Sunday, June 23, 2013

Vegan Eats

Hi guys!  Thanks so much for your friendly comments welcoming me back here!  (I admit, though, that I forgot I had turned on "moderate all" for my comments when I shut down here almost 2 years ago. I thought nobody had replied until recently!)

One of the many fortunate changes that occurred when I began eating vegan is that I've been cooking a lot more.  I first began my vegan journey with the goal to eat healthier, so buying pre-made vegan snacks and baked goods wasn't ideal.  However, during the school year it gets a little tough and sometimes I find myself eating American Flatbread "Vegan Harvest" pizza (holy moly, it's SO good), bagels with Tofutti cream cheese, countless Chipotle burritos, and heaps of pasta.  The summer has afforded me time to cook and experiment with recipes I've bookmarked throughout the year from various blogs and cookbooks.  I've been loving it!  Here's what I ate today:

Breakfast was overnight oats, originally inspired by Angela at Oh She Glows. (Here is the recipe.) I don't measure anything anymore, I just shake out some oats into a tupperware container, add Almond Breeze until it's soaked, splash in some vanilla extract, a spoonful of chia seeds, a mashed banana, and a spoonful of crunchy raw almond butter.  I stir it, let it sit in the fridge overnight, and enjoy the cold, chewy goodness in the morning.   It's super nice to wake up and just pull breakfast out of the refrigerator!

About an hour after breakfast, I started making lunch because I was cooking beans for 2 hours.  Jenna from Eat, Live, Run has a recipe for cuban black beans {here}, and they are truly amazing.  I've always just used canned beans because they are incredibly convenient and taste pretty good.  Plus, dry beans have to soak overnight and it's rare that I want black beans with 24 hours of notice.  This week, that changed.  I tried the recipe on Tuesday for the first time, and yesterday I decided that I would soak some more beans to make for the upcoming week.  Yep, these beans are so good that I want them with a day of advance notice :)  Plus, even with the soaking and the 2-hour cook time, they are really easy.  Chop an onion and mince two garlic cloves.  Saute in a bit of oil, then throw in the soaked beans and cover with water.  Here, I diverged from the recipe and also put in two bay leaves and a spoonful of cumin.  Mmm.  Cover and simmer for an hour while the kitchen fills with a heavenly aroma.  Then, stir the beans, throw in two more cloves of minced garlic plus some chopped cilantro, and wait one more hour.  I like to take the lid off for the second half.  The beans need salt when they're done and then they're perfect!  They are nothing like a canned bean, and totally worth the time investment.  Plus, I made a huge batch today and will be eating them all week.  Awesome.

Tempeh bacon burger on a sandwich thin with spinach, onion, ketchup, and dijon mustard.

Dinner was also fantastic, and came together quickly despite how many components it had.  A restaurant in my area, Founding Farmers, makes incredible veggie burgers. They have tofu "bacon" on them, sauce that tastes like thousand island dressing, and a meaty, beet-y, patty.  (These burgers come in second place, trailing behind the Plant Cafe burger in San Francisco.) Earlier this week, I made and froze fantastic (but grainy, not meaty) veggie burgers using another Oh She Glows recipe.  They were definitely the best I've ever made, and have a chewy texture without falling apart.  I follwed the recipe, except I substituted kidney beans for black beans since I didn't have any canned black beans.  I also started marinating some tempeh bacon yesterday, so by this evening I knew what had to be done.  (Tempeh bacon recipe from Gina at the Fitnessista, here).

Tempeh bacon is awesome and delicious, especially the pre-packaged "fakin bacon" from Lightlife. However, it's way more expensive than marinating one's own tempeh, so I figured I'd give making my own a shot. One tip- she says you can marinate the tempeh for 5 minutes up to a day.  I thought a longer marinating time would be better, but I actually preferred it when it was marinated for about an hour.  That way, you still have a bunch of liquid that gets caramelized onto the tempeh for added sweetness and crunch.  After a day, it's pretty much all absorbed and a bit dry in the pan.

Tempeh sliced up to be baconated


Pan-fried in a little oil

Veggie burgers, pre-baking

 So, that's a very non-typical day of vegan eating for me.  I really felt like I spent most of today cooking,  However, I've got lots of leftover beans, tempeh bacon, and burgers.  I'll thank myself later when all I have to do is reheat my meals.

Also, I figured I'd share a recent outfit picture with you!  Since a year and a half (or so... wow!) has passed, I thought you may want to see something recent :)  The best I can do right is a picture of me with damp hair before an evening out with my parents.  I also have been getting into YouTube makeup tutorials lately, so I tried to take a picture of my makeup, too.  Do you guys have any recommendations for tutorials? I totally adore Makeup By Alli... she seems so down to earth and is gorgeous. The makeup below was inspired by one of her videos.

Hahaha there is a doorknob under my arm and this is a bathroom mirror shot. 
I'm a little out of practice on OOTD shots!

I grew out my bangs and ombre'd my hair, but I think I probably look the same, no?  :)

Lastly, of course, I want to share the music I've been loving lately.  I'm super duper into Awolnation, and I love the versatility they show on their album, Megalithic Symphony.  At first, when I head "Sail", I thought their music was kind of hardcore and dark.  Then, I heard "Not Your Fault" and "Kill Your Heroes" and I realized how broad their sound was.  In "Jump On Your Shoulders", which I'm embedding below, they sound kind of like Muse, then OneRepublic, then Snow Patrol at different points.  There's also a little guitar slide which reminds me of "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia, which is kind of random, but true!  They also sometimes sound like Queen or do their own thing.  I love it!  (Warning: f-bomb at 3:50, but otherwise appropriate!)

So, it's been forever!  How is everyone?  Have you tried any of the recipes I made today?  Might you try one now?  :)  What songs are you really loving right now?  Now that my comments (hopefully) work, I should be able to hear from you!  So excited! 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Well... Hi!

Hi there!

I'm ... back?  Maybe.  I'm not sure I ever expected it, but lately I've been feeling the pull to blog again.  Since October of 2011, a lot has changed with me, and I imagine a lot has changed with you, too.  I'm very curious to know how everyone is doing!

Since I stopped blogging, I heard from so many family members and distant friends that they missed hearing from me.  It was so sweet and touching, especially because I didn't even know many of them read my blog!  When I stopped writing, it was definitely a good decision for me, but lately I've been thinking of starting back up again.  However, if I did start, it wouldn't necessarily be outfit-of-the-day, Anthropologie-centric blogging again.  I'm more interested in sharing different aspects of my life, like teaching, doodling, fitness, music, ideas, recipes (I've been eating vegan since July... I know... I'm shocked, too!), and yes, outfits, too. It also would not be updated daily, just ... whimsically. :) When I started Infinite Whimsy, it wasn't a fashion blog.  I had very little direction for it, and just happened upon this wonderful community of people who share my interests.

I'm really excited about lots of things I have going on, and with summer vacation starting Friday I've finally got a bit of free time. So... do you want to come along a slightly different Infinite Whimsy journey with me?


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thank You!

Dear Readers,

Thank you so much for being a part of Infinite Whimsy!  The past two years brought me countless unexpected joys.  I began this blog during the most challenging year of my life in an attempt to keep my bearings at a time when my world had been turned on its head.  I can say with certainty that it helped immensely, especially during my first year as a teacher (at age 21!), to have such a dynamic community in which I could participate.  Some of you I've met in real life, and others I haven't, but all of you have enriched my life.

When I graduated from Ole Miss in May, then got hitched and moved back up North, that trying chapter of my life ended.  Now, I'm being challenged in totally different ways.  I'm teaching in a new school system with a curriculum that I'm still learning, and making a home out of our new apartment.  All these new facets of my life are exciting and I would like to devote more time to them.  I love this blog and my readers, and am glad to have a record of this important time in my life.

Again, thank you so much for being a part of it!  If you'd like to stay in touch, email me!


Monday, October 17, 2011

An Evening Out

On Sunday, Michael took James and me to Fleming's for a delicious dinner.  James won pick of the night with turtle pie that completely rocked my world.  I don't even like turtle pie, normally, but this one was like a molten chocolate cake with walnuts in it and a homemade caramel drizzle on top.  Sinful and delicious!

I wore something a little different than my normal outfits:

Jacket: Gap
Blouse: Forever 21
Necklace: Anthro
Jeans: Forever 21
Shoes: J Crew
Bag: Balenciaga

I felt a little out of my comfort zone in this blazer that I picked up in my senior year of college.  I felt kind of bookish, a bit more masculine, and actually- a lot trendier than usual.  I definitely felt stylish at dinner and will probably try to use this blazer more often!  Jackets are my weakness.  I love them on others but struggle with how to wear them.

Do you have an item like that?  One that stumps you every time?  I hope to get better at blazers one day!

Guess what!  I just bought tickets to see Band of Horses at the 9:30 club in December.  I feel lucky to see them in a nice, small venue.  

Today's song is named for Pawnee's #1 basketball player on retainer at Entertainment 720.  Oh, it's also really pretty.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Channeling Emma: Giveaway Time!

Happy Tuesday!  For today's installment of Channeling Emma, I'm happy to announce a giveaway from one of my favorite etsy shops: Silver Lining Decor.  I've always loved her vintage-inspired pieces, especially her sweater clips, just like Emma Pillsbury wears in Glee.

image from

Silver Lining Decor is offering one lucky Infinite Whimsy reader this gorgeous vintage gold plated turquoise painted sweater guard!  I picked it from the store for you and love it so much!

Here's how to enter:

1. Visit the Silver Lining Decor Shop.  Choose your favorite item and tell me what it is in the comments. Mine is this bow necklace!

2. Leave your name and email address in the comments so that I can contact you if you win!  

3.  For an additional entry, you can blog, tweet, or otherwise mention the contest and link to it in the comments :)  

That's it!  Thanks for entering and huge thanks to Silver Lining Decor for the giveaway!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Anthropologie Opens in Penn Quarter

Last Thursday, I had the privilege of attending the store opening party at the new Anthropologie store in Penn Quarter.  I took the Metro in, and it was such a quick walk from the Metro Center stop.  The area is full of great restaurants and shopping already, so it's a wonderful place to put an Anthro store.

I met up with Sara and Rebecca there, which was great as usual.  There were lots of guests there, but it was in no way overcrowded.  There was an employee coming by every few minutes with a cocktail or hors d'oeuvre tray, which was very nice.  Even though there were so many guests picking up and trying on clothing, the store looked great.  I've never seen such a well-organized sale room!

Here are a few scenes from the evening:

I really loved this industrial sculpture in the midst of the most feminine and airy room of clothing.  

I also really loved this "window" with its yellow interior that peeked through to another section of the store.  

This clothing display rocked my world.  I bet it would be hard to maintain beyond opening night, but it's so intriguing!  I wonder if the store will keep doing this beyond the opening. I vote YES!

This is my fitting room roundup.  The line was l-o-n-g and I think I was in it for 30 minutes.  The good thing was that employees kept coming by with drinks for people who were waiting.  The bad was that I was less inhibited while shopping.  Note to self: never shop at Anthro tipsy. 

I'm not used to taking mirror shots with the DSLR, but here's my outfit of the night!  And boy, am I excited about it!

Thank you to Anthropologie for inviting me to the event!  I'll have some fitting room pictures up soon, since I managed to snap a few that evening.  

What do you think of the new store?  Don't you LOVE that commingled clothing display?  Or would it frustrate you too much to have everything mixed up like that?  (My mom's answer would be that she's too Type A for that business.  Right, ma?)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Anthropologie Fall Picks

Hello, readers!  It's a wonderful Thursday and I have the day off school for Rosh Hashanah.  Shana Tova to all who celebrate the new year today :)  

I decided to finally let my guard down and browse the collection online at Anthropologie today.  Oh my, I was so overwhelmed with cute and whimsical new pieces!  Fall is always the season I do the most shopping in, and it looks like this season will be no exception.  

Tarpan Buttondown , $88, by Odille in red motif
This cute blouse comes in several prints- horses, a twee menagerie, and mice.  My favorite is the mouse blouse, since it's got a cute monochromatic pink-on-pink theme and is more subdued.  

Looking Forward Top, $78, by Deletta
A simple, beautifully draped tee.  It reminds me of my Anna Sui dress from 2008.  It looks so comfortable, too!  I'm just afraid it would be too sheer, and I worry that the rayon in it would make for an uncomfortable day of teaching.  

Slung Sash Tee, $88, by Bailey 44 in moss
A sexy tee from Anthropologie?  I love it!  I like all the colors, but am most drawn to this deep green for fall and winter.  The reviews seem promising, but I might have to hold out 'til sale to avoid paying $88 for a t-shirt. 

Adelie Blouse, $158, by Charlotte Taylor
Oh. My. Goodness.  This is definitely my #1 pick for fall, as long as it doesn't look clownish on.  It's the perfect sky blue color, with an adorable peter pan collar and cinched waist.  It looks super flattering, and I am not afraid to wear a penguin blouse.  Penguins mate for life!

Salix Petal Blouse, $98, by Odille
I love the bold primary colors and feminine shape of this blouse.  I think it would look great with pants or a skirt, and I have lots of complimentary cardigans to go with it.  

Unconditional Osier Dress, $168, by Weston Wear in blue
This cute little dress has already caused quite the buzz in our community.  It comes in a soft taupe, too, but I think I prefer the blue.  It would be perfect for a holiday work party, Thanksgiving dinner, or just with tights, boots, and a cardigan. 

Alabaster Tassels Sweater, $148, by Far Away From Close 
I don't believe I've heard of this brand at Anthro before, but I do love this darling little sweater.  It looks sweet and subdued on the model, whose makeup is seriously perfect for the colder seasons.  I love her earrings, too.

Neckercheif Sweater, $78, by Knitted and Knotted
What's not to love about a periwinkle pointelle sweater with a necktie?  It's feminine and decidedly retro, with a nice slim fit.  I'm trying to think of outfits to make with this one and many already come to mind.  The price is not bad, either, for Anthro.

AG Stevie Cords, $168, by Adriano Goldschmeid in purple
I love my AG Stevie Ankle jeans in dark gray, and years ago I tried the cords on, too.  They felt like PJs and I always wished I had just bought them.  In high school, I wore burgundy cords at least once per week, and these feel like a modern version of those.

Pleated Ponte Skirt,  $88, by Maeve
I'm a sucker for a good A-line skirt in a pretty color.  Since this one is ponte, it would be perfect for the winter months, but in a happy color to keep things fresh.  The pleats are gorgeous and I hope it doesn't make me look like a tent.

Go Lightly Wedges, $148, by Seychelles
I am definitely a lover of wedges, and these look awesome.  They are a mix of geeky librarian and chic fashonista, which I love.  The color is my only qualm.  It looks like it could get scuffed up easily.

Belted Booties, now $138.50 with the promotion, by Schuler & Sons
I adore a good bootie!  These are simple in color and shape with interesting details like the belt and open top.  I think these are a little more classy and "older" than my style usually favors, but I think that would make them a good addition to my closet.

Striped Steps Socks, Horizontal, $18, by Tinoretta
If there's one item I'm definitely getting from this list, it's these socks!  My husband loves Paul Smith socks, and when we saw these he thought they were a women's version of his own.  He bought Paul Smith socks for his groomsmen and they wore them for our wedding.  James is all the way on the left with the white shoes and rainbow socks :) 
Photo by Gabe Aceves

So, what do you think?  What are you loving for fall this year?  I can't wait to hear your picks!