Tag Archives: Atlanta

How to Prepare for a DIY Cross-Country Move

3500 miles of changing weather and landscapes, too many dog farts to count, and far too much packing and unpacking shenanigans later…we made it! We traded sunny Atlanta for the damp lushness of Eugene, Oregon. As I type this, I am looking at moss-covered trees blanketed in fog. And I kinda like it. A lot.

Atlanta to Eugene- Luminous Vegans

Getting here was not easy. It’s not the norm that people just up and move to a place across the country on what *seems* like a whim. Up until this point, I let my job dictate where I live. This time I decided to choose where I live. Because as the youngins say YOLO*!

Seriously though, this kind of untraditional way of moving is super scary. But isn’t anything that’s not the norm scary? Ultimately, this is not a tutorial. Everybody is different and has different needs and financial situations. In this post, I’m gonna share with you some things we did along the way to help us “pull off” a DIY move across the country. Keep in mind that some of these steps are over a very looooong period of time.

How We Prepared for a Cross-Country Move

1. We saved money. This has given me peace of mind and I know that it will act as a security blanket if we need it.

2. Made sure we had dat cash-money flow from a geographically independent source. Think freelancing (Neal) and telecommuting (me). This required Neal to work nearly up to the day we started packing our stuff.

Atlanta to Eugene- Luminous Vegans

3. Spent time researching cities to live (helpful sites that we used here and here). Narrowed it down and took a trip out to scope places to live. We got extremely lucky and found a house to rent on our trip out. I think this is partly due to the fact that our move was during an atypical time to move (winter!). Could we have gotten a place to live without traveling out here? Probably. But I felt better having seen the hood and the actual inside of the house.

Atlanta to Eugene- Luminous Vegans

4. Set a moving date. We had already built a good rapport with our Atlanta rental company. As such, we were able to break our lease without too much cray-cray.

5. Rented relocubes to pack our stuff and have it transported. This was the cheapest moving option we found. They pick up the packed cubes when you call them and deliver them to your new location. They’ll even send out an extra cube if you ask in case your stuff spilleth over and they won’t charge ya if you don’t use it.

Atlanta to Eugene- Luminous Vegans

6. Packed and purged. This one is self-explanatory eh?

We got large cardboard boxes from a retail store for free (craigslist and me are BFFs). These were great because they were all uniform sizes which made packing the cube easier! Grocery stores are also a great source of free boxes, you just have to ask. We got smaller sized boxes from the Atlanta co-op to fill in small spaces in our packing cube.

Atlanta to Eugene- Luminous Vegans

The kitchen was the hardest to pack. Yet it was also one of the last rooms to get packed because food. Nearly every non-refrigerated good was brought with us.

Atlanta to Eugene- Luminous Vegans

I learned to adapt to the constant transitory state of our house during the days leading up to packing the relocubes. Things got ugly for a few days.

Atlanta to Eugene- Luminous Vegans

We had to be okay with sleeping on the floor for a night as well.

Atlanta to Eugene- Luminous Vegans

We packed our cubes in ONE day. Had I a chance to do it over again, I would have given ourselves at least two days. It’s challenging and time-consuming to fill in those cubes because we wanted to occupy every inch. This involves some serious tetris skills.

Atlanta to Eugene- Luminous Vegans

7. Did our walk-through with our Atlanta place and then hit the road (road post forthcoming)!

After living in Atlanta for so long, we had established some wonderful friendships and had family nearby. So somewhere between #4 and #7 we made sure to find time to say goodbye. The ease of our move was certainly not possible without the extreme generosity and continued support of friends and family.

I don’t think I could have asked for a better moving experience. But if had to do it all over again,  I would trade places with this guy in a heartbeat…

Atlanta to Eugene- Luminous Vegans

Happy Holidays!

 

*YOLO = You Only Live Once

Vegangrams

Welcome to the fourth installment of Vegangrams. This is where I curate pictures that accumulate on my phone.  Some have made an appearance on instagram, while some have just been sitting and collecting digital dust on my phone. In no particular order…

BBQ “shrimp” with sauteed kale and tomatoes on top of creamy polenta. This dish was inspired by Cadry at Cadry’s Kitchen.

BBQ vegan shrimp with kale and tomatoes on polenta - Luminous Vegans

Simple yet extremely flavorful and comforting red beans and quinoa dish inspired by Monique at The Brown Vegan.Red Beans and Rice- Luminous Vegans

Me getting scurred at the Netherworld haunted house before Halloween. This was my second year going courtesy of Neal’s sis (thanks!). I’m proud to say that I did not pee my pants this time around. Just kidding, I peed my pants both time. No, really just kidding…I didn’t pee in my pants either time. I was even brave enough to get my pics taken with these hotties.Netherworld - Luminous Vegans

Using up my free sample of the Vegg in a breakfast english muffin sandwich. There’s fried tofu “egg” with Vegg yolk and coconut bacon (the same coconut bacon used in this twice baked butternut squash).The Vegg - Luminous Vegans

Mexican casserole with nacho cashew cheese.Vegan Mexican Casserole - Luminous Vegans

The dogs clearly not caring that I’m trying to put the sofa covers on after having washed them. This is their nap time after all.Greyhounds - Luminous Vegans

Oh, just hanging out with Alicia Silverstone at a Kind Life Atlanta Meetup hosted by Dough Bakery.
Alicia Silverstone - Luminous Vegans

Getting my grub on at Harmony Vegetarian Cafe in Atlanta: salt and pepper “squid” and eggplant with garlic sauce.Harmony Vegetarian Chinese Restaurant - Luminous Vegans

We recently took a trip to Oregon and played in Eugene for a couple of days. Here’s a chocolate chip doughnut from Voodoo Donuts in Eugene, Oregon. By the way, is it DOUGHnuts or DOnuts? I donot know which is correct. See what I did there?
Voodoo Donuts - Luminous Vegans

We also played in Portland some. Here we are by Multnomah Falls thanks to our lovely tour guides Kenn and Jeanette.
Multnomah Falls- Luminous Vegans

When we travel with the pups, they each curl up on opposite ends of the backseat. But Miles sometimes plops himself in the middle not giving his sister any room. She’s a resourceful cookie though. (Please know that they did not stay this way. I made sure to help readjust them so they were both comfortable.)
Greyhounds -Luminous Vegans

My eyes on Neal’s face and Neal’s eyes on my face. Things like this are not an uncommon way for us to entertain ourselves.
Luminous Vegans

A meal with Neal’s family at Cardamom Hill Restaurant. Acorn squash roasted in a banana leaf and topped with coconut curry. Served with cardamom-scented plantains and rice pilau. Cardamom Hill Atlanta - Luminous Vegans

This last pic is technically not a phone pic. Here, I am watching Isa give a fun food demonstration at Atlanta’s Veg Fest.  The room was packed and I was in the back because, well, because Isa. She made an extremely tasty caeser salad with tempeh and quinoa. Leave it to Isa to make a salad that made me go “Day-um!! That’s good!”. She also talked about her new restaurant in Omaha a bit. It is meant to be cozy comfort food. I may or may not want to move to Omaha now.

PS. More pics of the Atlanta Veg Fest taken by Seth at VEGANesp can be found here.

Atlanta Veg Fest - Luminous VegansThe End!

Tales from the Vegan Army

This original image was originally posted to Flickr by isafmedia. (click)

Original image was posted to Flickr by isafmedia (Creative Commons). (click)

When we first moved to Atlanta, we lived within walking distance to a very hip, happening place called Little 5 Points. In said hip area, was a small Thai restaurant that we ambled into one day hoping against hope that there might be some vegan offerings. There were! But they came with something extra…

NEAL: [opening the menu after being seated] Oh, they have tofu. That’s promising.

ME: Yeah, they have a lot of tofu options actually.

WAITRESS: [walking up to our table] You guys ready to order?

ME: I think so, but we have a couple of questions. Do you know if these dishes have eggs or fish/shrimp sauce in them? [points to menu items]

WAITRESS: [looks at the menu items I am pointing to] Ummmm, I dunno. Lemme check with the cook. Are you guys like vegetarian or something?

NEAL: Actually, we’re vegan.

WAITRESS: [starts nodding head up and down and eyes get all knowing] Oh, ok. Lemme see.

After a couple of minutes, she returns.

WAITRESS: Those dishes are fine. I made sure they didn’t have any animal stuff in it. [looks really pleased with herself]

NEAL: Wow! That’s great! Thank you so much for checking! [smiling and grateful]

ME[nodding and smiling in gratitude] 

WAITRESS: Yeah, well. I know how you vegans can be. [rolls eyes]

Awkward silence.

ME: Uh. [looking confused]

….

wait for it…

….

wait for it…

WAITRESS: You know!! All ANAL and stuff.

The end.

It was strange being insulted and yet nicely accommodated (food-wise) at the same time.  We never ate there again. The food wasn’t that great. The business in that building has since changed like three times.

Expect more tales from the vegan army* in the future where I’ll share those oh-so special moments that we’ve experienced (either recently or way long ago like in this post) that only a vegan can relate to.

*The title of this blog post is inspired by a friend who described my blog as being about “that vegan army stuff”. Thanks guy. The resistance is here.

Happy Birthday Dough Bakery!

What do you do when you turn one year old? Eat lots of vegan food ’till you have to unbutton your pants and celebrate with a gaggle of nice folks? Sounds like a good plan to me.

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This past Sunday, Holly from Traveling Pink Lips  threw a plant-based potluck to bring ATL vegans together and celebrate Dough Bakery’s first year of awesomeness in Atlanta. For the past year, this vegan bakery along with Gutenfleischers (the vegan deli inside Dough) has been satiating my needs for whoopie pies, chocolate chip cookies, soft serve ice cream, ginormous deli sandwiches, queso, pimento cheese, milkshakes and more. The pups even get a fix with their peanut butter treats.

Here’s the event-planner extraordinaire greeting us. She’s about to let us loose on the food.

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Everybody brought a dish + I brought my camera = vegan food porn. Here are a few highlights.

Mac and cheese with coconut bacon. This was Holly’s dish. Check out that rad spatula!

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Peanut butter tofu. Yes.

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100 % organic tabouleh.

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Raw cheese dip (with chia seeds!).

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Dill and sour cream potato bites. Nom.

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“Goat” cheese. I love cashew cheese and I’ve made something very similar before.

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Mini loaded potato bites with tempeh (recipe on Glue and Glitter).

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Candied jalapeno with cream cheese. So creative!

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Squash casserole.

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Quinoa sweet potato balls with Daiya mozzarella!

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My final plates. Yes plates! My eyes were far hungrier than the size of my stomach. I tried to get one of everything but I’m sure I missed some dishes as some arrived later while I was stuffing my face. Everything was delicious! I brought a black bean and corn quinoa salad (recipe here), but forgot to get a pic of it because I was too enamored with everybody else’s dish. It’s on the bottom of the circular plate.dough1yr_mixplate

Holly also surprised everybody with a gift!

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I was so excited to finally get my hands on some coconut bacon. I was also thrilled to get a Crazy Rumors lip balm (that balm is my jam) and a vegan key chain from Jeanette Zeis Ceramics.

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There was a raffle to win the big bag of vegan swag.  All the raffle proceeds went to Animal Action Rescue.

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And boy were there sweets!

Brownie cookies. We split the second to last one.

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Chocolate chip and walnut cookies.

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Vegan gelato from Revolution Gelato. We’ve had this creamy-dreamy vegan gelato before but it’s not for sale yet, so it was a real treat to have some. I tried the new flavor, Hatch Chili Chip. I can not wait until this stuff goes on sale for realsies.  According to Jared the owner/creater this will hopefully happen sometime in the fall.

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And no birthday is complete without cake. Check out these fun decorated cakes made by Dough! Nom nom and nom nom nom!

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I’m so happy that Holly put this event together. She did an incredible job bringing together an awesome and diverse vegan crowd where I got a chance to talk to old friends and make some new ones. And big ups to Dough and Gutenfleischers for hosting and basically being ‘da bomb!

Kale Me Crazy, First Impressions

A new juice joint called Kale Me Crazy has opened up in Atlanta. Their facebook page states “Kale Me Crazy is an upscale juice bar that specializes in cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and raw foods.  We believe in better health and well-being through organic raw food”.  I love smoothies especially in the summer, so we headed over to try it out.

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Its interior is sleek, mostly white and modern and small.  There is seating at the front bar or at another bar facing the window. The guy at the counter was really nice and let us sample the juices. All the juices and smoothies are vegan and they offer some vegan baked goods.

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I got the Refresh smoothie- kale, celery, apple, banana, mint, coconut meat, coconut milk and maple syrup.

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Neal got the Recovery smoothie-banana, cherries, cashews, coconut yogurt, almond milk and vegan protein.

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Both smoothies were good, but I think I would have liked it more if there had been more cherry tartness in the Recovery and more apple sweetness/tartness in the Refresh. Neal really liked his and thought it tasted like a cherry milkshake.

I got the vibe that they were still getting a feel for what customers wanted and liked, so it’s possible their menu may change. If I happen to be in the neighborhood and get a hankering for a smoothie I’ll definitely stop by again, but I don’t see myself going out of my way to get one. To be fair, I don’t think I’m their target demographic because while I like smoothies, I’m not that into the whole juicing thing (I like pulpy fiber!). And since I own a Vitamix, it’s hard to justify spending that much on a smoothie when I can make one all day, err’day for a fraction of the price.

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Homemade spinach, pineapple, frozen banana,and coconut flakes smoothie.

What do you prefer….fresh pressed juices or smoothies?

Weekend Update

What I did this past weekend:

Tried to finish some knitting projects, but did not succeed. The yarn I am using is cotton based, no wool for me!
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Went to a vegan bake sale. A lot of stuff had sold before we got there, but we got to see Neal’s work on a postcard/flyer and still came home with some goodies (they melted a little because we were on bikes).vegan_bake_sale_2013

Went to the co-op to get some stuff from bulk and ended up trying this new popcorn from Earth Balance (it’s good!) and rehydrating with coconut water.sevenanda

Rode bikes everywhere.IMG_0279 IMG_0288 _Snapseed

Had to do some work. Boo.IMG_0323 _Snapseed

And ate some food:

Left over Mellow Mushroom pizza (vegan) with some ginger ale.

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Homemade vegan Ethiopian food from a student…one of the few perks of being a teacher!IMG_0230 _Snapseed

Game of Thrones night meal…mock chicken wings, mashed taters and asparagus.IMG_0204 _SnapseedWe also went to a raw restaurant over the weekend, but I’ll blog about that in a separate post because I am tired and have to get ready for the grind tomorrow. The grind is work and tomorrow is today since I am not posting this until tomorrow which will actually be today if you read this Monday. Ya follow?

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Vegan Atlanta represent

This weekend was the FIRST EVER Atlanta Veg Fest (2012). I’ve been kinda in an overall slump lately, so going to this event was just the “vegan hug” that I needed. I didn’t get a ton of event pics because we were too busy oogling all the awesome booths/vendors, saying hi to familiar faces and meeting new veg folks, including  Becky from Glue and Glitter, whose crafty vegan website I really admire.

Some of our local favorites like Dough Bakery , Gutenfleischers, and Dulce Vegan were there, as well as some non-local favorites like Herbivore Clothing. For a full list of the vendors/booths that were there click here.

Every hour of the festival there was a speaker. We were fortunate to catch Terry Hope Romero give a demonstration on steaming seitan (gonna try it soon!).

Of course, I got some goodies for myself. Crazy Rumors was there so I picked up three new flavors (the collection grows, and I do realize I have a problem, but hello?! gingerbread flavor!), N bought me a new vegan mug from Jeanette Zeis’ vegan dish line, we picked up some vegan soap from a local company, Soaps for a Cause (patchouli-vanilla..yum!), a screen printed notebook from Kenn Twofour

and N also got me this shirt from Herbivore that I had admired on Terry Romero. The front is all innocent and simple, and the back is hardcore “my body is not a graveyard”!

For lunch, we got veggie rotis from the Healthful Essence food truck that was outside. It was a roti filled with veggies and their yummy ungoat curry that I’ve blogged about before. Delish!

I can’t even imagine how something this awesome goes from drawing board to a successful reality, so a big hug and thanks to Leigh, Brett and Adrienne for organizing this amazing event!