The Weekend Send-Off

November 24th, 2011 - filed under: Furthermore » Feedback

Man, I did it again. I always do this! I imagine that I’ll go on vacation and get all this stuff done. Read books! Catch up on my Internets! And most importantly, that I’ll like totally be able to blog a bunch, of course!

Ah, well. c’est la vie! I’ve been reconnecting with old and dear friends, laughing my ass off late into the night, reminiscing with my granny, grocery shopping with my auntie, beach walking with my baby, and always, always, chasing that toddler. I can’t complain!


So, you may have noticed a little something new over there in my side bar, eh? That’s right folks, I’ve signed on with the BlogHer ad team. It’s been a long time coming, and I did a lot of homework before making my decision. I knew that I needed to monetize Bonzai, because working for free was simply unsustainable (and unwise) for me. However, as you all know, my integrity is everything to me. I wasn’t about to sign on with any old advertiser!

I’d had high hopes for the all-vegan ad network, but that project seems to be on hold. After quite a bit of sleuthing, I settled on BlogHer. Unlike many other networks, BlogHer allows me to micromanage my settings and only display the ads that I choose. I think I’ve got my settings all groovy, but if you ever see a questionable ad come through, please don’t hesitate to let me know!


Have you heard of Vegan Cuts? They’re an awesome, Groupon-style organization that offers amazing deals on vegan items from across the interwebs.

This week Vegan Cuts released their holiday gift guide – available here – which features gift suggestions, recipes for a vegan holiday feast, and of course, tons of sweet deals. I was proud to contribute my own page, called “Gifts For Veggie Lovin Kids & Parents“. Give it a little look-see!


And now, the goodness, the greatness, Le Love List:

Wee little mister, digging in to his very first Thanksgiving plate!

1. Experiencing Waits through my family.
I know that Waits is a super cool kid, and I’m pretty sure that I’m doing okay as a mom. But it’s so incredible to see my family playing with, loving on, being impressed by, and generally delighting in, my son. I get to see him through their eyes, and I find that the shift in perspective so refreshing. It makes me feel like he is even more amazing than I realize, and also that I’m doing pretty damn good. *sigh* (that’s relief!)

2. The ocean.
Waits is still a bit skeptical at the beach. He clings tight to me, points at the sand singing “diiirty”, and refuses to be set down.

However, driving the PCH with my true love, holding hands and laughing while the bubs napped, was pure heaven. I love the California coast and that smell that simultaneously lights a restless spark in my chest, and grounds me with that sense of “home”.

3. Thanksgiving!
My family who cooks an entirely separate meal for us three little plant-eaters, who support and accept us and even accompanies us to Native Foods with open bellies and open minds. My husband who gets up with the baby bug so that I can sleep in, and wakes me up late with a cup of coffee. My granny and her laughter, my uncle and his suuuuper fancy wine, and 4 kinds of vegan pie. Seriously. In fact, I’m due for round two with that pie . . .

Also! lots of green juice to keep me strong on vacation // accidentally ordering 20 oz of green juice, and then watching Waits gulp down 2/3 of it (!!!) // avocado on everything because it’s California // finally eating at Native Foods! (SCORPION BURGER OMG) // cooking with friends, slow and lazy and amazing // Indian takeout extravaganza // I guess this is the food edition, I’m going to go with it . . .


Alright guys, now it’s your turn – tell me what you’re loving this week!

My darlings, this happy little post will stay at the top of the page all weekend, so stop by any time to leave your Love List, ask a question, or offer some feedback! Or if you’re new, please introduce yourself and say ‘Oi!’! This is your community, so get involved!

Happy weekend, Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers, Happy days to everyone!

  • Fran@BCDC

    I love getting the time to spend with family and friends, especially the ones we don’t see very often. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Fran@BCDC

    I love getting the time to spend with family and friends, especially the ones we don’t see very often. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Laura Agar Wilson

    Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you had a great day, that pie on Instagram did look amazing. I’m loving so many things this week, I’ve been chosen as a ‘healthy hero’ for Healthy Magazine here in the UK so next year I’ll be going to a photoshoot in London! One of my recipes has been chosen to go into Kris Carrs e book and it looks like I might get my first paid work doing healthy eating classes with young people in the community! Lets just say I’m feeling very thankful right now! Hope you have an amazing weekend x

  • Sonja

    Happy Thanksgiving! Your adventure in California sounds great! My love list:
    - homemade food (spreads, almond milk, bread)
    - vegan banan pancakes for breakfast
    - hearty vegan stews
    - riding my bike through the cold winter air
    - meeting old friends and having dinner with them
    - discovering new shops in my part of the city
    - snuggeling under a huge blanket with my loved one

  • Suburban Snow White

    This is what I am thankful for, as posted yesterday on Facebook: “Happy Thanksgiving everybody! I am thankful for wonderful family memories, laughter, slippers, heat, a husband I get the biggest kick out of, neighbors who are like family, friends who call or write for no reason, hummingbirds, cosmos flowers, beauty, people with sonorous voices, hot showers, Paul Newman and Robert Redford, glitter, seashells, old fragile Christmas ornaments, french fries, kale, two wonderful kitties, paintbrushes, and the ability to keep up with everyone on Facebook! What are you thankful for this year?”

    Your Thanksgiving sounded wonderful! I love that you got to sleep in and were awoken by a cup of coffee….heaven!

  • Rebecca

    I am so happy that you monetized your blog! I love this space and come here almost every day to check in on the things you share with us. It has to be a lot of work to keep all of this helpful and delicious content coming at us and you deserve to be compensated for the wonderful intel you provide us all the time.

    Thank you Sayward!

  • Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles

    Sounds like you’re having a lovely trip. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    Glad you’re having such a wonderful trip and holiday! I haven’t been out to California since I was pregnant and am itching to get my little family back out there sometime soon. We spend plenty of time on the beach here, but it just isn’t the same. I sense a trip to visit the redwoods in my future.


    1. Vegan un-cheesecake for breakfast this morning with a big fat mug of French roast! I made Isa and Terry’s pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving at my in-laws yesterday, and it was loved by all who had a slice. It tasted even better this morning, though. I put my own twist on it and figured out a nut free version, a very happy surprise for my nut-allergic friends and family!

    2. My husband is totally addicted to miso. It’s one of those things I have used for years in our food, but he finally stopped wrinkling up his nose whenever he would open up a jar from the fridge, has paid attention to why we don’t put it into boiling water, and has even followed my lead and is using it as a spread on everything from grilled veggies to toast! It feels so good to see him taking a vested interest in his own health and not just blindly accepting whatever I place before him.

    3. Nina’s broccoli soup. My little munchkin created her own soup recipe the other night with very little assistance from me, and it was *good*. Even better, though, was that this morning — still overcome with all of yesterday’s decadence, I imagine — she wanted to make broccoli soup for breakfast! How can a mom say no to that? She’s been snacking on it all day and is on her third bowl as I type this.

    4. We bought our plane tickets for our annual winter trip back home to Chicago, and I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!!!! We’re heading out on Christmas afternoon — this way we get to spend it with our family here first — and we’ll be there for Nina’s birthday, plus I’ll squeeze in two or three law school visits. Oh, and the shopping. THE SHOPPING. I can’t wait to go home!

  • Serenity

    Wow! A family that supports your dietary choices. I’m jealous. Last december 25th my family had NOTHING we could eat. We had to find vittes at the gas station.

  • Emily

    Native Foods is our favorite! My fiancé and I went there yesterday for their vegan Thanksgiving buffet. I normally get the scorpion burger AND native nachos. Both are SO GOOD! I’m in San Diego, so the closest one to me is like an hour and 20 minute drive. So worth it, though!

  • tara

    Your trip sounds heavenly, and I would suggest that you don’t blog again until you’re back home and all the laundry’s done!! Enjoy your vacation and don’t worry about us. We’ll be ok for a week or so. 10 days tops.

    My love list:
    1. Thanksgiving with family yesterday =) Holidays now aren’t as magical as they used to seem when I was little, but there’s still something fabulous about getting to spend extra time with all those awesome people I love, especially when the ones with babies show up!!

    2. Decorating for Christmas. I know it’s early but my boyfriend was ready and we both like to extend the season. Also, it’s our 4th Christmas together–Yay!

    3. Green juice. I’m about to run to the store and get a blender-ful of vitamins and nutrients to fight off this cold!

  • Lou

    Wait’s reaction to the beach is too cute! My little one is the complete opposite, charging out into the waves and shoving fist full after fist full of sand into his mouth. Gross.

    Awesome to hear you had a lovely Thanksgiving and that your family is supportive of your diet choices – I really struggle at family gatherings, particularly with my in-Laws. I just feel like everyone thinks I’m a picky freak.


    Fresh local fuji apples and purple carrots from the farmer’s market.

    Packing for my trip home to New Zealand in 2 weeks!

  • Lindsay

    happy Thanksgiving to your and your family!
    This week I’m loving:

    Christmas music! I’ve already started listening to it, and hopefully I won’t get sick of it before Christmas rolls around.

    Chai spice tea. Reminds me of gingerbread and I love the flavor and the smell.

    Impressing my family members with healthy vegan eats over the holidays that keep them asking for more! I may not convert them but at least I impress them. ;)

  • Joselle Palacios

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    I love:

    1) The pumpkin pie I made from Vegan Pie in the Sky (VPITS)–by way of the Voluptuous Vegan, a great cookbook I should not have gotten rid of! It was spicy, smooth and not overly sweet. And, may I just add that it was the ONLY vegan pie out of 5 and it was the only one that was gone by the end of the evening. In fact, all of the vegan dishes I made were favorites because when food is good, it’s good.

    2) Lagusta’s Luscious. I found out about her chocolate shop in VPITS. A chocolate raspberry tart recipe by her is in the book. I was just procrastinating on the internet, taking a look at her site and besides the chocolates sounding ridiculously amazing, Lagusta may just have my new favorite blog. She’s funny, biting, an admitted food snob with lots of great ideas on veganism that may border on heretical. And I am a big fan of heretics:
    her personal blog:
    her food blog:
    the shop:

    3) The fall semester is winding down. Although I have an assignment due on Monday, I’m taking on little bites throughout the long weekend so I’m not cramming all of my work on Sunday night. Going back to school and switching careers has taken a toll on me and my marriage. It’s stressful and I honestly don’t always know if I’ve made the right decision. It’s hard to feel like I’m starting at the bottom of something at age 31, to struggle with money while my friends are in the middle of their careers and have more disposable income than my husband and me. I won’t know if this is the right decision until I actually do it but I am looking forward to a break in just about 2 weeks and know that I’m learning so much about nursing and myself no matter the outcome.

  • Catnip13

    Almond crackers and savory smoked sage spread for an appetizer, Beets roasted and chilled with arugula, satsuma mandarins, candied pecans and mandarin orange vinaigrette. Baked ziti with roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions and sage breadcrumb topping, cranberry-pear sauce, chipotle mashed sweet potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, roasted with apples and onions, and maple baked lentils.
    For dessert, maple-vanilla coconut ice cream, maple pecan and apple pie. Gluten-free vegan Thanksgiving FTW.

  • Kathryn B.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    1) My family – It was such a nice day on Thursday hanging out with my family. I am truly thankful for all of them.

    2) Work – My organization puts up Christmas trees in 9 different communities each year the day after Thanksgiving. We do it to honor those who have passed (I work for Hospice). I was blessed to have a good day with my co-workers and not have to deal with Black Friday.

    3) Friend – I have a friend how gave me a dishwasher size box full of new Christmas ornaments. Let the crafting begin!

    I would also love to hear any craft ideas that I can use Christmas ornaments. I’m making gifts this year for all my family.

  • Meghan

    1. Thanksgiving, obviously! After a one-year hiatus we went back to our tradition of visiting our friends up in central NY. They have a big gathering with lots of family and friends and it is always awesome.

    2. Tofurky. The giblet gravy is good! When did they switch from a mushroom gravy?! I’ve just been chuckin’ the gravy this whole time thinking it was still the mushroom stuff!

    3. CHRISTMAS MUSIC!! And Christmastime in general. I am not religious at all but I loooOOoooove Christmas!

    4. Candy Cane Joe Joes

    5. My baby! I was totally not into this whole pregnancy thing at first. And I was really worried that I was going to be totally creeped out and annoyed at being able to feel something inside me. But no, it is awesome, and I love it. I mean, pregnancy kinda sucks. But I love my baby!

  • Melissa L.

    1. Road tripping with the family to see family!
    2. Food, food and well, more food!
    3. Sharing sweet memories and making new ones with family.
    4. Our country
    5. My blogging birthday (Thank you Sayward for being my blogger inspiration)

  • Taylor O.

    I’m glad you got to spend the time with your family! That’s always so fun.
    This week I am loving:
    1. Soccer. I love watching it, but I love playing it more. There’s a decent sized field right next to our house- so when we’ve got the time, my boyfriend and I go play!

    2. The Lord of the Rings!!!…in every form. As a birthday gift, my boyfriend (Chris) got me the trilogy of movies from a used bookstore. Two of them are the extended versions and one is “normal”. We’ve had a time watching them every night- the battle scene of Helms Deep in “The Two Towers” is SO LONG in the extended version. I also have the books that I’ve been reading slowly but surely.

    3. Chris. He’s so sweet to me in more ways than not.

    4. Entertaining the idea of naming my future cat “Gimli”.

    Obsessed much? I think so.

    Hope you have a good one!!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Wow, Laura that is such exciting stuff! Congratulations, you’re rockin’ it lady! =D

  • Sayward Rebhal

    What a wonderful, happy list. =)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you so much Rebecca, it was a tough decision and it’s so nice to be supported. Seriously, thank you!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Aw, yes and yay to all of these! Now I want uncheesecake, and I SERIOUSLY want the pie book. NOM. Also I’m re-inspired to bust out the miso. Damian recently embraced probiotics, has been taking a probiotic sup for a few months, and says he never felt better. It is SO awesome to have your partner show interest in your passion (especially when your passion is THEIR health!)

    I can’t wait till Waits is getting creative in the kitchen. That must be so fun. And you must be so proud!

    Have a blast back home, lady!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Aw man that sucks sweetie, I’m sorry. =(

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Well, that’s super sweet to say, but I don’t get home until NEXT Friday, which would mean another full week without blogging. Tempting for sure, to relax, but I would miss you guys!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I’m sorry you’re struggling. For what it’s worth, I think you made the decision to move forward, and that’s always harder, but *almost* always the right decision. Would you have been happy with yourself if you hadn’t?

  • Sayward Rebhal

    y. u. m.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Have you tried the Field Roast Celebration Roast? I’m totally sold . . .

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Happy bloggy birthday!!!

  • Rachel

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Sayward. I noticed the ad right off the bat, good for you though you should make a little pocket change.

  • Janine @ Alternative Housewife

    I love #1 on your list and I so relate. I just love to share Sebastian and watch others delight (perfect word) in his infectious smiles and mischievous baby behavior. It definitely makes me feel like a rockstar to have created a human that others find so lovable.

  • Rachel Fesperman

    I know this is late, but I’m trying to get in the habit of posting my love list here once a week! It’s a nice way to reflect on all of the good in my life…

    1. Cooking vegan stuffing and raw coconut pie for Thanksgiving with my beautiful girlfriend, and watching her perfectly crack the coconut (she’s a keeper!)

    2. My girlfriend’s family-as an only child there aren’t many young ones in my family, but seeing her beautiful little nephews enjoy the holiday really made mine light up. Not to mention the look on her mom’s face when she put that first piece of vegan dressing into her mouth… :)

    3. Kale for breakfast!

  • Meghan

    I haven’t, but I think that I am going to in the next few weeks! Have you tried the fancy expensive Field Roast thing that is in a puff pastry?! I think I’ll just start with the regular kind. :-)

    I really have my heart set on making a rosemary and dark beer brined tofurky for Christmas: OMG!