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The Adventures

Here’s a round-up of what I saw, did, and read this month! Follow my Instagram Stories for in-the-moment photos + videos. You can find years of Adventures here.

The News:

The View:

A post shared by Tara Swiger (@taraswiger) on

A post shared by Tara Swiger (@taraswiger) on

A post shared by Tara Swiger (@taraswiger) on

A post shared by Tara Swiger (@taraswiger) on

A post shared by Tara Swiger (@taraswiger) on

The Finds:

I’m reading:

I'm watching:

I'm eating:

 

What did you read, listen to and eat last month? Come tell me on Facebook!

The Adventures – July 2016

 

Here's a round-up of what I saw, did, and read this month! Follow me on SnapChat for in-the-moment photos + videos!

The News:

  • I'm teaching a full-day marketing workshop for yarn-y people, in collaboration with a yarn rep/store owner this month! Join us here.
  • If you're in the UK, check the only biz-focused workshops I'll be holding during my tour in November! Join before spots fill up! 

The view

IMG_0225 IMG_0212 IMG_0185 IMG_0170 IMG_0139 IMG_0102 IMG_0049

I am so grateful for…

  • Good books
  • An amazing team (thanks Jess + Jay!) that makes things happen even when I can't
  • A quick trip to the beach, before my teaching gig

The Finds:

I’m reading:

I’m eating:

  • Homemade corn dogs – so simple and cute! Take cornbread muffins + pop in a bit of (vegan) hot dog: homemade corn pups!
  • ALL of the basil pesto (I don't measure it anymore, but this is the basic idea)
  • Blueberry pancakes topped with blueberry syrup (just cook the blueberries on medium heat until they pop and get gooey)

 

How about you? What went well in your month?

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

Homemade cinnamon roll + coffee + knitting + Gilmore Girls = perfect Saturday morning. #taralovesmornings
I woke up to uneasy snuggles. This is the closest they've ever been (touching!) and the peace holds only if they don't acknowledge the other exists.   #taralovesmornings #catsofinstagram #caturday
Pho for dinner.  With roast broccoli, cilantro, lime, pickled ginger, tofu and noodles. #whatveganseat

I am so grateful for…

  • A warm home on cold nights
  • A fantastically warm welcome to my newest thing
  • Saying yes to something new and big and exciting

The Finds:

I’m thinking about:

  • Since reading this post (and a zillion other studies) on the importance of standing up every 20 minutes, I downloaded Timer+ and set up a timer to go off every 20 minutes until 8 or 9 at night. I'm walking more steps and feel less achy at the end of the day.
  • You know I love CoSchedule (I go into detail about how I use it here), and this is a great post about fixing your Bounce Rate. (It convinced me to rewrite the headline on my Home page.)
  • Jay is not into sweaters, so when he asked if I could knit something like this, I was thrilled. But now I can't find any patterns that are similar. Suggestions?

I’m eating: 

In case you missed it: 

  • Be a Professional. Make the shift.
  • Overcome by self-doubt? You're not alone!
  • I announced my newest thing (an awesome new class series, built to give you your best biz in 2015) to my email list and the reaction was delightful. If you aren't on the list, and you're curious, sign up here.

I've had a few questions this week about how to listen to the podcast, so I wanted to answer them here, in case you were wondering: 

  • If you don't usually listen to podcasts (and don't use an app on your phone), you can simply listen via the player in each post (it's a little arrow button under each picture. If you click it, it will play!)
  • Or you can download each episode! In the “How to Listen” section of each podcast post, there is a link (embedded in the words “download it”) to the MP3. If you click it, the MP3 will start playing right away . If you right click, you can save it to your computer.
  • If you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod, you can use the “Podcast” app to listen – just click “add podcast”, search for “explore your enthusiasm” and select “subscribe”. This will ensure that each new episode will go write to your phone!
  • No matter what device you're on, you can listen to the podcast via Stitcher here.

What adventures have you had?

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

Yay! Fall! #yayfall
For the first time in years I knit an actual swatch. In 2 different needles. I even washed and blocked it! For my #bluesandcardigan out of Flannel Plucky Primo. #plucktember
Yay! I am holding @mercedesknits's book in my hands and it is GREAT! Happy birthday, friend and congrats on a job well done!  I am so thrilled to have been able to see the amazing stuff you've made over the years! Love you!
A VERY good Saturday morning. #taralovesmornings   (More on my (crazy) #greatbooksproject on the FB page. Link in profile. Join me?)
I so love this mossy little bridge over a tiny creek, in the middle of a totally normal neighborhood. #foundwhilerunning in #easttennessee    #taralovesmornings
My knitting matches the nebula in Wrath of Khan. #geekySaturday

I am so grateful for…

  • Getting to play a small part in the successes of Starship Captains (and getting to share their celebrations!)
  • Hours spent reading + my new reading project.
  • New obsessions.

The Finds:

I’m reading:

I’m eating: 

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

Yay! Magnolia trees! #foundwhilerunning
Note to Future Self: you are happier when you put in random receipts every month. (I skipped it in Q2. Sigh.)  Today = very last step of taxes - finalizing my expense category totals. #smallbizglamour #keepinitreal
Flowering trees! Yay! (What is it, cherry?) A VERY warm 3 mi today.  #foundwhilerunning
Special dinner for The Walking Dead: #vegan manicotti. (Recipe from @vegangela_food.)
Best $2 buy. #yayspring

I am so grateful for…

  • The support and generosity of the Starship Captains. They've been blowing my mind with their vulnerability and kindness to each other this week.
  • $2 tulips
  • Finishing + filing my taxes!
  • Flowering trees! Every corner brings a new smile.

The Finds:

I'm reading:

I'm listening to: 

I'm cooking: 

  • These gluten-free, vegan, protein-rich cookies are actually super tasty!
  • Manicotti! Cheese-stuffed manicotti was the first special meal I made for Jay and for years it was our anniversary dinner. Since going vegan I kinda forgot about it. But this recipe brought it back!

I'm teaching locally:  

In case you missed it: 

Note!
My website's getting a spring cleaning this weekend! It may be offline for around 24 hours from Saturday afternoon – Sunday. So don't fret! We'll be back on Monday with a new site, a new shop and a brand new class! (Sign up here to be the first to know!)

What were your adventures this week?  

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

 

Announcement:
For this weekend only, shipping on a signed copy of my book is $5, no matter where you live. I'm gonna change it on Monday (it's a mistake! Shipping Priority to Europe costs  $20+!), but until then, grab it here. (Note that this doesn't apply if you buy it from my publisher or Amazon…because I'm not in charge of their shipping!)

The View

This is the give-me-your-dinner look. Seriously, yet sleepy.
Because it's a snow day (again). Because it's my mom's birthday (hi mom!) & I wish she was here to have a cup with me. Because it's also my roomie's birthday & I miss  her. Coffee break with #Vegan coffee cake in the middle of a workday. #yearofmaking 29/
Turning row for the bottom hem. Yay! #yearofmaking 27/365
From breakfast: fluffy, amazing pancakes. After a week without sugar they were PERFECT. (@isachandra's recipe, from theppk.com) #yearofmaking 26/365
As much as I LOVE snow, this is keeping from my pal's bridal shower. Not loving that. (This was taken about 15 minutes before I tried to drive up my driveway. Where my car got stuck.) #snowedin

I am so grateful for…

 

The Finds

I just love these “Rules for Living Online” from Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge.

Don’t Share What You’re Not Ready to Hear Feedback On

The internet is a two-sided street. You’re not talking in a vacuum and you’re not talking only to people who agree with you. So if you want to rant about something, be prepared to hear from people who disagree. If you want to expose something you’re deeply sensitive or unsure about, be prepared to have people challenge you on it. If you’re not ready for that, it’s not the right time to share that thought.”

 

I spent the first part of the week obsessing over creating my own DIY planner (I just can't find one to suit me, and while I love my journal for weekly planning/daily to-do lists…I need some place to track future plans.) iHanna's pages look perfect. As do the (many) downloads from AhhDesigns. I'm going to experiment (of course!) and report back.

 

Quilts! I'm back to geeking out over them. Especially this St. Louis 16 patch, Quilt Improv (I really really want it!), and everything at Red Pepper Quilts + Stitched in Color. And my mom texted me (again!) to thank her for the Christmas gift of Quilting Happiness (here's why I loved it).

 

Recipes we tried this week: 

 

How was your week? 

 

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The View

I insisted on continuing to type, so we came to a compromise.
House to myself after a long, cold day = #vegan (cashew& red pepper) mac&cheese. #yearofmaking 23/365
This morning's pre-writing reading. @neilhimself's Make Good Art. #yearofmaking 21/365
Today's office, piled with hand knits, aka Survival Gear. (That's a Malabrigo beret, crocheted handwarmers in @mercedesknits yarn, and my own hand spun in @_leethal_'s Betiko.)

 

I am so grateful…

  •  to be home!
  • for the handknits necessary to survive the unnaturally cold winter!
  • for cups of coffee with my favorite creamer.
  • for a lovely, refreshing trip.
  • Super-exciting new project! (hint: a retreat! To be the first to hear about it, sign up here)

 

 

The Finds

 

 

Recipes we tried this week:

  • The above (vegan) mac+cheese is an adapted version of Isa's (I just add more garlic/lemon/nootch to taste).
  • Vegan Reubans = YUM (PS. This is more work than I'd ever do, but Jay loves it so he makes it)
  • Bindi Masala, from Isa Does It
  • Lentil Quinoa soup, from Isa Does It
  • The AMAZING tempeh meatballs + spicy marinara from…Isa Does It! Friends, we have a new favorite meatball.

(Yes, we're addicted to our new book. And yes, you should buy it, vegan or not! My mom did + loves it!)

 

 

 

 

How to enjoy the holidays as a vegan

 

I had a lovely Thanksgiving yesterday, how about you? All my planning and baking turned out great, and my vegan dishes got 4 thumbs up from the 13 year old twins. Now that the holiday season has officially begun, and the meal-including invitations are starting to fill our our calendar, I'm thinking a lot about how to enjoy the season as a vegan.

The cardinal law of being a vegan (or vegetarian, or gluten-free) is simple: Bring your own food. But beyond that, figuring out what to bring can be a challenge. Here are a few things to think about before you pick a recipe:

1. Find the spirit of the event.

Every holiday party has its own personality. Thanksgiving with my in-laws is about big plates of food and every sibling and cousin in one place around the long table. Thanksgiving with my mom is hot chocolate, cookies, tree lighting and craftiness. For some families, it's that Norman Rockwell brining-the-turkey-to-the-table moment.

Before you explore your vegan options for an event, take a second to acknowledge what you want to experience and what you love about it. Is there anything you don't want to feel you're missing out on? What doesn't matter as much to you? How can you take part in the spirit of the thing?

Can you spot the vegan options?

For example, at the big Swiger family dinner, everyone brings several dishes to share, so it's no big deal for me to bring 3 vegan dishes. Jay and I can load up our plates with food we love, and no one notices except to compliment it (out of the three sweet potato options, mine were the only ones completely devoured!).

2. Focus on the seasonal flavors.

 

A lot of vegetarians try to recreate the entire omnivore meal plan, which can be interesting, but is it really what you want?

 

What are the flavors you're most exited about? Focus on recreating those, or make sure there'll be a vegan option. The thing I always loved about Thanksgiving is the stuffing: sage-y, thyme-y, savory; paired with tart cranberries. I've made veggie stuffings in the past, but this year I made a chickpea tart that had the same flavor. My husband loves desserts, so I brought us a vegan version. Neither one of us ever cared about the turkey, so I don't worry about Tofurkey or Field Roasts.

3. Bring what you love.

While it's awesome when your uncle falls in love with vegan black bean empanadas, don't drive yourself crazy pleasing others. Be content that as long as you love it, and it improves your experience: it was worth the effort.

 

And now that you have some ideas for how to pick, here are the recipes I've used (and loved) in the last few years:

  • Black bean squash empanadas, from The Veganomicon – brought to last year's Thanksgiving, and gone to moans and compliments in under 10 minutes.
  • Festive Chickpea Tart– made the night before (but not baked) and then frozen. It thawed as we drove the 3 hours to meal and then baked for 30 minutes. Delicious!
  • These sweet potatoes – they beat out the other two options on the table.
  • Brownie Pumpkin Pecan pie – easier than it sounds.
  • Elvis cupcakes, from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World – a family favorite! Banana cupcakes filled with peanut butter frosting and topped with chocolate ganache.
  • Maple pecan pie – made this for just us…and I'm smitten.

What do you do to enjoy the many eating opportunities during the holidays?

 

This is the first in a series on “How to enjoy the holidays as a…” (Maker, Introvert, Writer, etc)

Have any suggestions for what I should cover next?

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Good Shtuff

A sorta random collection of the good stuff I've been reading, watching, listening to. (Subtext: I'm prepping for classes and am running out of words)

Be a Scout

Copylicious's Secret Scout emails are rocking my world. She writes about bear attacks and forest fires, but she's really talking about fixing your copy (copy = all the writing that sells anything, from Etsy descriptions to your home page). They make me laugh EVERY time and then make me go “hmm…I think I'll go fix up that page”.

Seriously. Go sign up.

Now.

Start a fire

I don't even know how to start talking about Danielle's FireStarter Sessions. In the two months since reading it, everything is changed.

I launched this here website.
I started offering (and getting booked up!) IdeaStorming + The Recipe and I adore getting up to go to work each morning.

I have waaay more to say (soon!), but wanted to let you know that now she's selling just one chapter (and it's the one that has my favorite exercise!) for $20. After you read it, you're going to want to get the whole book, but check it out first.

Circle

If you are even a little woo-woo (and I know you are), you probably already love Leonie, she of the rainbows and sunshine. But did you know that you can get ALL of her classes for $99. I mean, $99 for all of them together.

Her generosity is inspiring me to find new ways of sharing helpfulness.

Bake something

Totally unrelated to business, but vital to my, you know, life: I'm gluten-intolerant. I just discovered this a few months ago and Shawna's book + blog, Gluten-Free Girl, has made the transition an exciting and tasty adventure. I'm also a big fan of the recipes I've made from Gluten Free Goddess.

But the absolute pinnacle of my gluten-free experience has been Bob's Red Mill bread mix. Homemade bread. Better than any other bread EVER (gluten or no).

Or not…

My weekly farmer's market adventures have got me looking for new ways to enjoy while it's fresh. Enter Natalie's (free e-course) on going raw. And Mona's inspiring story.

I'm pretty much obsessed with raw and while I'm not giving up my (veggie) enchiladas anytime soon, going raw until dinner is easy-peasy.

Share your story

What are you reading? Share it in the comments.