Vegan Macaroni Salad with Just Mayo

Vegan Macaroni Salad [with Just Mayo]

Hi guys! I have to be honest – I haven’t been doing much in the kitchen, considering how much I have been eating lately. A lot of what I eat is very quick and usually just some chopped up veggies with a side grain. Not much experimenting going on.

But the other night I did end up making a new macaroni salad recipe on a whim. Joe was excited when he got home because he loves mayo-based mac salad (and so do I) but I haven’t made it in a while since going vegan. ENTER JUST MAYO. Just Mayo is my absolutely favorite vegan mayo because it literally tastes… just like mayo (texture, consistency, taste, everything). This recipe tastes just like the good ‘ol pasta salad recipes I used to love at cookouts.

The key to my recipe is having pickle juice. Vinegar is one thing, but… the pickle juice truly elevates the flavor (in my opinion) and this isn’t just because I am pregnant, I promise. Haha!
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Homemade Simple Lavender Syrup

Homemade Lavender Simple Syrup

Most people who know me know that I am a sucker for anything lavender. Lavender iced coffee, lattes, iced tea, muffins, scones… if it had lavender in the title, I’m going to want to try it. Since a lot of coffee shop and bakeries around here don’t usually carry lavender drinks and baked goods, I grabbed my own lavender buds and made this sweet syrup. It’s perfect for homemade iced coffee, lattes, or baking. Plus, it was really easy!

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The Friendly Fig Nursery Mood Board

Nursery Mood Board

Slowly but surely, we are chipping away at the nursery. This is probably what I have been looking the most forward to – I love decorating/redecorating in general, so a fresh new space to be filled is a dream. It’s hard to imagine what it will look like when half the furniture isn’t in yet and I’ve been just picking up pieces here and there that stick out to me. So, I thought it would be fun (and helpful for me) to lay out some of the items we’ve gotten so far and some that we will be getting. I’m a visual person and happen to love mood boards in general.

People keep asking what the nursery theme is and honestly… I am not quite sure! I usually say it’s just a bright and airy space. Think wildflowers, fruits, pops of color, and animals of all kinds. I initially was thinking a jungle theme, but I love all animals and want to include any and all! As you can see – we got a sweet bunny, cat, AND white tiger above. I’m serious when I say any and all animals. Love.

So really, it is just going to be an eclectic/bohemian/natural type style. As long as it is bright, sunny, and colorful, I am happy.

So here is a look at what we’ve got going on so far.
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Coconut Oil for Pregnancy

Coconut Oil for Pregnancy

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how deep my love runs for coconut oil. I’ve discussed it here before, and I stand by every word. So naturally, I turned to coconut oil during my pregnancy and researched ways that it could benefit me.

I know my body, and I know that I am prone to stretch marks. Honestly, I sprouted very quickly as a child (I was the tallest in my class in 3rd grade) and I have my fair share of (thankfully faded) stretch marks from sudden growth spurts/weight loss/gain/etc. So I really wanted to do my best to avoid them this pregnancy – as best as I could! I realize that stretch marks are inevitable for some people, but if there is anything I could do to minimize the risk, I’m game. Almost every woman I spoke to about their experience gave me the same answer: coconut oil.

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Lemongrass Noodle Soup

Lemongrass Noodle Soup

Leaving the cold weather behind, I am opting for lighter soups these days. I definitely am one of those crazy people who eats soup year-round, but I think this is a happy-medium. It’s warm and comforting, but not too heavy like some of the soups and stews I make during the winter.

Lemongrass is one of my favorite flavors (and scents), and this is actually one of the first times I have used it in cooking. Happy with the results!

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Baby Registry Sample

What’s On My Baby Registry

Putting together a baby registry is no joke. It’s constantly a work in progress, and always changing (for me, anyway!) There are SO MANY PRODUCTS ON THE MARKET. I’ve spent so much time reading reviews, testing products in store, asking other moms for opinions, etc. Plus, there is always that little voice in my head saying, “remember… they are going to grow out of this stuff quickly.” This voice usually arrives when I am on Etsy or other specialty shops and want to basically buy out everything.

Plus – where do I register? Babies R Us like most moms? Target? Amazon? More researching! I ultimately settled on Amazon because Amazon can do no wrong in my eyes. It’s easy, has the largest selection, competitive pricing, easy 90-day returns, a completion discount, and buyers with a Prime account will be pleased – free shipping! The only downside/flaw I have with Amazon – well, two things. One, things go out of stock frequently and I have to constantly check to make sure everything is good to go. Second, sometimes listing go away completely and when you click on the item that vanished, it doesn’t tell you what it is! The only way I found I could get around this was to save all links/products to a Google Doc. If something goes missing, I can easily pinpoint what is missing. Sure, it took some time… but I’d rather know than wonder what the hell is gone from my registry.

I’m sure this is going to change a zillion times more before my actual shower, but I wanted to share some of the items I have on my registry. It will give you a good idea of what you may want for your own registry, or simply inspire you to look into a brand you may not have heard of. I looked at tons of sample registries while I was making my own, and loved seeing what other moms included on theirs.

Mine doesn’t include any furniture (or really any clothing) because most of that stuff my parents and in-laws are grabbing (and we’ve purchased some ourselves!) I know this kiddo is going to end up with a ton of clothes regardless of what I put on my registry, so I only included white onesie essentials. Plus, she’s basically set with 0-6 months worth of hand-me-downs!

So now that I’ve rambled on and on about this, without further adieu… some of my very favorite items on our registry (it’s not the whole thing, but gives you a pretty good idea!)
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At Home: Himalayan Salt Lamp + Candles

At Home: Himalayan Salt Lamp + Candles

If you know me personally or have been to my home, you know that I am pretty much obsessed with pink himalayan salt lamps, candles, and even the edible stuff. At my wedding, we had a candle on every table, and in my home, I have lamps in (almost) every room.

To be honest, I love them mostly because they add warmth and bring a gorgeous glow to the room – but, there are also benefits to these lamps (or so, it it claimed). I can’t say for certain that all of these are true, but I do know that they definitely have a calming effect – and that is enough for me. When I was going through a rough/stressful period in my life, I used to get up extra early, turn on my lamp, and just relax. It was and still is my favorite routine to start my day on the right note. When we are lounging at night (or even while I bulk cook on the weekends), I leave that thing running hot. There’s just something very comforting about it!
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My Ultimate Protein for Pregnancy Smoothie

My Ultimate Protein for Pregnancy Smoothie

Since it’s recommended that pregnant women get about 60-70 grams of protein a day, I’ve been doing my best to monitor my intake. It’s not hard to hit that goal, but it definitely takes some planning when you are busy running around, working, having food aversions, etc.

One way to make sure I get started on the right foot has been making protein-packed smoothies for breakfast. Not only are they filling, but I load ’em up with some of my favorite plant protein sources (soy milk, chia, peanut butter, etc.) This has been one of my favorite recipes so far, so I thought I’d share! It’s a simple recipe, but we all love simple – especially when the majority of my energy is going to this baby making thing, you know?

With almost 30 grams of protein, I proudly present…
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Vegan Chili Cheese Fries Recipe

Vegan Chili Cheese Fries

Just another recipe from the pregnancy craving chronicles. I had leftover beefless crumbles from that time I made vegan NY system hot weiners, so hey. Why not?

I’ve never even been a huge fan of chili and cheese fries, but the idea of this really excited me because anything having to do with potatoes and cashew cheese is amazing. The cashew cheese is also loaded with protein (about 7 grams) and the beefless crumbles are also a great source (12 grams in just a 1/2 cup!) And even better, this was a really quick and easy dinner to make –  minimal energy.

If you’re looking for comfort food, this is it.
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10 Reasons To Eat More Plants

10 Reasons To Eat More Plants

You don’t have to be vegan or even vegetarian to eat more plants. No matter what your diet is, incorporating more leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables in your diet is going to ensure that you are getting all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your body needs to function healthily and properly. I mean, it doesn’t take a scientist to know that you put into your body will not only affect what is happening inside, but on the outside as well. Your skin, mood, and aura will be brighter – I found this out quickly after I transitioned into a plant-based diet.

Since then, I’ve cut out processed foods (except for the occasional treat), white sugar, and even have gone oil-free for a bit. I can assure you – I feel best when I eat a plate full of prepared vegetables. So today, I am sharing a few reasons why you should be eating more plants.
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