Vegan Care Package Swap!

I’d heard about package swaps since I started dabbling in the blogosphere in its various forms, but had never tried one due to budget, time, etc.  But when a vegan care package swap popped up on Cook. Vegan. Lover., that sounded too good to pass up!  I love sharing food with people and have gotten even more passionate (read: crazy) about it since going vegan.

I was paired up with Helena over at Divine Health.  Her package came yesterday, and boy was it full of awesome stuff!

care package 01

I couldn’t wait to unpack it and see all of the goodies.  The fact that it was padded with bubble wrap made it that much cooler in my book since, like most people who are easily amused, I have a thing for bubble wrap.

care package 02

As I may have mentioned, I also have a thing for hand creams, soaps, and body care products in general.  The hand cream thing started as a necessity due to my perpetually dry hands, and it sort of turned into a quest to find the best moisturizer possible.  Thanks to the Harvest Fest, I’ve discovered the wonders of Shea butter, and this tub of hand-crafted, fair-trade stuff is going to come in handy!  The soap went right in my “specialty soaps” bag, and with the Northeast winter coming it’s going to be imperative to have a good vegan lip balm around.

care package 03

Dessert and snacks!  Who can argue with that?  A big gluten-free, vegan chocolate chip cookie (delicious!), a snack bar full of quinoa goodness, and…rice milk chocolate.  I haven’t had anything even closely resembling milk chocolate in ages, and I love chocolate bars with nuts in them!

care package 04

And to cap it all off, jasmine lemon tea, soba noodles, and a lovely handwritten note!  I tried the tea this morning at breakfast, and it was amazing.  Light green tea flavor with just a hint of lemon and jasmine…mmm.  And I’m looking forward to trying those soba noodles, since they’re not just buckwheat–they have a bit of mugwort in them!  Stir fry, anyone?

I’m really glad that I decided to participate in this swap.  It’s been great getting to know another member of the vegan community, and it’s always fun to share vegan treats with others.  Thanks to Lindsay and Cook. Vegan. Lover. for hosting this!

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Vegan Websites: A Few of My Favorites

Is it just me, or are more and more awesome vegan websites and blogs popping up all over the Internet?  I’ll confess that my blogroll isn’t nearly as extensive as it should be.  Truth be told, there’s no way one person could amass the whole of the Internet’s vegan awesomeness in a way that would do it any justice.  But given just how much there is to be found out there, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites!

  • Healthy. Happy. Life. — There are a lot of reasons I love this blog.  It’s chock full of inventive vegan recipes, each represented with a set of beautiful photos.  Instructions are clear and concise, making even the more complicated recipes easy to follow.  There are occasional recipe “series” for times of year, holidays, or just plain awesome stuff like vegan smoothies.  Also the home of an extensive Best Vegan Blog list.
  • Finding Vegan — Started by Kathy of Healthy. Happy. Life., this is the place to go for an amassed collection of great vegan things from all over the web.  A word of warning, though; it’s extremely easy to get caught up looking at all the amazing pictures!
  • VegWeb — It’s really no secret that VegWeb is awesome.  It would take several lifetimes to try out all the amazing user-submitted recipes that are cataloged on this site.  I love that you can browse by ingredient, right down to the type of rice, pasta, or beans you have in mind for dinner.
  • Gone Raw — When I feel like dabbling in raw food, this is where I go.  I stumbled across it back in February when I felt the need to detox a bit after a vacation that involved a little too much vegan indulgence.  So far I’ve liked everything I’ve tried, especially the red cabbage tacos!
  • Manifest Vegan — I’m not gluten-free, but I love looking at the pictures on this blog.  The recipes are awesome, too, and I often find myself sharing then with gf friends.  I kind of envy how inventive this blog is.

There are so many more, it’s not even funny.  I know my list is just the tip of the iceberg–possibly the tip of the tip.  But I do love all these sites and blogs for what they have to offer, and I hope to be able to try more recipes from all of them in the future!  I’m sure the list will continue to expand as time goes on.

Question for the comments: What’s your favorite vegan website or blog, and why?