Saturday, February 23, 2013

Veg Life

I've been on February break for the past week, which has been nice, since the school calendar in Phoenix was completely different, and I haven't had a school vacation in February since I was in high school.  I grew up on the East Coast and went to college in Providence, but never spent much time in Boston until moving here this year.  It's also interesting being back on this side of the country and viewing some of my favorite places through the new lens of being vegan.

The All-Natural Face
I visited the All-Natural Face in Framingham, which is not too far outside of Boston.  It's a vegan cosmetics, bath and body company which only uses natural ingredients in all products.  The owner came right out and did a consultation with me, matching a foundation to my skin tone and showing me how to use all of the products.  She also explained all of the ingredients to me, the positive effect these would have on my skin, and why typical over-the-counter cosmetics and skin products can be ineffective and irritate the skin.  The products were super affordable-- I purchased toner, foundation, face scrub, make-up remover, and lip gloss for $50, but I actually only spent $25, since I found out about this place through Groupon.  Most items can be ordered online, but if you have the opportunity, I would definitely recommend driving out to the store and speaking to the owner about which items would be best suited to your skin.  I am very excited about using these cosmetics, since I have been looking for cruelty-free make-up that actually works for quite a while.

Cafe Paragon
This was one of my favorite places when I was an undergrad.  My sister and I were driving through Providence, so we stopped for lunch.  I felt very nostalgic walking down Thayer street and reminiscing.  Everything at Paragon is delicious, but this time I enjoyed an eggplant dip appetizer and the falafel wrap with sweet potato fries.  The wrap was overflowing with oh-so-yummy hummus.  And sweet potato fries are just my favorite in general.  I loved Paragon then and I'm glad that my being vegan has not changed that.

Osaka Japanese Sushi
There are lots of sushi restaurants in the Brighton/Allston/Brookline area, so I sure am glad that my friends in Phoenix introduced me to this cuisine before I moved.  Osaka has a Hibachi dining area, but there are also regular tables.  I chose miso soup, an avocado/cucumber roll, and a sweet potato roll, and I even used chopsticks this time!  I was pretty impressed with myself, considering I generally struggle to eat with a fork without dropping food all over myself.  Some of you know what I'm talking about.

I also visited the JFK Presidential Library and Museum, which reminded me of the impact that one person can have.  I'm working on this Pinterest board of figures and quotations to keep me inspired to "be the change."

Blogger's Soundtrack
Alabama Shakes - "You Always Alright"