The Big Bday Recap, Pt 1

Happy Monday lovelies!  I hope you spent your weekend being productive, relaxing, and spending time with the ones you love.  🙂

For those who missed it, I turned 24 last week (Tuesday, to be exact)!  I spent the entire week celebrating, starting with Worcester VegFest and ending with a night out with my girls.  I can hands down say that this was the best birthday ever!  Thank you to everyone for your well wishes and for coming out and celebrating with me.  🙂

Last Sunday (April 15) was the Worcester VegFest.  Think great food, great company, and an absolutely awesome photographer. 

I should be professional photographed all the time, no?  😉

I met T. Colin Campbell, bought some awesome gear, saw old friends, made new ones, and ran into this other (awesome) girl named Kaitlyn who also lives in Worcester.  The beau enjoyed every second and there was lively conversation all around.  I, admittedly, was a bad food blogger and have no pictures but will happily fill you in on my newly discovered obsessions.

I have a confession to make: I think Daiya tastes like plastic.  These Shreds on the other hand…to-die-for.  You can bet I’ll be doing a giveaway with those soon!  I’ve sent e-mails to all my local natural grocers (and by local I mean those local to me currently in MA, those soon-to-be-local to me in CT, and those kinda-soon-to-be-local to me in Baltimore).  They are the closest thing to real cheese that I have ever tried and I am so excited to make Averie’s Mango Basil Personal-Sized Tortilla Pizzas.  Especially since this guy was one of my bday gifts:

Yes that is pizza stone you see…

My love for Theo runs so obviously deeply that they asked me to be the rep at the CT VegFest this upcoming weekend.  Unfortunately, I’m a busy Passion Diva and have not one but two parties to do.  <–Like that’s a bad thing?!  Plus there’s that pesky little thing called moving.  Ugh.  Anyway this is new bar and it was outstanding!  Nice and dark with a little saltiness to calm even the most angry/tearful/frustrated/etc/etc/etc PMS-er.

Ok so I admit: these kind of suck.  They don’t do a good job of grabbing on to things but at the end of the day I’m still happy I invested in them.  Its an easy and cute solution to remaining sustainable while eating on the go.  And it comes with chop sticks.  Need I say more?

Monday was Patriot’s Day aka Marathon Monday aka a day off.  <–I’m going to miss this random MA holiday!  It also happened to be warm (hot?) and sunny and perfect.  I relaxed and cooked and started packing and went to yoga and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

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Worcester Weekend Discoveries: Life Alive, Mezcal Finds, and More

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It was another (mostly) great weekend in the Woo.  I love finding new places or just exploring new experiences at well-loved places.  My goal when I moved here was to really get to know the city and everything it had to offer.  Luckily for me, that was one goal I found easy to keep!

Life Alive Urban Oasis & Organic Cafe, Lowell and Cambridge, MA

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When my good friend and Passion Parties sponsor Vanessa and I finally set a date to meet and catch-up, we first had to figure out where the halfway point between Worcester and east-you-know-what New Hampshire (I honestly can never remember the name but I know its out there…she told me so!).  Thankfully, she trusted me to pick the restaurant, something more and more friends are learning to do.  Love you guys!  Lo and behold, I discovered this gem.

I was drawn in not only by delish looking menu, but also by their beliefs and goals.  From the website: “Our mission is to feed the vitality of the world . We do this by providing healthy fantastic food for people on the go, while honoring and protecting our environment.” 

Yes please!

We spent about 20 minutes deciding what to order and just exploring the little place which was pleasantly packed in a city not really known for having a good “scene.”  We jammed to the live music, explored the different products available (essential oils, natural H&BC products, incense, etc), and asked a million questions about the food.  I cannot speak highly enough of the staff at Life Alive.  They answered our questions knowledgeably, patiently, and in detail.  It was clear that everyone there was passionate about the restaurant, its mission, and its food.

Turns out, Vanessa and I soon were too!

Warning: drooling may commence.

Thrive Alive juice and The Goddess warm meal

I ordered a taster plate of The Goddess and a Thrive Alive juice.  The former, “a nurturing blend of smoked tofu, short grain brown rice, [lightly] steamed carrots, beets, broccoli, and dark greens surrounded by our zesty Ginger Nama Shoyu dressing” (source), is Life Alive’s signature dish so I knew I couldn’t pass it up.  I subbed quinoa for the brown rice, added garlic, and received kale as my dark greens.  I love eating cooked kale that someone else makes.  For some reason, I can never seem to get it as tender without getting it water logged.  #needasteamer

I soon discovered that the salad was, essentially, raw.  Thankfully I wasn’t kissing anyone later that night.  The kale was super tender and flavorful, the beets were delish and eating them lightly steamed was a totally new experience, and the dressing was a perfect balance of smooth and spicy.  I later discovered that the steaming is the only form of cooking used at Life Alive.  See my # above!

The juice contained beet, carrot, and apple.  I love this combination so much!  It is a bit earthy but since giving up most sugar, my taste buds have come to the point where it is pleasant-earthy rather than gag-me-earthy.  Beau started making beets in 2011 and we both became obsessed.  Preparing them, however, still intimidates me so I was super excited to get my beet on someone else’s time.  <–Yes I just made a corny joke.  😉

Next!

The Romantic

Nessa ordered The Romantic and a Superhero Alive juice.  The Romantic has “Hass Avocado (when available), shredded cheddar cheese, broccoli, garlic, nutritional yeast and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos all embraced in a soft whole wheat tortilla” (Source).  Her juice was made with carrot, apple, ginger, spirulina, cayenne, garlic, apple cider vinegar, honey, and water and had a bit of a kick at the end.  This also was to-die-for as we, obviously, exchanged bites of each others’ dishes.

I also bought a 1/2lb of their organic granola which is specially made for Life Alive, uses honey as the only sweetener, and is chock full of dried fruit.  It is amazing and I had to really think hard about my food budget to stop myself from buying it in super-duper bulk.

Perhaps my favorite part of Life Alive is how good I felt after.  I was so vitally energized and ready to go, a huge feat after working 10 hours in a windowless office.  In fact, some would say I was hyper, but those who know me best know better than that!  😉  The feeling lasted during our bar stop and my entire hour drive home.  It was amazing.

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