Friday, November 29, 2013

Have a Vegan DIY Holiday with Vegan Food Gifts!

If presents are something on your to-do list this holiday season, why not skip the mall this year and do some vegan gift giving DIY style?  After all, there really is no better way to spread the vegan love than with a chocolate chip cookie, or a basket of freshly baked muffins.

The project I am sharing below is for a non-edible gift.  But check in throughout the month as I post other edible gift ideas.  You can also check out previous posts for Saltine Butter Toffee, Twigs and Berries, Hearty Pasta with Chick'n Soup Mix, Jalapeno Jam, Strawberry Pineapple Orange Cake Mix, or Home Made Spicy Dill Pickles.

To inspire you further, I am giving away a copy of the book to one reader, anywhere in the world, so just follow the prompts in the widget below!

These simple placemats are meant to be used as lap mats as part of the Movie Night Gift Basket, on page 116, but I think they make a snazzy gift all on their own, or as a wonderful addition to any gift basket. Or even just to jazz up your own tabletop.  And, I think they got a little passed over in the book, with not much attention paid to them, so I wanted to share this project here.  Especially since giving vegan food gifts are great, but once tey are eaten...they are gone.  At least these little guys will remain on tabletops for years to come.

Reversible Placemats from Vegan Food Gifts (page 117)

A couple of notes:
This is a great way to use up scrap fabric.
You can totally add fringe, rick-rack, dingle balls, ribbons, buttons, appliqu├ęs, ruffles, simple piping, or any kind of accoutrements to these adorable placemats.
I make them by hand (because I am too lazy to go out to the shed and unpack my sewing machine) but feel free to use a machine, or any kind of stitch to finish your edges. When doing it by hand, if I am not adding a ruffle or fringe, I like to use a blanket stitch for its decorative value, as well as its ability to create a finished edge.

To make one placemat you will need:
felt interfacing
embroidery thread or yarn
needle with a large eye
measuring tape
optional notions for decorating

1. Press fabric to eliminate wrinkles and creases and measure two rectangles of fabric to 13 1/2 x 19
1/5-inches. Measure one rectangle of felt interfacing to 12 1/2 x 18 1/2-inches.

2. Fold over a 1/4-inch seam allowance and press in place on all 4 sides of both fabric rectangles.

3. Sandwich the felt interfacing in between the 2 fabric panels, making sure there is a 1/4-inch seam allowance on all 4 sides.

4. Pin in place.

5. Finish using a simple blanket stitch.

6. Press flat with an iron to complete.

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Gift Giving Made Easy! Vegan Cuts Beauty Box, Cruelty Free and Awesome!

Vegan Cuts

I know, I know, this is a vegan food blog, and lately I have been talking about a lot more than food.  Movies, products, and now make-up?  Well, yes. Because I know that veganism extends far beyond the plate.  Veganism is part of every aspect of my life.  From the products I use to clean my home, to the clothes I wear, and yes, even to my deodorant.

That's why I think the Beauty Box from Vegan Cuts is so awesome.  Each month they send you a box full of about 4 to 7 (In this case it was 6) cruelty free beauty products.  Some are sample sized and some are full sized.  This allows me to try out all sorts of cool new products without having to shop around.  And if I love it, I can buy more through the Vegan Cuts Market Place.

Below is a picture of this month's delivery.  And it came at the perfect time.  Right before all of the holiday parties begin, and this box is full of holiday sparkle!

For your viewing pleasure, I have decided to put on all of the products included in this months box at the same time.  Now while you cannot see the Calming Spa Seaweed Soap from Earth's Enrichments, please know that its minty tingle is indeed refreshing and calming.  And the Death by Lavender all natural deodorant from North Coast Organics is also pretty boss.  I haven't had much luck with natural deodorants in the past, so this one is a godsend.  I will definitely be ordering a full size version of this.

The Rainbow Honey nail polish is pretty phenomenal.  One thing I usually hate about sparkly glitter nail polich is that it usually takes a few coats to get a real good solid color.  Not this stuff.  I only used one coat, and it is bright and sparkly, and dries pretty fast too.  Being someone who works with my hands a lot, I simply don't have time to be fussing with my nails, so a quick swipe of this polish and a few minutes to dry, and I am good to go.

Next up is the Medusa's Makeup 3-in-1 body shimmer, blush, and theatrical foundation.  Whoa.  When they say shimmer, they mean it.  I have never seen so much sparkle!  It is very, very, very intense, so just a little tiny bit goes a long way, and because of the crappy cell phone pic, you cannot see how much my face is glowing with shimmer, and I barely used any at all.  I applied it with the super soft brush that came with it, and it when on like a dream.  I am really looking forward to using this on my decolletage when I get dressed up all fancy for date night or holiday parties.

Last, but definitely not least, is the Pacifica Coconut Kiss Creamy Lip Butter.  It looks bright ass red in the little pot, but goes on sheer like a lip balm, which I love, because I am not good at wearing lipstick.  I lick it off and smear it all over the place. But because this is sheer and light, it gives a smooth bit of color without all of the fuss.

Overall, this was an awesome box!  I know I will use and reorder almost everything in the box and can't wait for my December box to show up.  I also plan on ordering some of these subscribtions as holiday gifts for the lasies in my life.  I mean who wouldn't want a cool box of fun beauty products to arrive each and every month?  The gift that keeps on giving!

Vegan Cuts

Full disclosure: I received this particular box for free from Vegan Cuts so that I could review it. And although this box was free, I loved it so much I signed up for a paid monthly subscription. My opinions are honest and my own. I am also paid a small comission for each product sold through Vegan Cuts when you click through my website links.
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2012 Copyright/Permissions/Disclaimers

All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, or remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni