Under the Arch To Follow my Mother.

So yesterday was Mother’s day. I woke up and made my mother brunch with my sister, and we actually made some pretty delicious stuff, including a fruit and yogurt parfait using coconut milk (#teamvegan), and a sweet potato hash that used maple syrup and almond milk (pulls out pom poms and cheers for veganism) and an apple for me! I also made a huge frittata for everyone else in my house – I did not have that, obviously – and some Brazilian Pao de Queijo (I opted out again), and a zucchini bread muffin that I literally went to the grocery store for exclusively. Everyone else was stuffed by the frittata I made, so I actually ended up taking the sweet potato hash from my brother and mom (MWAH HA HA that was actually my suspicion).

         The final product pre-foodfest

My mom’s plate, with my freestyles frittata and maple sweet potato hash and our cards


My parfait and apple…

We went to Agora later, where I found out they sell Sinful Bakery’s vegan cookies and now regret not getting one, and where I got the saddest chamomile tea that tasted more like a foot and what I imagine a poisonous mushroom in SuperMario tastes like than a sweet and soothing herb, and we ended up getting some crepes later, at Sweet Paris (strongly recommend if you’re in the H-town area). I ate mine too fast to save a picture, but it was the vegan crepe!


My subpar tea

We stopped at Rice University, where I found a glorious archway that had so much depth that I couldn’t handle it, and my sister kindly took these pictures. Maybe its the amateur photographer in me, but look at that archway and it’s shadows! Look at it! Architecture man.

I’d also like to note that while I hate the color pink, my sister gave me this scarf and the pattern has grown on me. So while the color is questionable in my book, the pattern itself is really nice. Also, in some lighting – in very very generous lighting- I look somewhat tanner, which is nice.

 

mothersday
my face, 90% of the time, and most likely more than that.
Wearing:

Top/ H&M … Scarf/Gift… Shorts/Gap… Belt/AE… Sandals/Nine West

mothersday2
Whenever they tell me to “smile softly,” I kind of laugh at those comments and end up half smirking. Exhibit A.  
Also, don’t be fooled into thinking that the title of this post requires some deep level of literary/cinematic/Spongebob knowledge. I literally walked under this arch following my mom, taking creepy stalker style photos as our family walked around Rice campus.

Which isn’t to take away from the bigger picture of the day. My mother is a fabulous, stylish, classy lady with a good sense of humor and a signature hairstyle who never has a hair out of place or a doubt in herself. I spared her a cameo today because like I said before, my pictures were seriously creepy. As in, she’s walking and I snapped a photo that I accidentally zoomed too much on, so it’s a photo of her hair alongside a tree branch.

Brace yourselves. More style posts are coming.

Napa Flats! || Food Post

This weekend my parents visited me, so we once more set out to find lunch, as we were all hungry (we hadn’t eaten since eight in the morning, and it was two around this time). A quick search online led me to Napa Flats, an Italian fusion type restaurant.

The faux candle really set the atmosphere, haha.

Lucky for me, the calamari had vegetables in it, perfect for me! I shared the zucchini with my mom and hogged the marinara sauce at the top left. 
I asked for a ‘small side salad’. This could have been my meal, but since I was very hungry (borderline hangry), I actually ate all of it, except for the croutons. 
And then the food came, which is when the actual party started.
My dad got the 
My brother likes to make up for all the meat I don’t eat, so he predictably chose the pizza called “Carnivore”.
And I got the Veggie Delight Pizza without ricotta cheese on it, though they still put a thin layer of mozzarella on my pizza. I ate it anyway, and then felt bad(physically and emotionally), since this was the first time I’ve cheese in almost two months and a half now. 
Am I really the only person who likes crusts?


Anyway, it was a great time! And if you’re in the College Station area, its a great place to avoid barbecue, which for a vegan (I swear I’m being good about it), is like going without food.

Thanks for reading!! xx

Corner Bakery Chit Chat || Food Post

On a Friday a few weeks ago, my dad invited us to lunch- and by us, I mean my mom and my brother and moi. We had planned on going to the new Corner Bakery near us, and we excited pulled into the parking lot when I had a face-palm moment.

I didn’t check the menu to see if it had anything I could order vegan style. 

With this in mind, I stalled a while during our wait in line trying to figure out what I could order. And then I dropped the menu and saw the salads. Salads are a safe bet for me most of the time, so I took that route and ordered the hummus and veggies, southwestern avocado salad, and tabbouleh *insert flashback of me doing a victory dance at the restaurant* . 
My family always notices that I tend to take a lot of pictures of food- still not ashamed! 😀 – and they pushed their plates at me too, finally jumping on the foodie bandwagon. 
I ate this massive salad sampler as mentioned above. As a vegan who struggles to eat out, this was the jackpot. And it was a lot of food. And I like food. The tabbouleh is next to the cucumber, and the avocado is the southwestern salad, and the hummus is pretty obvious, and some greens with olive oil. 

My brother Nick thinks that by ordering a salad he is healthier, so he ordered the Chicken Carbonara with a side of Caesar. Yeah, that chunk on the plate of pasta is bread.

My mom, ever the health nut, chose the D.C chicken salad, switching the cheese for mozzarella.

And my dad followed through with his consistent and foolproof order; a sandwich and a soup. He chose a bowl of chili and half of a chicken pomodori sandwich.
We ate a lot. More importantly, they have vegan options! And I didn’t have to explain that I need a vegan friendly mean to the lady at the register! So it was really a win-win-win-win situation. As always, thanks for reading! 
xoxo

Grabbing Grub with the Family || Food Post

As you guys know, I was back at home over the weekend, skipping. 
I was, admittedly, a little sad on Sunday morning, because I knew that I would soon be without my parents, and my little brother *cough cough* slash ‘brotographer’ (that’s brother + photographer for all you newbies:), so my parents invited me to eat lunch with them instead of eat alone in my dorm. And as a broke college kid who was homesick and starving, I wasn’t about to refuse. 
So a quick browse on Yelp jogged my memory of a new-ish place in City Centre Houston called ‘Grub,’ that specializes in burgers. Keeping in mind that my brother is obsessed with burgers, I pointed it out to everyone. Lucky are we that this place is pretty new in College Station! 
This Hibiscus tea is really growing on me, but I recommend splashing some Mango tea in there too.  Just sayin’. Also, the drinks were on the house, so I took full advantage of that. 
Just an artsy picture of the dessert/shake menu.  Grub, you should make them dairy free for me. 
While we waited for our food, we all bonded over our joint dislike of ninety plus degree weather. 
My dad got the ‘Texas Luau’ burger, with a bowl of chili, because he loves chili with an ardent passion.

My mom, true to her health nut ways, ordered the ‘Napa’ salad, and then swiftly moved some of the cheese over to make sure the lettuce was there. 
Nick didn’t even hesitate to get the ‘Lockhart Legend’ (bacon,  Dr Pepper barbecue sauce…the works), and thats why this picture is strangely off center- he pushed me off so he could stuff it into his face.
And there’s my ‘Hippie Chickpea’ burger! It had an eggplant/chickpea burger, and I scooped the goat cheese off. I got a side of Tabbouleh as well, which was awesome with the bread that fell out of my hands, because I’m a messy eater. 
Its so nice to eat huge burgers messily in public. And I didn’t have to eat a salad! Woohoo! 
Thanks for reading! xx

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!

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!