8.30.2013

It's not even September and VeganMoFo is kicking my butt!

Well friends, we're getting all our ducks in a row here in the Chubby Vegan Mom kitchen. The VeganMofo this year is proving to be a much bigger production than ever before. The first year I was just dipping my toes in the water, I made breakfast one week, lunch, dinner and desserts of course. Last year I got really wild and crazy and cooked everything in a crockpot (I'm seriously convinced we should all cook from crockpots, every meal, forever).

And this year, we're raising our expectations and making some dishes inspired by your favorite television shows, my favorite shows, basically everybody but Chubby Vegan Dad's favorite television shows. Sorry babe, ALF will not be making a comeback on this blog.

I've started laying out our month of delicious food and let me tell you, we're going to have our hands full. The good news is that our stomachs will be too, so no complaining, right? I'll be using the following theme all month long, so make sure you pop over to Chubby Vegan Mom if you happen to like any of the following days: Moody Monday's (these will be dramas, mystery, crazy actiony shit), Trashy Tuesdays (this will be all the shows you're embarrassed to admit you watch), Wildcard Wednesday (could be a comedy, could be a reality show!), Throwback Thursday (these will be a nod to old school shows) and Fab Five Fridays (I'll highlight ALL the awesome things I see my fellow vegans cooking up).

I'm not one to giveaway all my secrets, but in case you want a glimpse into some of the awesome dishes we'll be cooking up, let me just leave you with a few currently in the works: beer batter maple 'bacon' spring cupcakes inspired by two broke girls, whiskey cake right out of the True Blood bar, Merlots and a carrot coconut soup Ginger and the gang from Gilligan's would be proud of.

Don't worry, that's not all the fun we'll be having. Stay tuned for some of your favorite shows too, Breaking Bad, The Simpsons and more! And we'll be giving away lots of fabulous things, so mark your calendars and get ready. VeganMoFo is almost upon us.

What themes are you guys doing, if any? Or what themes are you excited about! I need to start my blog reading list now!



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8.13.2013

What do you want to see this VeganMofo?

I don't know if I'm crazy or if I just want another fun distraction in my life, but I went and did it again.

I signed up for VeganMofo. 

It's my third year now, so I hardly feel like a Mofo virgin, but there's still this overwhelmingly wonderful and exciting rush I get from starting to plan it all out. 

In case you missed the news, VeganMofo will be September this year. 

I know, right? 

That means I've got a little over two weeks to cook up all the recipes I'm going to cook up for ya'll. 

And because I'm no VeganMofo newbie, I've decided to follow and utterly rich and famous theme this year. 

Food inspired by our favorite television shows. 

That's right, every day we'll fix up a fabulous dish from a favorite show, either old or new. 

Unfortunately for most of you, I've been watching a lot of reruns on Netflix. They include things like Melrose Place and Saved by the Bell. 

So that's where you dear fans come in.

I don't want to bore you with my trashy television tastes, so leave me a comment and let me know what favorite shows do you want to see highlighted during VeganMofo. 

That, or stay-tuned for a lot of Aaron Spelling driven dramas!

Are you participating in VeganMofo?

8.12.2013

“I wanted to be where nobody I knew could ever come.”

“I grew into it. It grew into me. It and I blurred at the edges, became one amorphous, seeping, crawling thing."

Over the last few weeks I've received a lot of emails from everyone. Asking if something was going on, why I seemed to jump ship on all my blog posts and if everything was OK. And for all you concerned friends in the virtual world, I appreciate your kind words and your cares.

The truth is, I'm not completely OK.

To be honest, it's been a while since I've really been completely OK.

Physically, things are fine. My body is strong, flexible and durable.

The problem is the emotional. My emotions are erratic, unpredictable, spontaneous. My highs keep getting higher, but the lows are so much lower.

It's not that I'm depressed per say, I suppose, I'm just out here, floating, trying to figure out what on Earth I really want.

When you become a wife and mother, suddenly there are all these people's feelings, desires, emotions and well-being that come way before your own. And that's not a bad thing; but it can be exhausting. It's gotten to the point where sometimes I can't even figure out what I'M feeling, without assessing the current mood or status of my husband or children.

And it's not them or their fault, I've been this way my whole life. I've spent so much of it seeking approval from whoever was at the top of the chopping block that at 28 years old, I look in the mirror and I'm not sure what I see anymore. Is it me? Is it Amanda? Or is it just mom; just wife; just daughter; just friend.

Do you know how it feels to look into a mirror and not understand the reflection staring back at you?

For the first 22 years of my life I made a large percentage of my decisions based on what I thought the most important people in my life wanted for me - my parents. I looked like your normal, average high schooler, I kept my hair long because I know my mom liked it that way, I played softball because I was good at it and it was the easiest way to connect with my dad (and keep him on my side if I ever needed it) and then I went to college because that's what you do. You graduate and go to college.

I majored in English, which is probably the first decision I made for ME, independently; because if mom would have had her way I would have studied chemistry or genetics (I was in honors science in high school and had quite the natural ability for it). For the nine months I was away, I was free to experiment with myself more, to figure out who I was outside of my parents' daughter. I would pierce various parts of my body, dye my hair 100 different shades under the sun ... all until it was time for me to go home. And then I would resolve to become the daughter I was supposed to be again.

When I graduated from school and moved out with my boyfriend (now husband), that was the second major decision I made on my own. But in making that decision, while relieved of the burden to be what my parents wanted, I now had another person's worries to consider. Now, I wanted to please my boyfriend.

And so it's continued from there, except now I have the expectations of two children (who mean the world to me) to live up to as well.

I'm not saying it's anybody's fault. No one is telling me I have to live my life like this or be this way, I simply am. My parents didn't force me to do things, my husband is incredibly supportive and understanding and I have a massive support system between family and friends. It's just something I've somehow ingrained in myself, something that I've allowed to take over my life. And after 28 years of doing this, there's something inside of me that's starting to stir. Something that's no longer content with living my life by all the things I think I'm supposed to do.

This isn't to say I'm going to runaway and disown all the important people in my life, but rather, I need to find a balance. I need to find a way to figure out where my family's wants and needs end and where mine begin.

And this is hard. It's hard because I feel guilty. I feel guilty for making people worry. I feel ashamed for being so broke. And I feel utterly swallowed up by all of these feelings.

There are still good days. Plenty of good moments sprinkled through all days, as well. I just, I need to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But these feelings that I'm sorting through, well, they keep changing the path on me. So just when I think I see the light, I have to take a left. I'm tired of all the turns.

I debated writing this, which is why I've been silent for so long. I've been faced with these emotions for so many years now that all the times I've swallowed them back down, they're now just spewing out, constantly.

I debated opening up this piece of my world to you. But I feel like there are so many people out there suffering from whatever it is, the absolute overwhelmingness of life, that it seems wrong not to talk about.

We can't get better, can't figure it out, can't even begin to try to solve it, if we don't start talking about it.

Silence isn't always golden, especially when there is suffering involved.

"'Can it be I have not lived as one ought?' suddenly came into his head. 'But how not so, when I've done everything as it should be done?’ he said, and at once dismissed this only solution of all the enigma of life and death as something utterly out of the question."

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8.04.2013

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3 ...

Surprise! I'm still alive.

And I'm not pregnant again. I realize the last time I had a silent moment on the blog I came back with the announcement of our second child.

I am not now, nor have I been in the last month, pregnant. Nor do I plan on being it in the next few months.

So we'll just get that out of the way.

Also, you might have noticed the site got hacked. I deeply, deeply apologize for the creepy nakedish lady you guys had to look at while we sorted those problems out.

Between taking over a whole new crop of pitching lessons for my old pitching instructor, we've been incredibly busy at work creating new content and designing some lengthy pages. It's been a really, really hectic month.

But starting this Monday I'm officially back and better than ever!

Well, maybe not better than ever, but I've got a few things I'd like to talk about that I feel a lot of you women and mothers can relate with.

Everyone in the Chubby Vegan Clan is keeping on, mainly thanks to all you out there in our virtual world, the ones with all the kind words the last few weeks and concerns.

Here's to moving forward and not looking so far back!