A New Year and Endless Possibilities


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Warning: this is a cliche, inspirational, “it’s-the-start-of-something-new” post. And I have no shame! :D

So much happened last year but with grad school I felt like last year was a blur. It wasn’t an easy time at all. Being far away from friends and family, dealing with Arizona’s cruel summer and poor air quality (I had to get a prescription nasal spray!!), and of course the stress and exhaustion of getting a master’s degree.

But I have no ragrets… not even one letter.

Once the grad school journey came to an end, I was overwhelmed with happiness and emotion for the possibilities that exist now that I’m done with school and on my way to doing something great within my field. That is, once this job search comes to an end. *Fingers crossed*

In the new year I have a lot I want to accomplish now that I’m freeeee and can start adulthood (yay, responsibilities!).

1. Delve into vegan eating again. This goal will definitely have a ripple effect on my health and fitness levels, energy, and reignite my love of cooking insane vegan meals and blogging about them.

2. Blog. blog. bloggity blog. Seriously.

3. Get creative. I miss getting my right-brain activated with fun projects. I’m basically wasting my innate left-handed/artistic abilities. Time to get my Pinterest/Canva on.

4. Release my photos from iPhone imprisonment. Like my entire festive graduation… at this point that trip to Boston technically didn’t happen because Facebook doesn’t know.

3. Start a YouTube Channel (eep!). Obviously it’s already a saturated market but I love it so much and I really want to be more than just a fan.

First Impressions: Eylure London Lashes & Rimmel London Scandaleyes Show Off Mascara


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Over my Fall break from school, I purchased two new products to wear for my Ugandan Independence Day look.


First, I tried out the Eylure London individual lashes. Pros: The kit comes with 3 different lengths of lashes, glue, and lash remover. The packaging is extremely pretty! Cons: I was excited to try out the the flexibility individual lashes give me but this actually just turned into a lot of extra time and stress and squinting as I tried to get each lash on. Sadly, I didn’t have tweezers with me since I was traveling and the kit didn’t come with a tool so I used my fingers. While I’m pretty dexterous with regular lash extensions, I couldn’t get the right angles against my lash line. Eventually I just gave up. Other issue: you we supposed to pour out some glue and then dip the end of the lash in the glue blob. But the glue blob start drying seconds after and I couldn’t dip anymore lashes in after 15 seconds. Then I would have to get more glue (what a waste). Eventually I started just dabbing a little glue on each instead of pouring out a blob in order to save glue. Verdict: If you are already skilled at applying individual falsies, this kit is great because it has a variety of lengths and comes with glue and remover. But don’t forget your tweezer! 

I also tried out Rimmel London Show off Mascara. HUMUNGOUS sad face. This was going to be my first time trying a new mascara in a long time, and I’m pretty sure that for eternity I will stick with Maybelline, the pink and green one, you know the one! ;) I want to try Benefit’s They’re Real one day ($$) but I just saw this review from Natasha Sofia comparing Benefit to Maybelline, so maybe I will stick with what is cheaper and familiar. Cons: As you can see from the packaging, the wand has this little bulb part that is supposed to help with lift but it just really irritated my inner eye and got in the way. I prefer the tapered wand on Maybelline. Also, the entire thing was dried out! I think this is a manufacture/retail issue and I want to possibly contact them about it because perhaps this is a great product. When it is this dry, it doesn’t cling to your lashes and give them that jet black look. Verdict: huge disappointment. Huge.

Airplane Snacks!


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I am visiting home for Fall Break and I had some awesome vegan snacks aboard with me to get through a long day of travelling. I reviewed them below for today’s foodie Friday.


Lentil Snaps: I am so in love with the rich flavor of the tomato basil flavor. I’ve tried a few others like thyme time but none are as good as the tomato flavor these have. They are pretty light on the basil taste though, which I like. They are crunchy, low cal, and have protein.

Barnana: I wanted to try these after I saw them in Akushika Gonenatural’s Vegan Cuts unboxing. They are organic chewy dehydrated bananas covered in chocolate. Yum! I wish they just had a light coating of chocolate and I think next time I might just get the plain kind without chocolate so I can enjoy the banana flavor. The company has a cool story too, check them out!

Kind Bar: I have had these tons but recently sampled the blueberry vanilla and cashew flavor and loved it! So I went and bought another with my own money now that I knew it was delicious. It’s refreshingly different from eating a bar with cranberry or chocolate, which is so much more common.

Larabar: Does this even need a review? These are so yummy! Just a few ingredients in each bar to make a fruit and nut bar (sometimes they add chocolate too). The cherry pie flavor is pretty tart though.

Hail Merry Raw Almonds: Raw foods are always cool and the flavor of these vanilla maple almonds was on point. BUT as far as raw nuts, I still don’t feel like I ever get the same type of nutty flavor that comes from roasting.

Feeling inspired


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It’s 2 a.m. and I can’t sleep! When I do eventually go to bed and wake up tomorrow I am going to work on one thing: changing my life. All of this from a hairdresser’s appointment (well it was 5+ hours of girl talk). The things the one you let touch your hair can teach you. Also I just got the most voluminous, gigantic style of braids I have ever had. Pictures to follow once I am fully acquainted with my new head circumference. TSA is going to enjoy the hair pat on my flight Thursday.

(Please tell me I am not the only one that has ever gotten their hair patted lol?! 😂 😂 😂)

Desert living and skincare routine


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I decided to stay in Arizona and work on my master’s thesis this summer. I must say I was really nervous to spend my summer here, I was told by a friend that grew up here that a summer in the Phoenix valley was like living in “a wasteland.”

My first week of summer here was pretty awful, lots of Advil to combat the total dehydration headache I had every night! I had just come back from 4 weeks of traveling to the East Coast then to Trinidad and Tobago, two places with plenty of humidity, so the dry AZ weather was brutal for me. But eventually my body adjusted and I started eating more salt. I don’t usually put salt on things so I had to be more vigilant about that.

Funny though, is how people think sunny weather skin care stops with dark skin. Skin is skin, and it needs protection! I was really surprised to find out that Bob Marley passed away from melanoma. He was very famous and of African descent (I hope everyone that reads this knows who he is already), yet people still think that having dark skin means your are protected from the sun. Here’s what I’ve been using to protect my skin from the sun and keep it hydrated during my time in AZ:

Organix Hydrating Moroccan Argan Oil Lotion

1. Organix Moroccan argon oil lotion. I love this lotion, it has an amazing smell, a bit of glitter, and Moroccan argon oil.

My favourite oils

2 + 3. Another favourite has been coconut oil and jojoba oils. I just put them on after bathing to really seal in the moisture from the shower. Trader Joe’s has the best deal on both oils if you have one of their stores near you.

4. Now to protect my skin from too much sun exposure, I just use a basic “sports” or “active” sunscreen from any brand. I just like the ones labelled with sport, etc because they are more sweat proof and of course at 108 degrees I’m sweating quite a bit!

Ultimate necessity!

5. My most coveted summer necessity is this Maybelline Baby Lips lip balm with SPF 20. It helps keep my lips moisturized and protects them from the sun. It has the perfect feeling when you put it on, not too greasy or heavy. I am pretty picky when it comes to lip products, so I was happy that Baby Lips lived up to the hype!


All in or nothing!

Or some sort of slow level headed change? 

I want to start blogging again but because I have this crazy idea in my head that I will blog everyday! with all new ideas! and get super creative! ZOMG pictures! 

And then I realized that a little content everyday will be just fine. It will allow me to do this as a hobby like it should be and not a behemoth task. 

There are a lot of things I want to do in the internet realm but I know that I need to do them with baby steps!


All for now :)

Deactivating Facebook and other Hasty Decisions I Don’t Regret


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Eight years ago I gave up meat. I was hasty but it was a great three years first years…

Five years ago my mother made me promise I would eat fish once I went away to college…

Four  years ago I spent a year and a half eating chicken after a trip to Uganda at a point in my life where I definitely didn’t know enough about nutrition to properly feed myself abroad and then kept the chicken habit after the trip…

Two and a half years ago I went vegan. I was hasty.

I always laughed at the chicken eating, I was clearly no longer a vegetarian and I didn’t like that. Who was I? Uust a General Tso’s Chicken-loving mess (and about 30 pounds heavier that I am today). I was learning about nutrition and veganism was the answer. No more chicken, no more fish. And then on top of that no more ice cream or cheese (WHAT?!).

Sometimes it’s good to be hasty. My eating choices. My career choice: I made a list the summer after freshman year of college and quickly realized building a career as a tree hugger was better for me than building one in international business.

And let me tell you “hasty” is my rarest personality trait. At this point in time I have planned out what hairstyle I will have in two years, my entire masters degree, all my workouts for winter break, and two of my New Years resolutions. But the split second to just go vegan cold turkey (how punny!) has led to more passion about veganism than I have had about anything else.

I’ve decided to be hasty again. I’m deactivating Facebook. This is part of not going through the motions. Facebook causes problems, it really is too habit forming, and for my usual browsing time on there, fairly mindless. And when my regular habits have been shaken up since moving, why stick with this old one at a time like now? I am going to enjoying being off the radar. HAHA and yes I know this is social suicide for a 23 year old (omg no more event invites?) but I can’t be bothered (in British accent).  Actually for me being excluded outright and then realizing it at an awkward moment when you are completely dressed and ready to go to happy hour and realize you were uninvited (true story) is part of the reason. I don’t want to see this side of people, I want people to actually talk to me if they feel that I need to be uninvited/deleted. But they didn’t, and it’s happened twice recently… and how will I know, I’m dealing with so many new people that act and perceive things differently. In the past (you know, like only 10 years ago), I wonder if we actually sat down and talked to people when we were upset with them, as a means of better understanding each other? I don’t want to see the mechanics of their ways of functioning via a virtual reality. Maybe this will invite people to actually talk to me if things go awry. Instead of me ending up getting a hold of them to figure out what happened, and to learn it’s usually a slew of misunderstanding/interpretations and just lots of awkward messaging back and forth. Or maybe I’ll just have no friends for two years and do really well on my thesis? KIDDING! I know who my friends are both here and back home and in a moment like this I realize they are close at hand, not close at Facebook message (bloop… haha hate that sound, as promising as it is).

So go be hasty… responsibly hasty, as in something that affects you most rather than those around you (and isn’t dangerous, none of that folks!). Just do something RIGHT NOW that you think will make you happier in the moment.

Maybe happiness is a choice…


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I moved across the country 2 months ago. It’s just a pit stop, I moved for grad school. I love my program, I did A LOT of research about grad school and I have known for nearly 3 years that I wanted to do this program, it’s the leading program in the country for my field. 

It’s been hard for me, moving away from what I still consider the best state EVER (MARYLAND!! GO TERPS!). But recently something bad happened with a close friend… probably my closet friend here. One thing they said was that negativity is a choice. I feel like the things that have made living here difficult are outside of my control, and that I didn’t choose that unexpected change in my reality and my identity. But maybe this friend is right, as upset as I am with them and the complicated facets of our little (not that little) tiff, maybe it’s true. And let’s face it, we as humans are so unwilling to admit when someone is right. I feel almost foolish to let my friend be right, but I’ve thought hard about it, and they are right about this statement on negativity. Maybe negativity and happiness are both choices. And WHO CARES what bad things are happening, I have to look at every positive thing. School, my health (I lost 6 pounds this month!), my family, my future (which is based on the decisions and attitude/mentality I follow now).

This is it. This is the choice. I choose to be happy. Everyday. From now on. I’m done with just going through the motions these past few months. I can’t live my life in limbo, even during a pit stop.

Also…watch this video and get a little inspired: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qu39VqhSp-c

Getting back into blogging and an amazing Kale Salad


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I haven’t blogged in so long but I am getting a bit bored with the daily grind and feel the need to get creative again. Hopefully I can make it a goal to blog once a week!

Since we last spoke…

I have officially been in Arizona for grad school for 2 months now! I sure do miss Maryland though and thanks to my wonderful sister I will be visiting home for fall break in just 2 days! It has been a lot of work, I’m learning interesting theories (literally there are so so many theories in sustainability science) and I can’t wait to get my hands dirty by starting on my own research projects. 

Every Tuesday and Thursday I bring a lunch to campus because that is when I have most of my classes. I’ve made this delish kale salad the past week and it really satisfies. This recipe is fairly easy to travel with. Kale does not get as soggy as most other greens/lettuce so I actually take the entire salad with the dressing poured into the sides of the container and then I mix it a bit better once it’s lunch time. This recipe is inspired by my friend Jill. She had me over to her home in D.C. for a summer salad shortly before I moved and since then I love making kale my main salad green. It’s refreshing, lighter, and filled with amazing nutrients from super food like kale and goji berries!

Summer Kale Salad

Dry ingredients (mix to your liking)

3 kale washed leaves, ripped up into smaller pieces (about 3 cups)

6 sliced strawberries

half an avocado, sliced or cubed

Salad dressing of choice… this is best with a vinaigrette, I used a sesame ginger vinaigrette 

2 tbs each pistachios, dried cranberries, slivered or chopped almonds, candied or regular walnuts

1 tbs each coconut flakes, dried goji berries

Lemon slice to keep things fresh (optional, explanation in directions)


To eat right away: Mix it all together and chow down!

Pack for later: In a larger container pack together the kale and top it with the strawberries and avocado. Squeeze the lemon on top to keep the avocado and strawberries fresh. Around the sides of the container, pour dressing, avoiding the avocado and strawberries in the middle (those might get soggy from the dressing, unlike the kale). Store the kale and fruit mixture in the fridge until it’s time to eat.  In a small container store the rest of the ingredient outside of the fridge. Later when it’s meal time, top the dry ingredients on the kale mixture. 





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