vegansaurus!

12/12/2013

Your Vegansaurus 2013 Good Gifts Guide!  »

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Hello! It’s gift guide time of year! I wanted to find some good stuff that would also do some good. First up is the necklace above!

Sunday Frill Necklace
This cute necklace is handmade in Uganda: “Curated by Invisible Children in partnership with 31 Bits: Using fashion and design to empower women to rise above poverty.” And it’s adorable!

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Terra Cotta Pizza Stone
This beauty is from Ten Thousand Villages. It’s sourced through HEED Handicrafts, a job creation project of HEED Bangladesh. And OMG everyone who has a pizza stone is completely obsessed with them! My brother is head over heels for his. Like whoa. So if you want some DIY type or amateur chef to think you’re awesome, get them this.

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Science Club Binoculars & Wildlife Activity Journal
Dude, let’s be honest, kids are nerds. At least until about 12. They like nerdy stuff so I think these binoculars will knock the sox off of your little nephew or what have you. Plus proceeds benefit the Humane Society. Plus plus they can be spies!

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Mercy For Animals T-shirts
What vegan doesn’t like a t-shirt? NO VEGAN! I love this Mercy For Animals t-shirt and I love Mercy for Animals so it’s perfect for a vegan in your life! Or any old kind person you know.

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Lagusta’s Luscious Big Assortment
Now, if you really want to charm a vegan in your life—or any chocolate-lover for that matter—get them this giant chocolate assortment from Lagusta’s Luscious! The pic speaks for itself. Especially because when I downloaded it, the file name was “new_big_ass.” Hilar!

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Vegan Cuts’ New York for the Holidays Care Pack
Is there anyone you want to send a little New York goodness to? Then check out this new care package from Vegan Cuts. It’s filled with all kinds of stuff—including Sandcastle cookies!

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Brave Gentleman’s Innovator
If you want to go all out, these Brave Gentleman shoes are AMAZING and I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. And they are vegan and ethically made. If you want to go partially out, Brave Gentleman has some nice belts and wallets too. 

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Lil Bub tote
Do you have a hip friend or family member? Perhaps they are Lil Bub fans? Or they should be? BECAUSE EVERYONE SHOULD BE! Then a Lil Bub tote is a great, inexpensive gift. It’s totes current and it would make a great farmer’s market bag. Plus, a portion of the proceeds go to some of Bub’s favorite animal charities. Plus plus, OMG BUB I LOVE YOU.

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Found Dog Bed
If you want to go big for your own little (or big) animal friend, I like this bed from Found. This bed is handmade in Brooklyn by this dog rescue-focused brand. And it’s made super sustainably! But built to last. 

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Happy Carrot
If you know a kitty who needs a present, I’m into this Happy Carrot from Purrfect Play! It’s made in America with organic materials (mostly cotton) including organic catnip. They also donate 5% of sales to animal shelters. My Mitsy is BOUT IT for catnip! 

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Miakoda’s Crocheted Fingerless Gloves
Are you shopping for a fashion plate? Then these pretty fingerless gloves would be a super cute present. Great for biking in the fall or playing outdoor music! These are made in the US and they aren’t made with icky wool. 

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Green Toys Tool Set
OMG how much do I want this tool set?! Well actually I have a grownup pink tool set already so not that much. But when I was ten? All I wanted was a tool set and they never got me one! I would have been over the moon for this. And it’s made with recycled materials with super sustainable methods, etc etc etc. 

And that’s your Vegansaurus Good Gift Guide! Happy holidays to you and yours. 

02/19/2013

Vegan Package Swap! Because nothing’s better than vegan presents!  »

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You know what everyone likes? Presents. Unfortunately for most of us grown-ups, the opportunities for receiving presents are few and far between. Maybe a birthday, maybe a wintertime religious-ish holiday, but beyond that, we have to make our own fun.

TRANSITION

All About Vegan Food has organized an international vegan package swap, a deal that allows you to give and receive some fun vegan surprises in the mail. It’s a monthly project—though participants can opt in and out as schedule/budget/life allows—which basically means that every month is birthday month, and the presents will always be vegan-approved.

The rules are as follows:

1. The Vegan Package Swap is open to everyone in the world. You don’t need to be vegan to be part of it but all goodies in the packages MUST be vegan. 

2. You need to register to the website to take part (just once) and you will receive monthly emails to confirm your participation within 72 hours around the 5th of each month.

3. On the 8th of each month, you’ll receive an email with the details of your match for that month.

4. Packages should have goodies up to the limit of $20 (or 15 Euro or equivalent in other currency).

5. The shipping deadline will be on the 15th of each month.

6. In the last week of each month you will receive an email to evaluate the package you received and the user (to help us to keep the quality of the project).

It’s too late to join for the March swap [UPDATE: It’s not too late to enter the March swap! Subscribers until the end of February can take part in it] but you can totally get in for April! Register at All About Vegan Food, follow the instructions, and start thinking about your presents. Do you want to give and receive more than just food? Do you want to exchange international packages, or stay continental? The choices are yours.

This isn’t the first-ever vegan package swap, but per All About Vegan Food, it is well organized and easily customizable. The more participants, the more chances everyone has to discover amazing vegan items! Plus you get to be selfish (getting stuff) and selfless (giving stuff) every month!

Contact All About Vegan Food with any questions; otherwise, let’s get to swappin’.

01/24/2013

Valentine’s Day is both nonsense and three weeks away, so let’s order ourselves this box of 24 assorted raw vegan chocolates from Happy Herbivore for … Galentine’s Day? Anna Howard Shaw Day? Because you’re worth it? Who cares, just do it! Choose from 10 different flavors, all of which are organic and two of which are nut-free. Fancy, beautiful, and delicious, three words that also describe our wonderful Vegansaurus readers.
Happy Herbivore has an Etsy shop full of raw vegan chocolates, and sells gift certificates, if two dozen raw vegan chocolates aren’t your thing. (which, why aren’t they your thing?)

Valentine’s Day is both nonsense and three weeks away, so let’s order ourselves this box of 24 assorted raw vegan chocolates from Happy Herbivore for … Galentine’s Day? Anna Howard Shaw Day? Because you’re worth it? Who cares, just do it! Choose from 10 different flavors, all of which are organic and two of which are nut-free. Fancy, beautiful, and delicious, three words that also describe our wonderful Vegansaurus readers.

Happy Herbivore has an Etsy shop full of raw vegan chocolates, and sells gift certificates, if two dozen raw vegan chocolates aren’t your thing. (which, why aren’t they your thing?)

02/02/2012

A Very Vegan Valentine Gift Round-Up!  »

Valentine’s Day is approaching! I may have touched on this in previous years but I’ll say it again: Don’t listen to anyone who tries to tell you Valentine’s Day is some made-up Hallmark holiday! It’s as old as dirt! Look it up, bros. 

Now, I don’t think Valentine’s Day has to be some crazy event, I think dinner and flowers is perfect! But if you want to step it up a little from flowers, here are some super gift ideas:

Here’s a sweet treat from Rescue Chocolates, “Wild at Heart” chocolate hearts filled with raspberry ganache! You can find some at Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe! These are so simple and pretty and the proceeds go to great animal organizations so you’re sweetie will be all the more impressed!

Another sweet gift for a good cause, how much would your main squeeze love a heart full of chocolates from Farm Sanctuary?! SO MUCH! These special “milk” chocolates are fair trade, vegan and organic! Plus you are helping one of our favorite charities (it’s the one and only Eric the piglet’s home!)

This doesn’t need much commentary from me. You obviously need one. Get it from Chocolate Decadence!

Here’s a twist on the traditional candy gift, from Vegan Etsy Team member Feedyourface, Vegan Organic Valentine’s Day Caramels with raspberries, dark chocolate, vanilla balsamic, and white pepper! That sounds YUM with a capital DANG!

Another Etsy candy entry, cute vegan Valentine’s chocolates from MissVeganTreats! I’ve never tried these but they are adorable. I love the skulls! Because they are baddass AND romantic, just like me!

Ok, last Etsy treat gift! This is Iheartveg’s Vegan S’mores Kit: Valentine Edition! I like this because it’s sweets for your sweet but it’s also kind of an experiential gift! Because s’mores aren’t just a food, they are an activity! So you can give your sweetie the kit and then make them together! Ohhhhh, maybe over a campfire! Romantic! Jeez, you’ve outdone yourself. 

Now, here’s an idea! For all the freaks in the crowd, get some vegan whipped cream and chocolate sauce! Oooh la la. 

Lingerie, whether you plan on wearing it for your lovey or giving it to your lovey to wear, is a crowd-pleaser! And this set comes from vegan lingerie shop Purrfect Pineapples and has little white hearts on it. So romantic!

Don’t forget the appeal of an old-fashion card! Only old people give out cards any more and old people are the best so you should give out cards and be like an old person. This cutie cute cute one comes from Vegan Etsy Team member MyZoetrope. You know what would be cute? If a BOY got this for someone! Boys never give cards. That would be adorbs. You guys should do that.

Experiential gifts are all the rage in the past few years, simply because a lot of us just have too much stuff! And really, isn’t it memories that build a romance? At least that’s what I hear. So here’s an idea: get tickets to Urban Food Crawl’s “Suds & Sweets: An evening of beer and dessert pairings” in LA! There will be mini vegan cupcakes and truffles paired with a beer flight! So fun! And nothing stimulates a romance like beer. If you don’t live in LA, you should still totally get tickets to this AND get plane tickets to LA! That would be awesome. I would totally marry you if you did that for me. Or not marry you; Whatever you were going for, I’d be down!

That’s all for now, pals! Have a happy Valentine’s Day and hug your lovey for me.

12/24/2011

Last day to save at Boygirlparty and raise money for Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary!  »

It’s the last day! The sale/fundraiser at Boygirlparty is over tomorrow! So remember: When you use the coupon code “VEGANSAURUS” on Boygirlparty’s Etsy store, you will get 10 percent off your order AND Boygirlparty will donate an additional 10 percent of the sale to the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary! 

And remember, you can opt to forgo your discount and donate 20 percent of your purchase to the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary—just don’t use the coupon code and leave a note at checkout! You saintly bastard! 

Happy holidays! 

12/15/2011

Beer koozies are out, queso koozies are in. Plus, everyone loves cookies! The last minute vegan gift guide.  »

Crystal and Chris Tate, the geniuses behind Food for Lovers vegan queso (you’ve had it right? It’s available at Whole Foods throughout this country!) have teamed up with  etsy artists to bring you…

Koozies for your queso! Or…

a chili ornament! Or… a Texas state ornament!

Since I know you are buying one of these for me, I prefer the koozie [Ed. note: I thought it was “cozy,” because, like, now your queso will be cozy! Which is it?! Is this an east coast/west coast thing?]. How else will my queso keep warm in the chilly city of San Francisco?
If you want one of these precious “Don’t Mess With Texas" handcrafted gifts, you have to act fast. They are only available for two more days! For $20 (shipping included) you get a jar of queso, a piece of handmade artistry and a card with a personalized message for the recipient (no one has to know it’s you, buying and receiving said gift. Hey! You gotta do you).

Fat Bottom Bakery, based out of Oakland, is also offering a special holiday gift for you! Fifteen dollars will get you an assortment of a dozen delicious cookies! How do they do it? So many flavors: sweet snickerdoodles, festive spiced molasses, ginger-glazed cranberry, AND shortbread swirls with chocolate ganche. Send them to me. I will enjoy them thoroughly. Or get them for the office party! Or the family thing, then don’t tell anyone they’re vegan and watch everyone chow down! (Or eat them alone while watching netflix, whatever!)

So many cookies! This is truly a winter wonderland!

Again, $15 a dozen, which you can pick up at their bakery; or for $20, they will deliver these delectable items to you! Within Berkeley or Oakland, of course. What do you think this day and age is? A time in which we can teleport ourselves over the Bay Bridge? (I hope that time is soon)

12/06/2011

Café Gratitude Bereavement Plan  »

It sure sucks that Café Gratitude is closing. Lucky for me, I said my goodbyes a few months ago with a slice of raw cheesecake, right after I said goodbye to S.F. Pride and right before I got on a plane and moved to Denver.

Lucky for you, I’ve had time to figure how to live Life without Gratitude. And because I’m the nicest person ever, I’m going to share that hard-won knowledge.

Gather round, grasshoppers. Here’s what you do:

WARNING! REPLACING CAFÉ GRATITUDE IS HARD AND EXPENSIVE AND WILL MAKE PEOPLE THINK YOU’RE WEIRD! PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK! BUT IT’S HELLA TASTY!!!

  1. Admit that the best thing about the restaurant was dessert. Then buy Sweet Gratitude, the book that will tell you how to make said desserts.
  2. Flip through the book. Cry a little when you realize how hard and complicated they are and how much better it was to just pay for them.
  3. Take a deep breath and COMMIT. It will be worth it!
  4. Buy Irish Moss.
  5. Buy a kitchen scale.
  6. Buy raw coconut oil.
  7. Buy soy lecithin.
  8. Buy raw cacao butter, powder, and maybe nibs.
  9. Buy raw vanilla beans.
  10. Buy a VitaMix. Or don’t but you’ll wish you had one. Trust me.
  11. Choose a recipe. Buy the rest of the stuff you’ll need, like almonds and cashews and dates and agave and coconuts, from the grocery store. 
  12. Plan ahead. You’ll probably need to soak things for various amounts of time, from one to 24 hours. Maybe make a Gantt chart?
  13. Whip! Blend! Chill! 
  14. EAT AMAZING FOOD! 

That’s a lot of steps, partly because I’m making fun of it. To be honest, it really is worth it, at least for special occasions. I still haven’t tried making the tiramisu at home. But I will. And you’ll hear about it.


Look what I made! Raw lemon-blueberry cheesecake! It rocked!

Pro tips:

  • Start with some of the simpler recipes. The cheesecakes, for example, don’t need Irish Moss. 
  • Making this food will make you covet a better blender, unless you have a great one already.
  • Blend longer than you think you need to.
  • If you’re not a raw food purist, don’t be a raw food purist. Use canned coconut milk. Use the almond milk you always use. Screw raw vanilla, use regular. Yeah of course it’ll taste different but you’ll be more sane.

Thanks, Gratitude. I am grateful you existed, and grateful for the challenges you’ve left us. Though I’d still rather just let you do the work.

11/29/2011

This week only: Vaute Couture shirts on sale at Vegan Cuts!  »

What time is it? SHOPPING TIME. And as a thoughtful, stylish vegan consumer, you want to give presents that your friends and family will cherish forever. Or, you want to buy yourself stuff because you’re tired and it’s only Tuesday but it’s almost December, where does the time go, you deserve a present.

Vegan Cuts to the rescue! This week only, they’re selling two Vaute Couture tees for 25 percent off! One style is brand new! They are both adorable, made of sustainable, fair-trade materials, and really the biggest problem here is deciding which one you want, because you’re limited to one per person.

Maybe get your friend to buy one and you buy the other and you can share them! Or convince your relations that they should buy one of each style and give them both to you! Or, you know, buy one as a gift for someone you love, because now is the season of being less selfish.

The deal expires this weekend, so get to Vegan Cuts and buy a shirt! Only if you like deals and shirts, though. Maybe saving money and putting fabric on your body aren’t your things. That just means more awesome clothes for the rest of us.

More holiday deals: Oh Deer! Chocolates e-book, get it on Etsy!  »

It’s that time between the two major holiday meals, where you have two choices: take it easy, eat some veggies, maybe do a juice cleanse OR GO FULL SPEED AHEAD, EAT EVERYTHING, after all, swimsuit season is so far away! I’m somewhere in the middle—I guess it’s not so black-and-white. One thing I do want to do in this time is incorporate more raw foods in my diet. And OhDeerChocolates has sprung up on Etsy at the most perfect time!

Sara Malazzo-Miller, creator of OhDeerChocolates, is selling her e-cookbook for the low price of $8, for this week only! Her 20+ cookie, truffle, and candy recipes are raw, vegan and CHOCOLATE!


OhDeerChocolates’ chocolate mousse.

Raw dessert—it’s like health food. At least that’s my motto! Sara is also donating 100 percent of the profits to wildlife rescue centers. Now that’s the holiday spirit!

11/28/2011

Save money and help animals with Boygirlparty!  »


Happy news! When you use the coupon code “VEGANSAURUS” on Boygirlparty’s Etsy store, you will get 10 percent off your order AND Boygirlparty will donate an additional 10 percent of the sale to the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary! Huzzah! The Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary is a magical place that deserves our help, PLUS this stuff is so cute! It’s a win-win! Bonus: Susie Ghahremani, the crazy talented artist behind Boygirlparty, is super committed to eco-friendly printing—a win-win-win!

Susie also says that if you want to forgo your discount, she will donate 20 percent of your purchase to the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary—just don’t use the coupon code and leave a note at checkout! You saintly bastard! 

Everything in her store is adorbs, but here are my favorite things! First of all, try not to die from the sweetness of these mini notebooks:

I want to take these tiny books and write tiny genius thoughts in them.

And I love this octopus to-do list notepad:

I don’t know if your mom is anything like mine, but my mom is ALL ABOUT to-do lists. Like, cray cray. I’m sure any to-do list enthusiast would be super happy to get this! Or get it for yourself and get your shit done in the cutest way possible. 

Susie has also created a bunch of sweet recipe cards, like this elephant one:


Kick it old-school with handwritten recipes! Or bust out the typewriter and type them up. People will think you are cool.

The holidays are coming up and a nice notebook like this owl one always makes a good present:


It’s cute and useful! And in these superficial and overcrowded times, it’s all about the aesthetics of utility. That’s my word.

There’s also a ton of really pretty cards but I especially like this bird notecard set:


It’s super classy to mail people cards. Nobody does it anymore. People don’t even give cards with presents! But you give someone this card and they can stand it up like a little piece of art and you will be an old-world hero. 

So those are my top picks! Susie also has great shirts and jewelry so check those out as well. Now, get to shoppin’ for a good cause!

[All photos by Renée Chartier]

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