Pictures Of Things

July 3rd, 2014 - filed under: Furthermore » Feedback

yellow flowers in box

I’m thinking of trying something new.

I have this weird compulsion with this blog, this self-imposed requirement that says everything I post has to be “valuable content”. Recipes, instructionals, that sort of stuff.

But when I read other blogs, do you know what I love?

Pretty pictures of everyday life. “Bits and Pieces”, “Life Lately” – those types of posts are what I love to look at in my rare and precious downtime. And so, here and now, I’m giving it a shot. It’s a big step for me! And since I cannot silence that little voice in the back of my mind hollering about creating value, I will leave you with a Love List and ask that you please leave me with yours. Because there’s nothing more valuable than shared gratitude. Yes?

Okay. Here we go! Oh also, if this becomes a regular thing on the blog (and please let me know if you’d like it to — or if not!), it’ll need a nifty name. I’m open to suggestions.

Basically, this is a big ‘ol experiment, can you tell? Onwards!

flowers from the garden

My very first bouquet of homegrown flowers.

making stock kitchen scraps
Homemade veggie broth with all my kitchen scraps.

Petit Vour makeup box
My July Petit Vour beauty box was chock full of amazing cruelty-free goodies. Gorgeous too, as always.

i fucking heart you necklace
This surprise gift from my sweetheart. And how, this man does know me.

bromeliad flower
Bromeliads bloom just once, only one strange spiky bloom in their whole entire life. And Jeremy’s is blooming, right now. ♥

tarot reading starts with deathbest tarot reading ever

A reading that begins with death . . . and ends as the BEST and most insightful tarot pull ever.

vaccination face
NOT a happy camper in the waiting room for his vaccination.

sprout with seed hat
Ultimate cuteness in my garden: still wearing its little seed hat.

tomato plant
My first tomato is juuuust about ready.

socal beach baby
This kid. And these days. So much.

And now, the best way to kick off the weekend, I’ll show you mine if you please show me yours . . . Le Love List!

Fireworks! Can’t help it, I love them. // My video interview with Eco-Vegan Gal all about raising vegan children, preventing ex-vegans, and all sorts of other good stuff. It was so much fun and Whitney is amazing – I hope you had a chance to check it out! // Growing starts from seed. A million little sprouts. I love my garden. // I’m watching Reality Bites right now, it is one of the formative films of my youth, and it is fan-tastic. // The ocean is warmer than it’s been in years. I don’t know what’s going on or why, but I’ll take it! // I wrote my very first grant proposal. Like a wee baby bird, my advisor pushed me out of the nest with one firm shove, and I was flying solo, flapping madly for a few crazy days. But I got myself centered, buckled down, and got it done. And . . . I think it actually turned out pretty dang good! Either way I was proud, but please cross your fingers for us to get the grant and fund our work this summer. // Giant salads. Always. // Partnering with Vegan Cuts to curate a Vegan Family Starter Kit! That was a really fun one. // Bad tv marathons that just don’t stop. // Waits’s bedroom is really coming together, I can’t wait to show you all the whole giant makeover! // Inspired vegans who never fail to inspire. // Summer. Summer. Summer is heeeeeeere!

Alright guys, now it’s your turn! I hope you’ll leave your own little Love List in the comments below, and let us all know what’s making you smile these days. And, if you have any thoughts on these picture posts, let me know. Either way I want to hear. I promise!

Happy weekend, and American readers, have a safe 4th of July!

♥ ♥ ♥

  • vegyogini

    I know it’s an incredibly controversial subject and perhaps you don’t want to delve into it on your blog, but if you feel open to it, I’d love to know your thoughts on vaccination. I respect and honor all your thoughts on child-raising, this subject included.

    My gratitude list right now is short and sweet…I am grateful to be alive. I just read an FB page dedicated to the people from my high school who have passed away and it left me filled with sadness and nostalgia, so yes, I believe right now what I am most grateful for is the privilege of living.

  • Kathi Vegana

    Beautiful pictures are pieces of Art and these here are about you/your life, so that’s two things that are already inherently valuable imho and yes, I’d love to see more of such posts. :-)
    Here’s my love list:
    We just came back from 3 weeks in Greece and had the most beautiful time there // seeing my son just walk up to some other kids and start playing with them and how even though they could not communicate with words, they still got along perfectly // sunsets // trying coconut yogurt for the first time – yum! // the second vegan supermarket here just opened and all the other exciting vegan stuff happening here (Vienna/Austria) right now. There’s a few new vegan restaurants and lot’s of others that start to offer vegan options. Oh and there’s some great news for you too: we have a vegan ice cream shop here that is owned by two lovely vegan sisters and they have the best ice cream ever (and gluten free ice cream sandwiches too!) and they plan to open another shop in L.A.! // we’re staying at my parents’ place right now and seeing how happy my son and my parents are together // we’ll be at a vegan festival tomorrow // collecting berries from amelanchier trees together with our neighbors and their kids in the pouring rain // I’ll be visiting my grandmas this weekend whom I haven’t seen in a long time // hermit crabs // green smoothies // that even though we never told Enio (our son) that he cannot have non-vegan things he would never touch them. If he gets offered something he always asks if it is vegan first, and if it’s not he has zero interest in trying it, which makes me so proud and happy! // and yes, summer!

  • Rachel R.

    My love list:

    1. Having a weekend off with my husband (he usually works weekends).
    2. Trying new ingredients while cooking (I have some barley – which I’ve never used before) to try in a new recipe.
    3. Cracking open a new book, because it might become a new favorite.
    4. Watching my three dogs fall into an exhausted sleep after playing.
    5. 78 degrees on the fourth of July!

  • veggiesara

    I love these kind of posts, so I would surely enjoy it if you continue with it. (btw, my mother just entered when I was watching your first picture and went “oh, that’s pretty!” – so it serves as inspiration also).

    I’m gonna keep my love list very brief: one of my best friends just returned after a half year of being abroad, so I’m happy she’s back and blessed that she’s my friend.

  • Samantha Ellwood

    I love picture posts! And from my super-limited experience, they are a bit easier to put together/publish than other, wordier posts. That being said, I love your writing… so basically you can’t lose :)

    Love List!
    -Knowing who I am and being OK with it, and having a significant source of support along the way.
    -My balcony herb garden and new potted succulent friends
    -Lakes, rivers; water in general. I’d say the ocean if it were anywhere close, but I got me lakes and rivers aplenty
    -Day trips
    -All the original artwork and handblown glass baubles I picked up yesterday… my poor little apartment isn’t going to have any room left, but oh well!
    -Stephen King books
    -My hair growing out long again… finally! It’s funny how hair desires cycle.
    -Writing, and reading a friend’s writing
    -Daydreams (and some semi-serious planning!) about starting a small organic beard and hair oil company with a friend.

  • Lacy Davis

    I think ultimately, bloggers and readers alike both just want to see the things makin’ your heart sing, girl. I have loved this blog for YEARS and sure, the tutorials, how-to’s, and recipe content is rad, but mostly I just love your take on your life, love your little family, and love your enthusiasm. so yeah! Here’s my love list:

    my awesome chosen family, the tiny house i built has officially paid for itself in rent savings this month, recipe testing for my e-cookbook, clients, writing, Definition for Ladies magazine (a magazine all for vegan women who lift whaaaaaaat?), my cute partner, planning for vida vegan con 2015, blogger community and california sunshine. Life is rad.


  • Grace

    I Looooove…..Summer Fruits, especially cherries..sleeping with the windows open with a cool breeze, doesn’t happen much in hot and humid, Minnesota…going to my favorite restaurant for vegan dairy soft serve ice cream from our local coop…listening to my niece laugh and laugh….a good book….exploring new cities.

    your blog with words or pictures is fabulous. :)

    La photographie List

  • Lisa B.

    I know exactly where you’re coming from re: this notion of needing to “add value”; to avoid fluff. In the legal profession (to which I belong), we’re taught to make our words count, to cut straight to the point. This perspective has its place, for sure, but it is very centred on what the writer/speaker feels is “valuable” — it assumes that readers/listeners, too, want precision and “heavy” content, or whatever. And sometimes we do! But I just love free-style, relatively formless, stream-of-consciousness style expositions — whether they be in the form of images, prose, whatever. SO, this is my convoluted way of saying: DO THIS MORE! I like glimpses into the lived lives of others — a source of such beauty and a reminder that there are many, many ways to be a human.

    As for me and my “love list” this week:
    (1) The recognition that with age, I give less of a shit — case in point, running into an ex this week and not giving a mother fuck;
    (2) A friend told me she wants to resume veganism after a 2-year hiatus — be still, my heart!;
    (3) Castor oil packs. ‘Nuff said;
    (4) Cold beer on a hot summer night;
    (5) Day dreams about going off the grid, which keep me going on long days in my office;
    (6) Getting. Shit. Done. As in, crossing task after task off of my to-do list. SUCH A GOOD FEELING; and
    (7) Long, slow mornings with a good cup o’ joe.

    Have a lovely weekend, Sayward. And by the way, that necklace is fucking rad. You are one fortunate chica!

    - Lisa

  • Lisa B.

    I love this “love list”!

    I don’t know why this is — maybe it’s summer energy or something — but I’ve been daydreaming a bunch lately, too. Isn’t is strange that we’ll have days, weeks, years even where our day-to-day is spent dreaming and planning? It’s such a specific headspace to be in. Like, I’ll go hours before realizing that I haven’t *been* where I’m actually, physically situated.

  • Lisa C

    The petit vour looks interesting. How does the it compare to the Vegan Cuts beauty box?
    Also, I love a good mix of light and heavy content! This was a fun post. :)

  • annie

    I originally found your blog while looking for vinegar recipes and have been hooked ever since. My favorite post so far was on big salads. I have never been a salad girl but that post opened my eyes to a wider definition of salad using componants that I love in a balance that makes a meal.

    I love learning, the sound of summer wind in the trees, being by the water, good company, strong coffee in the early morning, the sun on my shoulders, fresh herbs, kimchi (on almost everything), dreams, my grandmothers handwriting, being barefoot outside.

  • Minna Toots

    Yes!! “Pictures of things” is going to be the most awesome of all! It’s funny but for some reason it’s really inspiring and entertaining to see someone else’s everyday: what they eat, where they go, what they wear etc. You’ve got tons of useful stuff in this blog already! Plus, reading about your everyday won’t make me feel like I have to *do* something, you know, brew kombucha, make my own toothpaste… :D

    My Love List (haven’t done that in a long time):
    * It’s finally so warm and sunny.
    * I discovered an awesome cafe with a vegan buffet!!
    * I found all sorts of vegan goodies at an eco store: vegan cheese, cream cheese, smoked tofu, etc. and they’re all waiting in the fridge to be eaten.
    * Being “back” here, reading/watching your stuff and feeling inspired by it.
    * The first newborn/baby clothes that I got from a friend — they’re so tiny and cute!!
    * Feeling generally great and being happy despite the irritability and moodiness :P
    * Playing the fiddle after a long period of not-playing.
    * Local strawberries……

  • stephie137

    Yes. All the pictures. Share! You are my fave, I love the stuff you find interesting.

    LLL…life is incredible right now. New raw restaurant find, awesome folk festival with two of my very favourite singers, and a beautiful sunset, and special one on one time with each kiddos, hair cuts, swimming and running and Moving again., splash pads and summertime fun.

  • Sonja

    I totally love this new category on your blog! Gimme more :-)
    Here’s my love list:
    - spending a lazy day with friends at the lake
    - new input
    - glitter on summerskin
    - discovering new places is “my” city
    - magazines
    - watermelon-cucumber-mint salad
    - looking forward to sleeping next to my favorite person tonight

  • Sarah

    Ooo, great idea! I love love lists and reading blogs about every day life. I struggle to find content for my mine even though I love blogging and connecting with the blogging world.

    My love list: my 17 month old son (super cute age) and bean//recommitting to veganism- I feel liberated and like I’ve come home//our little home that we’ve built over the last year//summer//

  • Sayward Rebhal

    The vaccine thing is a very touchy subject and that’s why I’ve never formally written about it. But very generally, my thoughts on vaccinations are this: I believe in the idea of community. Part of being in community means shared responsibility. I don’t like what’s in a lot of vaccines and I don’t like the associated risks and potential side affects. I don’t like big pharma and I don’t agree with the standard vaccination schedule. But all that said, I do believe in community, and in social responsibility. Waits is on a delayed and selective schedule. By the time he starts school he will be caught up on the vaccinations that pose a major health risk and that he could communicate to others (ie, chicken pox does not pose a major health risk, and hepatitis only poses a major health risk for those who are sexually active).

    Those are just my thoughts and I’m definitely not advocating one way or the other. I’m also not interested in debate on this subject (that’s not aimed at you Vegyogini, just anyone else who may be reading).

    Hope that helps!

    We are all privileged every day when we wake up. I’m sorry you’ve had to face that privilege recently, in the deaths of your peers. I know that sadness and nostalgia feeling. It’s the bitterness that shines the light on the sweetness we still have. A hard place, but a good place to sit with, and reflect, and grow from. ♥

  • Sayward Rebhal

    What a brilliant love list! Love it! I’ve always wanted to go to Greece, I can’t wait to do that some day. Glad you had a great vacation. ♥

    Also, yay for vegan ice cream in LA! Is it nut-based? Coconut based?

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend with your husband, Rachel! Time off together is so sweet when it’s few and far between. Enjoy!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Awesome, thanks for the feedback! I like the series too, definitely going to keep it going. And I’m happy to hear you have your best friend back – that must feel amazing!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Samantha! I like the picture posts too, and I’m definitely going to continue the series. And thank you for the Love List, I really loved reading it. =)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Lacy! And thank you for being a long-term reader and for sticking through all my ups and downs on this crazy ride. ;-)

    Also, your Love List is soooo amazing! I want to hear more about the tiny house! And the e-cookbook! And I don’t left, but I love what Christy’s doing with Definition! Okay, I’m off to blog-stalk you . . .

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Grace! Love this love list! ♥

  • Courtney Bliss

    I love the picture post! I have my own internal struggles with whether to post “valuable content” or just everyday stuff on my blog. Keep the pics coming! Please!

  • Lacy Davis

    I am totally about to write a post about my little home. Long story short: bought a shed to live in on a whim, realized I can’t actually live in a shed ’cause winter, insulated, sheet-rocked, added hardwood floors, got a wood burning stove, spent way more money than i meant to, but then……the happiest feeling ever. building things is the best thing ever.

  • theresa

    Wow, I love the idea of a picture post! Like WIAW but with different stuff :) And DAMN, that necklace is ballin’. Perfect Perfect Perfect!

    Right now I’m thankful for: these chocolate-berry-GF-pancakes, my 2nd job for helping me live like a human during graduate school, and my grandma for cleaning out a whole room for me to live in for the next 2 years. And obvs, for Berkeley Bowl (!!!), where I will be shopping/living too!

    (Is it weird to say thank you for getting your little on vaccinated? As an immunocompromised person, for whom a lot of infections that are spreading due to people not getting vaccinated are more likely fatal, it’s a relief to see, and your bit on social responsibility brought tears to this sickie-social-activist’s eyes <3 You and yours are good people!)

  • April

    I’ve just been devouring your blog lately! I’ve followed for years and read your vegan pregnancy book and had an awesome vegan pregnancy. (So thank you). But lately I’ve been stopping by here seeking inspiration and finding lots!

    My love list: beautiful, healthy, bright vegan daughter/amazing partner for almost 16 years!/awesome rescue dog who loves us unconditionally/inspiration to start blogging again/yoga/sunshine/family/friends/garden/swings/dreams/love

  • Tammy Digmann-Smith

    I recently started a blog and I write about my daily life as a vegan, runner, and nerd. Sometimes I ask myself if anyone is even interested in the fact that I ran 7 miles yesterday, or that I broke a pace PR for myself, or that I found a really great vegan recipe. Do they care that I just finished Season 2 of Game of Thrones? But honestly, I write the blog for ME, and it’s so therapeutic to be able to document my life. I have so few people in my social circle that I can discuss my running and vegan life with, that it’s nice to be able to just talk, even if it’s on a blog, and the comments I get are from virtual friends. And you know what? Like you, the things I find most enjoyable when reading others’ blogs are the day-to-day things that they’re doing. It somehow makes me feel connected to others, you know?

  • WookieWifey

    I love little random posts like this as well, so I hope you keep it up!

    My thing to love this week: I QUIT SMOKING! :)

  • Kate

    Sayward you are the only blog I follow ‘religiously’ – being that I’m always curious what you’re up to. I’m interested in your tone of voice, what’s happening with your life and what you’re working on. Write about fucking whatever YOU heart, and I will heart it too.

    You’re always an inspiring vegan and I hope you know that. I keep dipping my toe in the vegan waters and coming back out, and hope to eventually find a way to stay (I feel exhausted/starving/not great when I go too long without a hefty protein source – and yes, from reading your blog I think to myself I’M LIKE SAYWARD! One day I’ll make it all the way there. I’m working on it. Because YOU inspire me.)

    Love list – currently, I’m responsible for adding value to no one but *myself* and this is a much needed self care time for me / I’ve stopped saying “I’m sorry….[apology for being me] and started saying “Thank you for [appreciating me/being there for me/having fun with me], and that shift has been incredible / Reminding everyone that they are doing a GREAT JOB / Magic the Gathering / Improv / Summer in Chicago

  • PlanteatingLina

    tarot cards? Insightful? Really? And you think creationists are whacked? It’s funny how the liberals who are so far left they are falling off the cliff, have tolerance only for their own. Think about that one.

  • Jacqueline Ryan Boissonneau

    Love pictures of things! And I love WIAW too—don’t stop! :)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Tarot is a game I play that simply asks open-ended thought provoking questions, thus leading to insightful introspection.

    Creationism is an entire belief system that actively denies scientific truth, and seeks to deprive all schoolchildren of a proper and necessary scientific education.

    If you think those two things are in any way comparable, I don’t know what to tell you . . . lol?

  • Sayward Rebhal

    It’s really interesting what you say about your need to “add value” stemming from your legal training. I wonder how much of mine has been reinforced by my scientific training as well. Very interesting!

    And thanks for the words of support. I also love glimpses of people’s lives on other blogs, so why wouldn’t people want that on mine? So yes, I will DO THIS MORE! =D

    I loooove your love list but especially #1. Amen to that, sister!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Petit Vour is RAD! It’s a bit different than the Vegan Cuts in that: It’s cheaper, you only get four items each month, but the sizes tend to be larger than samples size. I like Petit Vour because it’s very high-quality, gorgeously curated and presented, and I’ve loved and used each and every product that I’ve gotten. Hope that helps!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Aww, thanks Annie! And so glad you liked the salad post! That was definitely one of my faves. =)

    Thanks for sharing your love list!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Minna, I really like your perspective on “value” content versus simple everyday stuff, so thanks for sharing. You’re right – it’s nice to not feel like you have to “do” something!

    Thank you for the Love List, it’s so good to be hearing from you again Minna. ♥

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Yay, thank you! I will share ALL the pictures! =D

    And thanks for the LLL, I love hearing the words “life is incredible right now”. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Sonja, so glad you like the new blog category! That really means a lot. And thanks for sharing your Love List!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    A new WIAW is coming next week! No worries, I’ll never stop the WIAWs!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Sarah! And thanks for the Love List – 17 months is a reeeally fun age, so dang sweet!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Courtney! I, obviously, have that same struggle, but it seems like folks are really liking the “everyday life” type of posts. The pics will keep coming! =D

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Yeah, like WIAW but with things! =D

    Love your LL, and yay for grad school! And no, not weird about the vaccinations at all. I get it and you’re exactly why I feel so strongly the way I do. Thank you for saying something. ♥

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Oh thank you April, and congrats on your awesome vegan pregnancy! So glad you’re finding inspiration here lately. =)

    And thank you for the truly lovely Love List!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Tammy, it’s totally true what you say. Blogging is all about connection and these sorts of posts – everyday life and the little things – are all about recognizing the things we have in common. ♥ Connection ♥

  • Sayward Rebhal

    WOW that is AMAZING!!! Good for you, I know personally how hard that is, so congratulations and remember, it get’s harder and then easier and then harder again. Don’t give up! The 3-month mark was always a hard spot for me and I went back many times at 3 months before I quit for good. I’d say it took me a full year to completely quit and feel like I had left smoking behind – a full year of active *work*. Just my experience, but don’t let your guard down.


  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you so much for sharing this Kate. It means a lot to me! And I LOVE your love list. ALL of it but especially your words on self care. GOOD FOR YOU, and inspiring for the rest of us. Thank you!!!

  • Veronica

    Lisa B.’s comment reminds me of a wonderful Stephen Fry quote about art/beauty and “usefulness:”
    “Oscar Wilde famously said that art is useless. And that may sound as if that means it’s something not worth supporting. But if you actually think about it, the things that matter in life are ‘useless.’ Love is ‘useless,’ wine is ‘useless.’ Art is love and wine of life; it is the extra, without which life is not worth living.”
    I don’t think that everything on this blog needs to be “useful” in order to be valuable. If you’re celebrating little things, like love lists and WIAWs, those are the “love and wine of life,” right?

  • WookieWifey

    Thank you! Still doing great, so far! Haven’t even had one. Cravings, yes…But I’m a stubborn bitch. :) Most of the time it isn’t bad except when I have my coffee. The hardest part is that I hate gum and hard candies, so I just have to kind of suck it up!

  • Sarah C.

    Whoa – I care about vegan running – I’ll check your blog out!

  • Tammy Digmann-Smith

    Hi, Sarah! My blog is