Goings On in Pictures (and some words)

I watched this squirrel for an hour one Saturday. Yes, an hour. Squirrels here (compared to Atlanta) seem chubbier. At least this guy (gal?) did. He ran around the back porch and ate the seeds out of these “helicopter” leaves  (who knew they were even edible?).

Goings On | Luminous Vegans

After not knowing what else to put in the recessed window above our kitchen sink, I finally decided on just a few of my precioussess. Like my tea collection, cashews and Vitamix. Along with some mugs, random appliances, kitchen towels and napkins. I might add a plant to this mess some day. But only a plant that requires zero maintenance. Does such a plant exist?

Goings On | Luminous Vegans

The cooking goings on have been mostly throw together or tried-and-true meals. Like the Italian “sausages” from PPK

Goings On |Luminous Vegans

that I used in this hearty, throw-together carrot, cabbage and sausage soup.

Goings On |Luminous Vegans

I also made these cranberry muffins, from PPK too. I made a few alterations based on what we had on hand. Which means I used dried cranberries reconstituted with water instead of fresh cranberries, almond milk instead of OJ, 1/4 cup of applesauce + 1/4 cup of canola oil instead of all canola oil and I added 1 tsp of lemon juice. It came out perfectly and was delicious with homemade vegan butter.

Goings On |Luminous Vegans

I am also cooking and eating my way through ALL the foods in these two new cookbooks I got! I shall have a proper review of each sometime in the future.

Goings On | Luminous Vegans

I switched from a broken iphone to an android for a new carrier that uses wifi hybrid calling. I did the maths and we’ll be saving about $700 during the first year. After that, we’ll be saving over a grand each year. Take that Verizon! If you research it and wanna try it, I have a linky for $19 off for you and me. I’m not affiliated with them. I just like the company’s mission. Plus I’m cheap.

Goings On |Luminous Vegans

We decided not to exchange gifts with each other for the holidays this year. Instead we got new beds for the pups and they finally arrived. They deserve it. These beds are BIG, durable and super cushiony for their bony bodies.

Goings On |Luminous Vegans

The too-small-gettin’-really-flat beds are now the guest beds in our offices. (PS that’s a black sock on Miles’ back foot because he refuses to walk around the house without a sock. Not really. He runs a lot super fast and gets boo-boos on his feet that have to get covered with a bandage and then a sock. No sock = a foot licked raw and/or random tiny blood spots on the floor)

Goings On |Luminous Vegans

My current library reads include The Voyage of the Turtle by Carl Safina. It’s an intriguing look into the life of Leatherback turtles. I’m almost halfway through and it makes me go from being angry that I’m human to utterly amazed at these giant “dinosaurs”. It makes me want to visit the Turtle Hospital in Florida again.

And I just started Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity by Emily Matchar. I’m a woman, I like domestic things like knitting and baking and I’m also a feminist. Is this conflicty or not? I hope this book has some good discussion on the topic.

Goings On |Luminous Vegans

Neal made this desk (using this tutorial) for my office. I love it because it’s simple, small and hand-made.

Goings On |Luminous Vegans

So far I have filled my office with toys and yarn. And some photography things. I suppose I should get more grown up office-y stuff.

Goings On |Luminous Vegans

Nah.

47 thoughts on “Goings On in Pictures (and some words)

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      We got them from Victoria Peak (http://www.victoriapeak.com/). They are on the pricey side but the dogs really needed a durable bed as they tend to “nest” or dig quite aggressively on their beds. Both their old beds are really flat and one has a hole because of this. So far, the Victoria Peak beds seem very durable (made of denim). And they kinda spring back to shape after the dogs have lounged on them unlike the old beds which just got flatter and flatter with time. We’ve only had them for a couple of weeks so I don’t know how they stand up with time but all the reviews we found on it seemed very positive. Also the beds are made in the USA and the owner gives a 2 year guarantee on the beds.

      Reply
  1. Amanda

    We’re dumping AT&T in a couple of weeks when our contract is up and making the same switch as you. I’m so excited about the money we’re going to save!! Do you like your new phone?

    Your new place looks so bright and airy. I love your window over the sink.

    And thanks for your kind words on my blog the other day. I’m trying to embrace the cold and give in to my hermit tendancies rather than fight them or feel guilty. Still, I cannot wait for spring!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Wowee!! I totally wasn’t going to post about the phone because I thought—who cares? But it seems like a few people are using it. How exciting! I DO like my new phone! The screen is larger than my iphone 4 which is nice. Republic is a bit slow on getting android updates so the phone does not have the latest android system. but having the “latest and greatest” technology has never been a big deal for me. It is worth the savings to me. It was a bit of a learning curve to switch from ios to android but luckily my dad is an android nerd :-) so he helped me out a lot! PS if you don’t have a discount link for signing up, don’t hesitate to use mine included in the post ;-)

      Our new place does have a lot of big windows which is one of the reasons we picked it. It is kind of a catch-22 though because I am finding out that it feels colder where there are bigger windows… still waiting nervously on our first heating bill to see if this makes an impact…

      I was so happy to see you blog again! Though I love a good recipe and vegan food porn as much as any other vegan blogger, I also like to get glimpses of my fellow bloggers’ personal lives. I think it’s those personal tidbits that really connect us. I say, definitely embrace the cold. Give in to it and just see where it takes you! Spring is just around the corner. :-)

      Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thanks Kylie! I wasn’t deliberately aiming for “warm and cozy” but it makes sense that it came out that way because that is basically how I want to feel whenever I am at home :-) I think it helps that we also have wood paneling throughout the house. Wood tends to just naturally warm things up.

      Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thanks! I really like the big deep sink. The only drawback is that my cast iron skillet leaves these black marks in it that annoy the crap out of me :-P They come out with scrubbing. But scrubbing…yuck!

      Reply
  2. Andrea

    I like Your choices for the window — it’s a reversal of the usual use to bring the outdoors in with plants and such. You are sending some of your personal energy out by placing important things in the window. The soup and muffins look so vibrant and delicious, and the muffin changes sound like the same things I would change. I think you’re going to like Isa Does It a lot. As for a plant that requires no care, you might have to get an fake one. :) Seriously, though, my aloe gets virtually no care and it’s doing great!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      I never thought of it that way Andrea. I just didn’t want to end up with a bunch of dead plants and dried leaves everywhere that I would have to clean up. Because I am terrible at taking care of plants. But I like the idea of sending my energy out into the world :-)

      Actually, your comment about a fake plant has me thinking that I could knit or crochet some flowers for up there!

      And believe it or not..and I am really embarrassed to admit this because they are supposed to be extremely easy to take care of….but I’ve killed TWO aloe plants. That should give you an indication of how I am with plants :-P One day I will conquer both plants and bread making with yeast….one day…

      Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Ha ha! Yes at times, adult things= yaaaawwwn! Sometimes I get envious when I flip through Pottery Barn catalogs and the such but then I realize that my way of doing things fits me. It’s minimalistic, cheap and makes me feel happy!

      Reply
      1. Cheerfully Vegan

        And all too often we’re busy looking/acting/being/decorating like we think people expect us or want us to be ~ and if we stop and reflect, we realize we’re miserable! I’m 50 and I’m learning just how much I’ve spent my life imaginary-people-pleasing (which is radically different from making your loved ones around you happy.) No more! I am going to be me. :)

        Reply
        1. luminousvegans Post author

          Oh my gosh!!! This is so true and resonates with me so much because I definitely fall into the category of being an imaginary-people-pleasing person. I may not really know who exactly “me” is because of years and years of doing this. I am still discovering and learning how to be “myself” and it is quite a journey!

          Reply
  3. ameyfm

    what a beautiful post. I am a bit jealous of your pretty window above the kitchen sink. We have one too, but because of how the house is shaped, it doesn’t really let in much light. Those muffins are so beautiful. I haven’t made muffins in a long time, but this weekend we are having a bday brunch for my nephew, so I finally have a good muffin excuse and I am already busy brainstorming what kind of muffin I’ll make. And, of course, I love the dog pics. Dogs on poofy beds = much joy.

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thank you! The plentiful and large windows is partially what made us fall for this house. We’ve been pretty lucky so far because there have been quite a lot of sunny days here. Of course, even when it is rainy and foggy there is this nice yet eerie kind of light that fills the house through the windows. The only negative is, I think the windows make it feel colder in the house. Not sure how this is gonna impact the heating bill (still waiting on the first one).

      A birthday brunch for a nephew sounds like the perfect time to make muffins. Makes me feel bad because my excuse for making muffins is totally selfish…we ate that whole batch by ourselves :-P

      Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Aw, thanks Lisa. I really appreciate the simple things in life so I think it’s important to try and make them as beautiful as they are to me. So often, I can overlook the simple things in my life but it’s those small things that enrich my life.

      Hallelujah!! You are free from Verizon! I was totally sick of how much money I was giving that company especially when they are totally money hungry! Which carrier are you thinking about switching to?

      Reply
  4. sarah@thesweetlife

    Love this post. Enjoying hearing how you’re settling in. I just did the exact same thing with my phone – got rid of iPhone and Verizon and got same phone as yours (love it) with republic. Best decision on 2014 so far! Glad you are enjoying Oregon. Its the best!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thanks Sarah! High fives for same phone and carrier!!! I definitely agree that it is one of the best decisions for 2014 so far!! We are so stoked about how much money we will save. We are finding that the phone call quality can sometimes be subpar when we are not at home…but for us, it’s not a deal breaker. We don’t actually talk on the phone that much. We use our phones mostly for emails, text, social media and sometimes navigating around the city since we still don’t know our way around. For these purposes, the phone has worked extremely well. When we do actually talk-talk, it is at home and the phonecalls at home are, so far, good. How do you like the phone/carrier so far?

      Reply
  5. acookinthemaking

    I have to say, that “throw-together” soup looks delectable! I’ve made those muffins before too and they are terrific.

    I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on the Homeward Bound book once you’ve finished it. I wonder about its topic in my own life as well…I’m a feminist and I have a career and all, but I also really, really love being at home and cooking and keeping the house tidy/liveable, want to be a mom someday, etc. Is it a conflict? Or a natural result of how we are adapting to the loosening of gender roles in our society?

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Isn’t Isa amazing? I gotta say, I don’t think I’ve made anything by her that wasn’t really delicious! So far, her newest cookbook has only induced lots of “mmmmmms” and “yummmm, oh my gosh, this is sooo good!”.

      I’m making my way through Homeward Bound and it is definitely an interesting read. She even has a section about blogging and etsy “careers”. She tends to focus on stay-at-home mothers but also twenty-thirty somethings that are disenchanted with the job market and working for “the man”. It’s a lot of interesting dynamics to think about. She hasn’t clearly defined her stance on anything. It’s a little back and forth between saying it’s a conflict with feminism and actually a feminist act itself (since we are ACTIVELY making the choice to keep the home tidy, etc).

      I might give a thorough review on Good Reads once I am done. Are you on Good Reads? My username is pinktheory if you are and want to add me.

      Reply
  6. kwdickinson

    Another great post! You can really feel the pride and joy you have in your new home. :) And those dog beds are awesome. I want one for myself (not my dog, just me, lol).

    As for zero maintenance plants, cactus fits the bill perfectly, thought they’re not all that flowery. Or you could try a spider plant. They seem to thrive no matter what’s going on. And of course no home is complete without it’s very own aloe vera, especially in the kitchen where minor burns often need immediate soothing.

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thanks! I do have a bit of a Danny Tanner (remember that guy from Full House?) attitude towards any new place we move into. There’s just something about a fresh, empty house when I first move in that makes me want to keep it nice and clean and fresh. I am really gonna stick to minimalism this year to help keep it this way.

      I have definitely been known to sit/lounge on the dog beds myself. In fact, when we first got them, they were TOO poofy and the dogs were scared to sit on them. So to get them used to it, we would sit in them as much as possible until the dogs realized—oh, this is a thing used for sleeping and laying :-)

      I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve actually killed TWO aloe plants in my past. That is how bad I am with plants. It’s terrible. Is there any hope for me? Is a cactus really zero maintenance? I don’t care about a plant being flowery. It would just be nice to have a plant up there. Maybe by being so close to the sink I wouldn’t be so bad about watering the plants…

      Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thank you Becky! The windows were definitely a huge draw to this house (amongst other things). I thought it would be all rain and fog here but we’ve had quite a bit of sun streaming through those windows here.

      Reply
  7. Katie @ Produce on Parade

    Okay, I have many things to say. First, that squirrel is so awesome. Second, your sad phone looks just like Todd’s old phone! Third, oh my dear god where on earth did you get those sweet ass beds!? Those are HUGE! Bob must have one.

    Fourth, Bob does that with his foot too. I’ve done koban (bandage wrap), put his foot in a sock, tied it up in a plastic grocery bag and then duct taped it…and he still got it off to lick. I’m glad your pup is more chill with it. Mittens also work well if you’re in a bind, FYI. One time, I used one of Todd’s high socks and taped the top…Bob chewed off the bottom (toe part) to get to his granuloma…that’s when we had to implement the bag shenanigans. We started walking him twice a day and now he has a dog buddy to visit him during the day when we are gone and that seems to help. He’s just a cutter I guess…

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Oh no, how did Todd’s phone meet its demise? Mine happened when we first moved in. I had managed to never drop that phone for almost over 3 years, but then one day it was total butter fingers and it fell on the tile floor.

      So the beds are from http://www.victoriapeak.com/. I guess I should link to it in the post since you’re the second to ask. They are a bit pricey, but so far seem very worth it. Our dogs “nest” in their beds which is the polite way of saying they dig aggressively at their beds before plopping down. :-P This causes the beds to get holes and extremely flat. So far, the beds from Victoria Peak are extremely durable and seem to hold up their shape.

      Poor Bob! Why must pups lick so crazily at wounds? I get that it is instinct to want to clean a wound but Miles does it to the point where he actually can make it WORSE :-( I’m glad that you have found something to help Bob. I’m surprised to hear that we are not alone on the sock thing :-) I’ll have to remember the mitten thing if we ever run out Neal’s used socks.

      Reply
  8. Jennifer

    I’m in the midst of decorating a big stuffy house; your post today helps reinforce my thinking that I should just make it look like me and not worry about what grownup-y things I ‘should’ be doing. I choose happy!
    Thanks for sharing your happy too:)

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Yay! I say definitely choose your happy. I like that saying. I sometimes get envious when I flip through Pottery Barn catalogs or see other people’s fancy things, but then I realize that my house fits me. It’s minimalistic, cheap, dog friendly and makes me happy!

      Thanks for the happy comment!

      Reply
  9. Cadry

    I tend to kill plants too, even ones that people say are impenetrable. That said, I’ve had good luck with succulents, and you can usually find a nice variety of inexpensive ones at Trader Joe’s in their floral area. Since they are meant to live in the desert, they don’t require much. That’s perfect for me. Luckily, the cats meow when they need something. If only I could train plants to do that… ;)

    Aren’t both of those cookbooks so fun? They are two of my favorites for sure. Miyoko’s makes me feel like I’m a mad scientist, and Isa’s continues to amaze because of what kind of dishes are possible in 30 minutes. She knows her flavors!

    Hearing about your phones made me feel the way that it feels when people say that someone should stop drinking coffee… I want to hold onto the iPhone that I only finally got last year, hold it tight and say, “Nooooooooo!” So…. I don’t think I’m ready to give it up just yet. But that’s an amazing savings!

    The pups look so sweet in their beds! Whenever you post pictures, I always have to show them to David, so that we can admire them. I can’t wait to have a greyhound buddy someday!

    And finally to end this massive comment… I know what you mean about feeling like your home should be full of grown-up things. As much as I love walking around stores like Crate and Barrel, my home is full of things like a hand-painted picture of Mr. T and framed yarn picture of Bob Ross. It may not be a magazine-style house, but it certainly looks like us!

    Reply
  10. veganadian

    Ahhh! Your place is so cute! I LOVE IT! You are making me want to take a leap of faith and leave this place we call Atlanta.. Seriously, I have been looking on where I want to niche next. I’ll text you about it soon! I am so happy to see that you guys are settled and making it happen! Such an inspiration! By the way, you totally missed the snow last week! :p

    Miss you, Ketty! Say hi to Neal for me!

    oxo,
    Holly

    Reply
  11. Richa

    love the pups and their beds. we have like 4 beds and 2 crates for our one fluffster in the house. i mean is he spoilt or what, and in the end he sleeps in our bed when he gets the chance. :!
    love that desk and all your collected things. we have huge windows in our house too and i would never be able to put anything on them. hubbs doesnt like anything on them windows. all the light shall come in uninterrupted. :)

    Reply
  12. Pixie

    Love your blog (I am new to it) ~ you may, however, want to move the cashews from the window to the freezer…nuts go rancid so rapidly…and cashews are spendy! Keep up the great work, beautiful pups!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thanks for stopping by! And for the helpful tip about the cashews! We use up cashews so quickly around these parts that I haven’t noticed any rancidness, but will move them to a less rancid-inducing place if we’re storing them for longer.

      Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Hi Camille! Thank you for the kind comment. I’ve finally got around to updating and cleaning out spam, etc and reading your comment brought a smile to my face. I am well and happy and hope to get into blogging and reading blogs regularly again. Hope you are well and I look forward to reading your blog again.

      Reply
  13. veganinbrighton

    Such a beautiful blog post. I’m a big lover of squirrels, when I visited Vancouver I made a friend follow an amazing half black half red squirrel around a park with me for longer than was probably necessary! I love the pictures of your home, your handmade desk is fantastic (my household has no diy skills) and I have also been considering adding a plant to my kitchen windowsill but after killing my second basil plant recently I’m thinking better of it!

    Reply

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