Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Vegetarian Mermaid month is here!

Pink and opal birthstones, ghouls, crunchy orange leaves, chilly nights, scary movies, cozy sweaters, Oktoberfest, and we can't forget about Halloween and pumpkin pie! Isn't October the best? Every year I make a list of my October festivities because it's such a fun and busy month for me. October brings out the best in me and I strongly feel it's because that's my birthday month. The Libras of September like my husband (Sep. 26) and my grandpapa (Sep. 29) welcomed us into autumn, and now it's time to dive in and enjoy the ride! Here are the things I look forward to this month:

October 1: World Vegetarian Day.
October 2: Four year anniversary with my husband.
October 7: My 22nd birthday!
October 2O-25?: SIX year anniversary as a vegetarian!
October 31: HALLOWEEN!!!!!

October 1: World Vegetarian Day.
'Tis the month to be appreciated. If you're a vegetarian and no one has thanked you yet, then I thank you. Be happy today (and everyday) and know that your contribution to animal welfare is important to me. Imagine a world without vegetarians- wait, don't! It doesn't look as beautiful. Hahah Happy Vegetarian Day, friends.

October 2: Four year anniversary with my husband.
How I still remember the day we met face to face. He literally got out of bed and walked to school just to see me, and he was sick. Four years later we live together and are now married! So many ups and downs, but what's a relationship without a good fight? My biggest source of happiness AND my biggest pet peeves derive from the same person! But the ability to overcome obstacles and grow is what keeps us together.

October 7: My birthday.
It was 3 in the morning in 1992 when I was born on this day. I can't believe that was 22 years ago! Don't you ever feel like it was just yesterday you woke up to go to kindergarten and come home to your favorite meal and cartoons? *sigh* Those were the days. I strongly believe in astrology depending in both the month and day you are born on. Mine seems to be pretty spot on!

October 2O-25?: Six year anniversary as a vegetarian.
I can't remember the exact day I became a vegetarian, but I remember it being a week or two after my 16th birthday. I remember the day clearly, just not the date. ;___; But that's okay, because six years later I continued something that my family thought I'd never accomplish or eventually give up on. Vegetarianism is one of my biggest accomplishments and I'm proud.

October 31: Halloween.
I can't even begin to describe how excited I am. Just reading the word makes my heart race with happiness!! This Halloween is going to be a very special one too since I'll be celebrating in San Francisco with my husband and our friends. I even have my costume already, but I won't share that till later. ~.o

This list may seem short, but you have no idea how many October Libra friends and family members I have. I'd say about 2O people in total (Libras really know how to find each other). And after October, my favorite day of November is the 1Oth, my bff's birthday! I'll also be hanging out with her later today.

What do you love the most about October? And when is your birthday??
Do you think that we'd get along according to our astrological signs. c;
Do tell!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Nutella crêpes from The VegHog.♡

It was the summer of 2O12 when my Nutella obsession began. Seems like a movie, but I was introduced to crêpes as well. After all, that was the year I moved out. Recently, I was reading one of my favorite blogs when I found a recipe on there for Nutella crêpes!! Knowing myself well enough, I was determined to make them, and I did!

The blog is called The VegHog and is always filled with amazing recipes and photos of the food that I wish to devour. The result of these Nutella crêpes: Beyond delicious!

Who doesn't love food that's yummy and easy to make? Below are the photos of my crêpes. They taste even better with a cold glass of natural almond milk. :9

If you want to make them, the recipe is HERE. I also recommend you follow the blog. Not just for support, but to get inspired by the amazing food. There are vegetarian and vegan recipes, and they're perfect for omnivores who are curious about trying Meatless Mondays too.

There were originally three, but I ate one while still making the other two. They're really good!

Friday, September 26, 2014

The gelatin is off limits!

Who would have thought that the colorful jelly treats some of us grew up with contain bone marrow from animals? Beware, vegetarians and vegans, because Jell-O may not be your only favorite thing with gelatin.

Why is gelatin not vegetarian friendly?
Unfortunately, gelatin is an ingredient that contains cow bones, pigskin, and even hide from cattle.

What contains gelatin?
Anything from Jell-O and gummy bears to marshmallows and Pop-Tarts. That's right, Pop-Tarts are not vegetarian! Not only that, but gelatin can also be found in some nail polishes, glues, paper, etc.

How can I avoid gelatin?
This may not be the most fun thing to do, but read the labels! If you don't see the word "gelatin" on the ingredients, check for anything that says "E441", think of that as a code name. You can also find gelatin-free foods and home products. For example, There are vegetarian friendly Pop-Tarts that don't contain the outer coating. When baking, you can substitute gelatin with vegetarian/ vegan alternatives. Some products are agar agar, silica gel, and dextrins.

Better to be safe than sorry!
P.S: Happy birthday to my husband who is turning 20 today!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Reasons why Ariel is not a bad princess!

There are so many anti-The Little Mermaid folk who call Ariel a horrible role model, indecent, trashy, and many other names. Some have even gone as far as to call fans of the princess "b*tches". I've read plenty of negative posts on Ariel, so why not voice out my own opinion? Here's a list with the six main reasons why people dislike Ariel, and my reasons to why they are wrong. If you have others that are not stated here, write them on the comment box below and I'll get back to you! c:<

The first thing to remember is that this film is based on a fairy tale that has been switched around a bit for the child audience. This film also has a lot of realistic and unrealistic things. It's a film that teaches certain real-life morals with the imagery of a fairy tale (just like many fairy tales).

1. She changes/ wants legs for a man.
Ariel wanted to be a human before she saw prince Eric. She didn't want to become human so she can find a man, she wanted to explore a world beyond her own. Example: My life and city is comfortable, but I'd like to travel overseas or even to the moon. It only seems twisted and extreme in the film because it's a fairy tale. Also! An important scene that goes unnoticed is after she saves Eric and returns to the sea. She plans on seeing him again as herself, a mermaid! She doesn't say, "My plan is to have legs so he can love me!" She assumes he's interested and creates a plan where she can meet him, regardless of their differences. We call this, "getting to know someone."

2. Leaves her friends and family for a man.
Remember how she's only 16 years old and her father just destroyed everything she had from the world above? It's common sense that not everyone makes the best choices when they're at their weakest point. Imagine teenage you wanting to go to a concert and your parents not only scold you, but rip off all your posters and tell you that you can never go.
Leaving home for a man is also common in reality. Not everyone does it, but it's a big move that can be taken in life. Whatever happens, you must always learn from it. She may have been 16 and not known prince Eric well, but 1. It's a fairy tale, and 2. If your family really cares about you, they'll be there for you no matter what. That really unravels once you leave the nest.

3. "Unrealistic" body proportions= false body expectations for young girls.
At this day and age, anybody can have the body of Ariel. Whether it be through eating right and exercise, corsets, surgery, or all of the above! Is surgery too far? If it won't bring you true happiness then it's not the right choice. Not everyone will go under the knife to look like a Disney princess. However, I believe that everyone should be entitled to make their own choices.
Our Natural Body: Some of us have the "skinny" gene where we can eat whatever we want and not gain a pound. Some of us have the "chubby" gene where we eat healthy and exercise but gain more muscle than a tiny hourglass body. And we all have different body shapes (it's all in our genes)! We must do our best to keep healthy. Little girls should be taught all of this so that in the future they don't go around despising women who they think look "better" than them. As corny as this may sound, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Before any man or woman, that first beholder has to be ourselves.

4. Eric only likes her for her looks.
Ursula tells Ariel to use body language to make Eric want her, but if you watch the movie closely, that's the last thing Ariel is focusing on. Can't you see how excited she is to get a tour of the kingdom and how she drags Eric (sometimes even leaves his side) to see other things? He wasn't attracted to her body, he was attracted to her innocence, kindness, and fearlessness/ sense of adventure. She has the initiative to accomplish whatever she wants. Who wouldn't love someone like that? One could argue if Ariel has a pretty face or not, but does it really matter when Eric is interested in other things besides her looks?
Another important scene that goes unnoticed is when Eric plays the flute, frustrated that he hasn't found the girl who saved his life and has now developed feelings for Ariel. Grimsby then tells him, "Far better than any dream girl is one of flesh and blood. One warm and caring, and right before your eyes", directing to the balcony where we see Ariel. Afterward, Eric sees the flute, and throws it into the ocean, symbolism that shows how he's ending the search for that "dream girl" and is going to open up to the one that he already cares about by walking towards her balcony. (Then Ursula comes and ruins it! >__<)

5. She's not independent, makes horrible decisions, and can't take care of herself.
It's called life. She's 16 years old and takes a big risk out of anger, love, and the thirst for new knowledge. Just because she can't take care of herself in the beginning doesn't mean that she can't learn. Just because she has a man teaching her new things doesn't make her weak or an accessory. When people watch movies, many unconsciously put themselves into the characters. We reflect some of our most deepest faults and lowest self-esteem points into these films. So if you dislike this movie or Ariel, then maybe there is something in you that you're self-conscious of or frustrated/ not happy with.

6. Eric eats seafood! He eats her friends!!
I'm vegetarian and my husband eats meat. What are you going to do about it? You can't necessarily say that Eric eats her friends because maybe Ariel didn't know any of those animals. And if she did, Eric obviously didn't know that. It's not like he ate Flounder and Sebastian after knowing they're her best friends. It's called forgiveness, understanding, acceptance, and mutual respect.

I'd like to thank Katie from Buddle and Squeak for motivating me to write this post. I've been wanting to write about this for such a long time, but no one ever asked what my reasons were for my belief of the film being misinterpreted. Hope you all enjoyed this and got a new perspective on Ariel and the movie. c;

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sayonara, Facial soaps & scrubs!

Three days ago, my face hit rock bottom with facial cleansers. It's amazing how you can't see the damage done in this photo of me to the right. There are more detailed ones below, but first, let me give you the story of my two-year facial care nightmare.

Back in my glory days (high school) I rarely had breakouts. Whiteheads were nonexistent and blackheads were removed in a flash. I didn't use facial soaps either since I saw nothing wrong with my skin. Once I turned 2O, I decided to try some products from Lush Cosmetics because I loved how many are vegan and none are tested on animals.

I bought "Coal Face" soap which cleared the redness on my nose and past pimples. However, my face dried up after some months and got a couple of whiteheads around the sides of my mouth; moisturizers only created pimples. I went back and got "Cupcake" facial mask which gave me pimples after one use! Next, I used "Polished Perfection" facial scrub from Merle Norman which didn't help, and the whiteheads spread. Finally, I reverted to Lush, but chose something for sensitive skin, which was "Fresh Farmacy" soap. It cleared up the damage just to create its own problems weeks later.

Three days ago was the last time I used "Fresh Farmacy". I was gently washing my face at night when the bottom of my cheeks started to sting, as if I had cuts and someone threw alcohol on them. I quickly rinsed my face only to find the whiteheads on the bottom of my cheeks were bleeding! At that point I had enough and threw away the soap. Below are photos taken two nights ago. It was much worse, and yes, that is what my cheeks actually look like in the photo above.

Moral of the story:
Don't use things you don't need. Curiosity definitely killed this cat, well, at least the face. Unfortunately, even the lip tint I use from Lush gave me a whitehead on the top of my lip and forever left a bump (you can kind of see it on the top left photo of the collage). I still use it, but I use a lip balm first and then carefully apply the lip tint. So far it has given me no further problems.

After two years of facial care hell and countless warnings to not use these products, I finally stopped. One might say a little too late, but better late than never. It's a shame because I really wanted to enjoy Lush, but my experience (even with their shampoos and conditioners) has not been one of satisfactory.

P.S: I did a Lush review about a month after I first bought "Coal Face" and the lip tint. You can read that and see what my skin looked like HERE.