Gosh!… what can I say other than I’ve had a marvelous 2014!… While I had one major loss (losing my sweet Dickie), most of my year has been quite phenomenal! I met some wonderful people during 2014, and I’ve been actively planting seeds of compassion… with some great results!!
So here’s a recap of my year… some things I have never published on my blog, and I’m excited to share it with you!!!… Here we go!!!
Guest blog on Cowgirls and Collard Greens…
|My youngest daughter… the aspiring food photographer!|
My girlfriend, Kayle Martin, and I talked about a guest post on her website sometime during the Spring of 2014. However, when someone cancelled a guest spot on her site, she asked me if I would put something together on short notice. So, I elaborated on my Selfie Caesar Salad for my guest post. Gosh, this was fun! If you’ve never checked out her website… you should!
Meeting Isa Chandra Moskowitz…
With the release of Isa’s new cookbook (Isa Does It), she had a food tasting and a talk at Seventh Son Brewing Co. This event was coordinated by Local Matters, and it was catered by The Angry Baker. Talk about delicious! This was such a blast, and while I played uber fan at this event… I learned a lesson that these vegan celebs are just like you and me… they’re just people… who have found a way to make a living doing what they LOVE 🙂
My children are EVERYTHING to me…
What can I say, other than I love these two more than anything. I just love being with them!… They are the funniest people that I have ever met, and I love watching their personalities develop. This is the joy of parenthood.
Meeting Nathan Runkel from Mercy For Animals was a definite highlight!
Nathan is the founder and president of Mercy For Animals. I have always attributed my veganism to one of their undercover videos. So, meeting the man behind this animal advocacy group was a very special moment for me.
Our first family protest against the circus…
This was such a busy day… We had just celebrated one of the girl’s birthday with our family (the grandparent party), and sat down on the couch for a minute before jumping into the car to go and protest the circus. Protesting the circus or an amusement park is a tricky thing. Unlike many demonstrations in which you show up at some location to educate people who are just passing by… at a circus protest, you are actively protesting something that people have paid money to go and see. They are often defensive and sometimes a bit hostile… some people will just yell at you as they walk away from you. In my honest opinion, I think as a demonstrator, we should tread lightly at this type of event. It’s not about being right… it’s about being effective.
Anyways… overall… this was a great event, and we will continue to protest the circus. In other news, we have plans for a major protest this summer!!! Stay tuned…
|Second floor view of the Veg Fest|
Cleveland has such a great vegan community. I know a few vegans from Cleveland, and they are all wonderful people! They have a great group called the Cleveland Vegan Society, and 2014 was their second Veg Fest! Both years the fest has been FANTASTIC with a great line-up of speakers!
|Beautiful children making ridiculous faces! They were posing next to a bee!|
On the day of the Veg Fest, we were also able to also squeeze in a quick trip to the Cleveland Botanical Garden. I hate to say it, but it blows our local Conservatory away. Really. Their Hershey’s Children’s Garden is AMAZING!… and it has inspired our family to get a memberships to our local conservatory so that we can get into Cleveland’s garden for free (reciprocal membership benefit)!
The loss of my best friend…
There’s not much to say about this one… I was not prepared for his passing. I still miss Dickie every day.
This was the first year that both of my girls were in public school…and I helped introduce a vegan option at my children’s school’s Ice Cream Social.
My little one started kindergarten and my older one was starting her journey into second grade. At this point I had no idea how great second grade would be for the both of us (November was AWESOME)!
|Lemon Sorbet featured at the Ice Cream Social|
Spring of 2014, I was approached about becoming a Co-Vice President of our PTO (Parent Teacher Organization). One of the duties of the Co-VPs is to organize and coordinate the Ice Cream Social at the beginning of the new school year. I took the position with the hopes that I could add a vegan option to this event. I knew without a doubt that I am not the only person in our neighborhood that actively avoids dairy… so, with this one simple addition… we would have an option for EVERYONE in the school. How cool is that?!? Let’s hope this continues for years to come!
I helped with the planning of Wesley’s Birthday Party at Sunrise Sanctuary (we also met the new addition at the sanctuary… Baby MOO!!). I also had a marvelous visit with my friend, Kayle, from Cowgirls and Collard Greens during the week of my birthday!
|WESLEY!!!… the 5 year old!|
Helping with the planning for Wesley’s birthday was such a great experience! I had the opportunity to work with some incredible women. We raised a lot of money for the general operations of the facility. What a proud moment!
|My birthday was spent with Kayle and my family at Sunrise!|
When Kayle came to visit, we spent the week EATING like crazy!… She happened to be in town during the week of my birthday, and we headed back to the sanctuary to spend my birthday there. What a blast! I felt so blessed that week… to have a really good friend travel across the country to spend a week with me!
I think the interesting thing about participating in demonstrations is the education. Not just for the people that we leaflet, but for ourselves. I had no idea how devastating the situation was for these animals. For more information, check out my blog on this topic.
My daughter’s second grade class had a Vegetarian Thanksgiving meal… this really blew me away!
|“This is the face of pure happiness…. My daughter’s teacher just approached me about having a vegetarian Thanksgiving in their classroom (and he is the most unlikely of people).” My Facebook post…|
My daughter’s teacher, Mr. H., caught me by surprise on this one. He asked me for help in making a vegetarian Thanksgiving meal for the class. It’s moments like this that makes the things that I do worth it. You never know who is watching… ♥
We hosted our first Friendsgiving..
I love my girlfriends!… and when we got together in November, we decided that we would have a Friendsgiving in December. If you don’t know what a Friendsgiving is… it’s basically a Thanksgiving with your besties! Since we were all busy around the actual Thanksgiving… we pushed it back to December 20th.
Friendsgiving was so much fun! My friends, their husbands, and children all came over… and while my husband and I are the only vegans in this group, we had a wonderful vegan potluck!… and it was spectacular! Lots of wine and laughter. What can I say other than I have wonderful and supportive people in my life! So to my friends out there… I love you ladies!!!
To say that I had an eventful year is an understatement! I feel so grateful for all of the wonderful things that 2014 has brought me, and I know that 2015 will be even better. As of right now, I have no idea what is in store for me… BUT… I do see this year as another great year! I have some things coming up… and I can’t wait to share as they happen!
Happy New Year!
XOXO Cindy ♥♥♥
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