Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My 14 faves of '14: Legal marriage!

#14! Thanks for reading my list!

By far, my favorite thing of 2014 is that Mike and I got legally married on February 14th.

What a day. I still tear up just thinking of it.

We were first married on April 30, 2005, yet that marriage was not legal. That was the best day of my life, marrying my love, my best friend in our church in front of 160 friends and family.

Yet as laws were changing we decided we wanted to be legal. So we went to our favorite spot, Torrey Pines State Beach, and got married. Our dear friend Jim did the honors.

The experience blew my mind. Just getting our marriage license was amazing, and emotional!

Here are a few photos:

Since then legal marriage has come to Colorado, so our marriage is recognized here!

Definitely my favorite thing/day of 2014!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My 14 faves of '14: #13

I am saving the top two for last of my list of faves for '14.

I realize this is very general, but I have to say that my friends and family totally make my list of faves for '14.

To my friends, you are my chosen family.

To all of you, I simply cannot imagine my life or this world without you.

You love me. You support me. You call me out on my craziness.

You say the sweetest, kindest things.

You are a huge part of why I love my life so much, and why my life is so amazing.

And you know who you are. You called me. You dropped by my office. You hung out with me and Mike. You dropped a note on Facebook. You made a donation to one of my causes. You spoke out for those with no voice. I might not have seen you in years, but I know you are there.

And I love you.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, December 29, 2014

My 14 faves of '14: #12

Native Foods is a definite for my list of faves for '14!

Two and a half years ago there were no Native Foods in Colorado. Now there are five!

Including one in our hometown of Lakewood!

Plus, the newest just opened in downtown Denver, just a few blocks from where I work!

We LOVE Native Foods. Not only do they have amazing vegan food, they are also quite philanthropic. They have national dining out days for Surfrider Foundation, Mercy for Animals and Farm Sanctuary! Love all three of those groups.

Of course I can't mention Native Foods without letting you know that my all-time favorite dish there is the Soul Bowl!

I also would like to give a big shout out to the Native Foods in Encinitas, CA. LOVE them!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

My 14 faves of '14: #11

I must admit that I have finished a whole box of these. All by myself. I keep telling Mike that they must be putting less into a box.

I love these crackers. Definitely one of my faves for '14.

They are making their way around but I'm not sure if they are everywhere yet. If you have a chance, buy them.

In the Denver area we buy then at Nooch Vegan Market.


And thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

My 14 faves of '14: #10

Looking at my list I see food all over the place. And restaurants.

This summer I had the chance to dine at Detroit Vegan Soul and I will never be the same. If you ever get the chance to go, go! Take your time. Try things that you normally wouldn't.

I was blown away by the food at Detroit Vegan Soul. The service was perfect and I fell in love with the owners.

So many positive things are happening in Detroit, and this place tops the list in my opinion.

Many times since my visit I find myself thinking about their food, or wanting to check flights to see if I could make it for dinner.

Even if you think you don't like soul food, go!

Friday, December 26, 2014

My 14 faves of '14: #9

Field Roast came out with new sliced cheeses this year and they are unbelievable!

I must admit that I have only used them for grilled cheese sandwiches and for tofu scramble, yet I have eaten a lot them and they are definitely one of the best new vegan products I have tried this year!

The flavors are: Creamy Original, Tomato Cayenne and Coconut Herb with Black Pepper.

My favorite of the three is the one with black pepper but they all rock.

If you can find them where you live, I highly recommend trying them!

In the Denver area you kind find them at Nooch Vegan Market.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

My 14 faves of '14: #8

No surprise here.


Linger is our favorite restaurant in Denver. Sister restaurant to Root Down a few blocks away and to the Root Down at the Denver airport.

They nail it with what is important to me at a restaurant: amazing service and incredible vegan food.

The menu changes, but my current favorite is the falafel. A true journey of flavors!

And the sweet potato waffle fries!

Make a reservation.

A night out with friends or a night with your special person.

Linger is part of what makes Denver such a great city for dining!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

My 14 faves of '14: #7

Legal marriage makes my list of my faves for '14!

2014 was an AMAZING year for marriage equality!

Check this out!

This about says it all. There still is not national marriage equality, yet more than half of the population in the US live where there is marriage equality.

And right at the kickoff of the new year, the first week of January, marriage equality will come to Florida!

Please continue to be the voice for justice and equality. As so many of us can get married, we still have to fight ignorance, intolerance, and hate.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My 14 faves of '14: #6

The list continues!

My next fave is Gracias Madre, a Mexican-inspired vegan restaurant in West Hollywood.

Mike and I were so lucky to be able to dine there TWICE this past summer.

Before I go on, if you are ever in the area and want to dine at Gracias Madre, make a reservation!

Incredible food, great service and the atmosphere is just perfect. Dine outside if you can.

And they have vegan flan!

We can't wait to go back. Gracias Madre is what a night out is all about. They cover it all. To tell you how much we love them, we canceled dinner at our other fave in LA so we could dine with them again!


Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 22, 2014

My 14 faves of '14: #5

I am vegan because of animals. I love animals, and do all I can in my life to do no harm to them and to create a safer, more kind and compassionate world for them.

This year I met, via Facebook, Lucy the pig.

Lucy is my #5 fave of 2014.

This photo is Lucy now. After a few months of being loved and nurtured back to health by the wonderful folks at Rooterville sanctuary in Florida. I met Lucy through my sweet friend at Indiana Pig Save and for me it was love at first site. This next photo is how I first saw Lucy.

She was in super bad shape. Brought to Rooterville after being found, whoever brought her knew what they were doing and saved Lucy's precious life. It has not been an easy road this this sweet being, but with the folks at Rooterville being her voice and loving on her so much, she has a chance that most farmed animals will never even come close to.

For more information on Rooterville or to donate to their crazy awesome work, go here:

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

My faves of '14: #4

Next is Modern Love restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska!

Many times in conversation with restaurant owners I talk about how vegan cuisine has just gone crazy. Modern Love is the best example of this.

Courtesy of Isa Chandra Moskowitz and an amazing staff, Modern Love blew my mind this past August when I had the chance to dine there. Every dish I tried was a flavor journey.

If you are ever even close to Omaha or need an excuse for a road trip, go! You will love that you did!

For more information, check out their website:

Saturday, December 20, 2014

My 14 faves of '14: #3

My third fave of 2014 is Torrey Pines State Beach in San Diego.

I am sure you're not surprised!

We LOVE this beach!

The area we hang out at the most is right about the center of this photo in the beach area.

This is from a hike we took this year. We started at the beach, took the road up, and then paths back down to the beach. Incredible!

And us during the hike!

If you are ever going to be in the San Diego area (we hope to live there one day) I highly recommend that you spend at least a day at Torrey Pines State Beach!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, December 19, 2014

My 14 faves of '14: #2

My next fave of 2014 is Native Food's Soul Bowl.

Native Foods has gone crazy in Colorado, which is awesome for us! Just in the last year three more locations have opened, including in our hometown of Lakewood and in downtown Denver, which is where I work.

I have loved the Soul Bowl for many years. It's on this list because it is truly one of my all-time favorite dishes, and this year I have been able to have it many times.

The Soul Bowl is packed with a variety of veggies, which cover beans and rice, and then is topped off with Native Food's vegan chicken. Before it is served ranch dressing and barbecue sauce is added. I like to ask with an extra side of the barbecue sauce. Oh, and it comes with cornbread!

And when I write that it is packed with veggies, I mean. I would guess there are at least two servings of veggies in the Soul Bowl.

Give it a try. Native Foods is amazing, and I am guessing there might be one near you soon.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

My 14 faves of '14: #1

I suppose this is a list.

I have done this before.  A couple of years ago I did a post about my favorite products. I have also written about my favorite women. And men.

This month I had been thinking of all of the wonderful things that have happened in my life this year. I'd like to share them.

These will be in no particular order, except for the post on the 31st which will be my absolute #1 favorite of the year!

So here is my first fave of '14!

Vegan Heartland's Vegan Chicken Pot Pie!

One day at work I pulled up his blog and saw a photo of his Chicken Pot Pie. I salivated all day. On the way home I picked up a couple of products. When I got home I pulled out the recipe and got to work.

Remember, I am not a cook. And I have never made a crust in my life!

A few months later I have made this over a dozen times! Why, because it is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. For us it makes a great dinner and then an awesome lunch with the leftovers.

You must try this recipe!

Here you go:

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

No gifts, thank you.

I am super grateful to all of my family who, for years now, have donated to a local animal shelter or HIV/AIDS organization instead of getting us a Christmas gift. It's been at least ten years since my parents started doing this, and every time we are back in Michigan we get to see the results. The animal shelter in Bay City where my mom donates in our name even has a brick for me and Mike!

So many amazing organizations doing so much good work.

Every year around this time I like to write about this. It's pretty simple. We have the power to make an intense amount of change by asking our friends and family to donate to an organization we would support rather than get us a gift. I have altered that for some folks who insist on a gift as it's "what they want to do" to say that if you get us a gift, please make a donation of equal value.

Our friends and family have loved this. So have the small, local HIV/AIDS organizations and animal shelters.

Everybody gets a gift. Plus, those who love us get the chance to know us on a deeper level by being a part of supporting groups we support. And they get to learn why we support these groups.

Thanks for reading!