Vegan(ish)

Hey all!  As some of you might know, I’ve been striving towards adopting a vegan, plant-based diet.  I LOVE this diet for so many reasons, but I have to be honest…I’ve been really struggling with it lately.  I’ve found myself falling back into the same cycle over and over again, where I’ll stick to a vegan diet for a few weeks, but then I’ll be out to dinner or at a friend’s house and I’ll chow down on something cheesy or creamy before I can talk myself out of it.  Gah!

I’m trying not to be too harsh with myself or beat myself up when I do slip and eat something non-vegan.  At home, I’m still 100% vegan (and I love cooking vegan food), and I don’t foresee that changing anytime soon.  It’s the pizza, ice cream, creamy things that lurk in restaurant’s and the refrigerators of my friends and family that are really tempting me.

{cred and current situation}

With the holidays coming up, I know that full-blown temptation is going to be ALL AROUND ME.  That being said, I really do think that a vegan diet is the right way to go, and I’m still on my journey to get there.  I think I’m off to a really good start by sticking to a vegan diet at home, and I’m starting to focus on sticking to plant-based foods when eating at a restaurant or someone else’s home.  After doing some research, I’ve settled onto a few strategies I’ll be implementing to keep myself on track, especially for Thanksgiving!

1) Bring a vegan dish:  We’ll be splitting the holiday between T’s family and mind, and we’re bringing side dishes to both meals.  If I cook a meat-eater approved vegan dish (thanks for testing T) then I know of at least one thing I can eat AND I can share a growing passion of mine with those I love most.

2) Start with veggies:  I’ve never seen a Thanksgiving or holiday spread that didn’t include a salad or two, so I’m planning on filling up with plants first.  That way, I’ll make sure I have something nutritious in my system, and I’ll (in theory) fill up and leave less room in my tummy for non-vegan foods.  I’m looking at you, buttery mashed potatoes.

3) Be kind: If I do indulge in foods with dairy or eggs in them, I’m not going to beat myself up over it.  I knew going into this transition that I wasn’t going to become vegan overnight.  I don’t do well jumping into anything cold-turkey (ironic expression), and for me, this is all about progress towards a goal.  I just need to keep reminding myself what success actually looks like:


Are any of you trying out a vegan lifestyle?  Do you have any tips of your own for handling food temptations?  I’d love to hear from you 🙂
Until next time!


Products With Heart- The Erin Condren Life Planner

Hello!  I’m so excited to share my next installment in my product review series (I changed the name up a bit to make it feel more personal for this blog!).  As a woman who loves a good organization and planning system, I’ve been on the hunt for a solid planner for awhile.  While I thought I’d found a good system for awhile (read about it here) I became dissatisfied over time, and found myself on the hunt once more for a good planner. Enter Erin Conrad*.
 
When I first stumbled upon Erin Conrad’s website, I was immediately impressed.  It’s basically the mecca for all those who love anything to do with organizing and planning…i.e. me.  From beautiful life planners, to colorful office supplies, to cards and invitations, this company offers a variety of products to suit a plethora of office or crafting needs.  I stuck with buying a life planner this time, but I will definitely be back to peruse through more products soon.
 
{meet my new baby}
 
 
On to the planner…when I first opened it, I literally felt like someone had peeked into my head and then designed a planner that included anything I have ever wanted in one.  Organized with colorful tabs, each month of the planner begins with a calendar spread, followed by weekly agenda pages (available in either vertical or horizontal format, I went with horizontal.)  Each day is organized into two chunks.  I’ve been using the longer lined box for my daily to-do lists and homework assignments, and the small box for my exercise schedules and meal planning.  
 
{this week}
 
{looking ahead}
 
While this planner without a doubt includes everything I want to stay organized and plan out my time  in advance, it also offers lots of sweet extras I didn’t expect.  For instance, each weekly spread page includes a Notes and a Thankful Thought box, which are really awesome places to remind myself of things to remember or be grateful for.  There is also a Notes section in the back of the planner, which I’ve been using to keep track of books I want to read, gifts I want to purchase for people, etc.  Finally, the life planner comes with a starter pack of stickers.  While I’ve never been a fan of using stickers per say, I’ll definitely be giving these a try.
 
As if its interior features weren’t enough, the planner itself is sturdy and gorgeous.  There a tons of cover designs to choose from online, and I hear tell that you can order covers separately so you can switch up your look throughout the year.  You can check them out for yourself here.  Additionally, you can personalize your planner like I did, or buy a pre-made and ready to go planner for a cheaper price and faster delivery.  
 
How do you keep yourself organized?  Do you have a system that works well for you?  I’d love to hear about it! Until next time!
 
UPDATE!!! If you’re hankering for some Erin Condren in your life, use my referral code here to get $10 off your first order! 
 
* DISCLAIMER: I purchased my Erin Condren Life Planner with my own money.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Lately

So much has been happening around here lately!  I’ve been feeling pretty bogged down with work and school lately, but I keep myself going knowing that it will all be worth it when I graduate.  Right?

I did manage to sneak out last weekend for some Halloween galavanting.  T and I dressed as Ash and Pikachu from the Pokemon series…and I basically got to realize my childhood dreams.

 {gotta catch em all}

 {lola bunny and pikachu are bests}
 {harassing kermit}
 {the deathly hallows and a funny face…guess which is mine}
{back to it}

What did you do for Halloween?? I know it was a week ago, but it’s one of my favorite holidays…I could talk about it forever.
Until next time!

BRB

Hello!  I just wanted to let any readers out there now that I have to put Have Heart on the back-burner this week to focus on some upcoming assignments for school.  I anticipate posting sometime this weekend however (yay!) so stay tuned!  
{basically, me}


In the meantime, do any of you have any tips on how not to go crazy when you’re to-do list stretches on forever?  I would be THRILLED to hear any of your advice!