I’m back!

Hiya Friends!

I got back on Sunday from our AMAZING Euro trip! I am SO SO excited to share it with all of you ūüôā We traveled to Copenhagen, Rome, Positano, Capri, Pompeii, Naples and parts of Iceland. ¬†Each part of the trip was amazing in its own way and such an adventure.

In Copenhagen we have my husbands entire family, including his brother. ¬†So we were busy getting together with family and friends but we had a solid 14 days there so getting to spend quality time with everyone was totally doable. ¬†We did lots of family dinners, exploring areas that my husband would spend his summers at growing up (and making so many memories!) and yes, we did good old Tivoli. ¬†Each and every time we have visited we have gone to Tivoli Gardens (one of the oldest amusement parks in the world). ¬†It is such a fun family tradition. ¬†I think it has continued on mainly because Thomas’ cousin, Christian, has two girls (11 and 15 years old) who absolutely still love going. ¬†When Thomas and his brother were younger his older cousin, Christian, would be the one to bring them each year as well. ¬†I think its so nice that we have continued the tradition and go back each time we visit, and the hopes will be it never stops since we would like to do the same with our future kiddies. ¬†It is such a beautiful park, with lots of Scandinavian charm. ¬†Then we always eat dinner at a place called Grafton, again its the only place we usually grab dinner at. ¬†It was funny actually, since I am a vegan (and Danes LOVE their meat and fish) the menu had zero things on it for me to eat haha. ¬†SO we asked them if they have a vegetarian option that could be made vegan and I got a look like, “oh no, one of these weirdos!” ¬†It was so funny actually, but they did deliver and they gave me this lentils and veggies type dish which was actually not too bad.

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Tom and I in Copenhagen, our first day.  This is in Nyhavn

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Tivoli at night

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We ate dinner this night at the top of the Tivoli hotel )amazing views!) at a place called Sticks and Sushi.  Poor hubby was taking the pic otherwise he would be in it too haha.  This is my bro-in-law, Adam, and his gf, Signe.

Then after 12 days in Copenhagen we flew to Rome where we did one night, then drove (yes, we drove in Italy and yes it was one of the craziest things I have experienced lol) to Praiano, where we stayed for 3 nights. ¬†Then drove back to Rome and spent the night and took off early the following morning. ¬†It was actually great having a car and being able to stop off where ever we wanted to and to be on our own schedule. ¬†Rome was amazing. ¬†I know it is touristy but for all the right reasons. ¬†I have never with my own two eyes seen such amazing history all over the city. ¬†It is a giant metro city and as you walk down the street you pass structures that are 2,000+ years old! ¬†It was just so magical to see all of it. ¬†We did get a chance to do a guided tour of the Colossuem and Pantheon (which I highly recommend!) It was great having a guide show us around and point out things and explain them to us. ¬†Way better then if we walked around on our own, at least that was my personal opinion on it. ¬†Our tour guide was also an archaeologist so she was super knowledgeable and really painted a great picture for us about the history of Rome. Then from Rome, our most relaxing part of the trip, Praiano/Amalfi Coast. ¬†As I referenced above regarding the driving, I mainly am referring to the crazy roads you have to take to get to the Amalfi coast. ¬†I have never seen such narrow (2 way) roads that wind and turn like crazy all along the edge of a cliff….It was just unbelievable how they drive and how good they are at it! haha Then on our way back to Rome we stopped off in Pompeii (another crazy awesome piece of history to explore) and Naples. ¬†The Naples stop was literally just for pizza. ¬†We weren’t going to drive past the birth place of pizza and NOT get some to try. ¬†So we made a special pit stop in Naples at a place called, Del Presidente, to grab pies. ¬†OMG, it was everything I hoped and dreamed it would be haha.

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When in Rome, get gelato (or sorbet if your vegan like me ūüôā )

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the. best. gnocchi. ever. (In Praiano)

This is just a little sneak peak of some of the pictures. ¬†I literally took thousands! Haven’t even uploaded them all from my camera. ¬†These are all just my iPhone pictures.

Then after Italy we flew back to Copenhagen for 2 nights, which was great. ¬†We got to say goodbye to everyone one last time and the family introduced us to “Running Sushi” it was actually pretty amazing. ¬†Its a conveyor belt that has plated sushi and other items going around it. ¬†You take whatever you want as it goes by you. ¬†Such a cool idea! ¬†I guess its popular in Europe (really starting in Japan I guess?) it was a super fun experience and great night with the family. ¬†Each plate has one or two pieces of sushi on it so as you eat you make a stack of plates in the middle. ¬†Here was one of ours:

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Running sushi-you can see the conveyor belt in the back!

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We asked them if more veggie/vegan sushi would make its way to the belt and they were so sweet and made this up especially for me!

So after our 2 nights in Copenhagen we then flew out and did a 3 night layover in Iceland. We stayed in a hostel (with a private room and bath) in the heart of downtown Reyk. The beauty in that country is unreal.  The nature it like no other place I have seen.  The best way to describe how it looks is pretty much something from another planet.  The rocks, glaciers, moss, waterfalls, all just so insanely beautiful.  We also did the Blue Lagoon (you cannot visit Iceland and NOT go there-and yes, it lived up to its expectations).  We rented a car here, which again was an awesome idea.  No need to get on a big bus with strangers and go around, we were on our own time and it was perfect.

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and yes, they had a Lebowski bar which was pretty awesome

Again, this is just a sneak peak of some of the wonders we saw.  I have been brainstorming how I would like to present the trip here, on my blog, and I am going to post about it according to my journal.  I kept a travel journal the entire time.  I just hate forgetting each day, especially when you are traveling around for so long, so its a nice way to re-live each day when you read the entry.  This way I can break down the trip in a better order.

I am looking forward to sharing everything with you guys and will hopefully get the first post up and edited this weekend!  This is going to be a number of entries but I feel like its the only way to capture most of it AND show off some of my outfits and give all the details!

As mush as I loved Europe and going on such a great adventure, it is great to be back in the States ūüôā

Any fun travels that you have coming up?!

xoLauren

 

***All these pictures are my own.  Please do not use them without my permission.

Jus By Julie Review

Hi loves!

So a few days ago I posted that I was going to try the Jus by Julie cleanse, I did and want to talk about it.  image1

I started my 3 day cleanse on Saturday (7/9) and I¬†officially ended it yesterday. ¬†I have to say I am rather impressed. ¬†Going in I really thought I was going to be starving the entire time, getting headaches and all the things you hear people talk about when they try a cleanse. ¬†Well, I experienced none of that actually. ¬†I was completely full and satisfied after each drink. ¬†Some may know this but I am a vegan. ¬†Not sure if its just because I really love veggies or what but I thought the drinks tasted amazing! I would actually crave my next juice each day. ¬†I read some reviews where some people said one of the drinks was “too green” for their taste but I didn’t feel that way at all. ¬†Each drink is numbered 1-6 (you drink 6 a day) and I drank them about every 3 hours or when I started to feel hungry again. ¬†My husband did not do this cleanse so by the end of the day when he was eating dinner in front of me, I did get an urge to “chew” something. ¬†Its funny, in the information they give you they do mention that if you feel the urge to “chew” then you can eat 2 cups of raw or steamed veggies. ¬†So I did eat¬†a corn on the cobb. ¬†This was not because I was hungry (I really wasn’t at all actually) I just really was craving the corn to chew on, I know it sounds odd but I don’t know how else to explain it haha.

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Day 1: felt great all day, loved the taste of all the juices, the #4 I drank was the PB and J and it was divine! (strawberry, bananna, all natural PB and rice milk) One of my faves.  I also really enjoyed the spicy pomegranate. And I did eat an ear of corn.

Day 2: still feeling great, going to the rest room a lot since my bladder is so full but feel way less bloated already after just 1 day. ¬†They say to drink LOTS of water to stary hydrated so I have been drinking around 75oz or so a day. ¬†I didn’t really notice a difference in my energy level, enjoyed each flavor drink this day as well. ¬†Also ate another ear of corn for dinner

Day 3: last day. ¬†At this point I was actually looking forward to getting up and having my first drink of the day. ¬†I didn’t think I had it in me to really go that long without “eating” solid foods but I was feeling great the entire time and never once felt like I was depriving myself of anything. ¬†I did have some cauliflower and raw Kale to get my “chew” fix LOL.

Overall: I would totally do this cleanse again.  I loved that it was so easy, everything is numbered for you, pre-made etc.  All I had to do was drink them across the entire day which was never an issue.  It was nice that they had a few different flavors that they mixed into each day.  The #1 juice and #6 were always the same and the others rotated.   My bloating has gone down so much.  I feel like I hold a lot of my stress in my stomach and I feel bloated often, I felt like that had gone down considerably.  I did take some before and after pics for my own record and you can definitely see a difference from day 1 until this morning when I took the final picture.

Price:  They seem to have promos running all the time.  When I purchased my cleanse it was $30 off, free shipping and 12 free booster shots.  This all came to $120.  That is a decent amount of money to spend on juice but I think its much more reasonable then others I have seen.  They have coupon codes all the time, I just looked on their site and they have the same promo running that I got with promo code JUICENOW.

Ordering: It was a breeze.  You pick a date you want the cleanse to be delivered.  I chose Friday (since I knew I wanted to start it over the weekend) and it arrived when they said it would.  Since the juices are fresh they are perishable.  So they send them frozen and packaged up in such a great way to assure they will not go bad on their way to you.  I was really impressed.

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A close up so you can see what the ingredients are.  This one was so tasty !

**All of these are my own opinions and Jus by Julie has not sponsored this post.

I will be highly recommending this cleanse to anyone looking to try one.  Comment below if you have tried this and what your thoughts were or if you do end up trying it let me know!

xoLauren

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jus by Julie

Hi all!

Soo happy its finally Friday! Even though we had off on Monday this week just couldn’t go by fast enough. I am prepping all weekend long to get ready for our trip next weekend!! Its finally here, I cannot believe how quick that came up on us. ¬†So in preparation for this trip, aside from the usual gel mani/pedi, lash extensions etc., I am doing a juice cleanse this weekend!

I came across Jus by Julie while doing some research and they were having a sale on their 3 day cleanse so I decided “what better time then right before my trip to try this!” ¬†I am very excited to start the cleanse tomorrow. ¬†I just thought I would talk a little bit about what I am expecting from this as well as what they say they are offering and¬†then I will do a follow up post next week on if I liked it/didn’t like it and if I lost any weight etc.

So this is a 3 day juice cleanse. ¬†That’s right, no solid food for 3 full days, bring it on! ¬†They had a promotion where you can get the 3 day cleanse plus 12 booster shots for free AND $30 off AND free shipping. ¬†It came to $120 which I thought was rather reasonable for 3 full days of “food” also with the hopes of shedding some weight. ¬†They give you 18 juices total and you are supposed to drink 6 a day. ¬†They say to drink them about every 3 hours or when you are starting to feel¬†hungry. ¬†They come labeled so you know which one to drink 1st, 2nd etc. on each day. ¬†They also said the juices will last in the freezer up to 2 weeks if you decide to not start the cleanse immediately. ¬†I thought doing it over the weekend would be so much easier then trying to bring 4/5 juices with me to work. ¬†So I just have to bring them with me on Monday since I will start tomorrow.

I read a lot of reviews (most were very positive) which intrigued me even more to try this out.  A lot reviews said they were surprisingly not hungry during it, they had a lot of energy and dropped a few pounds.  My hope is that I will be able to lose a couple of pounds, de-bloat a little and just overall detox myself.  After last weekend (4th of July) I feel like a detox is a good thing lol.

Jus by Julie has promos a lot on their site, the 3 day cleanse + 12 free booster shots and $30 off + free shipping (that I just purchased) is still going on with promo code JUICENOW.  If you get their emails they send you promotions as well which is nice if you choose to do it again and do not want to pay full price.

I am excited for the follow up next week, so to be continued…

Any one out there try this cleanse?? Thoughts on it, love it? hate it? results? Would love to hear!

xoLauren

 

Vegan Cauliflower and Pasta

Hi dolls!

I thought I would share one of my all time fave go-to recipes! I made it last night, its so easy to make and really delicious.  My carnivore eating hubby even loves it LOL.

Here are the few ingredients you will need:

  • Head of Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Pasta (usually some sort of spaghetti/linguine etc. works best)
  • salt and pepper

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So I normally steam the cauliflower first. Then in another pan I start to saute some garlic. You can honestly use as much garlic as you would like.  I love garlic so I did about 3-4 cloves, use more or less and it will still taste wonderful.  Also get a pot of water boiling for the pasta.  Once the cauliflower is soft enough (I poke it with a fork to make sure) I then add it to the pan with the olive oil and sauteed garlic.

I mash up the cauliflower in the pan, leaving chunks still, but you want to break it down to more bite sized pieces.

At this point you want to have a pot of water boiling for your pasta.  Cook the pasta

I sometimes add the cauliflower and pasta all together (I normally use spaghetti, fettuccine, something along those lines) but this time I used rigatoni.  My sister made the rigatoni from scratch so I had to try it!!

Once you saute the garlic and cauliflower add black pepper and salt to taste.  Then add the cauliflower to the drained pasta (or you can keep them separate and just add some olive oil to the pasta to keep it from sticking together)

That is it! Its great because I like to make a big pan of it to last us a couple times during the week.

Let me know if you love this great vegan friendly recipe.

xoLauren

 

 

It’s been too long!

Oh the joys of the holidays! I am always so crazy busy right before the holidays that I haven’t had a chance to post on my blog.  How have you guys been? I am such a slacker and STILL need to buy Christmas gifts! (Ahh) it’s going to be so insane shopping this weekend but it needs to happen. 

As some of you know from my past posts I have made the switch to being a vegan and also just being more conscious of what I put into and on my body. 

I loveee fresh juices and try to incorporate them into my day as much as I can. Here is the yummy dark green juice I bought in the city this morning: 

 
It has kale, broccoli, spinach, celery, cucumber, parsley and lemon

I follow this amazing woman, Kris Carr, who posts great videos and juice recipes. I just bought her book a few weeks back and I am hooked!! Go to her site here to check out some fun juice and plant based recipes 

Do you juice? If so, share some of your favorite recipes! (I love trying new ones!)

xoLauren

Vegan Thanksgiving (for the first time!)

This will be my first Thanksgiving as a vegan. ¬†I have spent the last few years of holidays as a vegetarian but this one will be a bit more challenging. ¬†I am already getting the, “well what will you be eating?!” This will actually also be my first Thanksgiving with my family in over 5 years. ¬†Normally Tom and I would celebrate this holiday with his parents but since they have both passed away and his brother lives in Denmark, we will be making the trip back to my home town. ¬†My family always celebrates at my cousin Lisa’s house, it has been so long since I have seen a lot of my family so it will be such a great time!

So being the only person who will be at Thanksgiving that will not eat meat, dairy or eggs I need to bring a couple of things so I can actually eat haha.  I LOVE to cook and try new things so I picked out a few different recipes I plan on making and bringing with me.  Thought I would share my ideas and see if any other vegans out there have any fun recipes to share as well!

I just love Pinterest so of course this was the first place I checked out for some fun ideas and recipes. ¬†I don’t want to go over board because they will think I am such a fatty haha. ¬†But I also feel like if I make big portions, others will eat some as well so I am going to try it out and see what happens.

Here are the essentials that I feel like making this Thanksgiving:

Mashed Potatoes. ¬†I cannot have a Thanksgiving without this yummy dish. ¬†I know my cousin’s recipe will have butter and milk in them so I am going to make my vegan friendly one. ¬†I am not worried about them going to waste (I have made this recipe before and you cannot tell the difference!)

I found this recipe here from the Minimalist Baker (who has a bunch of great recipes!)

  • 6-8 medium yukon gold potatoes
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 5-6 cloves roasted garlic (or sub minced garlic saut√©ed for 3 minutes in olive oil)*
  • 3-4 Tbsp vegan butter (such as Earth Balance), melted/softened
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives for topping

and in addition to this recipe I sometimes (depending on the consistency) will add some almond milk or any non dairy milk will do

You can click the link for the full recipe and instructions.  Trust me, this can be subbed out for the normal butter and milk mashed potatoes and no one will be able to tell the difference!

You can’t have mashed potatoes without gravy.

Here is a mushroom gravy recipe that I have made once before and it was such a huge hit that I was passing out the recipe to everyone at the dinner.

  • 1/2 small onion ( I like to use sweet onions)
  • 12-15 oz. mushrooms ( I used a mix of Portabellas and Shiitake before but any variety would be good)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine (find a vegan friendly brand!)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/8 tsp. salt (I use pink Himalayan)
  • 2 Tbsp. flour¬†+ 3 Tbsp. water
  • 2 Tbsp. butter (I use Earth Balance)-I sometimes add more in but do a taste test first
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • pepper to taste

    Directions
    1.Dice up the onion, mince the garlic and and thinly slice the mushrooms.
    2. In a skillet over medium heat, saute the onion in olive oil for 1 minute then add the garlic and saute another minute.
    3.Add mushrooms, salt, and herbs. Saute for 8-10 minutes.
    4.Add white wine and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
    5.Add broth and nutritional yeast, bring to a boil, and cook for 10 minutes.
    6.In a small bowl, whisk together flour and water and add to skillet
    7.Return to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 2-3 minutes until slightly thickened.  You can add in some more flour if you feel like the consistency is not think enough
    8.Turn off heat and stir in butter until melted. Salt/pepper to taste if needed.

This meal also is not complete without stuffing!

My mother in law, Birgit, used to make this amazing stuffing and over the years we kind of adapted it to be vegetarian friendly by using veggie broth instead of chicken.  She would make 2 different kinds.  One with sausage and apples and the other with dried cherries, apples and nuts.  I want to keep some of those traditions alive so I came up with this recipe based off of my mother in laws. I do not have measurements for any of these.  They are recipes I have in my memory so bare with me haha.

  • 1 or 2 loafs of crusty bread chopped up small (I like sourdough)
  • veggie stock¬†(I normally use 2/3 cartons) depends on how much bread you use
  • dried cherries or craisins
  • diced apples
  • walnuts
  • celery-diced up
  • carrots-diced up
  • garlic-minced
  • onion-diced
  • dried sage
  • dried thyme
  • dried rosemary
  • earth balance butter
  • salt and pepper
  1. Toast and cube the bread or leave out overnight to harden a bit.
  2. Saute over medium heat in butter the onion, celery and carrots
  3. Stir all veggies til onion is softened then add in the garlic, herbs, salt and pepper.  cook for about 5 minutes
  4. Pour in the vegetable stock and stir
  5. I sometimes would add more butter at this point
  6. Add in bread and then transfer to a greased baking dish
  7. bake covered with foil at 375 degree for 45 minutes
  8. remove foil and back for another 15 or so minutes

The last item that I most certainly have to make is a dessert!!! I have not yet baked anything vegan yet so I am super excited about this! I found the perfect recipes to try.

Fall/Thanksgiving is never complete without lot and lots of pumpkin and apples!

Both of these recipes seems rather simple and soo delicious:

 Vegan Pumpkin cake with pumpkin spice buttercream

Salted caramel apple pie bars

 

I will have to see when I get closer which one I will plan on making

Do you have any fun vegan recipes to share??

xoLauren