brownies for yo face.

Currently, I'm sitting on the couch wearing a homemade face mask, and watching Bridezillas with my mom. Just call me Little Edie.  I've been watching trash tv aaaalllll day. Which brings me to my next point... I was watching 16 and Pregnant earlier (that show is so funny, in a way that I don't think is meant to be funny) and they were sitting around with face masks on, and I thought to myself... "Self, you need to put a face mask on. Right now. That looks wonderfully refreshing." So I went to handy dandy Google, and looked up all natural face masks, and alas, I found a whole list of awesome homemade masks. Recipe time!

C&C facial mask (vegan friendly!)

Coffee and cocoa are the two main ingredients in this recipe. As a combination, they decrease puffiness in the face and the eye area, brighten skin and wake up a dull-ish complexion (oh hey thanks, caffeine!)
-four tablespoons finely ground espresso or coffee beans

-four tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I totally put five in by accident. I was conversing with my mom about all the DIYs I'm filling my room with..and I totally lost track. Try not to be as easily distracted as I am.)

-8 tablespoons of some dairy product. Choose whole milk, heavy cream, plain yogurt, almond milk or coconut milk. Use less dairy if you like a thicker paste. Substitutions: Try an egg instead, or substitute oils, like olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil or almond oil if you have dehydrated skin. If you're going to use an oil, use 4 tablespoons instead of 8. Unless you carelessly put five tablespoons of cocoa powder in, then put 5 of the oil in. But who would make that mistake, right?

-2 tablespoons of honey (not so vegan friendly) if you have dry skin, or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, if you have oily skin! 

If you have whole beans, finely grind beans in a grinder. They HAVE to be finely ground, so they don't scratch your face. 
Mix coffee and cocoa powder in a bowl.
Add the dairy or oil and stir until a smooth paste forms. You can use less of the dairy or oil if you like a thicker paste.
Stir in the honey or lemon.
Apply the paste to your face.
Watch about half an episode of Bridezillas and have your mom take some crazy pictures of your face. (in other words, wait thirty minutes.)
Wet a washcloth and press it to your face to loosen the mask, then rinse with warm water. If you have sensitive skin, you should avoid rubbing your face because the coffee grounds could potentially scratch your skin. 
You can store the leftover paste in the refrigerator for several days.
note: although the ingredients are perfectly edible... Do. Not. Eat. You will end up gagging a little,and proceed to chug a whole lot of water . I may or may not know this from personal experience. 
verdict: This face mask was super wonderful. After I washed it off, my face felt the softest it's ever been! My complexion looked brighter. Now, I provide you with a picture:

Yes, I realize what that looks like. I do indeed. I hope this provides you with a good laugh. While it's on, your face will totally smell like a brownie.

 In other news, I stopped my cleanse a day early. I just couldn't take it anymore. I got incredibly sick today, and that was it for me. I broke it with some whole wheat toast with mashed avocado and a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. I regret nothing. It was so tasty. I'm proud of myself for lasting as long as I did. I kept it up for longer than I thought I would, and surprisingly... I do feel better after these five (and a half) days. Minus the sickness. After I got some toast in me though, the sick feeling went away. I highly recommend a smoothie detox, unless you're prone to crankiness. And if you aren't a fan of super healthy food.

Anyways, in the next week, I'm introducing a new feature to my blog. Can you say outfit posts? Heck yeah!

I leave you with a super wonderful cat gif. You're welcome. (via i heart cat gifs)

oh, the places you'll go.

Just stopping by to leave you with a lovely video, in hopes that it will brighten your Sunday evening. This video, as weird as it may be, just leaves me feeling so inspired after I watch it. It's from Burning Man, so duh it's super weird. But everything about it is great. I've watched it, oh I don't know...about 20 times since I discovered it in February. It makes my heart feel full, and when I'm feeling especially down in the dumps, it makes me tear up a bit. Yeah, I never thought that something from Burning Man would leave me feeling so inspired. Anyways, have a wonderful Memorial Day, and I'll be writing another post on the tales of my smoothie cleanse soon.


a super detailed account of smoothie detox day 1. (like SUPER detailed)

So, today ends day one of my smoothie detox. And I'm feeling awesome already. Here's a summary of my day:

I went to work at 6 this morning, and on my break I had the green machine Naked juice. While I know those are healthy, they aren't the most ideal for a detox like this. The drink is pasteurized, therefore the fruits and vegetables in it lose a good amount of their nutrients.

After I got off work, I free-handed a deeeeelicious berry peanut butter smoothie. It was great, and so easy to make. My brother was making faces the whole time I was preparing this... he said it sounded like an extremely odd combination. Him saying this sort of made me nervous, but it turned out fantastic!

First, add a cup of blueberries.

Then, add a handful of blackberries. More, if you don't mind the texture from the seeds, less if you do. I also added about four strawberries.

Add a tablespoon of peanut butter. I added a teeny bit more than that, simply because I'm obsessed with peanut butter. It really all comes down to personal preference.

Add a cup of apple juice. I was going to use almond milk, but from all the research I gathered, even soy milk is not recommended for a detox. So I opted for apple juice instead. I was a little hesitant about it, because berries, apples, and peanut butter sounds crazy. But it was tasty!

I decided that I can't thrive on JUST smoothies, so I had some berries on the side.

And that's lunch!

About an hour or two after that, I started to get a little hungry again, so I made a tiny raw salad. It consisted of spinach leaves, mushrooms, serrano peppers, and tomatoes. It was the perfect thing to tide me over until dinner. 

This evening, my mom and I ventured out to Whole Foods Market. We got some really tasty things like quinoa, lentils, wheat germ, papaya, and so many other awesome things. While we were there, I decided I would have the detox salad, along with some broccoli quinoa, and beets. That was basically my dinner. I know it's not a smoothie, but from the research I've done, it's a good idea to have a small meal in addition to the smoothies. So you know, I don't pass out or forget how to eat, or something. 

After a nice, long bike ride I  a.) decided to make my own shampoo and conditioner. Um, it worked awesome. I'll share those recipes soon. After that, I made another smoothie. My final smoothie of the day. This one I got off of one of my lovely detox websites.

Skin Saver Smoothie
-3/4 cups blueberries
-3/4 cups pitted cherries
-5 strawberries
-1/4 avocado...pitted and peeled
-2 tsp. wheat germ
-2 tsp. ground flaxseed
-water to thin

Oh my gosh, this one was so tasty. It was even better than the first one, let me tell you!

Tomorrow, I plan on having less whole food, and more smoothie.   

Oh, and don't forget a whole lot of water! I probably quadrupled my water intake. Water is SO necessary, to help get rid of the toxins and to prevent coming down with detox symptoms. 

Okay, for awhile there today I had an INCREDIBLE amount of energy. I was seriously bouncing off the walls with energy. I kind of crashed though, somewhere between the raw salad and the detox salad. I'm really looking forward to day 3...that's supposed to be the day that it really hits you. Hello, crankiness. Awesome.

 Anyways, I hope everyone had a wonderful day, and my next post will be normal, and not vegan centered, I swear!

GMO's are bad, and smoothies are good.

Hello all! Sorry for the lack of blogging over here, but I've been a busy little lady lately! Oh summer. Anyways, that's not what I want to talk about. Here, I talked about going vegan for the second time. That was about a week ago, and I've kept it up. It's so easy to avoid things like cheese and milk once you know how the animals are treated, and the yucky stuff your body gets out of eating those things. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to convert every person I know into a vegan when I spout things off like this. They're just facts. Being vegan is what makes sense for me. It may not be what makes sense to you. If being a vegetarian is what makes sense, go for it. If eating cage free and grass fed animals is what makes sense? Kudos to you. It's all personal preference... you can be healthy eating meat and dairy products. I just personally can't turn a blind eye to those animals, and not only that, but I want to know exactly what I'm putting into my body. My rule is that if it has a long ingredient list, and/or I can't pronounce a good chunk of the ingredients... I steer clear of it.

My first time around as a vegan, my problem was that I was extremely lazy about it. My diet consisted mostly of Subway, the Amy's brand frozen meals, pasta, and corn and bean salad. First of all, that v-e-r-y boring, and's not all that healthy. I mean, it wasn't the worst diet ever, but it certainly wasn't the best. So this time, I'm going to cook my meals as much as I can, and put variety into them. I have a billion cookbooks to experiment with, and I've begun compiling recipes online and then writing them down. I've started referring to this as my vegan Bible. I'm going to use mostly fresh foods, and I'm so excited just thinking about it! This is definitely a lifestyle choice I want to stick with.

I'm getting ahead of myself though. I've been researching different detoxes, to rid my body of toxins. I've finally settled on one I think will work for me. Starting tomorrow, I'll be going on a 7 day smoothie detox. That's right, nothing but smoothies for seven whole days! I really have been wanting to do a detox to flush out all of the toxins from my system. It'll leave me feeling refreshed and renewed... which is exactly what I need. I want to start completely over, because although I've been vegan for a week now, I'm still feeling sluggish and weighed down from the dairy products. The smoothie detox is easy on the system, and consists of drinking 3-5 smoothies per day. I found a whole list of delicious smoothies to choose from, and they each benefit your body in some way. I mean heck, I found one that uses beta-carotene from carrots and oranges as a natural self tanner. Heck yeah! My mom said it's like a tanning bed, but from the inside and minus the cancer. I'll take it.

Sorry to go all hippie on you, but GMO's are a big no-no. Just watch the video yourself, and hopefully it'll spark some curiosity about what you're putting into your body. People always say to me, "Sophie, please don't tell me why you're vegan. Because then I might have to change the way I eat, and I don't want to do that" I usually keep my mouth shut about it, so this is weird for me. But I figure I need to get my thoughts about veganism, organic foods, and GMO's out SOMEWHERE. But trust me, I could go into a lot more detail than I already have. But usually I only spout off facts to people if they specifically ask me about it. Anyways, in short, I'm going to do everything I can to consume as little GMO's as possible, and I'm starting it off with a smoothie detox. I'll be posting smoothie recipes a lot in this next week!

awkward and awesome Thursday.

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... but really not that far away, I did something called awkward and awesome Thursday. It was something I was planned on doing pretty much every Thursday. But somehow, I let it get away from me. Without further ado, I'm reintroducing awkward and awesome Thursday!

-the look on people's faces when I tell them I'm vegan. Don't worry, it's not a disease. You can't catch the vegan.
-I'm wearing Christmas pajamas right now. Oh hey, May.
- the fact that I'm just now cleaning out the fish tank that my big brother got me for my birthday last year. Let me tell you a quick tale about the Jesus of fish, a betta named Albert.
Last spring, my brother was home on leave. I had just gotten a new fishy and I named him Albert. I did not call him Al. My brother is somewhat of a fish connoisseur, so he took me to Petsmart (I know, puke everywhere) and bought me a wonderful tank and goodies for said tank. Everything was going swimmingly (pun TOTALLY intended) until disaster struck. One day, I noticed Albert had some sort of small growth on his little fishy chin. (I know that fish don't technically have chins, but it's the only way I could think to describe the location of aforementioned growth.) Anywho, I thought this growth was just in my imagination... you know, normal parent worrying. Little did I know, IT WASN'T. Every day, this growth got bigger and bigger. I honestly thought it was going to EXPLODE. I started calling him Fat Albert, naturally. He was the prettiest shade of blue, and the skin where the growth was, turned gray from all the stretching. He looked so sickly...and like he was growing a second head. And then, one sad day, Albert died.  I was going to feed him before I left for school, and I noticed his body at the bottom of the tank... and the growth was gone. It looked like it had never been there. Anyways, I didn't have time to scoop his body, because I was running late that day (big surprise, right?). Thank goodness I hadn't, because later that day he came back to life. I kid you not. He was resurrected. The growth was gone, and he was like a new fish! And then a few days later, he died again. I only had him for like, two months. I cried when he died the second time, I'll admit it. This story was a lot longer than I meant for it to be. Oh well, that whole thing was pretty awkward in my opinion, and I'm just now getting around to completely cleaning out the tank.

Bless his little soul. Also, notice the Buddha in his tank. He was
very Zen. I think I caught him doing yoga a few times.
This was before his fancy tank.

- the amount of "that's what she said" jokes I've been making lately. I'm the queen of TWSS, in case you didn't know.
- my hair right now. It's somewhere between curly and straight. Oh hair.
-making my sister non-vegan cupcakes for her birthday when I JUST jumped off the animal product bandwagon. (I may have had an enchilada with cheese on it tonight... we only make them twice a year, give me a break.)
-the way I've been lecturing my chocolate lab lately, as if she were a human. She's a troublemaker, and sometimes she just needs a stern talking to.
- the amount of phlegm I've been producing lately. I'm sick, okay?
-Randomly talking to myself. Realizing I'm talking to myself. And then telling myself to stop talking to myself.
- A little boy and his mother were shopping in Target today. Little boy asks mother what she is doing. I think he's talking to me. I say, "I'm working!", the look on his mother's face tells me that he was not talking to me.
-boasting about how I haven't dropped any baby food at work since my first week. Not five minutes later, I proceeded to drop some. Curses.

-That cheese enchilada, darn it! Forgive me, cow from whence that cheese came.
-my sister's birthday was today, and it was pretty awesome! There were many spazzy pictures taken. Hop on over to her blog and show her some love! And by show her some love, I really just mean read it.
-My new camera. I seriously could go on for an eternity about it. His name is Sylvester. I name everything, it's true.
- vegan parmesan cheese. Where have you been all my vegan existence? Spaghetti just got real.
-my brother being home, even though he's leaving tomorrow. It was awesome while it lasted. He's sassy and likes to giggle.
-mint green pants. They make my closet happy.

I could go on for days about all the awkward and awesome things in my life, but I'll save it for next Thursday. Cheers to that! Have an awesome (and awkward) rest of the week.

I can't decide whether this picture is awesome, or awkward.

"Oh You Pretty Things."

As you can see, I revamped my quaint little blog. I started getting tired of the old layout, and I wanted something fresh. So, here it is! I'm so smitten with the new look of it.

Today, I'm introducing a new segment to my blog called "oh you pretty things." I got this idea from miss james. She used to do this every Sunday, and I always loved it. So I decided to introduce it to my blog! Enjoy!

1. pretty Audrey.

2. the prettiest wallpaper i ever did see.

3. pretty vintage brooches.

4. pretty retro girls in pretty hues.

5. pretty wonderful living room.

6. pretty smitten with these suitcases.

7. pretty lovely print.

8. pretty perfect picture.

9. pretty bright buildings. 

10. pretty bothered that I don't own this dress.

source: one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight //
nine// ten

Tomorrow, I'll have an awkward and awesome Thursday for you... surprise, surprise! It's been the longest time since I've done that. 

my vegan explanation.

Last February, I went vegan. I was already a vegetarian, and after reading some articles involving the way they treat the animals, I decided to make the switch. I thought it would be a lot harder than it actually turned out to be. I used to be a milk drinking fiend, and I loved cheese. But after a lot of thought, and some words from my mama, I decided to switch. My mom had some really insightful things to say about it. For example, who's idea was it to drink the milk from another mammal in the first place?

fact: grown humans aren't made to digest milk or really any other dairy product.

fact: humans are the only mammals to drink another animal's milk.

Anyways, I was vegan for about seven or eight months, and then I had foot surgery. I decided to revert to just being a vegetarian during this time, because I thought the lack of dairy in my diet would hinder the healing process. I stand by that decision. What I didn't realize was that after I was all healed it would be really hard to switch back to vegan. I tried a few times, but I just couldn't do it. Pressure not to do it from important people in my life, and my own lack of control made it really hard.
Here are some things I've noticed since switching from vegan to vegetarian:
1. I feel bloated and gross and sluggish ALL of the time. When I was vegan, I was just a big ball of energy.

2. my skin glowed when I was vegan. I'm serious, my skin was beautiful and so clear. Since adding dairy products back to my diet, it's so incredibly hard to keep the blemishes under control.

3. My hair has lost it's luster. I know that sounds silly, but it's true. I noticed that when I was vegan, my hair was shiny, soft, and not as frizzy as usual. Now, it's not as shiny and it's frizzier than ever.

Story time... back at the end of December/ beginning of January, I had a personal struggle where I completely stopped eating. There were quite a few days where I didn't eat anything at all. This lasted for about 2-ish weeks. In that time, I lost about 13 pounds. I don't know how many of you are aware of this, but that kind of weight loss is the worst kind. When you gain it back, you gain back double the amount you lost, basically. So when I did start eating again, I couldn't regulate. And now, I've gained that weight back, and then some. This is something that I've been really self-conscious about lately, and I've been trying to lose the extra weight in the healthy way, but it's just so hard. Weight is something I've never had to worry about before, so this is completely new territory to me. I'm hoping by being vegan again, this will help in that area. Did you know that weight loss is 80% diet?

Anyways, these slight changes may not be THAT noticeable to other people, but it has been extremely noticeable to me. While I was in Pella over the weekend, Amanda and her lovely friend from South Africa completely inspired me to take up veganism again. I want to have my energy back, and I want to feel good about myself again. Yesterday, I was completely dairy-free, today I slipped up a few times, but I dub tomorrow my first official day as a born-again vegan. I will most definitely be keeping you lovely readers up to date on this journey. I'll share recipes with you, and tales of being a vegan in a small town where not many people understand my reasoning.

xoxo, Sophie

also, I recommend you read this post. It's my go to page when I need motivation.

oh pella...

Hello friends! As you all know (or maybe you don't) I spent the weekend in little Pella, Iowa, with my mom, sister, and our long lost friends Carrie and Amanda. They are our kindred spirits, I'm certain of it. Anywho, it was one of the most fun weekend I've ever had. There was a lot of giggling, tree-climbing, and basically wreaking havoc on this quiet little town.

Pella is precious. The people are not.

home of the amazing baked goods.

Here's a little back story...
According to Amanda (who acted as our lovely tour guide) if you aren't Dutch in Pella, you cannot thrive unless you marry a Dutchman or you just lie about your last name. We changed ours to Vandernewman. I wonder if that's acceptable? But seriously, the town's catchphrase is "If you ain't Dutch, you ain't much." And that is the mentality they keep. They stared at us the whole time. Yes, we are loud and crazy. And not Dutch.

Anyways, the moral of the story is, don't go to Pella unless you are Dutch or you are prepared for people to stare at your obnoxious laughing and all-around tomfoolery.

those last two pictures took place in the very center of the town. I'm sure you can imagine that this was frowned upon. It was. Thankfully, the cop on the bike was not around to get us...

 okay, my jazzy TOMS were completely frowned on, in Pella. They were just too flashy for those Dutch people I guess.

 Pella is known for it's Dutch letters. They're just pastries in the shape of an S. We didn't try them, but Amanda said that we weren't missing out on anything.

 There was a sundial in the town square, if you will. It reminded us of Katniss and the Hunger Games, so naturally we had to give the sign of the rebellion.



 Russell is the best dog in the whole world. I just love him.

I may or may not have written this on the comment card at the hotel. I fully intended on throwing this away before we left, so the help didn't see it. But I totally forgot. Whoops! What a shock it must have been for the  housekeepers...

I know there are soooo many pictures on this post, BUT we had nineteen YEARS worth of pictures to make up. It was the most fun I've had in a really long while. Now that I'm home, I really miss them! I even miss crazy Pella. Oh Pella. It definitely will not be nineteen years until the next time we see them. They are the two funniest people ever. I hope everyone had a great weekend like I did! I'll definitely be doing a part two to this post, because there were just so many pictures that I want to share.

xoxo, Sophie

shaved ice and iowa.

So, I'm sad to report that I've completely given up on the thirty day blog challenge. It's hard to blog every day. It really is. The good news is that the rest of the days of the challenge were pretty lame. So there's that. Now I'm going to go back to just blogging about the complete randomness that is my life.

Summer has officially begun (it's not really official yet. but in my mind it is.) My best friend, Allie is home for the summer. I seriously could not be more excited. I've really really missed her this year. I don't know how long distance couples manage, because I had a hard time dealing with her being gone. haha! We went on a date to the local shaved ice place, called Sno Biz. It's lovely. I had wedding cake, Allie had pink lemonade (like ALWAYS), and Kayla had pomegranate punch. Mmmmm pomegranate.

It really was a lovely time. I know that there will be so many other shenanigans this summer. The three of us are obsessed with making lists, so naturally we've been thinking up lists of things we want to do this summer. It shall be splendid.

In other news, tomorrow morning, my sister, my mom, and I are embarking on a journey Iowa! We're spending the weekend in the charming little town of Pella (from the pictures I've seen, it's like a real life Stars Hollow,yessss.) to reunite with Miss Amanda, and her mommy. We haven't seen them since I was only a few months old, so a little more than 19 years! Talk about a long time. I'm so incredibly excited.

I should be packing, but instead I'm blogging. I'm just so dedicated. Or just a really good procrastinator. It's hard to tell. I hope everyone had as lovely a week as I did! As of yesterday, I'm officially done with my freshman year of college! Oh, happy day! xoxo

p.s. remember all the times I said I would post real pictures? THAT DAY IS HERE! I got a brand new Canon Rebel T3, and that's what all the photos on this post were taken with. I cannot contain my excitement, I love this camera so.