REVIEW: August Favorites

Happy (almost) September, my friends! Can’t believe that we’re that much closer to fall…my ABSOLUTE favorite season. August was all about taking it easy with experimenting in the kitchen, some nice hikes, fresh air, and time with family. One highlight from August was watching the Perseid meteor shower. Did any of you get to enjoy it?! The first night I went to sit in the backyard, curled up on the adirondack chair, and eyes glued to the sky…well, that was until I heard a nearby sniffing sound. I ignored it at first because I thought maybe it was a neighbor’s cat, but then it got louder and closer…I decided to make sure…so I used a dim light on my phone to see and OMG! It was a skunk! Only a couple feet away from me! Yikes! I decided to call it a night and run inside. Luckily I managed to get away without being sprayed. BUT the next night I got to sit outside for a bit and enjoy the beauty of the night sky – just amazing!


Another highlight of August was the launch of the Feed Life eBook! Early last year, Eden approached me with the idea behind this book and wanted me to be one of the contributors…to say that I was honored was an understatement. As many of you know, I admired her immensely and when she lost her battle to cancer in October of last year, the loss hit many of us hard. She was such a light and her kindness and passion incredibly contagious. Her husband, Colin, has done a wonderful job of not only living out the work that they started together, but he also worked hard to get this eBook completed…I know that Eden would be so proud. Seventeen contributors and over 100 plant-based recipes makes this book one amazing resource! Not only is it filled with delicious, healthy recipes, but it also has some helpful information regarding nutrition and healing. I guarantee you’ll find recipes for even the pickiest of eaters! You can grab a copy HERE for $10 until September 1st and then the price will go up to $15.

Title Page




Cheesy Jalapeno Bagels >> Angie’s Gluten-Free Kitchen >> My Mom was kind enough to stop by this gem of a bakery on her way home from Salem, OR last month. This bakery is dedicated gluten-free, but guess what else? They’re also soy-free, gum-free, oat-free and don’t use hydrogenated oils or refined sugar…can you say heavenly?!?! That’s practically unheard of. Not all of their products are vegan as they might contain honey and/or eggs. They’re located in McMinnville, OR. OK, but these bagels – amazing!!! So soft, fresh, and the perfect amount of heat from the jalapenos. I’ve only tried one other vegan, gluten-free bagel before and I remember it being rock hard and dense. You’d never in a million years guess that these cheesy jalapeno bagels are vegan and gluten-free! We kept ours in the freeze and toasted them up to use for a sandwich. Next time I’m in that area, I’ll definitely stock up!

REVIEW: August Favorites

I toasted one up and made a sandwich with romaine, heirloom tomato slices, homemade cashew cheese slices, and vegan mayo…SO GOOD!

REVIEW: August Favorites

Purple Mulberries >> The Raw Food World >> Did you know that purple mulberries existed?! When they showed up on the list of ‘at-cost’ specials from Raw Food World, I absolutely had to get my hands on some. Willow eats regular mulberries like candy and I’m OK with that because they’re really good for you…well, when I introduced her to these purple mulberries, she freaked! They are sweet, soft, chewy, and insanely addicting! We’ve been snacking on them straight out of the bag or sprinkling them on top of smoothie bowls. In my opinion, these are better than white mulberries.

A 16oz bag is available for $11.86 (At-Cost special, but the price goes up soon!) If you do place an order through them, don’t forget to use the coupon code ‘rawfood7’ for 7% off your order!

REVIEW: August Favorites

Two Moms in the Raw >> Soul Sprout Nut Bar >> Cranberry Crush & Gotta Getta Gojiberry >> I found these at Natural Grocers and since I’ve loved everything else from this brand, I had to give them a try. Since then, I’ve gone back three times to stock up! I LOVE them! Chewy, slightly sweet, and absolutely satisfying. Willow doesn’t like them though because she prefers a less chunky bar…she picks out the peanuts in her favorite GoMacro bar, so I wasn’t too surprised when she passed on trying it. The almonds are whole and sprouted and pair so perfectly with the gojiberries and cranberries. I keep one with me when we’re out hiking or away from home for any extended period of time as they give a nice little protein boost. Natural Grocers only carries these two bars (for now), but I’m anxious to try the other flavors…especially the chocolate options 😉 I paid $2.19/bar.

REVIEW: August Favorites

Pickled Planet >> Veda Kraut {Raw Sauerkraut} >>  While it wasn’t love at first bite, this sauerkraut has found it’s way onto quite a few of my salads and veggie bowls. It adds a nice crunch and vinegar-y bite to my food, which is always a plus. There are a few flavor options of this sauerkraut, but my eye went straight for the curry spiced one! For those who don’t like spicy, have no fear because it doesn’t contain any spicy ingredients – it’s just tangy.  Pickled Planet is also an Oregon company.

REVIEW: August Favorites




Skillet Crusted Sweet Potato Gnocchi >> Yum Universe Cookbook >> I’m kicking myself for not taking a photo of this delicious meal…but we were so excited to dive into it, that documenting it was the last thing on my mind. Gnocchi was one of my all time favorite foods growing up and oddly enough, I’ve only eaten it a few times since going vegan/gluten-free, so this recipe has been on our ‘to-make’ list for quite some time. While we tend to stay away from oil, we chose to go with Heather’s method of pan searing them after boiling – I did sample one without using oil and quickly decided a little oil wasn’t going to kill us! The end result…AMAZING!!! I loved the slightly crispy exterior and tender middle. But the best part…Willow ate it, too! We paired the gnocchi with tomato sauce and oil-free sauteed kale. Definitely a meal we’ll be making again.

Vegan Oil-Free Creamy Italian Dressing >> The Vegan 8 >> I was so excited when I got the email alerting me that Brandi had created a new salad dressing recipe because we have been living on salads…but I was in a bit of a rut with dressings. I tend to make the same few over and over again, so it’s nice to get a fresh recipe! The only thing we had to grab from the store was red wine vinegar – everything else we always have on hand. We made this dressing three times during the month of August  and used it on salad, pasta, and rice + veggie bowls. Big thumbs up from my whole family (including my parents, Oma, and Willow)!

REVIEW: August Favorites



How Not to Die by Michael Greger M.D. >> This book has been on my to-read list for quite a while and I finally borrowed a copy from the library. After reading the first few pages, I thought to myself, “I need to buy my own copy.” It’s a rather lengthy book and the print is pretty small, so it’s taking me a good bit of time to get through it considering I only get an hour or two a night to read after Willow goes to bed. How Not to Die is very reminiscent of another fantastic book I recommended here earlier this year…Medical Medium. It’s broken down by disease and talks about foods that can heal…spoiler alert…plants are magical. While I’ve known for a long time just how powerful a plant-based diet can be, it’s always amazing to read the scientific evidence backing it. The first part of this book is all about “how not to die from…” and the second part is all about food. I can’t recommend this book enough, so grab yourself a copy if you haven’t already read it!

The Energy Healing Experiments by Gary E. Schwartz, PhD with William L. Simon 

 New books that I read with Willow and enjoyed:

Star Wars Little Golden Book Collection (7 books in one)

Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve >> Magic Tree House #30

A Perfect Time for Pandas >> Magic Tree House #48


So tell me, what did you get up to last month? Did you try any new products? Make any new recipes? Or read any good books?! I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for stopping by!

6 thoughts

  1. Hiiiii Mandyyyyyy! 🙋🙋🙋🙋 Miss you soooo much! I tried to comment on this post but it said the link was broken? Ah well it was a lovely read as usual! I really miss you on Instagram! I bet your life is more peaceful without it though. How’s everybody? Is Abbey doing OK? I’ve been nervous about her. I bet Willow is huge! Hope you are having a wonderful summer. It’s been the hottest year here and we cannot wait until mid October when it should start cooling off. I’m fully in the jewelry making zone getting ready for all our shows. I think about you all the time and hope all is well!

    Love you friend! 😘😘😘😘


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, friend!! 🙋🏻😘 Yeah, sorry about that!! Willow and I were working on adding photos to the post and she accidentally hit publish! Gah! So I had to quickly remove it from the blog so I could finish it. I was also in the middle of typing up the section about the Feed Life ebook, but anywho, it’s all fixed! ☺️💕
      I’m not sure when I’ll return to IG – I’ve got some personal matters to focus on and I need more peace and less distractions. Everyone is doing pretty well! Thank you for asking 😘😘 We’ve had some rough days/moments with Abbey, but I’m praying that we’ve reached a good spot now as she seems a bit more at ease. Yep! Willow is huge and running the show here 😂
      How are you?! Besides the heat?! Yuck!! We had some really hot days here, but thank goodness for chilly nights! We had a few nights where we dipped down into the low 40s! I’m SO ready for fall!! I think about you all the time and promise to text you soon – been in the middle of processing some hard things. Love you so much and as always, I appreciate the concern and kind words! ❤️❤️❤️❤️


  2. I think it is so wonderful that you are a contributor to Feed Life! I will have to grab my copy!!!!! Oh and those bagels, you had me at gluten free. I have not had a bagel in years, ever since my Celiac diagnoses. I wonder if that company ships? Or maybe they will? I will have to find out. You are right about a lot of gluten free breads being rock hard. I found them like a powder and gritty. My daughter does like Franz gluten free bread, however, it breaks the bank for us. So I find myself making a quick flat bread for sandwiches. Not a vegan recipe, because it does use organic yogurt. I found that recipe my family likes the best.

    Books we have read a lot over this summer, however, my favorite so far is one we just started. Winnie the Pooh book 1. My 6 year old daughter just laughed and laughed at Pooh, when he tries to ride a balloon up a tree to get honey. Or the 2nd chapter when Pooh gets stuck in Rabbit’s door and cannot get out. I think Pooh books are classic for a reason. So much imagination for children.

    I haven’t read Star Wars golden books, I will have to pick that up for my daughter. She does love Star Wars. Having older siblings she hears a lot about it! Love your favorites, great post and love the beautiful pictures!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so sorry! I thought I replied to your comment!! Sorry, Kris!! I totally thought of you when my mom came home with all sorts of gluten-free goodies! These bagels were so good! I wonder if they ship out because I’d even order for that! Isn’t it crazy how expensive gluten-free stuff is?! Our favorite store bought bread isn’t around anymore and I just found a new company, but it’s like $11 a loaf!! So I obviously passed. This fall and winter I would like to try making our own – that’s wonderful that you found a delicious recipe for homemade flatbread!
      I need to start Willow on Winnie the Pooh! I loved those books! Thanks for reminding me!! ❤️❤️


  3. Huge congrats on the book, that is just plain awesome! What a beautiful gesture that her husband finished it anyways–makes me smile☺️ I am having major bagel envy right now😍 That sandwich! They look amazing, I wouldn’t have guessed they were gluten (and everything else) free if I didn’t know better. If ever your mom wants to come thru Florida on her way home I’ll take 3 dozen please😂 The purple mulberries are totally exotic and gorgeous too, you know how I love all things purple and edible💜 How Not To Die was so good, and so incredibly comprehensive. Yes, I can see the parallels with medical medium too. Although Greger gets a bit more science/statistic-y, hence the epic length😄 Omg I’m so glad the skunk didn’t get you😳 I’ve never actually seen a meteor shower, I’m usually too tired to stay up or just forget, but outside + night time + stars is such a magical combination! Taking it easy and kitchen experiments both sound fantastic, I am going to try to be excited about fall too😁 Lots of love❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Natalie!!!!! For some strange reason, this comment of yours was in my spam box! I am so sorry! I pretty much cried when I ate the last bagel…they were seriously amazing! Haha!! I’ll put you down for three dozen 😉😘
      That book was incredible and holy smokes, it was looooooong!! 😂 So much evidence backing up his words and I found it so fascinating how in some of these studies, pure, whole foods could take the place of harmful prescription drugs. I found myself getting frustrated though because I know several people on meds for high blood pressure, heart issues, etc. – I just wish everyone would take a second look at their diet! But I digress 😂😂
      I think of you every time we bust out those gorgeous mulberries – seriously, purple makes everything more fun! 💜 Oh! You have to watch the night sky next time the meteor showers occur…it’s amazing! Sending you SO much love, my friend! Hope you’re enjoying the last bit of summer! ❤️❤️❤️


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