Photo creds: Sydney Rueppel + Zach Fossier
Check out our adventures traveling from Georgia to Washington below!
How did 2 vegans and 1 vegetarian stay well fed on a road trip from Georgia to Washington? Is it possible to make it across the state of South Dakota without eating meat (and also not starving)? But how healthy did we actually eat during 7 days of driving cross country? Find out below!
When traveling, my philosophy with food is to make healthy choices about 75% and splurge the other 25%, and the splurges I do have are usually local treats. That way I have a good balance of healthy eating while also enjoying what the area has to offer!
The Southern V
Vegan. Soul. Food. That’s about all you need to know. Stop by for some killer jackfruit BBQ, crispy “chicken” sandwiches, creamy mac and cheese, and classic baked beans.
KANSIS CITY, MO
Cafe Gratitude was a gem to discover a few years back when we road-tripped to Colorado for a vacation. The entire menu is plant-based and they have a huge range of raw options as well – try the chai milkshake which is to die for!
SIOUX CITY, IA
Coffee and Nosh Food Truck
Such a fun find in the small town of Sioux City, Iowa which hosts Food Truck Fridays over the summer! We got one of their bowls with jackfruit instead of meat. It was a fresh and delicious snack!
RAPID CITY, SD
I’ll admit it – I was a bit wary of trying an Indian/Nepalese restaurant in South Dakota. But Everest Cuisine was a delicious surprise with a great variety of vegetarian and vegan options! Their vegetable samosas and yellow lentil dish never disappoint.
Taco Johns + Taco Time
So no, fast food Mexican is generally not a super healthy dining option. But play the menu right and you can put together a quick vegetarian meal that is a way better option than french fries or cheese pizza. The bean tacos and burritos from Taco Johns are a solid choice, and you can get a side of guacamole for only $1.00! Taco Time is another great option as they offer bowls which can easily be made vegetarian.
Boy, did we get lucky in Bozeman. Dinner was from Red Tractor Pizza: with vegan crust and cheese options and a huge range of fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, you can put together an amazing pizza (I recommend adding fresh basil, rosemary roasted squash, and roasted brussel sprouts)! We were equally spoiled the next morning with The Nova Cafe’s breakfast of a blue algae smoothie bowl and potato hash with forbidden black rice – the perfect way to kick off your day.
So. Many. Restaurants.
Seriously, there are soooo many crazy good vegetarian/vegan options in and around Seattle. From an entirely plant-based restaurant chain only found on the west coast (Veggie Grill) to vegan nachos (El Borracho), pizza (Pizza Pi), donuts (Mighty-O Donuts) and more, Seattle has so much to offer.
There you have it folks. Thanks so much for reading, and stay tuned for more Seattle-related posts soon!
Hey my peeps!
At the beginning of 2018 my boyfriend, Solomon, shipped off for 3 1/2 months of basic training after joining the Army National Guard. The experience of being apart and only communicating through letters was incredibly challenging but even more so rewarding, so we decided to film a video telling you all about what it was like! To be honest, this isn’t really an “advice” video because, honestly, neither of us are qualified to give relationship advice and everyone’s situation is different. BUT if you are currently (or will soon be) going through a similar experience, hopefully this video makes you feel a little bit better about what it might be like. Ultimately, we are both so thankful for those few months; they challenged us and pushed us to grow not only as a couple, but also as individuals. If you find yourself in a similar situation, I hope you take it as an opportunity to explore and grow and thrive, rather than just an obstacle to get through as quickly as you can. Enjoy the experience as best you can!
I hope you enjoy this video, and if you enjoyed having Solomon on the blog let me know – maybe I’ll let him back on in the future 😉
It’s been a hot minute since I last updated the blog – between school, work, and spending time with friends and family, it’s been a busy spring semester. Here’s what I’ve been up to and what’s to come:
As for the rest of the summer – I’ll be focusing on working a lot to save up for the fall semester and spending time with my parents and friends. Although I’ll be staying in Georgia for most of the summer, I am planning to fly up to Seattle once my parents have moved to help them settle in. I’m also hoping to spend some time exploring the southeast and hopefully getting in a few backpacking and rock-climbing trips!
The first few months of 2018 have flown by and, sadly, I don’t think the rest of the year will slow down much. I can’t wait for what’s to come and I plan to share my adventures as they unfold.
Until next time!
Towards the middle of my first semester living at college, I began to experience a lot of anxiety. There were entire days where I felt like my heart was constantly racing and my mind was unable to focus on anything. What few moments of peace I did have were tainted by the fear that they would be short-lived. I was struggling to get simple things done or enjoy experiences that should have been fun and lighthearted. Although I’ve experienced anxiety before, I had never felt it to this degree. But instead of letting it dictate my time and emotions, I made an effort to work through the experience and address it. If you’re someone who experiences anxiety or even just struggles to find peace in the hectic schedule of college, here are some things that worked for me (and most of these work whether you’re a student or not!):
1. Confide in someone
Whether it’s a friend at school, a family member, or a pen pal, it’s always important to have a person you can rant to without judgment. Sometimes they will have advice or a different perspective you wouldn’t have thought of yourself – but sometimes it’s just nice to let it all out.
2. Manage your responsibilities
If homework, job duties, or other to-do’s start piling up, it will only fuel your anxiety. Take the time to sit down and make a list of what you need to work on, in order of priority. Don’t try to do it all at once or you’ll just fizzle out – schedule manageable amounts of work throughout the day.
3. Create a relaxing environment to work/live in
My dorm room often becomes the “meeting place” for my group of friends and even though I love hanging out with everyone, I know that if I need to get work done, I can’t do it with a lot of other people in the room or I’ll just get distracted. Don’t be afraid to take time for yourself to get stuff done, even if it means stepping away from the fun for a minute! Similarly, I try to make sure my dorm always feels cozy and inviting so that I can de-stress. (Check out my Dorm Room Essentials post for tips!)
4. Commit to a wellness routine
One of the best ways for me to channel my anxiety is through working out and getting active. Whether it’s going to the gym or taking a hike, grabbing a friend to knock out a killer workout will refocus your mind and make you feel refreshed. If working out isn’t your thing, try yoga or gentle stretches. Yoga with Adriene has some fantastic 30-day series on Youtube, but even taking 5 minutes in the morning to stretch and wake your body up will make a difference in the tone of your day. Don’t forget about nutrition too – make a point to eat fresh foods and try to avoid the greasy, processed foods, at least throughout the week. Treat yourself when you really need it, but take everything in moderation!
5. Go to therapy
For a lot of people, the idea of therapy can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Most colleges will offer free counseling or therapy sessions – take advantage of them! Everyone will get something different out of the experience and you may find that it’s not for you, but it’s always valuable to take advantage of the resources available to you. Having a neutral party you can discuss your life with can be very cathartic once you get past the initial awkwardness.
Hello all and happy 2018!
To kick of this year, I wanted to share some off my dorm room essentials with you. Let’s delve in!
An oil diffuser – I got mine as a Christmas gift and it has made a huge difference in the coziness of my dorm room! I love mixing up what oils I put in depending on my mood that day – sometimes I prefer something with peppermint to give me energy, while other days I like a touch of cinnamon to fight off oncoming sicknesses. There are tons of oil diffuser and essential oil options out there; I have the AromaSphere by Serene Living which is great because of how small and easy it is, and I received a kit of Seasonal Change essential oils from NOW Foods which have proven amazing.
A pin-board (or something else to display memories from throughout the semester) – once you start attending events, taking pictures, or receiving letters and cards, it’s nice to have a cute reminder you can look at throughout the day.
A low-maintenance plant – I always have some sort of plant in my living space, whether it be bamboo, flowers, or succulents. Right before the semester started, my boyfriend gave me this grafted cactus (which I’ve named Frijole in honor of my favorite food). Hopefully I have better luck keeping this one alive than the one I had last semester which I managed to overwater….
A planner and/or journal – Although I need to keep a calendar and reminders on my phone to keep on track throughout the day, I also find it helpful and stress-relieving to have an actual paper planner where I can see big-picture plans and events and actually write things out. Additionally, I think it can be really beneficial to have a small journal or even a penpal who you can write letters to – it’s so cathartic to take the time to write out what’s been going on in your life and what your thoughts/feelings are.
A reusable water bottle – My water bottle goes with me everywhere: classes, car rides, workout sessions, hikes. Not only is it a cool place to collect stickers and a handy reminder to stay hydrated, but it’s also better for the environment!
Non-traditional sources of light – While lamps and overhead lights are obviously helpful and sometimes necessary, I also make a point to use unconventional light sources, like salt lamps and string lights, to help brighten my room. They feel cozier and more welcoming than a harsh, overhead light, and they’re a lot cuter!
Your favorite movies/books/board games – Honestly, you may not have much time to take advantage of them, but having them around is still great for those rare days you have some free time to kill and want to unwind with an old favorite! (Pardon my inclusion of Twilight and the Hannah Montana Movie, it was a moment of weakness with my fellow dorm-mates.)
Personal wall decorations – I didn’t stress too much about having a “theme” or “design” for my room; instead, I found some cool prints, postcards, and wall decorations I liked that didn’t clash, and I used those to add a pop to my otherwise boring dorm walls!
Hello all! At the beginning of December I took a trip with my family to Seattle to get a feel for the town as my parents will be moving there next summer. The trip was incredibly fun and the perfect way to kick off Christmas break, so I wanted to share our itinerary in case you find yourself there and need some ideas of what to see and where to eat!
Day 1: Pike Place Market and the Gingerbread Village
Although our first day mostly consisted of travel, we did have the evening to explore the area around Pike Place Market. The market is probably one of the most famous establishments in Seattle, and although it was closed the night we first went, we came back another day to walk through and see the different vendors. From there, we stopped in Metsker Maps, a super cool store containing – you guessed it – lots of unique maps, postcards, and guidebooks. If you find yourself in downtown Seattle around Christmastime, the Sheraton hosts a Gingerbread Village featuring crazy cool and detailed sculptures all made out of candy! We were also lucky enough to be staying in a hotel right next to the Space Needle which is a beautiful nighttime sight.
Where to eat: Blossom Vegetarian in Renton is a perfect place to grab a bite after a long flight; they have countless vegan options including the best faux chicken nuggets I’ve had! Veggie Grill is a great option as well with a variety of sandwiches, bowls, and sides.
Day 2: Books and Records Galore
We took a lazy Sunday to check out some shops around town: the Elliot Bay Book Company is a really nice store with tons of books and stationary. There are lots of record shops nearby as well so make a point to stop by one and browse away. After picking up some groceries and checking out the well-known Jimi Hendrix Statue on Broadway St., we took some time to relax in the hotel before heading back out for dinner.
Where to eat: vegan waffles and ice cream from The Cookie Counter make for a delicious start to the day. Pizza Pi Vegan Pizzeria has some of the best vegan cheese I’ve had with tons of topping options!
Day 3: Olympic Sculpture Park, Redmond, and Bellevue
Start your morning off by taking a lazy walk through the Olympic Sculpture Park. With lots of interesting sculptures and art pieces and a prime view of the water (we were lucky enough to see a seal!), it’s a beautiful spot. Taking a short walk up towards 5th Avenue will also take you by the Pacific Science Center where you can see some more sculptures and catch a beautiful view of the Space Needle. That day, we took a drive up to Redmond to visit the Microsoft campus and grab drinks at a coffeeshop before catching the sunset in downtown Bellevue and enjoying the Christmas lights. Finish off the day by taking a walk or drive through Candy Cane Lane, a neighborhood in Seattle that goes all out with the Christmas decorations every year.
Where to eat: Teapot Vegetarian House in Redmond is another delicious vegan Asian restaurant to check out – make sure to try their Thai iced tea! If you’re looking for a cup of coffee and a relaxing vibe, stop by SoulFood CoffeeHouse (also in Redmond).
Day 4: MoPOP, Starbucks Reserve, and Kirkland
The Museum of Pop Culture is a super cool stop with exhibits that rotate out – when we visited, they had one about science fiction movies, one about horror movies, several music exhibits about David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix, and a huge area dedicated to Star Trek. After taking our time at the museum, we visited Starbucks Reserve, a location serving blends and drinks you can’t find anywhere else. After lunch nearby, we decided to spend the rest of the day driving through the Lake Washington and Kirkland areas. The homes in these neighborhoods are stunning and they have beautiful views of the water so be sure to check them out if you have the time. Our last day in Seattle was relaxed and fun, the perfect end to a stellar vacation.
Where to eat: El Borracho serves up some amazing vegan nachos with the best vegan queso I’ve had yet.
There you have it! I’m eager to go back and see more of Seattle and the neighborhoods around it. If you need more inspiration, check out my friend Olivia’s blog about her trip to Seattle over the summer: Olivia-Frances.com.
Until next time!
To check out a video of my weekend adventures, click below!
Hi everyone! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve updated the blog. Since college has started I’ve been pretty slammed keeping up with school, work, and spending time with friends and family. This weekend I finally had a minute to relax, sleep in, and laze around… but of course I decided to take that downtime and do some exploring instead of catching up on sleep. Be sure to check out my video from this weekend at the link above!
My first stop on Thursday was Blood Mountain, where I decided to take an overnight camping trip. Although I’ve hiked Blood a bunch of times, I’ve never had the chance to camp at the summit. It wasn’t until after I made all my plans and prepared all my gear that I realized I would be camping the night of Friday the 13th. Alone. On a mountain literally called Blood Mountain.
Somehow, I made it out alive. Friday morning I stopped by Mountain Crossings to shower off, grab some food, and get directions to Amicalola Falls, where I met my longtime friend, Hannah.
After hiking the falls, we made our way to a nearby apple orchard for some apple picking and to enjoy some fried pies.
The next day, my friends from school (Hannah and Mckayla) and I decided to check out Minnehaha Falls, about an hour from the school. The short hike had an incredible payoff, as the waterfall is one of the best in the state, in my opinion. Although there were lots of other people at the falls, it was still beautiful.
On Sunday, my boyfriend Solomon and I hiked up to Rabun Bald, a trail we first explored last summer when tackling Georgia’s 5 tallest mountains in 48 hours! Although the trail is short at 1.6 miles, it’s pretty steep. The views are absolutely worth it (it is the second tallest summit in Georgia). Although I didn’t get many photos or videos from the top because there were lots of people, the views are always stunning.
Hopefully I’ll have more time to update the blog as the semester goes on. I have lots of ideas for future adventures and blogs so stay tuned!
It didn’t take long for me to be convinced that Baby Driver is one of the best Atlanta-filmed movies out there – from the energetic soundtrack to the witty characters and the sleek, exciting car chase scenes, what’s not to like? After seeing the film, I was inspired to adventure around Atlanta and check out some of the filming locations. Take a look below to get all the info on where (and how!) to visit some of the spots from Baby Driver and a few other Atlanta-based movies and shows as well!
Before making the drive to Atlanta, I took some time to plot a course for the spots I wanted to hit in the city. Although I wasn’t able to visit every single location from the film, I had a really fun time finding some of the spots and imagining the city from Baby’s perspective! Here’s everywhere I was able to visit, in order of the first to last place I stopped by:
*Most of the places I decided to just check out in passing or from the street for the sake of saving money on food/parking.
Bacchanalia/JCT Kitchen – 1198 Howell Mill Rd, Atlanta, GA. Although Baby takes Debora on a date to Bacchanalia, a confrontation scene with Kevin Spacey was filmed outside JCT Kitchen right next door!
Octane Coffee – 1009 Marietta St NW, Atlanta, GA (there are several Octane locations)
Margaret Mitchell Square/GSU – I followed my GPS to Margaret Mitchell Square and then entered the address for the GSU bookstore (66 Courtland St NE, Atlanta, GA) to get a good driving route through some of the chase scene areas from the film.
Goodfellas Pizza – 615 Spring St NW, Atlanta, GA
Debora’s Apartment – 921 Myrtle St NE, Atlanta, GA
Bo’s Diner – 5116 GA-85, Forest Park, GA. The actual Bo’s Diner is called Uncle Chucky’s Diner, and although I couldn’t visit it myself, my friend and fellow blogger Olivia was able to – check out her blog and social media for more pictures and info: olivia-frances.com, @aivil0livia on Instagram.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Mockingjay Part 1 & 2
Atlanta Marriott Marquis – 265 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA (recognize that elevator?)
Swan Coach House (aka President Snow’s home) – 130 West Paces Ferry Rd NW, Atlanta, GA – located in the Atlanta History Center
Bellwood Quarry – located in Westside Reservoir Park on Chappell Road Northwest. Although currently closed to the public, work has begun to transform the quarry into a park! You may also recognize the quarry from “The Walking Dead”, “Stranger Things”, and The Fundamentals of Caring.
Sweetwater Creek State Park – 1750 Mt Vernon Rd, Lithia Springs, GA. After paying a small parking fee, take the short path from the visitors center that follows the creek to reach the mill ruins featured in the film.
“The Walking Dead”
Jackson Street Bridge – Jackson St NE, Atlanta, GA. One of the most iconic views of the city skyline and a popular spot for photographers, this bridge was featured heavily in promotion for The Walking Dead as well as the first episode.
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre (aka the CDC) – 2800 Cobb Galleria Pkwy, Atlanta, GA
Senoia, GA (aka Woodbury) – though not located in downtown Atlanta, the town of Senoia acted as Woodbury in the series. Walking tours of the town are available.
Donald Glover’s “Atlanta” is obviously a hotspot for filming locations around the city, including Zesto Drive-In (377 Moreland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA – one of multiple locations) and J.R. Crickets (129 North Ave NE, Atlanta, GA – again, there are multiple locations).
New Netflix show “Ozark“ took over a former restaurant on Lake Allatoona in Canton (6979 Bells Ferry Rd, Canton, GA).
Outside of Atlanta, the town of Jackson, GA was featured in “Stranger Things” while Juliette, GA was the location for Fried Green Tomatoes (check out Whistle Stop Cafe at 443 McCrackin St) and a scene from Baby Driver (filmed at the Round Oak Juliette Road bridge).
Countless other movies and shows have been filmed in Atlanta, from big-budget superhero flicks to small-scale indies and successful comedies and historical biopics alike. Next time you’re in the city, be sure to check out some of these locations and keep an ear out: new projects are being filmed all the time!