know what made her say it, the hat? The anklet? The flip-flops? The lack of styled hair? The vegan-ness? Or it might just be the fact that I tried to meditate once with a rock (don’t ask).  

You decide, and thanks for reading!