Street Vegan Made Easy


I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. 
All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Before diving into this review I need to preface that I am not vegan nor do I adhere to the lifestyle completely, however, I have learned a thing or two from this cookbook by Adam Sobel, the owner and chef of the food truck Cinnamon Snail. 

One of the main things I’ve learned, is to not be fearful of vegan or vegetarian dishes. Just because it doesn’t contain meat or anything that comes from an animal doesn’t mean it lacks in flavor or fullness. The next thing I’ve learned is that you can use different ingredients to substitute for others and playing with spices or broths can really bring out savory flavors.

I’ve loved reading through this cookbook and attempting different recipes. The fact that it’s vegan has exposed me to more fresh ingredients and, for that matter, ingredients I’ve never cooked with before. The first recipe we tried was the Shredded Root Vegetable Hash Browns. Saturday morning my husband and I headed off to our local farmer’s market and was able to pick up fresh veggies, fruits, cheese, and of course you have to get the kettle corn! We weren’t able to find any parsnips so we had to take some liberties with the recipe.

I definitely recommend using a tool that can shred your vegetables for you. We didn’t and therefore just had chopped veggies instead. I had never worked with turnips before and have discovered that they’re quite tasty and almost have a potato quality to them. Another ingredient we couldn’t find was celery root, which is very different from celery I’ve come to find out. Regardless of not having everything the recipe called for, it was simple, easy to do, and tasted absolutely amazing.

I paired my hash browns with a fried egg and, of course, shared my attempt on Instagram (see below). I was so excited to see that the official Cinnamon Snail commented on my photo! However, I was a bit bummed that they didn’t so much agree with my fried egg (you know, cause it’s not vegan to have a chicken egg with your hash browns)...nonetheless it was pretty cool they noticed; even if it was for breaking the rules.

A photo posted by Kelly Daniel (@kjdaniel1) on
Like I said, we aren’t vegan, but my husband and I have an appreciation for all food and are excited by the opportunity to find recipes that expand from different lifestyles, cultures, and incorporate exotic and new ingredients for us. For dinner that evening my husband made the Coconut Curry Soup from Street Vegan (and they would be happy to know we played by the rules and didn’t stray from the recipe!) and yet again we were happy with how well it turned out!

Do you love to read or find new stories or cookbooks to get into? Better yet, do you love receiving said books for free? Blogging for Books has been a great service to collaborate with because I am able to pick a book from thousands of titles, genres, and authors, receive it in the mail (or ebook) within a few days, read it, post a review, then get to pick another book to enjoy! If you’re curious about Blogging for Books be sure to check out their website here and learn how you can get started!

Slim Down Saturday + Linkup {5.30}


The Results Week Three

Ultimate Goal
My ultimate goal is to reach my goal weight, which is to lose about 40 lbs.

Gain/Loss From the Week
- 1 lbs

Total Loss Since Starting
- 5.6 lbs

Positives From the Week
YAY I hit my first milestone, which is five pounds lost! Another positive is that I’ve been really good about pre-packing my lunches the night before. Not only does this save time in the morning but it’s nice to have it all planned out and I’m not just blindly throwing things in my bag as I run out the door.

Things to Work On
Sleep and getting more of it is something I need to work on this week. With the end of the school year right around the corner (literally next week) I need to make sure I at least get a full 8 hours.

One Goal For Next Week
One thing that is still difficult for me to do is drink two full 32oz of water from my water bottle. I am able to average about one a day, which is still good but my goal is two. I can definitely see a difference when I drink more water throughout the day. Another goal is to keep up the hydrating over the weekends. Somehow I’m horrible at remembering to drink water throughout the day once Saturday hits.

We all hit a wall no matter where we are in our weight loss journey. This quote has been a huge motivator because I know eventually that wall is going to hit or my weight is going to plateau, but it’s important for me to keep at it. Progress is progress no matter how small.

Tip or Trick
The tip I have this week is related to packing lunches. These airtight Snapware containers have been a lifesaver in terms of portion control throughout the work week. I love that they come in different sizes and they’re awesome for preserving your leftovers. Consider investing in these guys if you’re looking to better manage your portion sizes!

Five Things Friday


Happy Friday everyone! I’m back with my five things I’m loving from this week. As you may have noticed that I’m no longer hosting it as a linkup. After a few weeks it just wasn’t getting the steam I had hoped for but nonetheless it hasn’t deterred me from sharing my week with you all! Thank you to the few who have linked up in previous weeks!

Every week my husband and I do trivia at a local bar. It’s a fun time we spend together trying to remember little bits of useless information. Typically we have a team of about six people but last night it was just the two of us and we won FIRST PLACE! It’s the little things. The winnings? A $25 gift certificate to the bar we play trivia at ;)

This photo is from a while ago but is an example of what you win for second/third place. We have more than enough pint glasses. It’s become a little joke between our friends that if we were to win these pint glasses again the ‘pint glass fairy’ would leave them on the doorstep of those who couldn’t make it to trivia that night. Okay, it’s a lot funnier in person.

I just found out that at work I will be moving up from the preschool next year and be assisting with first grade! It’s crazy how one minute I’m with three year olds and then the next I’ll be back in elementary school with six/seven year olds again...

If you’re a teacher or interested in following me and my adventures in first grade, be sure to check out my teaching blog Sliding Into Second Grade (I created this when I was a second grade teacher)!

28 Before 28

If you’re not familiar, I’ve created a list of things I would like to accomplish before my next birthday, hence: 28 Before 28. One of the things on my list that I can’t quite cross off, but that I am doing consistently, is using my Fitbit. I love this little thing and I kick myself for keeping in my makeup drawer in the bathroom for so long.

It measures the steps I take each day and I’ve set a goal for 10,000 steps. Last night, and in conjunction with going to the gym, I was able to get over 15,000 steps in and it made me feel great to accomplish (and exceed) my daily step goal. This is just one easy thing I’ve added to help keep me active and motivated throughout my weight loss goals.

Link up with me every Saturday to share your fitness goals and progress each week. Check it out here for more details and previous posts!

And in keeping with my weight loss, I’ve officially hit the milestone of 5lbs lost total after this week! I kinda felt that I could have lost more but it was a holiday and we went to trivia and had some fries and onion rings. Which, by the way, tasted amazing. I should note that my husband and I DID go to the gym prior so I do win some brownie points there, right? Nonetheless, I’m very happy about my loss for this week!
One of my favorite snacks I’ve found via Pinterest are these yummy and healthy apple cookies. Just slice an apple, spread your favorite peanut butter, add some nuts (or I used coconut), and a little dark chocolate and these will keep you going. Find the recipe here.

And if you’re not already, find this recipe and other pins by following my Cookbook board on Pinterest!

Enough of the Negativity


Every time I log onto Facebook, or really access the internet in general, I’m always in awe of the amount of negativity we are exposed to on a daily basis. It’s almost difficult to imagine how we are able to function and feel happy when we are faced with nothing but stories of disappointment, anger, frustration, tragedy, and sadness.

This post is going to take a little bit of a turn but bear with me.

I’ve had enough. Enough of the negativity.

I get it, we live in a world where technology has allowed us to be connected and share in more ways than one. The birth of social media has brought on exciting and new ways for us to communicate, share, and support one another, but yet I begin to question the purpose in which some of us use it.

Memorial Day Shaming
To those who felt the need to ‘remind’ your followers on Facebook what Memorial Day means by sharing this...

It’s just rude and you’re acting under the assumption that those who BBQ or enjoy a day off of work take for granted the efforts of our military. Don’t be so shortsighted.

The Oversharer
Or to those who constantly feel the need to overshare their relationship or emotional issues. If you’re having a tough time, as we all do every now and again, refrain from sharing your business on Facebook where everyone can see it. If it’s an issue that really matters, call or talk in person to those who can actually help you. Otherwise it’s just passive aggressive and you may want to look at yourself and how you’re choosing to handle it.

The Duggar Story
This one in particular gives me mixed emotions. On one hand I am in no way supportive of abuse of ANY sort, especially when it is in regards to children. However, this story has blown into something massive and at the end of the day it doesn’t deserve our commentary or judgement by me. It only fuels the fire of scandalous reporting and not actual news. As a follower of Christ I believe that everyone will have to answer for their actions before God and only He has the power to decide what is just. I am not related to the Duggers nor do I have a first hand account of what actually happened so for me to have an opinion is redundant.

What hurts me about this story is it is yet again another scandal that will turn minds off from God and His church. 
I surely hope His grace is more powerful than that.

What about these stories? Don’t they deserve to be our focus and reminder that through difficult circumstances we have the ability to show compassion...

These students who donated $8,000 to their principal who was battling cancer.

or the man who went against his religious practices and took off his turban to save a child’s life.

Or Google donating $150,000 for Central Texas flood relief

These are the stories of compassion I hope friends on Facebook and across the web will share more often. I know it’s easy to hit that ‘share’ button but sometimes it’s important to stop and think about what exactly you’re sharing with others. Our broken world is filled with despair and suffering, however, I challenge you to see the good that others do for one another despite their circumstances. My hope in humanity is always restored when I come across such stories that continue to communicate, share, and support others for that is what we are called to do.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4  

Slim Down Saturday + Linkup {5.23}


It’s Saturday and it’s time to join me and other bloggers for week two of Slim Down Saturday! This week I saw some results from snacking on more fruits and veggies and even noticed that I’m feeling fuller faster! I’m trying to average about losing two pounds a week in order to make my goal weight within the three month time frame and I’m happy to have almost done that!

Let’s get rolling on week two...

The Results Week Two

Ultimate Goal
My ultimate goal is to reach my goal weight, which is to lose about 40 lbs.

Gain/Loss From the Week
- 1.6 lbs

Total Loss Since Starting
- 4.4 lbs

Positives From the Week
My first cheat day was a spicy chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-a and I have no shame whatsoever. Like I said before, it’s important to have cheat meals during your week because it reminds you that food is satisfying and should be something you love. And boy do I love me some chicken sandwiches. And that sauce...I could drink it. #realtalk

Another positive is when I do dine out I am drinking more water and limiting my wine consumption to one glass (I know, what’s the fun in that?!). I find myself making more health conscious choices which dining out, which is a major improvement.

Things to Work On
I did skip one of my workout days due to being tired from work and commuting. This is something I need to be sure I stick to throughout the week no matter how tired I feel. Being active has definitely helped me burn some extra calories and allows me to enjoy my cheat meals.

One Goal For Next Week
Not to eat out as much. Although we meal planned for the week, we ended up eating some of the meals for lunch over the weekend. This left holes in our menu and was left open for dining out (we did eat sushi one night which was a low-point meal). Week 3 I want to limit our dining out nights to once a week or not at all if possible.

One motivation from this week has been being able to notice my clothes beginning to fit a little looser. There’s no greater feeling than your jeans feeling a little less snug and being able to feel confidant in your clothes.

Tip or Trick
Grapefruit juice has been proven to aide in burning fat around your midsection and is great for your overall health. I’ve been drinking one 8 oz. glass a day and have seen a difference in my waist even after a week! Just be careful of fruit juices and their sugar content. I love Trader Joe’s grapefruit juice because it’s 100% grapefruit.

Five Things Friday + Linkup


Today I am very excited for more than one reason. It’s officially one week away from our last day of preschool, tonight we are meeting up with friends in L.A. who are visiting in town for Memorial Day weekend,’s a three-day weekend, and it’s an early release day at school. All is well this Friday and I can’t wait to read up on what you’ve been up to this week!

Here are my five favorite things and be sure to catch the linkup at the bottom of this post.

New to the linkup? Have no idea what Five Things Friday is? Here’s how to join...

One of the biggest things to happen this week is the newest addition to the Daniel household and that is our little Lexus hybrid! See my original post here to read all about my grateful heart and the decision to let go of my dream car.

I have discovered the Skinny Vanilla Latte at Starbucks and it’s been the greatest revelation I’ve made all week. I love my coffee, especially my Iced Caramel Macchiatos but with trying to stick to my points I’ve needed to find a new approach to my love of flavored coffees. I order a tall SVL and it comes out to only 2 points! I get my coffee fix and it doesn’t taste half-bad either. Win, win!

A photo posted by Kelly Daniel (@kjdaniel1) on

One of my favorite things every week is enjoying my Sundays going to church with my husband. This photo was taken after church and I was enjoying a nice mocha latte while discussing our thoughts on that day’s message. I love that church has continued to bring us closer together as I love getting inside my husband’s head and heart. I always pray over my husband and I am thankful that we share this important time together. 

One of my favorite Weight Watchers recipes from this week was the Slow Cooker Red Bean, Sausage, and Rice Soup. We skipped the slow cooker and swapped the rice for rice noodles (less in points than regular rice) and it was a hit! I love the flavor of the andouille chicken sausage, which gives the soup a savory, spicy, almost cajun taste. Only 5 points for a 1 1/2 cup serving!

I HAVE to get some photos up soon of my recent outlet purchases from Banana Republic and J.Crew! Let’s just say it was a lot of jumpsuits, rompers, a floppy hat and fedora, and a cute spring scarf! With 50% off everything sales going on I couldn’t resist! Plus, I’m all set for our trip to Hawaii ;)
For the longest time I figured jumpsuits are for the slender bodied gals only but these cute numbers are so comfy and flattering I had to pick up more than one! Plus the striped cotton dress is only $12 after the sale price!

Misconceptions About Marriage As Told By a Newlywed


Entering marriage with my husband was an easy, and might I add, well thought out, choice. When we met neither of us were looking for relationships. In fact, we had just been a few months shy of just ending our previous relationships before fate stepped in and knocked us off our feet. After dating for almost a year and a half, Philip popped the question and six months later we said ‘I do’ in front of our closest friends and family.

June 28th marks our very first wedding anniversary and I can’t help but sit here in reflection of where this year has taken us and how we’ve evolved and grown into the spouses we are today. Nothing could have prepared me for marriage and being a wife, but yet here I sit waiting in anticipation for the years to follow.

Here are my top three misconceptions about marriage, especially within the first year:

1. Nothing Changes About Your Relationship After You Say ‘I Do’
One major misconception about marriage is that people believe that somehow their relationship will change because they’ve taken this ’next step.’ This isn’t true so take off those rose colored glasses. You as an individual will be the same exact person the next day and so will your spouse...the only difference is that you’ve just paid for your family and group of friends to eat an expensive meal and drink all of your booze. If you have issues in your relationship leading up to your wedding those issues will still be there afterwards. So, enter your marriage with realistic expectations and consider working through the emotional stuff beforehand.

2. Happily Ever After Is Attainable
Irregardless of how long you’ve been married, ‘happily ever after’ isn’t just for fairy tales. Finding happiness in your marriage should be the goal to which both partners strive to experience with one another. It takes work, however, it should never feel like work. It begins with compromise, learning to combine your passions with your spouse’s, and I will always say that communication is the key to a happy and healthy relationship. Happy should be the first word to describe your marriage and if it isn’t, take a look at what you can do to attack those happiness-killers that might be lurking around.

If you’re looking for a start on how to achieve happiness, consider checking out this podcast series from my local church called The Pursuit of Happiness. It’s been a fantastic series and I have been able to gather many take-aways from each message. It’s so easy to apply to your life and does a great job at putting things into perspective.

3. My Husband Doesn’t Have To Love Me
He chooses to. Every. Single. Day. And I, him. 

Just because you’re married doesn’t mean that you get to stand along the sidelines and become a spectator to your relationship. I suppose this is when people tell you it’s work. Look, it’s easy to get comfortable, maybe gain a little weight here and there, have sex less often, or become more involved with your cell phone, kids, or career. It happens. However, the important thing to keep in mind is that you chose to be in your relationship, so, make it work.

This comes in different forms. Here’s a few: 
+ Give quality attention to one another. Put away the phones and other distractions.
+ Sex is important and intimacy is vital to a lasting marriage. It shouldn’t be a chore, but something you and your spouse both enjoy.
+ Stay in shape. You’re a reflection of your spouse and vice versa. Keep him wanting you the way you did when you first met. Plus, self-confidence is one of the most attractive qualities men like in women!
+ Remember to put your relationship first before your kids. If your relationship is happy your children will notice. The same can be said for unhappy marriages, too. Children see everything so set a good example for them.

Helpful Resources About Marriage:


Thanks for stopping by! Let’s connect in the comments...

Saying Goodbye: A Grateful Heart


Saying goodbye is never an easy thing to do. Even if it’s to a car. For me, it was saying goodbye to a car that had extraordinary meaning and was a reminder that anything is possible through hard work and discipline.

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

To begin...
I am lucky enough to say that I was able to gain a quality education and even graduate with a master’s degree at 23 years old. Not to mention I was the first in my family to do that. So, it was kind of a big deal for me. During that time, as a part of my studies, I had to complete a year of intense student teaching and an internship of which I couldn’t work and therefore earn an income. 

Introducing my first experience with credit. I had to get my first credit card to pay for my bills during that time I was out of work. I considered myself financially conscious and was aware of the pitfalls of having credit, which could get me into trouble. I did what I could, but before I knew it I had reached my balance and ended up getting a second card to help with my additional expenses. By graduation, I had two maxed-out credit cards and was swimming in debt, only adding to what I would owe for student loans.

Although it was embarrassing to confront, or even discuss at the time, Philip helped me get on a simple financial plan in order to work through these credit cards and eventually pay them off. I remember being on vacation with him, in Turks & Caicos of all places, and paying my final balance. I can’t even describe to you the weight that was lifted once I read that $0.00 balance...on BOTH cards.

Funny enough, my car at the time, a 2000-something Hyundai Santa Fe, was beginning to show signs of death and I knew that it was only a matter of time before it crapped out on me. I knew that I needed a new car and soon. Funny the way the universe works. Oh you just paid off your credit card debt? That’s nice. Now the undercarriage of your car is going to rust and fall out.

Finding Mini...
I had always loved Mini Coopers and it was once only a dream to own one. They were cute, compact, and had just enough sportiness that made them fun to drive. After discussing it, Philip took me to a dealership and spent the afternoon test driving some of their models. After driving a few, and over the next few weeks contemplating on which I liked most, the day finally arrived where I was in a position to buy my first brand new car. Finally I was about to embark on purchasing my dream car; making that dream a reality.

May 18, 2013
This was me almost two years ago to the day when my Mini Coupe arrived all the way from Oxford, England. Instead of purchasing something off the lot, I went with designing and creating my own coupe from scratch. I opted for the two-seater coupe because at the time I didn’t need the extra room since it was just me and Philip. Also, it was perfect for living in DC because you could park it anywhere. The coupe was a brand new model and I loved the fact that I didn’t see many of these driving around (I mean, EVERYONE has the two-door hardtop).

However, within that two year period of owning my dream car, my priorities had shifted. I had gotten married, we adopted our fur-baby Murphy, moved to CA and now we are in the phase of trying for a family. This all equates to needing to upgrade and find a more practical car for our growing family and accommodate my lengthy commute to work each day.

May 17, 2015
After many months, dealerships, test drives, and changed minds later we finally found THE ONE. I am so happy with our new Lexus Hybrid CT 200h because it’s a smooth drive, enough room for company (and an eventual car seat), saves on gas, and is oh so pretty ;)

So, what am I grateful for? 

I am grateful...
+ to my husband for providing me with a family I can’t do without
+ that we are in a financial position to buy a new car
+ for hybrid technology, which makes my commute so much easier
+ that my Mini will soon be someone else’s dream car

Most of all, God has been so good to our family and I am more than grateful for His love and blessings. Without His good work in our lives we wouldn’t have been in the position to make this purchase.

Do you have something you’ve worked hard to earn? What helped you reach your goal? What kinds of sacrifices did you have to make? Let’s talk!

Thank you to Ember Grey for hosting this wonderful Grateful Heart linkup! You can also find me linking up with Oak & Oats this week!

Slim Down Saturday + Linkup {5.16}


Halleluja I’ve made it through week one and I am so excited with the results I’ve seen these fast five days. I know it’s probably more water weight than anything else but it’s weight loss nonetheless and we all have to start somewhere. Today I am excited to begin the first Saturday in this series Slim Down Saturday and will be posting and linking up every weekend for the next three months. 

Series Inspiration:
I chose this amazing quote to be the series inspiration because as women, we should love to be ourselves, aspire to do great things, TO LOVE OUR BODIES, and to believe in the things we can achieve even when we face challenges. So, if you are inspired to get healthy this season and want to share your journey, be sure to join the linkup as I would love to meet you and share in this experience together!

The Results Week One

Ultimate Goal
My ultimate goal is to reach my goal weight, which is to lose about 40 lbs.

Gain/Loss From the Week
-2.8 lbs!

Total Loss Since Starting
-2.8 lbs

Positives From the Week
Of course losing almost 3 lbs is a huge positive from this week because it hasn’t been the easiest start staying within my points. But a couple major positives is that I am sticking to my points and getting to the gym 3x a week.

Things to Work On
One thing I would like to work on is drinking the full 8 glasses of water every day.

One Goal For Next Week
Continue to eat more fruit (0 points!) and other healthy snacks for those hunger pings throughout the day and in-between meals. 

A good playlist for the gym. Nothing gets you in the mood to break a sweat more than a good playlist of your favorite artists. I love using the Top Hits station on Pandora because a lot of the music out right now have a great tempo for the gym and I love discovering new artists!

Here are a few of my favorites right now:
+ GDFR by Flo Rida
+ Hey Mama by David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj 
+ Where Are U Now by Skrillex & Diplo feat. Justin Bieber
+ Elastic Heart by Sia

Tip or Trick
One tip for this week that has worked for me, that even I was a bit skeptical about, was making sure to eat a healthy breakfast to start my day. One way I do this, especially when I don’t have the time to sit down and eat all the time, is breakfast smoothies. I found a recipe on Pinterest and it has been a great meal replacement option, keeps me feeling full, and is packed with protein and nutrients...oh and it tastes really good!

I got through week one and I’m excited to go into next week! Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Five Things Friday + Linkup


Yay for the weekend and double yay for having today off! My preschool has conferences today and luckily assistants don’t have to go in #winning. Anyways, it’s been a couple weeks since I could get here and post for Five Things Friday so here are this week’s goings-on:

What is Five Things Friday?
We all have things going on during our week and this is a place to share them with other bloggers! It could be something new and exciting that happened, a favorite pin, recipe, or DIY project. Or it could be a couple of your favorite posts you’ve read this week. Check out my examples below to get an idea!

I registered for online classes this week for my early childhood education certification so that one day I can teach preschool! I’m so excited to start but have never done online classes before so this will definitely be a new experience. Plus I’ll have to dust off what I remember about writing college papers!

Have you done online classes before? What was your experience like and what should I expect?

This week I’ve decided to be proactive about my weight and I've joined Weight Watchers...again. I loved this program when I first joined last year right before my wedding (read my previous progress posts here) and it’s been quite the adjustment since starting again. I’m optimistic about losing weight and I can’t wait to see my first week’s results!

Oh, and if you’re interested, I’m hosting a weekly linkup on Saturdays called Slim Down Saturday. If you have a health goal or are trying to lose weight, feel free to link up with me to share your weekly progress. You can check out more details about it here. Hope to see you tomorrow!

Trader Joe’s Roasted Seaweed Snacks are the bomb. And yes, I just used the phrase “the bomb.” It’s only because they are. For an entire package it’s only 1 point and the wasabi flavored ones are absolutely delicious and the perfect savory snack throughout the day. I first saw them in my kids’ snacks at work and was curious about them so I picked up a couple packages. OMG.

A photo posted by Kelly Daniel (@kjdaniel1) on

I am so pumped to begin checking out these yummy looking recipes from my newest cookbook called Street Vegan courtesy of Blogging for Books! I chose this cookbook because, I mean, the cover itself looks like I could eat it right off the page AND because I am curious about vegan dishes and how it could be beneficial for my health. Just skimming the first few pages I’m already inspired! Be on the lookout for some recipes and my review! If you’re new to Blogging for Books check out the deets and my first book review here.

I am always on the lookout for amazing posts on how to grow your blog. I have only been blogging for 7 months and I have learned so much through reading through other bloggers helpful hints and tips. I also snuck in my own tips on how to get started, which features a lot of helpful resources! Here are a few of my favorites from this week!


And lastly...

That’s my five favorite moments and things from this week and thanks so much for stopping by! I look forward to reading all the blogs who link up and discovering some new bloggers in the process. So, if you have five things you want to share about your week feel free to link up your blog below! It will be open all week.

I look forward to weighing in tomorrow and sharing my weight loss progress with my newest series and linkup: Slim Down Saturday