Vegan Eats: Disney World Parks

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What’s tasty, vegan, and has mouse-shaped ears? That’s right, the food at Disney World. To conclude our Disney series, this week’s post covers all the delectable vegan food within Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. To show you everything available, this post will be in a bullet-point format to make it easier for you to find what food is available at the park you are going to visit. I’ve organized the food options into the respective parks they can be found in. Initially, I was going to just cover two of the parks, but after some research I realized there were too many options available at each park that I couldn’t help but include them all. You know, in case you go on an epic quest to find all the vegan food available. You never know. Go crazy – try them all! Let’s head down Main Street U.S.A. to begin our magical time at Disney World with some tasty vegan eats.

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Interested in more Disney Vegan Eats? Make sure to check out these other articles I’ve written about vegan food available at Disneyland and Disney Resorts.

Vegan Eats: Disney World Resorts 

Vegan Eats: Disneyland 

Top 5 Comic Book Series/Graphic Novels

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With Comic Con in San Diego less than a month away, I am excited for all things nerdy – cosplay outfits, superhero movie panels, and, of course, comics! I am lucky enough to be attending Comic Con San Diego this year, so stay tuned to keep posted. I will have many posts coming soon about making cosplay outfits and accessories, comic book lists and recommended reads, as well as reviews of the panels that I plan on attending. But, until the end of July rolls around, I’ll probably be focused on making cosplay costumes (can you guess who I’m going as?) and reading as many comics and graphic novels I can get my hands on. So, in the spirit of Comic Con, I thought I’d make you a list of my top five favorite reads for whether you’re new to comics or you are the comic-obsessed veteran. I know comics can sometimes be pricey, so if you can’t afford them then I suggest checking out your local library because they have many comics/graphic novels in circulation. So, I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I did.

watchmenWatchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

There’s a really good reason why this is the only graphic novel to make Time Magazine’s “100 Best Novels” list. It’s simply genius with the double story-line and the amazing world building developed not only through the plot, but through the end-of-chapter-segments ranging from newspaper clippings to adverts. It’s so immersive, I bet you won’t be able to put it down once you pick it up.

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Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

This on-going series is an epic space opera fantasy (have I caught your attention, yet?) depicts a husband and wife, Alana and Marko, from long-warring extraterrestrial races, fleeing authorities from both sides of a galactic war as they struggle to care for their daughter, Hazel, who is born in the beginning of the series and who occasionally narrates the series as an unseen adult. It’s refreshingly humorous and seriously addictive.

lazarusLazarus by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark

This dystopian science fiction comic book series depicts the world divided among sixteen rival families who run their territories in a feudal system. The main character is Forever Carlyle, who is the military leader for the Carlyle family. With the themes of family and loyalty ever present, this story’s amazing world building is similar to Watchmen’s. Also, it’s currently in the works to be adapted for television. So, make sure to read it before it becomes one of the coolest and most badass show on TV.

the wicked and the divineThe Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie

This series is a contemporary fantasy comic book that is largely influenced by pop music and various mythological deities. Imagine gods as rock stars. The narrative follows a young teenage girl, Laura, as she interacts with the Pantheon, a group of twelve people who discover that they are reincarnated deities. This discovery grants them fame and supernatural powers, with the stipulation that they will die within two years – part of a ninety-year cycle known as the Recurrence. This series will make you laugh out loud as well selecting your favorite god to root for.

DescenderDescender by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen

This series follows a young robot’s struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet. In this cosmic odyssey, is pitted humanity against machine, and world against world, to create a sprawling space opera. Plus, the unique illustrations and coloring (resembling watercolor) give a fresh appeal to the story.

 

Vegan Eats: Disney World Resorts

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Continuing with the theme of amusement park fun for the summer, this post will take us across the country to Orlando, Florida – America’s home for roller coasters and resorts. If you plan on going to Disney World, then this is the right post for you. I’m going to share my experience staying at a couple of the resorts within Disney World and explain why I think it can be worth your time and money. So, let’s hop on a plane to that sunny state and discover the best vegan eats at Disney World resorts.

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To read previous Vegan Eats articles, click below:

Disneyland

Vienna

Munich

Amsterdam

London: Part 1

London: Part 2

Book Review: Draw the Line

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After attending the gay pride parade in my town (Olympia, WA), I can say that I am newly reinvigorated with such optimism, hope, and love, that can only come from the LGBTQ community. And in honor of this beautiful spirit, I wanted to review one of my favorite YA books whose main protagonist is a gay, seventeen-year-old artist living in Texas. That book is none other than Laurent Linn’s Draw the Line.

I feel like this book is very underrated and under the radar since I hadn’t heard of it before I found it on the shelves of my library. But, do not overlook this novel. It truly is a hidden gem in the YA genre.

The main character, Adrian, makes such an adorkably cute narrator. With all his nerdy references, Adrian navigates high school by being the class introvert and a talented artist. He stays in the background, until he witnesses a hate crime that pushes him forward, to the point where he cannot remain invisible anymore and he has to step forward and do something about it. Linn wonderfully details high school life with descriptions that are so relatable that almost anyone can see themselves as Adrian. Such as:

“To a gray T-shirt, I added faded jeans, cheap old sneakers, and a gray hoodie … my almost perfect cloak of high school invisibility” (5).

Or, here’s an example of the classic teenage insecurity and doubt that I’m sure all of us have experienced at one time or another:

“Hey, yeah, it kinda works. Oh, god, no it doesn’t” (3).

If you can’t quite relate to the introvert, fly-on-the-wall aspect of Adrian’s personality, then you can easily enjoy the nerdy pop-cultture references. Such as:

“Help me, Obi-wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope. Oh, yes, I pray to Obi-wan” (8).

And, as if you need another reason to pick up this book, Mr. Linn illustrated all the comic panels that Adrian draws in the novel. How awesome is that? Not only can Linn write such an amazing and honest voice that details the high school experience, he can even draw amazing comics!

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Here are some of the comic panels from the novel. Adrian draws upon his life to create his superhero alter ego, Graphite. The comic panels work wonderfully in illustrating Adrian’s thought process after certain events take place. These reflections add so much depth and understanding to the story’s plot. It also helps the reader process the events that take place, so much so that I wouldn’t want to read this novel without them.

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As you can see, I have mad-love for this book. And I think you will enjoy it just as much. So, make sure to check out this book, which dives into the theme of accepting the LGBTQ community in a funny, charismatic way.

Writing in NYC

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If you are like me (writing notes on any scrap of paper to later type up into your novel), then I recommend taking your writing to the next level by going to a writer’s conference. There are several taking place all of the country this summer. These might seem a little pricey, but if you have a complete manuscript ready to be viewed then these conferences are the perfect place to pitch your novel to agents. Plus, all the workshops and seminars you’ll take part in is worth the price of admission alone. At the end of August, I’ll be at The Writer’s Digest annual writer’s conference in New York and I can’t wait to hopefully make some new connections as well as pitch my novel to agents. Wish me luck and fingers crossed 🙂

Summer Bucket List

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I remember as a kid every summer would come and I would have such high aspirations for what I expected to happen. But the thing is, nothing ever happened, especially none of the things I thought would happen. Which was pretty disappointing. But now, as an adult, I’ve learned a few things. One, you need to set clear, realistic goals you want to accomplish and know you can accomplish. Two, make sure you set a reasonable amount of goals – don’t get crazy and wish for everything. And three, find a way to make things happen – if it’s something you really want, then go for it and find a way to get what you want. Be a go-getter! And this summer, I plan on getting what I want by working hard for it. No more laziness and no more disappointed summers.

 

So, for my goals this summer, I set out to accomplish 10 things. For me, I felt 10 was the magic number but choose whatever amount you know is reasonable for you. I figured 10 things in 12 weeks was enough time for me, so make sure you give yourself enough time to do whatever it is you want. And as you see, some of the things on my bucket list are already planned and have some grass roots already in place, which is a great way to make sure that you not only start your task, but you accomplish your goal as well.

 

  1. Travel to another city (I’ve got NYC and San Diego already planned and booked. But I’ve been saving for these trips since March.)
  2. Write another novel (Yes, another novel. Good thing I’ve already started writing Chapter 1)
  3. Go to a Writer’s Conference (NEW YORK, baby! Going to the Writer’s Digest Conference in August, got my ticket, flight, and hotel booked)
  4. Pitch My book to Agents (I do this weekly already by email, but at the conference I get to do this in person)
  5. Read 10 books (At least, 10. I’ve already read two since the beginning of this month)
  6. Learn how to cook some new dishes like a real chef (Not simply using Lifehacks as my recipes)
  7. Learn how to Make/Sew a new piece of clothing (making my husband his cosplay coat)
  8. Cosplay a character (Yep, I’m going to Comic Con in San Diego!)
  9. Enter some writing competitions (whether that be poetry or fiction)
  10. Visit a County/Country Fair (the last time I went to one of these was like 10 years ago)

 

So, that was my bucket list for this summer. Thank you, Kalynn Nicholson, for giving me this great idea to pen down my goals. Writing them down and putting my thoughts in order makes it clear to me what I need to do to make sure everything I want is accomplished. Now, try making your own bucket list. Let’s make this summer a great one!

Vegan Eats: Disneyland

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With summer vacation upon us, I am reminded of my childhood filled with backyard BBQ’s, fun pool days (or running through sprinklers on the lawn), and awesome adventures at theme parks like Six Flags, Universal Studios, and, the mac-daddy of them all, Disneyland. Now, more than ever, Disneyland truly is the happiest place on earth where all your dreams can come true – your vegan dreams that is.

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To read more Vegan Eats, click below:

Vienna

Amsterdam

Munich

London: Part 1

London: Part 2 

Can Vegans Use Non-Vegan Makeup?

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With the prominence of beauty gurus emerging on social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, makeup is fashionably at the forefront of shopping habits for many boys and girls. You even have big celebrities creating their own makeup like Kylie Jenner’s cosmetic line, Kylie Cosmetics.  And with makeup gaining popularity, gaining commercial success, more companies are opting for cruelty-free options and vegan ingredients.

As a vegan, I love finding these new vegan products and companies. However, I still have some products from before my vegan transition. The dilemma is then, what do I do with these non-vegan makeup products? Do I throw them away? Do I give them away to someone else?

I don’t recommend throwing away unused or lightly-used non-vegan makeup because it is very wasteful and will contribute to the increasing trash in landfills. Plus, makeup is not cheap. You spent your hard-earned money on that. You wouldn’t throw a twenty-dollar bill in the trash, would you?

As for giving away your non-vegan makeup, I think this can be a good idea. You can be both conscientious about the environment while simultaneously being thoughtful to someone else. But keep in mind, used makeup can carry people’s hygiene since it is evasive and personal to the face. Most people don’t regularly sanitize their makeup. Meaning, you can potentially and accidentally pass along your cold, disease, bacteria, (you name it) etc. to someone else. So, if you do select this option then make sure you sanitize your makeup before gifting it as a courtesy to whoever receives it.

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If you feel like those two options don’t suit you, then you can do what I do – wear it! To be clear, I do not buy non-vegan makeup products anymore, but every now and then I am gifted these expensive makeup products. Naturally, I wish they had purchased a vegan product, but I am grateful and appreciative that they think of me. So, I do accept these makeup gifts. When appropriate, I subtly hint my favorite vegan makeup brands by saying something along the lines of, “Thank you for this beautiful lipstick, it reminds me of one of my favorite lipsticks from Benefit. That’s one of my all-time favorite makeup brands.” By saying something like that, I am showing my gratitude and appreciation while subtly informing them of future gift purchases they can make for me.

So, I tend to use all the non-vegan makeup I have until it is all used up. That way I’m not being wasteful and I don’t have to worry about accidentally giving someone an infection. This is what I prefer. But of course, you can do whatever fits you best. And the best part is when I’m all out I can replace it with a vegan product.

Some things I currently have that are non-vegan and animal tested consist of my foundation (a medical formula which is required by law to be tested) and a few lipsticks from various companies. Again, these were gifted to me which is why I have them to begin with, but once they are used up I’ll replace them with a vegan product.

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Here, I’m wearing a Dior Addict lipstick in a beautiful dark pink shade (shade 976). It’s one of my favorite picks for Summer with the current Pink Trend happening at the moment. Click here to read more about that fashion trend.

Listed below you’ll find the name of companies that are cruelty-free and 100% vegan to help you decide your future makeup purchases, courtesy of crueltyfreekitty.com. This list has helped me immensely, especially at places like Ulta or Sephora where there is an overwhelming amount of makeup in stock. And I hope this list helps you take on step closer to becoming more aware about what goes into makeup and empowers you to use your dollars to demand change in the beauty industry, because no animal should have to suffer for our beauty.

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