Veganism // When, Why & How

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I just recently became a full Vegan! I’ve been eating a mostly Vegan diet until now but as of September 1st, I am fully committed to eating a clean and responsible diet.

Here are the videos I watched prior to making my decision:

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0VrZPBskpg

2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4HJcq8qHAY

3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_K36Zu0pA4U

4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_UpyY2MIOc

(I was linked to these through Essena O’Neill’s video Tips For Vegan Beginners)

There are three main reasons that I chose to commit to Veganism:

#1: Moral Reasons

The first reason that I stopped eating or using animal products to the best of my ability was moral. I basically spent an entire afternoon and evening watching informative videos about slaughterhouses. The places shown in the videos were considered “humane” and as soon as I saw that, I knew I could not support it. The videos were graphic, but I think it’s important to know what you’re paying to support. Every decision we make, including what we choose to nourish our bodies with, is based on a set of beliefs.

#2: Health Reasons

I have suffered from a lack of energy and a general feeling of being bloated from consuming all of these foods. I’m lactose intolerant, and before I knew the background of where we get milk and how it affects animals it was difficult to let go of dairy products. Dairy is actually the worst for your body out of all the foods Veganism cuts out.

#3: Positivity

This ties in with health and morality, but when I eat a Vegan diet, I’m way happier! It’s so simple.

Finally, the HOW. I spent a lot of time telling myself Veganism would be too hard and too expensive. But my grocery list is way cheaper, and I’m still just as lazy as I was…without all the bloating! I am definitely not a health specialist, so by all means, do your own research. There are tons of helpful YouTube videos that really break it down. That being said, here is what a day of eating everything at home usually looks like for me:

Breakfast:

-Smoothie Bowls, Oatmeal or Granola with almond milk

-Fruit and seeds on top (flax seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds…)

Lunch:

-Crunchmaster multi-seed crackers

-Red pepper hummus

-Coconut water or juice

Dinner: (I have to admit, most nights I’ve ordered pizza so far. This guide to ordering Vegan at normal delivery chains is a life saver!)

-Curried Tofu (I get it by the pound from Jimbo’s and keep it in my fridge. It’s cheap and delicious!) or spaghetti with marinara

-Dark leafy greens…I usually eat them straight up, but if that grosses you out you can put them on a pizza or blend them into your pasta sauce!
These meals are no more difficult than anything I was making before!

If you have any delicious, quick and easy Vegan meals up your sleeve, email me at brewingvodkatea@gmail.com and share them with me!

xox

Bec

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It’s Tuesday! // Summer Snacking + Midweek Rambles

Hey there! I’m sorry about the low quality banners. I am trying something new and I’m still working out all the little issues so hopefully I can figure out something better soon! Thanks for your patience!

It’s piping hot out and I’m feeling under the weather, so here I sit in Starbucks desperately trying to draft blog posts to make up for how far behind I have gotten and, of course, dreaming of cloudy days. Since I’m feeling so sick and couldn’t shoot anything new, I decided to post the recipe for my favorite Summer salad.

I shared this recipe recently on my Instagram but here it is in more depth:

Ingredients:

-Spinach

-Berries (I like to use strawberries and sometimes blueberries!)

-Nuts (I use almonds)

-Goat cheese

-Lemon juice (we also have a lemon dijon dressing where I work and I use that occasionally, you can definitely play around with this!)

-Optional: grilled chicken or fish

Directions:

Make sure you wash your fruit and veggies! I usually use a small handful of spinach, but you can decide that based on how hungry you are. Lay the goat cheese next. I use a generous amount of goat cheese because I think that the goat cheese mixed with the fruit is what makes this salad so stinkin amazing, but again, it can totally vary based on preference! Lay the berries in or around the goat cheese to get them to sort of stick to one another. (Note: the berries that you choose determine the flavor of the salad. I almost always use strawberries [cut into fourths] but blueberries, blackberries and raspberries all work well on their own or together in this recipe.) Then fill all your little blank patches of spinach with the nuts. Toss with the lemon juice (I don’t use very much at all) and dig in!

Recently I’ve been doing a lot of hiding and writing. I take my journal (from SoLo in Solana Beach…I’m absolutely in love with it! I’ll post photos soon!) to a coffee shop or cafe and sit by myself writing whatever I want. Sometimes I write two lines, sometimes I write twenty pages. I’m really loving it! I’m going to start a tag (on Instagram) with a line from my journal each time I do this called #BecBabbles. If you like to journal like me, join in on the fun!! Tag your journal posts with BecBabbles and I’ll repost my favorites. Hopefully as my following grows, so will this tag. I’m really excited to hear what people have to say!

Things in my life have been changing at a rapid page over the last few months, and this week one of the biggest changes occurred in my personal life and it’s lead me to set a lot of goals for myself. Some of these include eating more whole foods and listening to my body (avoiding dairy and grains…eek!) and getting out on my own to journal more. This week I’m going to get up earlier than usual and try designating this as my journal time.

That’s all for now, friends!

xox

Bec

Cafe Chatter // How to be a Perfect Customer

Hi again! I know this post may seem like a passive aggressive followup from some kind of bad experience with a customer, but it’s really not. It’s more a response to the discomfort I’ve noticed in customers who don’t know how to carry themselves in the cafe! If you struggle with social anxiety in any way, you understand how it feels to be nervous just to go out to eat. I feel a little weird posting this because I don’t want it to come across the wrong way, but it’s meant to be a way to feel confident that you aren’t a difficult customer.

In order to feel at ease in a cafe you’ve never been to before, there are three major things you should keep in mind.

1: You are not putting anyone out. Customers are our priority. However, you are not always the only customer. So if you notice that there’s a worker behind the counter but they seem to be ignoring you, you’re most likely on their radar, but they’re working on getting things done in the right order.

2: Notice whether or not there is a tray above the trash cans. In the cafe I work at, we just have trash cans set out, but there isn’t anything set out to help you bus your table. If there isn’t a tray for this, you should leave your plate. Bringing your plates up to the bar when you’re finished may feel polite, but it usually sets the system off balance. Cleaning your own table may leave that table unwashed for the next set of customers, and sometimes it’s really difficult to keep up with a messy bar. Rule of thumb: if you can’t bus it yourself, don’t try.

3: Don’t try to comfort workers about the long wait. If a server apologizes about a long wait, a simple “oh, that’s okay,” goes a lot further than a “Oh no it’s totally fine you guys are way understaffed, I waited even longer at the place down the street…” One time, I forgot to make a drink and even though the customer was very polite about it, their friend was saying things like “you paid for it! Don’t feel bad!” and “This same thing happened to me at Taco Bell the other day. They made my order wrong THREE TIMES…” These sort of things do not set you up for good service.

And of course, don’t forget to tip!

xox,

Bec

PS this list is, of course, very server oriented rather than customer oriented, but this is just me letting you in on what seems like common courtesy to the people behind the counter. Don’t stress about ordering in a picky way, etc. I’ve never really heard anyone complain about custom orders. If we can’t make something a certain way, we’ll tell you, and if that upsets someone it really is an overreaction on their part and not yours!

4 Ways to be an Urban Explorer // Tackling Big Cities

Hi friends! Things have been very hectic in my life, as always, but today, my sister and I had the same day off (hip, hip, hooray!) and were able to do some exploring. We decided we would take the Coaster down from suburban San Diego into the downtown area and spend some time just walking around experiencing parts of San Diego we’ve sort of neglected. I’m always surprised how much more there is to my city than what Manda and I have explored because it feels like we’ve gone everywhere, but today, everything felt completely foreign to me. There was a very unique crowd of hundreds of thousands of people visiting for Comic Con on top of the regular weekend/summer hustle and bustle, and I realized how little time I’ve spent in the Gas Lamp district, which is arguably the heart of the city.

But the truth is, sometimes exploring feels like a whole lot of work. The more chaotic my life gets, the more likely I am to stick to all my same coffee shops and book stores and restaurants instead of branching out into the unknown where (God forbid) I might not immediately find parking. So without further ado, here are four ways to make the city a little less scary:

1. Utilize public transit. Even if you don’t mind paying for parking, driving in the city is just plain stressful, especially if you haven’t been driving in one your whole life. Either way, most cities have great public transit systems set up that will end up sort of being like a mini tour for you!

2. Research the area you’re going to. What’s highly rated? What do locals say is unmissable? Ask around when you get to the city. Even if you change your mind on where to go, you’ll still feel like you know what you’re doing. Make sure to research the communities within the city, too!

3. Or don’t. This is usually the way I go, but it isn’t necessarily a great plan if you are traveling or trying to get the most bang for your buck. But who knows…sometimes the best places are the hidden gems that you stumble upon!

4. Find a high place. Pretend to be a guest at a hotel and go to the top floor. Try and look professional in an office building and stare at your watch while you rush into an elevator. You’ll be glad you did.
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xox

Bec

Alone Time (When You Don’t Like Alone Time) // Step by Step

Lately I’ve been so stressed out with work and finances and even my own health that I haven’t taken a second to just stop and breathe. Even though I’m not someone who loves to be alone every second of every day, I think everybody needs a little time to themselves for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, I think we need alone time to relax and to fall in love with ourselves!

So here is my recipe for productive alone time:

Step One: Take your time getting ready. Play some music, curl your hair, dress up a little (but keep it comfy!). You want to feel confident!

Step Two: Take the long way there. These are written obviously to suit me, and I love driving…so of course I’m going to choose PCH over the 5 when I’m taking time for myself!

Step Three: Go someplace peaceful. The photos in this post were taken at Roasting Works by Lofty, a small coffee shop full of neutral tones that usually isn’t crowded. And best of all, it’s inside of an art store!

Step Four: Order tea. Always. Even if your heart is crying out for coffee. (Okay, maybe not if your heart is crying out for coffee. But generally, green tea is going to make you feel a whole lot better than coffee will!)

Step Five: Plug in. Get going. Whatever activity you want to do, be it journaling, painting, reading; ready, set, go go go for a solid fifteen minutes. Don’t worry about the people around you. If you like to wear headphones when you’re out and about, this would be a good time to whip ’em out (Personally I’m paranoid that somebody is talking to me every second that I have headphones in…even when there isn’t music playing!). This is time for yourself. Try to keep off your phone. Everyone else can wait.

Step Six: Take some photos. But again, don’t spend a lot of time on your phone. For me, photos that I love of my life help me visualize where I’m at in a more positive light. If it’s not the same for you, maybe skip this step!

IMG_2355 IMG_2357 IMG_2363Of course, these are 300% tailored to my personal preferences. Try creating your own step by step guide to unwinding!

xoxxo,

Bec

Summertime Goals! // 6-15-15

Happy summer!!! One of my favorite parts of a new season is that a lot of things start over. This is especially true for my life in summer because I finally have a little time to sit back and re-evaluate! So I sat back and did so, and here is what I’ve found.

Goals with my wardrobe:

-buy more white/brightly colored clothing that goes with more of what I own. I’m realizing a lot of my closet is cute but also completely random and useless for me!

-try and earn a bit of cash off of what I don’t wear anymore…and even if it’s adorable, if I don’t wear it, it’s gotta go. My room is tiny and I need the space! I hate clutter…yeek!

-This isn’t really a wardrobe thing, but I need to work on actually spending time on my hair. It’s always up or natural, and my natural hair is a bit of a mess. I need to keep trimming it and keeping it shoulder length. When my hair looks good, I feel good.

Goals with food:

-This one could easily take a lot of time to explain, but I’ll keep it simple. I’m anemic on top of having many food intolerances (mainly lactose). I have trouble remembering to take my iron and Super-B supplements until I’m wondering why I’m exhausted and dizzy. Duh! Remember ya vitamins, girl!

-So of course, I need to focus on consuming more foods with iron and B12. A friend of mine who is also anemic recently suggested a smoothie she makes every morning. It’s high in iron and helps her keep her body nourished throughout the day! I’ll make another post about the smoothie.

-I was recently reminded that soy is not the answer!! I have reverted to drinking skim milk (I know, I know. Both or controversial. But I was consuming soy regularly, sometimes 2-3 times a day. I work at a coffee shop. I drink almond milk when possible!). I’m going to try out milk alternatives. I like almond milk but I can never use it all in time. A friend recently suggested hemp milk. Suggestions?

-I have more trouble getting the nourishment I need than trying to cut it out, but too much sugar is still a problem for me. I need to fix those more obvious habits!

Goals for blogging:

-I want to get more on top of MAKING THINGS! I have some exciting things I want to do but I haven’t even managed to make time for grocery shopping, much less me-time.

-I want to be posting higher quality photos more frequently. I lost my sister’s camera charger (of course) so now I haven’t had a camera to take photos on besides my iPhone.

-I want to make more baking posts!

Goals for my life:

-I want to manage my time better. I think I’m going to start using a planner to make plans with people and include at least 2-3 hours for myself at night.

-I want to work more! I was making a pretty solid amount of money but as I got more and more stressed out I quit going in as much. As I explained in my blog post in February when I first got the job, I make my own hours. I’ve been doing the work from home (which was my decision) and when I work from home I can’t clock in.

-I want to paint and make music more.

-I want to spend time making my room more how I want it to be. I’m not home much so usually it’s not a big deal to me, but it honestly sucks a little when you can’t relax in your own space.

So there it is! Let me know if you have any suggestions for any of the goals I’ve mentioned.

xox,

Bec

WHY IS IT SO HARD TO RELAX + 2 Bath Recipes!

If you know me, you know I have a really hard time unwinding. I’m not highly strung by nature, but I just have a hard time feeling relaxed even when I feel calm. The two main things that stress me out even in my downtime are:

-SCHOOL IS COMING AND I KNOW IT. Even on the very first day of Summer, I am already 100% aware that school is still coming.

-Guilt. I feel guilty when I’m not doing anything! I know there’s stuff I need to get done (because there never isn’t) and I have trouble stepping back and taking time for myself (or enjoying that time, at least).

Here are my tricks for beating anxiety when I have downtime:

-Painting, baking or making music! If I’m creating something, I don’t feel so badly about not doing anything but I’m still relaxing.

-Drinking hot chamomile tea! This one is better for end of the day relaxing because it will make you sleepy and it might be hard to snap out of it.

-(Of course), taking a bath! Taking a bath is especially good for when you can’t stop yourself from trying to dive into work. Once the door is locked and you’re in the tub, you (hopefully) won’t still be trying to multitask. Sometimes when I’m having trouble calming down I’ll turn off the lights and close the curtain and maybe light a candle (scents like lavender and eucalyptus are the most relaxing to me).

Here are my two favorite bath recipes:

1. Honey and Coffee // Be warned: this one gets a little messy!

Ingredients: Coffee (I use grounds), honey, milk

-Add Coffee grounds…the more the merrier (and messier…)!
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-Add honey. I go a little overboard with this one but it’s really up to you!DSC_0355

-Add milk. I would recommend about four cups, but again, it really is up to you.
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-Stir it all up and pour it all into the bath! Don’t bathe for more than about 20 minutes unless you want a coffee tan.
DSC_0359Note: This one will leave a brown ring around your tub as well as a lot of little grounds. It’s a lot less messy if you use brewed coffee instead of the grounds, but the grounds are great exfoliants. I wouldn’t recommend the grounds if you have a bath mat (or you can take the mat out while you bathe). You’ll have to get in there with a wet rag once it’s all drained but personally I think it’s worth is because this leaves my skin feeling incredible!

2. Green Tea Detox Bath

Ingredients: milk, green tea, honey

-Add milk (5-6 cups). I still had coffee grounds lingering in my mixing bowl but that isn’t a bad thing!
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-Add honey.
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-Add green tea. Typically for this step I will purchase the cheapest tea I can find and use about twelve bags. I put them in the bath when I first start filling it and squeeze out the bags about every five minutes. Eventually the bags start to deteriorate, and that’s when I take them out.
DSC_0363-Soak! With detox baths you ideally will soak for about 40 minutes so you can sweat out toxins. You’ll want a shower afterwards!

xox

Bec

An (Apologetic) Update // 5-26-15

(This is kind of a personal post and it’s not really about anything interesting)

I’m not sure if this update is for you or for me but I have been feeling pretty awful about not keeping on top of this. I feel like it reflects a lot of what my life looks like right now, I have a million things that I should be taking care of and I’m not. So here are the things I’m feeling overwhelmed by:

1. School! It’s the end of the year and I’m struggling to keep up and it doesn’t feel important so that just makes things worse.

2. Work is tough!! I live far from school and far from work and they’re a good forty minutes away from one another. So on top of trying to handle those two things separately, I’m stuck on the 405 in traffic in between!

3. I’ve been so sick! I feel like i always use this as an excuse but there it is. I’ve been getting sick and that makes me physically so exhausted and I haven’t had a free moment to just take care of myself and do the things I want to do in ages.

My life sort of just feels like a whole bunch of heavy chaos right now and it doesn’t just stop at those three, but the school year is just about to end! And then I’ll have time to cook and clean and paint and make music and frolic through meadows and forests and climb mountains and do cartwheels and take photos. So there is my (apologetic) update.

Xox

Bec

*A couple extra things: my family had two cars die in one week so that is another little bit of chaos! Also let me know on Instagram if you’re interested in anything neeeeew and exciting!

Happy Weekend!

These last couple days have been a whirlwind for me! I’ve been fighting off the flu (ick!!!!!!), I went to an impromptu concert in Newport Beach, and… I LANDED A JOB IN SOCIAL MEDIA!

I am super stoked but also very exhausted and swamped with calls to make business listings and different media platforms to update. I didn’t even know there were this many sites for businesses on the entire internet! But I am so thrilled. This is a dream job!

Because of the job, I’ve been off the radar and I haven’t been doing any projects, so I have nothing new to post (tear!). I’ll get on it soon, I promise!

xox

Bec

Introducing Me // 4-10-15

Let me just start out by saying that I am elated to be restarting the blog! If you followed me before you know that I had an account on Blogspot. I liked Blogspot for its user friendliness but it didn’t give me very much room to redesign or personalize anything (because I know absolutely zilch about HTML). I am also excited to start over with the actual blog posts (I will repost the old ones with more photos and cuteness)!

If you’re new here you’re probably wondering who I am and what this whole thing is about. I am not completely positive as to the answer to either of those questions but I will try my best to fill you in.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset     My name is Becca and I’m mostly active on Instagram (mylifestyle blog is new and it’s @brewingvodkatea and that’s more connected to the blog, but I also have a personal account which is @becburbuja). I’m sixteen years old and I live in San Diego, California. I love Jesus, cooking and all things pretty and bright! I love to paint and create music and those are my two biggest emotional outlets. My sister and I are moving up to Portland next year and working and attending Portland State University.

DSC_0884      My sister Amanda (who is pictured above) is my partner in crime. We are so excited about Portland and a lot of what I do and create is somehow connected to that particular adventure. She is also a super talented photographer (she shoots weddings, portraits, family photos, events, etc.)! Her Instagram is @heymananda.

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     Max (on the left in the photo above) is my best friend! He is so supportive of me always and I can rely on him to never laugh at me when I have stupid questions and to always hold me accountable when I’m in the wrong. Max, Amanda and I are quite the trio! I am beyond grateful for the silly adventures we have all the time. I can always count on them to cheer me up. @Smaxbuns on Instagram.

babiez

     Jianna (in the middle in the photo above) and Hephzi (Hep-see. On the right) are two of the most adorable, lovely people you could ever meet. They get the butt of my psychotic rants and weird moments. @Jiannaxxo and @hephzipepsi on Instagram.

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     Abel James! He is my all time favorite human being. A few months after we started dating he moved to North Idaho where his family is from but our relationship has remained in a wonderful place and I absolutely, positively adore him. He is an artist and a real friend and the silliest guy there ever was. @mmotherr on Instagram.

     So that might have been a little more on my friends than myself, but you get the jist of my little world!

Goals of this blog:

-A space to document growth. I know this one is a little annoying sometimes, but I need a place to do this and I understand if you just skip over these ones!

-A space to document ideas and outcomes. I love to cook and create!

-A space to document my travels. I am always on my feet (or in a car, or on a train, or on a plane…)!

     That being said, here’s to the new blog space!

xox,

Bec