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Adventures in Kittenhood

So, two weeks ago, I walked into Penny‘s room and discovered her in the corner, giving birth right there on the floor! (So much for that birthing box…)! It’s been a crazy two weeks full of wonder and worry and change, and I’m still amazed that six beautiful kittens came out of tiny, little Penny. I was betting that she’d have three. Four at the most! I’m in love with each and every one of them and sit and observe them every chance I get. I know they’ll be all grown up before I know it, so I’m trying to cherish the few weeks that we’ll have with them here before it’s time for them to go to their new homes. Here’s a roundup of some photos from their first two weeks:

kittens 1

kittens 2

kittens 3

kittens 4

kittens 5

kittens 6

kittens 7

kittens 8

kittens 9

kittens 10

kittens 11

kittens 12

kittens 13

kittens 14

kittens 15

One week old!

 

kittens 16

kittens 17

kittens 18

kittens 19

kittens 20

kittens 21

kittens 22

kittens 23

kittens 24

kittens 25

Look at those peepers!

 

kittens 26

kittens 27

kittens 28

kittens 29

Two weeks old!

 

kittens 30

kittens 31

kittens 32

kittens 33

kittens 34

 

Stay tuned for more kitten updates! And if you haven’t already, be sure to check out our farm accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more pics as well as news about our farm/sanctuary, Ahimsa Acres!

 

 

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Dream House Dreamin’

house drawing

My apologies for being so quiet this week… I’ve been hanging out in dreamland lately! Lots going on around here, including a possible move!

Ahhh!

There are a lot of pieces that need to fall into place for this to work for us — and we’re really only at the beginning stages — but I can’t help myself from thinking about it pretty much all the time!

We’ve got our eyes on a few places and each of them are wonderful in their own right and have great amenities to offer, but none of them are quite what I’d consider my dream home. I’m not sure if my dream home is even out there. If it is, I haven’t come across it yet and even if I did, I’m sure it would be wayyyyy out of our budget range anyway! I guess that’s why they call it a “dream” home, though, right? Because it only exists in your dreams?

Anyway, I’ll stop rambling. Here’s a list of stuff that would be included in my dream home:

  • cathedral ceilings with exposed-wood beams
  • a huge, stone front, wood-burning fireplace
  • at least three bathrooms
  • a bidet (gross… just kidding!!)
  • a reading nook
  • a big bay window
  • a sun room/porch with a spectacular view of the yard
  • a huge kitchen
  • a library with built-in bookshelves (and one of those ladders that rolls along the shelves!)
  • a finished basement (with enough space for me to have a yoga corner)
  • an art/craft studio
  • a wrap-around porch
  • a walk-in pantry
  • a room for the dogs
  • a “man room” for Ant
  • an in-ground pool
  • a red barn
  • a huge pasture with a pond or a stream
  • a spacious garden
  • a long, winding driveway
  • an old-fashioned lamppost
  • a workshop for Ant
  • lots of trees, including at least one weeping willow
  • white picket fences surrounding our property

That’s not asking for too much, is it?

Oh well… a girl can dream, can’t she?! 🙂

 

What things would be included in your dream home?


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I Forgot How Awesome Weekends Are

I’ve mentioned before that I work as a pet-sitter and dog-walker. It’s pretty much the perfect job (for me, at least!), but there is one thing I do miss about a more conventional job: weekends. A pet-sitter’s days are long, sporadic and unpredictible, especially during the summer months. It’s not very often I get a day off, let alone two in a row, but I do make sure that I take off a few weekends a year for a little R&R.

Last weekend, I took three whole days off and Ant and I (and the dogs) headed to one of our favorite places in the world — Cape May! It’s a town that holds a ton of great memories for us and we had a wonderful time there, as we always do.

Here’s a little photo recap of some of the things we did.

CM on the way

Heading to nearby Wildwood to check out the new dog beach!

 

CM wildwood dog beach

 

CM wildwood fire hydrant

 

CM hydrant 2

The giant fire hydrant sculpture is made from old amusement ride parts. Pretty neat!

 

CM wildwood plaque

 

CM walking to WW beach

 

CM checkers close up

 

CM sally close up

 

CM sm selfie

In front of The Southern Mansion, where we were married in 2010!

 

CM sm pets

Selfie gone wrong…

 

CM firehouse

 

CM geckos

A little lunch at Gecko’s. Dogs are welcome in the patio dining area!

 

CM Mad Batter drinks

 

CM veg ravioli

Dinner and drinks at The Mad Batter. Vegan ravioli = yum!!

 

CM checkers ocean

Checking out Higbee Beach.

 

CM tree

Very Lion King-esque, don’t you think?

 

CM in the water

 

CM driftwood

 

CM making friends

Making friends!

 

CM dogs waterline

 

CM rolling in sand

 

CM horny corny

Horny corny. More on this in a future post…

 

CM on a boat

Badass boat selfie.

 

CM shoreline

 

CM dolphins

Don’t worry… these are dolphin, not sharks!

 

CM me with cow

I had to stop at this antique store and pose with the plastic cow out front.

 

(Sigh…) I wanna go back!!

Who else loves Cape May? What are some of your favorite spots there?


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The Cinnamon Snail and A Return Trip to Blossom

Last Wednesday, Ant and I trekked up to NYC for the day. As an early birthday present from my parents, he got tickets to see Rocky (only his favorite movie series, EVER!!) on Broadway and luckily for me, he picked me to accompany him. Of course, the day was just as much about the food as it was about the show and we set three goals for ourselves for the day:

  1. Find the Cinnamon Snail for lunch
  2. Immerse ourselves in the entire Rocky experience
  3. Eat a rockin’ dinner at Blossom



Our journey started early that morning. We got ready and drove an hour to the train station and somehow, we ended up in the designated “quiet car” on the train. And apparently, that’s a very serious thing. We got a not-so-friendly “reminder” about it from the ticket-puncher guy within the first five minutes.

Our bad!

It was a long two hours…

shhh train

We got into the city around 11 and moseyed around for a bit before heading out in search of The Snail. We lucked out that day — social media informed us that The Snail just so happened to be parked right near the theater district that day, so we made our way there. I told Ant to look for a long line and head toward that direction. From what I’d heard, where The Snail is, there is always a line.

Sure enough, we found line and it led us right to The Snail!

snail collage

I ordered the special that day, the Habanero Cauliflower Buffalo Wing Sub, along with a Meyer Lemon Twist. Ant got the Smoked Portobello Mushroom Carpaccio sandwich and an “Faux Zebra” donut. My sandwich was spicy! Not in a bad way, though. I enjoyed the kick and was still able to appreciate the other flavors that the arugula and dill spread had to offer. Ant said his sandwich was tasty, too, and we both enjoyed our pastries.

We thought our meal was a bit on the pricey side, but definitely was worth it. If you’re in the city and you happen to see this food truck, you have to brave the line for a bite to eat, even if it’s just for a pastry. I really don’t think you can go wrong with any of their offerings. And, if you’re already a fan, make sure you vote for them to win the title of Vegan/Vegetarian Food Truck of the Year! Hurry, though, the poll closes on August 8th!

snail my sandwich

snail ant sandwich

We took in the sights for a bit longer, then headed to the theater for the show, which was really great. I’m not a huge fan of Rocky (sorry, Ant!… you already knew that, though), but I thought they did an awesome job of working the story into a Broadway production. Sets were impressive and the score was enjoyable. Too bad it’s ending its run on Broadway in a few weeks!!

nyc sights

rocky collage

After the show let out, we made our way to Chelsea for our reservations at Blossom. Of all the veg places to eat in the city, after our stellar meal at Blossom back in March, Ant wanted to return. Although I loved my meal during our first visit there, I would have liked to have tried somewhere new, but it was his day, so Blossom it was! And it didn’t disappoint.

blossom front

The setting inside is cozy and we enjoyed our spot by the window and all the people- and dog-watching it provided. (I’m not much of a city person and could never see myself living in NYC, but if I ever did, I think Chelsea would be the place for me). And the food? Superb, of course! We put it on par with Vedge in our “city,” but I think we both like Blossom just a little bit more.

We started with the chef’s appetizer sampler.

blossom sampler

 

blossom appetizer

Is your mouth watering, yet?

I thought so!

Everything was so, so delicious! I have to admit though, I was a bit freaked out by the caviar — it looked a little too real — but it was quite yummy! My very favorite were the fried pickles, though. You just can’t go wrong with frying up a pickled veggie and dipping it in some tangy sauce! 

For entrees, I had the Moroccan Tagine and Ant had the Port Wine Seitan (which he also had on our first visit).

My tagine was exotic, aromatic and perfectly seasoned and judging by how quickly Ant scarfed down his meal, his was very good, too!


blossom tagine

 

blossom seitan

Of course, we had to squeeze some dessert into our bellies! I had the Chocolate Ganache and he had the Apple Crumble.

blossom desserts

 

Somehow, we managed to roll ourselves out of Blossom and headed back to Penn Station. It’s a good thing that the trains run so often — we were so stuffed with delicious food that the walk back to the train station took us a long, long time!

Overall, we had a wonderful time in New York and we can’t wait to return for our next adventure!

 

Frequent NYC-ers or locals — where are your favorite places to eat in the Big Apple? Has anyone seen Rocky?

 


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Philly Veg Fest

This past Saturday, Ant and I headed into Philly for the first ever Philly Veg Fest, hosted by The Humane League. If you remember, back in March, we popped our veg fest cherries by visiting the NYC Veg Fest and had such a great experience. Free stuff, great food, lots of cool things to learn about — what’s not to love!? So, when we found out that Philly would be holding its very own, we knew we had to be there.

We got into the city nice and early, a little after 10am, and made our way over to the festival location. It was held in the area known as “The Shambles,” in the Head House Square District. I’ve never been in that part of the city before, but it’s a really cool area with lots of interesting architecture and cobblestone streets. I made Ant stand in line with me until 11 — the official opening of the festival — so we could get our free swag bags for being among the first 300 attendees. We got our bags and began making our way around. The crowd wasn’t bad at first, but it quickly grew and became a bit of an annoyance. More than 5,000 people showed up for this inaugural event, and while I don’t blame anyone at all — even the organizers couldn’t have known how many people would turn up — it was way too small of a venue for that size crowd. We had to squeeze through bodies and bags and strollers and people waiting in lines for food to get to where we needed to go. Not the most pleasant experience, but we didn’t let it bother us too much.

Had to take a veg fest selfie, of course!

We bought some stuff, mainly a few shirts from The Humane League‘s table and some lip balms from The Fanciful Fox. We chatted with Catskill Animal Sanctuary‘s Outreach Manager and told her how excited we were about our upcoming trip in October. She’s going to hook us up with some volunteer duties while we’re up there! Yes!! Put us to work, please! I love farm life! I discovered a really interesting vegan spiritual group, which helps  people learn to navigate as a vegan in a carnist world and they hold retreats throughout the year which include lots of yoga, meditation and vegan food. Sign me up! I’m definitely going to try to connect with them in the near future. We also got a chance to talk to the folks from VegOut!, a Food Network-esque show that’s in the works, which will highlight delicious veg eats in cities around the country. We so need something like this on tv! Ant and I have been saying it for years. Too bad we didn’t capitalize on the idea, because I think it’s brilliant, but please, please, please send some funds their way, if you can, so this brilliant idea can become a brilliant reality.

Of course, we did a ton of eating. It was a veg fest, afterall, and the food was at the center of the spotlight that day. A few of our favorite Philly dining establishments were there, including Miss Rachel’s Pantry and HipCityVeg. We tried Miss Rachel’s cheesesteak hand pies and thought they were super yummy! I’m going to try to figure out how to recreate them at home. From the HipCityVeg booth, we got a club sandwich bite and a tempeh rollup, both of which were really good. Oh, and we split a green lemonade, too. Lemonade is one of my favorite drinks and I thought HipCityVeg’s version would ruin it by adding, of all things, kale (yuck — not a fan!!), to it. But it was refreshing and delicious, just like lemonade should be.

philly veg fest collage

We were also super excited to learn more about V Street, the newest endeavor from Chef Rich Landau, of Horizons and Vedge (and Chopped!) fame, and it definitely didn’t disappoint! We ordered some trumpet mushroom tacos from their table and oh my God, were they good! And it was really cool to see Chef Rich manning the grill and laughing with his employees — that guy is just so super cool and down-to-earth!

Show that grill who’s boss, Chef Rich!!

There were a few companies offering free samples, but not as many as I’d hoped. We tried vegan scrapple, which was awesome! I never had the real thing, so I don’t know how it compares, but Ant said although it was really, really tasty, it didn’t taste much like real scrapple, but the texture was pretty accurate. We also liked the samples we got from the Just Mayo table and the Sip ‘n Glo Juicery.

We missed the few cooking demos that we wanted to try to see — we were too busy stuffing our faces. Whoops! There’s always next time, I guess!

After we’d made our rounds and filled our bellies, we (sadly) called it a wrap. We had a family function to attend back home, or we probably would have stayed for the rest of the evening, enjoying the beautiful weather and all the sights and sounds of the city. Before leaving, though, I did get to finally meet up with Carmella and Carlo, otherwise known as The Food Duo, who had made their way down from NYC with some friends to check out what the Philly veg scene has to offer. Hope you enjoyed your time in our city, guys!!

All in all, we thought this event was a huge success. Hopefully it will return next year — bigger, better and in a more appropriately-sized space! And if it does, we’ll be sure to be there!

Did you attend the Philly Veg Fest? What did you think of it?


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Caving & Grubbing

Thanks to our unconventional and unpredictable schedules, both my husband and I weren’t sure if we’d be working this past weekend or not. As it turned out, we both had off on Sunday, so, not wanting to waste a beautiful day off together, we headed out for a little adventure.

Instead of heading down the shore (that’s how we say it here in New Jersey — I think the rest of the world says “to the beach”), where the rest of NJ was this holiday weekend, we decided to head in the other direction, into Pennsylvania, for some good eats and cave exploration. Ever since passing signs for cave tours on the highway on our way home from our trip to Farm Sanctuary in October, we’ve been itching to check out some caves. On Sunday, we ended up at Crystal Cave in Kutztown and we had a wonderful day full of fun, laughs and great memories. I think I’ll let the photos from that day do the rest of the talking:

Heading into the City of Brotherly Love for lunch.

Heading into the City of Brotherly Love for lunch.

A little falafel action to fuel our day of adventure!

A little falafel action to fuel our day of adventure! (Maoz Vegetarian, Philadelphia, PA)

cave sign

The obligatory waiting-in-line selfie.

The obligatory waiting-in-line selfie.

cave wall

cave ice cream cone

cave bacon

(Vegan) cave bacon!

cave ant

cave building seflie

cave cows

Couldn’t drive by my favorite animals without stopping to say hello!

Bookstore?! Hell yes!

Bookstore?! Hell yes! (Firefly Books, Kutztown, PA)

Bookstore haul... guess which ones are mine!

Bookstore haul… guess which ones are mine!

vegan treats

This may or may not have been the entire motive behind our adventure…(Vegan Treats, Bethlehem, PA)

vegan treats case

Yes, you should be jealous!

vegan treats soft serve

Excited about my mango soft-serve!

vegan treats pb cheesecake

Oh, and in case you’ve been following me for a while, you may remember that Memorial Day was to mark the end of my self-appointed “Plank Challenge.”

Yeah… So… About that….

To be completely honest, I fell of the plank wagon a little while back and am disappointed that I even let that happen. There’s no excuse other than laziness. I’ve decided to extend my challenge until Labor Day and I’m more committed than ever to planking every day until then to see what results I get. I’m actually planking right now, as I type this. Just kidding…. I’m not. That would take some serious strength which I don’t have (yet!). But I’ll be holding some planks after I’m finished. I swear!

How did you celebrate Memorial Day? Have you ever explored a cave?