Thursday, October 12, 2017

Vegas Vegfest and nephew's 21st birthday

Earlier this month, I attended my first Vegas Vegfest as well as celebrated Den's nephew's 21st birthday by taking a ride on the Vegas strip in a limo. I was able to enjoy a fun day of vegan food, saw some old vegan friends and made some new vegan friends. We had a good time although it was darkened by the face that the day after we left Vegas, the a mass shooting occurred which took the lives of 58 people. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by this dark day in American history.  

Vegan bodybuilder Will Tucker talks to audience

Me with vegan muscle panel

Vegan street tacos

New vegan shirt

Family photo in front on Vegas sign for nephew's birthday

The birthday boy in front of limo

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Disneyland Dapper Day and hubby turns 40

I've decided to catch up on my blog writing and what better way to start than posting my first time at Disneyland's Dapper Day as well as my hubby celebrating a milestone birthday this year! Below are some photos from late April our trip as well as hubby with his specially made Star Wars birthday cake.

Me in Dapper Day outfit
Me, hubby, and sister-in-law in front of Disneyland Main Street
Me, sister-in-law and hubby on teacups ride

Running friend, hubby, and me at Dapper Day expo
Me and hubby in front of Dapper Day expo sign

Hubby's 40th Stars Wars birthday cake
Hubby cutting his birthday cake while nephew watches

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Yosemite Rural & Small Library Leadership Institue

I've decided to start back to blogging again and plan to more consistent posting at least once a month. My post today is about a professional development event I recently took part of in Yosemite which involved teaching storytelling and advocacy skills those working at small and rural libraries. It was a very informative 2 days in a beautiful setting.
Villa at Rush Creek Lodge
A session of public speaking

My with friends Patrick and Vanessa

Me with friends Kate and Sharon

My roomate and me with our husbands

Start of day 2

Learning about library impact stories

Special guest speaker Greg Lucas, California State Librarian

Session on using social media to engage community 

Lunch of portobello mushroom burger and slaw

Session on creating and distributing library impact stories 

Storytelling by John Muir interpreter

Delicious avocado toast

Hubby celebrating Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you) with a smore

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Playing blog catch-up: Our ten year wedding anniversay trip to Canada

I have neglected this blog for far too long and what better time to restart writing than now? Since my last blog post in May, lots of fun and exciting things have happened.

Let's recap starting with June 2016 shall we.....

Me and hubby celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary at the end of June by taking our first international airplane trip to Canada. I'm a big library nerd so of course I had to go get a Canadian library card.

Canada library collage

We also were able to meet the Canadian Olympic rowing team at the airport on our way back to the States.

While in Canada, we also ate at some delicious vegan restaurants such as Mo:LE and the hotel where we stayed at Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa in Sidney, British Columbia. If you're a books lover, definitely visit Sidney because they have a total 8 eight bookstores with walking distance of each other so there's a book for what type of thing you like to read. I'll post again soon to cover other exciting things such as my best friend having her first baby and me wining a local boot camp weight loss challenge. Thanks for reading!
Curry tofu scramble with pesto hash browns
Falafel burger with fries and ketchup

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

2015 Vegan Oktoberfest

Me and hubby were lucky enough to attend the Vegan Oktoberfest in Los Angeles on October 3, 2015. It was a day filled with good vegan food, running my old friend Bad Ass Vegan and made some new vegan friends. Here are photos I took at the event.

Me in front of Vegan Oktoberfest sign

Vegan German sausage with cabbage, sauerkraut and stoneground mustard
Special Oktoberfest donut from Donut Friend

Coconut bacon and dark chocolate brownies from Charlie's Brownies

Vegan funnel cake topped with powered sugar and strawberries
Vegan mac and riblet grilled cheeze sandwich from the Grilled Cheese Truck

A tale of two buffaloes: buffalo tempeh from Clean South on the left (too spicy for me but great for hubby) and buffalo cauliflower from Sage Bistro on the right (perfectly cooked and ranch was awesome) 
Me and my friend Bad Ass Vegan
Me and new vegan friends Tunsia and her mom Betty
Fried chickn tempeh from Clean South

I've been featured by Black Vegans Rock website!

Hiya! I've decided to restart posting to my blog on a more regular basis and what better way to start than by sharing that I was recently chosen for a feature article on the website Black Vegans Rock! Below is the article I wrote for the website:

My name is Tamara (rhymes with camera) and I have been vegan since August 2009. Being born and raised in the Huntsville, Alabama, I grew up on a diet of fried chicken, hamburgers and other unhealthy animal based foods. When I started dating my boyfriend in 1998, although he was vegetarian his entire life, I still ate chicken because I felt it would help me lose weight. At the time, I was at my heaviest weight of 298lbs. In early 2007, I transitioned to a healthier lifestyle which included changing my hair from permed to Sisterlocks and looking for a way to eat healthier and lose weight.

On August 28, 2009, I read Diet for a New America, and after this, I immediately became vegan. As I read the book, I thought about how my food choices impact animals and realized that by eating animals, I was ingesting their pain and suffering and I didn’t want that in my body so I cut it out completely. Although my boyfriend was against it...over time my (now) husband has embraced the vegan lifestyle as well. He enjoys experimenting with tofu & seitan to create yummy foods that I post on my Instagram account. I love being vegan and breaking the stereotypes that vegans only eat salads and berries. 

An unconventional way I do vegan outreach is through my job as a librarian. As a librarian, one of my jobs is to purchase library materials for seven library locations and I make sure to purchase books and DVDs promoting vegan and plant based lifestyles. By putting this material in the library, I can plant seeds which can help people become the healthiest best versions of themselves.

My family in Alabama has embraced my vegan lifestyle and I was surprised a few Thanksgivings ago when my mom surprised me with a vegan field roast and other vegan foods. Since I live in California, there is a wide variety of places to find vegan food from vegan soul food, to upscale vegan food. Although I live in rural Central California, I am still able to find vegan options.

Since becoming vegan, I feel like I have more energy and don’t get sick as often as others around me do. The biggest misconception I’ve seen is that veganism is expensive and not for black people but what I’ve found is that you can be a 99 cent store vegan, a Whole Foods vegan, or somewhere in between. I am so happy that I live in a time that social media provides a way to contact and meet other black vegans and spread the word about getting healthy through food. Veganism to me is about making healthier plant based choices to honor your body, mind and spirit!

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Reading Goal for 2015: Complete Popsugar's 2015 Reading Challenge!

For 2015, I plan on accomplishing several goals such as traveling outside of the US, getting my weight down and increasing how many books I read in a year.

I don’t think it’s a secret that I love to read. And I love challenges! PopSugar just published their 2015 Reading Challenge, which includes a list of types of books and not a list of specific books. I’ve decided to take it, and I’ll update the blog as I read with the book I read as well as the title. 

1. A book with more than 500 pages
2. A classic romance
4. A book published this year
5. A book with a number in the title - Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon
6. A book written by someone under 30
7. A book with nonhuman characters
8. A funny book
9. A book by a female author
10. A mystery or thriller
11. A book with a one-word title
12. A book of short stories- Gross A Paramedics Story by Craig A. Mills and Justin J. Miller
13. A book set in a different country
14. A nonfiction book
15. A popular author’s first book
16. A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet
17. A book a friend recommended
18. A Pulitzer Prize-winning book
19. A book based on a true story: Jubilee by Margaret Walker
20. A book at the bottom of your to-read list
21. A book your mom loves
22. A book that scares you
23. A book more than 100 years old
24. A book based entirely on its cover
25. A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t: The Old Man & the Sea by Ernest Hemingway 
26. A memoir
27. A book you can finish in one day - Saga Volume 3 by Brian Vaughn and Fiona Staples
28. A book with antonyms in the title
29. A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit
30. A book that came out the year you were born (1979) - Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe
31. A book with bad reviews
32, 33, 34. A trilogy
35. A book from your childhood- Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
36. A book with a love triangle
37. A book set in the future
38. A book set in high school
39. A book with a color in the title
40. A book that made you cry - Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson
41. A book with magic
42. A graphic novel - Gunslinger Girl Omnibus by Yu Aida
43. A book by an author you’ve never read before
44. A book you own but have never read
45. A book that takes place in your hometown
46. A book that was originally written in a different language
47. A book set during Christmas
48. A book written by an author with your same initials
49. A play
50. A banned book
51. A book based on or turned into a TV show
52. A book you started but never finished

Vegas Vegfest and nephew's 21st birthday

Earlier this month, I attended my first Vegas Vegfest as well as celebrated Den's nephew's 21st birthday by taking a ride on the Ve...