A Small Fall Haul

a small fall hail

The chillier temperatures, changing leaves, and cloudy skies can only mean one thing: it’s fall! I apologize for my absence last month. In the midst of starting my second year of college, moving into a new apartment, and starting a new job, I have been taking some time to figure myself out. But I’m back today to share a few fall-inspired items I purchased recently!

ModCloth Harvest Fest Coat in Vermillion

IMG_2027

Product listing here. And if you are a college student I recommend taking advantage of the 10% Modcloth Student Discount!

This coat was more expensive than I would have liked, but I am so glad I purchased it. Complete with a warm, reddish-orange color, cute toggles, big pockets, and a faux fur-trimmed hood, this is the perfect fall coat. And to seal the deal, it’s non-wool! The proportions are perfect: the sleeves are long enough to cover my half of my hands, and the medium length of the coat is extremely flattering. My only complaint is that the faux fur trim flops over my eyes when I put the hood up, and it cannot be removed. But overall, I could not adore this coat more and can’t wait to wear it all season!

Bath and Body Works Leaves Candle

IMG_2008

Product listing here.

I have heard many people rave about this candle, and after browsing the Bath and Body Works website and reading loads of positive reviews, I decided to give it a try. I love this candle’s pretty leaf-patterned bronze lid, and it has a lovely scent to match. Even when it’s not lit, this candle fills the room with a festive combination of autumn wreaths, cider, spices, and berries. I imagine this scent will be perfect for Thanksgiving time.

Bath and Body Works Pumpkin Pie Candle

IMG_2012

Product listing here.

Candles were 2 for $24 at Bath and Body Works, so naturally, I had to purchase a second one…And of course, what would a fall haul be without a pumpkin scented candle? I picked this one because I thought the picture on the jar was adorable, and who doesn’t want their home to smell like a scrumptious pumpkin pie is in the oven? I love this candle’s a warm, sweet, vanilla scent. My only complaint is that I wish the pumpkin and spice undertones were a bit stronger.

Bath and Body Works Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin Foaming Hand Soap

IMG_2018

Product listing here.

Since fall is the season of pumpkin-flavored everything, I have to complete my fall haul with one last pumpkin scented item: hand soap! This scent is described as “warm pumpkin, fresh cinnamon stick, & sweet sugarcane,” but to be honest, I don’t think it smells like pumpkin at all. To me, it smells sweet and slightly fruity with a hint of spice, but the soap does the job!

That is my short and sweet fall haul! I hope you are enjoying the autumn season. If you have picked up some fall-inspired goodies lately, I would love to see your hauls too! 🙂

Best,

Leila

Vegan Pumpkin Spice

vegan pumpkin spiceThe  fall season has returned once again, bringing its hoards of pumpkin-spice flavored goodies along with it! Like most people, I can never get enough pumpkin spice during the fall time. Unfortunately, as a vegan, satisfying my pumpkin spice addiction takes a bit more searching.

Mentally prepare yourself for the following: Starbuck’s famous Pumpkin Spice Latte cannot be made vegan, even when requested with soy and no whip.

Psl

But don’t worry! You don’t need the Pumpkin Spice Latte to get your fix of pumpkin! I searched out the best vegan pumpkin-flavored goodies so you can still enjoy the signature taste of autumn without the cruelty! 😉

1. Nature’s Path Pumpkin Spice Waffles

IMG_20141010_214839149If you dream of having pumpkin spice every day for breakfast, then your moment has arrived: these vegan and gluten free pumpkin spice waffles are sold at Whole Foods! They are crunchy, delicious, and have a rich pumpkin flavor! Cuddling up with a mug of tea and a couple of these waffles makes cold, autumn mornings so much cozier!  I enjoy them topped with maple syrup and bananas.

2. SuperSeedz Cinnamon and Sugar Pumpkin Seeds

IMG_20141009_200545449

These seriously addicting pumpkins seeds are the fall snack you have been searching for. They are crunchy and sweet with a touch of cinnamon. They also would make a wonderful topping for salads, smoothies, oatmeal, and soy yogurt. I purchased mine at a local natural foods store.

3. SO Delicious Pumpkin Spice Bars

IMG_20141010_214906713Eating one of these adorable coconut ice cream bars, you can feel like a little kid again! Besides being cute and pumpkin shaped, these dessert bars are super smooth, rich, and creamy. They have a delicious pumpkin spice flavor that people of all ages are sure to enjoy! I found them at Whole Foods as part of SO Delicious’s line of seasonal goodies.

4. Pumpkin Spice Oreos

IMG_20141010_224118290As if vegans did not have reason enough to love Oreos, these limited edition Pumpkin Spice Oreos are available at your local grocery store for the season! With a cup of almond milk or warm tea, these would make a great afternoon pick-me-up. If you like Oreos, these are definitely worth a try.

5. Trader Joe’s Pumpkin O’s.

IMG_20141012_192225987_HDR

If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, I strongly suggest you check them out. They have created a vegan pumpkin paradise for the fall season! These pumpkin O’s are basically pumpkin-flavored cheerio cereal. They are nice and crunchy and have a delicious, slightly sweet pumpkin spice flavor.

Not to mention that the box has this funny message on the side. Am I the only one who really appreciates an interesting cereal box to read while I eat my breakfast?

IMG_20141012_192402884_HDR

6. Vegan Pumpkin Pie

IMG_20141010_214935725

Pumpkin pie has always been my favorite dessert. It must be something about the smooth, creamy, and spicy filling and crumbly crust! I purchased this beauty from Whole Foods, which carries many other vegan desserts.  Now, you can enjoy vegan versions of all of your favorite desserts without having to bake them from scratch yourself!

vegan pumpkin

 As you can see, there are plenty of vegan pumpkin spice goodies to indulge in this fall! If you try any of these products, or if you have any recommendations to add, please let me know! 🙂

Best,

Leila

Chicago Vegan Mania 2014

IMG_20141011_130620377

Today, I had the opportunity to attend Chicago Vegan Mania, a festival dedicated to Chicago’s vegan food and culture. There were many vendors with information, books, tee shirts, stickers, health care products, and food. There was also an all-vegan cafeteria, which was selling food from many local vegan restaurants. My family and I had a great afternoon! Here are some pictures of the food we ate:

IMG_20141011_133143973This can of water comes from the non-profit organization Canned Water 4 Kids, which provides fresh canned water to children in countries where fresh water is scarce.

IMG_20141011_133149930

Here is the cup of delicious lemon curry noodles with chickpeas and cauliflower I ate for lunch. It was super delicious! ❤ The restaurant that I bought this from also makes vegan “fish nuggets,” which were breaded nuggets of imitation fish meat. I sampled one, and they were super yummy! My mom really liked them! Seriously, there is nothing you can’t make vegan!

IMG_20141011_133325550_HDR

My sister had this vegetable tempura, which is a Japanese dish of breaded and fried veggies. It looked delish!

IMG_20141011_133642044My mom enjoyed this veggie-tofu dish over rice, topped with sesame seeds.

IMG_20141011_134036937

I also ate this plate of macaroni and cheese. My mom was really grossed out by it! I admit that it looks a little weird. But it tasted AMAZING! The noodles were quite soft, but the “cheese” was delicious, rich, and flavorful. Definitely some excellent vegan macaroni and cheese!

IMG_20141011_133410483For dessert, my sister ate this adorable little vanilla cupcake. Isn’t it the most beautiful cupcake you’ve ever seen in your life?! Its little polka-dot paper cup is too cute! It makes me want to start baking cupcakes myself!

IMG_20141011_134948653

This scoop of pumpkin pie ice cream was definitely my favorite of what I tried. I am such a sucker for pumpkin flavored things! This vegan ice cream is made from hemp milk. (Hemp milk is made from a variety of the cannibis plant that you cannot get high off of, in case you were curious. 😉 It’s also an excellent source of vegan protein and omega fatty acids!)  Anyways, this ice cream had a super strong pumpkin spice flavor and tasted like icy pumpkin pie filling! The texture was very smooth and sweet. Definitely the best vegan ice cream I’ve ever tried!

Not pictured: My mom had a chocolate soft serve ice cream cone (yes, you read that right, vegan soft serve!) for dessert. I had a taste and it was very rich, smooth, and creamy. My sister and I also split a chocolate chip cookie dough sandwich, which was two cookies with some cookie dough filling! It was super yummy! ❤

IMG_20141011_174504354

A bumper sticker I bought for my imaginary car.

So overall, I had a great time. It felt powerful and inspiring to see so many people gathered in one place who are united with the same conviction to create a more compassionate world for animals. It can feel discouraging sometimes when you are surrounded by meat-eaters. But it is reassuring to know that millions of people across the world have also taken a stand against animal cruelty by choosing to leave animal products out of their lives.

IMG_20141011_173849468

I picked up this vegan starter kit from the PETA booth! This is an amazing resource for beginning a vegan lifestyle. You can get yours for free here!

Little by little, change will happen! The animal rights movement gains momentum each day, and we can’t be stopped now! One day, every slaughterhouse will be but an empty and run-down relic of the torture and cruelty of the past. I hope I will be alive to see the last slaughterhouse close down for good! The slaughterhouse bars may be made of iron, but the power of compassion is stronger! The day will come when every animal will be given the right to live free from harm, no matter their species.

IMG_20141011_174228983

This sticker perfectly sums up what I believe in. Plus, it has both of my favorite animals on it: turtles and swallows! ❤

As you can see, trying new vegan foods is fun and delicious. Today, there are many vegan restaurants that serve a wide variety of amazing food, so move beyond animal products and give VEGAN a try! Use the website HappyCow.net to find vegan restaurants near you.

Best,

Leila