I want to greet you guys for an apology for my lack presence on this piece of the internet. But I’m only half sorry. I dislike when blog posts begin with an apology for not blogging for a period of time. I don’t blame other creators for having a hiatus, which was what 2017 was for me. 2017 was a growing period where I primarily worked on projects like running the social media pages for Mead’s Green Door Cafe and Creative Cakes. (Go give them a follow!) I talk more about my hiatus in my video about where I’ve been. I do miss blogging/vlogging and having community with y’all, so I’m making it a point to return this year.
What I lacked in documenting here on the blog, I made up for it on Instagram. I’ve rounded up some highlights from Instagram and the travel videos I posted on the blog this year.
My favorite dude turned 10 years old the first day of 2017. We adopted Timber in June of 2009 when he was 1 1/2 so we decided the first of the year will be his birthday. (2009 was also the year I became vegan. Timber had a lot to do with my decision.) I can’t believe he was 10 and is now 11! Time flies!
I believe this may have happened in 2016, but I documented it in 2017. I wrote a mini travel guide to Athens, Greece (here are more extensive guides: Vegan Options in Athens, Greece & A Guide to Athens, Greece) and TeenVGN published it in their minimag!
Definitely not a highlight but something I want to remember. Our dear Autumn passed away in March. She was such a silly, spunky girl who was always a joy to be around. I truly miss her.
At the end of March/beginning of April we went on a mini Europe tour. We visited some cities we hadn’t been to before, Lisbon, Vienna, Glasgow and Edinburgh & revisited some favorites, Barcelona, Paris, and London.
I didn’t feel inclined to vlog at the beginning of the trip (Lisbon, Barcelona & Vienna). My intention was to vlog with my DSLR and I just didn’t do it because it felt bulky and touristy. I decided to start vlogging with with my phone while in Versailles, and ended up vlogging while in France and England.
Visiting England is always in the cards for me and I really enjoyed our time. We felt very comfortable in London because we had been there before. We were told multiple times that we were visiting during really great weather. (Especially at Stonehenge. We had such clear skies!) Check out our vlogs while in London (Part I | Part II) and our day trip to Stonehenge & Bath.
We took a nice trip to San Diego in May. Found out that San Diego is a place Keith and I really love. The main reason we went to San Diego was for Modern Times’ Festival of Funk. But we also hit up the dog beach and had some yummy vegan food.
Plant Power is another must have while in San Diego (or Encinitas!). I think it’s always a good idea to say yes to vegan fast food. We had their Big Zac which is their version of the Big Mac. Definitely recommend it!
We stumbled across Anthem Vegan while at the Hillcrest Farmers Market and a breakfast burrito was in order. I got the SoWestern Steak Breakfast Burrito. SO BIG. SO FILLING. SO YUMMY. They’re opening a location soon, so it’ll be nice to hit them up on a more regular basis.
Major shoutout to Hoa Sen Vegetarian Restaurant in 2017. Keith and I wanted to try something new on our 12th anniversary and went Hoa Sen, a vegan restaurant in Garden Grove that we fell in love with. We ended up going there multiple times throughout the year and will continue to go there.
Keith was raised on bowling and I just recently got into it, and LOVE IT. Playing sports my whole life, I’ve picked up on it pretty decently. We started bowling in league and I qualified to compete in a tournament. I was in the lowest division but I won first place! (I’m continuing to bowl this year and will be going to a tournament in Las Vegas this spring!)
I have an interesting relationship with my birthday. (I feel weird about people making me feel special or having a gathering on my behalf, but I feel like it would be better for me if I got over that.) This past year, I felt extra special because there was increase in people that wished me well. Might as well embrace my birthday because it’s nice to feel special once in a while.
We took a weekend trip to the Colorado River in Arizona for Keith’s mom, Leslie’s 30th, I mean, 60th birthday. We rode a boat up and down the river and had a really lovely time.
My favorite food is mac n cheese so I always enjoy trying different vegan recipes. VegNews has a very popular recipe that I absolutely LOVED and highly recommend. And I tried Vegan Yack Attack’s Truffle Mac n Cheese with Spinach for Thanksgiving and it was a hit! (The recipe is in the October  issue of VegNews.) It was a crowd favorite and I feel that it works really well for holidays.
At the beginning of the year, Veggie Grill had invited me to try their VG Beyond Burger featuring Beyond Meat. It was a fun opportunity to try their revolutionary burger. Their goal was to make a classic cheeseburger that everyone can relate to, and I think they hit the nail on the head.
Minestrone is one of my favorite soups and after we tried Minimalist Baker’s 1 Pot Vegan Minestrone, I was hooked. It’s full of comfort and nutrition and we’ve made it a handful of times during the last half of the year.
And that was 2017! I always enjoy rounding up the best of the year (Check out Best of 2016 and Best of 2015!) because ultimately it makes me realize how fortunate I am. Thank you for following along and hope to see more of you in 2018!