into june

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It’s so hard for me to believe that June is already here. The last month has flown by so quickly. Things on the blog are going through transition again. I am very excited about and somewhat preoccupied with my latest series, SOUTHERN DECAY, which premiered earlier this week. Something about my environment lately has driven me to create and be quite thoughtful about my surroundings. Summer in North Carolina seems to have this strange, magical glow about it. That’s meant a lot of time out socializing for me as I’m trying to soak up my last few months in Carrboro before the big move. The result has been not so much cooking lately. Hoping to begin more kitchen experiments soon, but right now I’ve enjoyed dining out with friends and eating simple foods at home.

That vegan bahn mi I had was completely fantastic and one of the best things I’ve eaten lately. It was a great evening at a lovely restaurant with my best friend. I’ve been working a part time nannying gig lately, that’s made me a little overly busy and stretched a bit thin. Realigning things and changing my schedule has allowed for a good bit of resolution for me, but the past several weeks have yielded many, many smoothies to get me through the day. Looking forward to more kitchen projects unfolding as my schedule begins to open up again.

SOUTHERN DECAY I

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Today is the start of a new series here on Veganland. It’s been a while since I’ve done a photographic series or anything that’s purely creative for that matter. I’m thrilled to explore my environment photographically again. Welcome to Southern Decay.

INTRODUCTION:

I have lived in the American South my entire life. I have watched the picture of Southern identity change drastically during my lifetime into something that is completely unlike the old photographs of Southern life I grew up viewing. Driving through much of the rural South in recent months has allowed me to craft a thread through which to tie my relationship to and memories of the region together. The decline of the South has left many towns and communities rendered unrecognizable from their former glory. I have chosen to document images of this decline in a photographic series that I am calling Southern Decay.

I: WALTERBORO

My two trips down to my home-to-be in Tallahassee, Florida have involved driving over 10 hours each way through a segment of the American South: North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia to the Florida pan handle. Stopping in the tiny town of Walterboro, South Carolina and taking photographs of the eerie abandoned jail there was the experience that drove me to begin this series. On an early summer Sunday afternoon, there was no one on the streets of this tiny town, and every shop was closed. The streets were empty, there were no cars to be seen, and the word “abandonment” was constantly flashing through my mind. There were oyster shell sidewalks, and antiques in storefronts, waiting to be purchased. Those objects, frozen in time, left me wondering what Walterboro’sĀ streets were like when those objects were new.

What’s on your Face?!: LUSH Cosmetics bath bomb review

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Spring has sprung and summer is here in full force. That means the end of my regular What’s on your Face?! postings. This is a series that I hope to keep active even if I’m not creating posts for it regularly. But for the last regular post, a good long soak in the tub is in order.

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Enter LUSH cosmetics with their enormous and fantabulous bath bombs. I recently went to the LUSH store near me for the first time and bought 2 bombs for myself: the Butterball bomb shown in this post and the Tisty Tosty which I’m saving for a rainy day.

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The aptly named Butterball features chunks of cocoa butter that both smell great and moisturize your skin. It’s a soak in softness. My favorite thing about LUSH is its campaign against animal testing. It’s also super easy to find their vegan products as they’re labeled with a V both in the store and online.

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With a delicious beer, Netflix on, and my Butterball tub it was the perfect way to relax during a busy week.

Through the Looking Glass: Vegan Tallahassee Pt. 2

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Our second and final day in Tallahassee was delicious! After a long day of apartment hunting the day before, we were ready to close on a place and begin the journey back to NC. By Monday evening I knew I’d chosen an apartment, but we still had one more appointment for the following morning. I wolfed down a Lara bar, banana, and the last of my green Evolution juice before checking out of the hotel.

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After walking the FSU campus and checking out the last apartment we had to view, we headed to my favorite restaurant in Tallahassee so far, Soul Vegetarian. I first discovered Soul about a year ago when I was doing my first searches for graduate school options. I checked each city that had a university I was interested in to make sure my veganism could be accommodated there. Soul is 100% vegan–they serve everything from pizzas to raw foods to delicious homemade desserts. They also make their own vegan ice creams which I haven’t tried yet. I started out my meal with an iced ginger citrus punch, ’cause trust me y’all it was HOT.

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My mom and I both ordered the Tuesday special: vegan pizza. It was served with cornbread (nearly everything at Soul is), a side salad, and a veggie. The salad was delicious and had this wonderful noochy garlicky dressing.

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The main course: vegan, gluten free pizza with Soul’s own cheeze sauce, collards, and cornbread. I was in vegan heaven. After Soul, we visited my apartment of choice again and sealed the deal. Then it was out of Tallahassee for the first leg of our return trip. We decided to break up the return trip to stop in Savannah again like we did on our first trip down, except this time to eat dinner and spend the night. Just for fun!

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I wouldn’t let my mom pull out of Tallahassee without a green smoothie though! We stopped off at the Whole Foods on our way out so I could grab this green wonder: kale, spinach, pineapple, and fresh apple juice in a cold glass of glory.

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So green, so good.

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Savannah is 5 hours from Tally, and we had an early lunch. Even with my raw smoothie I still got hungry on the way. Trader Joe’s packaged foods to the rescue! I just ate it out of the pouch with a spoon.

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Finally, we arrived in Savannah. We stopped to rescue a turtle along the way, released her in a Georgia pond, and had a hang up or two with construction and railroad crossings. After a long, hot, trying afternoon we arrived in Savannah’s beautiful historic district. It was getting dark when we got there around 8 pm, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to snap any photos of the city. Next time!

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I spent a good deal of time on the drive up looking at Savannah restaurants to try. Mom wanted something near the water, and I wanted something vegan friendly. We settled on Moon River Brewing company, mainly because of the beer. Not super vegan friendly, but they were accommodating and a cold brew after a long drive was just what we needed.

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Nachos with cheese on the side to split, Mom got the cheese, I just ate some of the chips with jalepenos and salsa.

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I got a black bean burger with sweet potato fries, which was pretty tasty. It’s times like these that I’m glad I’m gluten conscious and not all the way gluten free. It does make things a bit easier being a vegan in the South to be able to eat the wheat from time to time.

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On the final stint of our journey, it was another Lara bar/banana breakfast and another Subway salad for lunch. (not pictured)

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I celebrated my reunion with my cat with a green smoothie (kale, banana, almond milk, blueberry coconut milk yogurt) and some hummus, edamame crackers, and carrots before a strenuous and much needed work out.

This was a fun trip, much more relaxed than our last one down to Tally. I’m looking forward to exploring my new city and all that it has to offer. I’ve heard Tally compared to Austin a lot–it seems to be fairly vegan friendly and has a vibrant looking food truck culture which I love. As always, there will be many more eats and antics to come!