Vegan Versions / Leather Leggings

Source: google.com via Corrie on Pinterest

There is something about leather leggings that is so chic to me. I love how they have the comfort of a standard legging, but make even a sweatshirt and chucks look super polished and put together. Most leather leggings are really expensive, but nowadays there are so many great vegan ones on the market that are much less expensive as well as cruelty free. Here's a few of my picks. I was fortunate enough to pick up the Express pair, albeit a size too large at a local thrift store.  

Black Denim Vegan Faux Leather Leggings $84.00

Express (Minus the) Leather Legging $59.90

Romeo & Juliette Couture $44.99

Typical New Yorker

CSA Driver{Jacket: Target (similar one here); Tunic: Thrifted H&M (similar one here); Leggings: Forever21; Boots: MIA; Camera Bag: THEIT}
I actually took these photos a few weeks ago and never got around to posting them.  I threw this together in a hurry on a Saturday morning.  I realized I had overslept and I was running late to my CSA driver shift.  In order to participate in our local CSA, each member has to volunteer three times over the course of the season.  You have to either volunteer handing out the farm shares or if you have a car, drive the unclaimed shares to the local soup kitchen. I was driving this morning and didn't want to be late.  I've learned that when you're in a rush with no time to think, an all black ensemble is the way to go.  Well, technically I'm wearing gray leggings here but you catch my drift.  Wearing all black is such a typical, New Yorker look and considering we're always in such a rush, I now understand why.  It looks great every time. This particular outfit was ridiculously comfortable.  It was basically like wearing a sweats but way more presentable. CSA Driver What's your go-to outfit when you have five minutes to get out the door?

Featured on Vegansaurus

Vegansaurus Feature I'm so excited to have our veg Thanksliving feast featured on my favorite vegan blog, Vegansaurus!  There are two things in this world I love to death, one is veganism and the other is dinosaurs (yes, I'm a child at heart) so of course their website would be my most favorite site ever.  It also helps that the writers are just straight up hilarious. Every Thanksgiving they do a roundup of some of the most delicious looking vegan dishes readers served over their holiday.  Be sure to check it out, but not if you're hungry because that's just torture.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Feast / Menu and Recipes

How was everyone's Thanksgiving holiday? Ours was a huge success. Jim and I had our first ever vegetarian Thanksgiving and all the food was a big hit with our guests. Here's a sampling of what how I set the table, what we served, along with where to find the recipes and how I organized making all the dishes. I somehow managed to get all of these dishes made in my tiny, 10 foot by 10 foot kitchen with a 2 foot by three foot counter. We had a total of 3 guests (5 total including me and Jim), and luckily our small round kitchen table had plenty of room. Here's some photos of how we set the table. Thanksgiving morning we realized we had forgotten to pick up the gourds we had wanted to create a festive centerpiece, so I last minute came up with the idea of putting some pumpkin seeds in a serving dish and topping them with tea lights. Made for a really beautiful, yet simple centerpiece. Thanksliving 2011 Thanksliving 2011 Thanksliving 2011 I'm of Italian decent, and anyone who's been to an Italian American Thanksgiving knows it's an all day eat-a-thon. Keeping in tradition, we had a variety of appetizers for our guests to knosh on prior to our formal dinner. Thanksliving 2011 I made a traditional mozzarella and tomato salad complete with basil, olive oil and balsamic. This is one of Jim's favorites. Jim also selected some cheese and created a cheese plate, which was served with crackers. Thanksliving 2011 Thanksliving 2011 I also made one of my favorite recipes ever, an almond cheese spread. It's entirely vegan, and is really reminiscent to a cross between a feta and a goat cheese. It's perfect with crackers, and serves up really nicely in a pretty bakery dish. You can find the recipe I used as a basis here. Thanksliving 2011 I also made another vegan favorite of mine, Alicia Silverstone's Artichoke Dip from the Kind Diet cookbook. One of the dips I really have missed since going vegan is spinach and artichoke dip, so I add about 10 ounces of spinach to my recipe, but it can be made with or without. You can find the recipe here. Thanksliving 2011 We also had a tray of veggies and hummus out. I love carrots and hummus. Thanksliving 2011 Moving onto dinner, last year I made the menu Vegetarian Times featured several years ago designed by Moosewood Restaurant in upstate NY. I love this menu. It's very seasonal, festive and delicious. The menu includes a cranberry chutney with crystalized ginger, seasonal fall salad with beets, fennel and oranges, green beans with a crispy shallot topping, and amazing vegetable strudel, complete with mushrooms, peppers, onions, and vegan cheeses in a phyllo pastry shell. You can find links to the entire menu and recipes here. Thanksliving 2011 Thanksliving 2011 Thanksliving 2011 Thanksliving 2011 I also made homemade mashed potatoes. Recipe is super easy, just chop some yukon gold potatoes, cover with water and boil until tender. Drain and run the potatoes through a potato ricer, and finish with vegan soy creamer, butter, salt and pepper. Delicious! Thanksliving 2011 I did take a little help from the pre-made department as well in this menu. Jim absolutely loves stuffing, so I got a bag of Whole Food's vegan stuffing which was great because it takes about 5 minutes to make. I finished mine off in the oven to give it a crispy top. I also got some Fresh Direct parbaked rolls as well. Thanksliving 2011 Thanksliving 2011 Initially I was resistant, but Jim really wanted to get a fake turkey substitute for our guests being all our guests were omnivores. I decided on Field Roasts Hazelnut Cranberry Roast, and it was the sleeper hit of the dinner. Our guests LOVED it! It tasted more like sausage than turkey, but was delicious and complimented by the cranberry and hazelnut stuffing and puff pastry crust. Even Jim's brother, who is a self admitted picky eater commented on how much he liked it. Thanksliving 2011 I also made a really amazing sweet potato casserole, complete with dandies marshmallows but I forgot to photograph it before we devoured it. For dessert (yes, there's more!) we had vegan pumpkin whoopie pies while watching a movie. For us, there's not better way to handle digesting a huge Thanksgiving feast than by watching a movie. We're not big football fans in the Feld household so movies work perfect for us. So how did I manage to pull off cooking all of this in my tiny kitchen? Very careful planning. Here's an outline of how I managed it.

Tuesday Evening

  • Fry the shallots for the green beans. They keep for several weeks in a jar in the pantry.
  • Soak the almonds for the almond cheese spread.
  • Wednesday Evening

  • Make the filling for the vegetable strudel. Store in a container in the fridge.
  • Assemble the sweet potato casserole. Store in the fridge with foil over it.
  • Chop the potatoes for the mashed potatoes and store in the pot I'm making them in, covered with water and the pot lid. I stored it on the stove.
  • Assemble the spinach dip in a pretty baking pan, store in the fridge.
  • Blend the almonds for the almond cheese and strain in the fridge overnight.
  • Make the dressings for the green beans and salad, store in separate jars.
  • Roast the beets for the salad. Keep them in their foil overnight in the fridge. Then chop all the ingredients for the salad and store separately in the fridge.
  • Determine what serving wear I was using for which dishes, take them out of storage and mark with post its. That way you don't have to think about it the next day.
  • Thursday

  • Bake the almond cheese and allow to cool. Top with the olive oil.
  • Assemble the vegetable strudel and store in the fridge
  • Just prior to guests arriving, bake spinach dip and while it's in the oven, put out your cheeses, crackers, and vegetables and dip
  • When ready for dinner, bake the sweet potato casserole, field roast and vegetable strudel at 425 degrees for 40 minutes.
  • While items are in the oven, turn on the mashed potatoes to boil. Also microwave green beans and toss with dressing and top with shallots, assemble the salad, and start the stuffing.
  • Take foil off sweet potatoes and let continue for another 20 minutes. Take field roast and strudel out and allow to set up before carving up.
  • Drain and finish mashed potatoes. Crisp up stuffing in the oven and add the rolls on a tray to bake for 10 minutes.
  • Add marshmallows and nuts to sweet potatoes and broil until marshmallows brown.
  • Microwave some gravy (I took some help from the store with this step)
  • Call your guests in to enjoy their meal!
  • One thing I did this year that helped immensely was to wash the dishes as we went along. We had really minimal dishes by the end of the meal even despite all the food we had. It worked out great. Another thing I did was to prepare as many things as possible in pretty, refrigerator and oven safe dish ware. I received a lot of Corningware for my wedding shower, which I love because it comes with plastic tops to make leftover storage a breeze. How was everyone else's Thanksgiving? I'd love to hear about what you guys had to eat and what traditions you have. Do share!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Beautiful Thanksgiving Day. Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday because of what it's supposed to be about, and I'm not talking turkeys, Indians and Pilgrims. Having a day where you celebrate what you are thankful for is a great reminder of what really matters in your life. This past year, I've been thankful for...
  • My amazing husband. He's so supportive in everything I do, and loves me unconditionally. He's amazingly thoughtful and compassionate, and I love absolutely everything about him.
  • My animals. Mercedes (my cat) has been with me over 12 years now and although she's now an old cranky lady, she's one of the most affectionate, social cats I've ever met. Portia has been an amazing addition to our little family. We hadn't planned on getting a dog, she just kinda fell into our lives when we didn't even know we needed her. Her love for us is boundless and she makes Jim and I smile every single day.
  • My friends. This year my social circle has grown vastly, and I'm somewhat overwhelmed by it. I went through a period not too long ago where I had very few friends, and what friends I had were pretty toxic. By getting out and doing activities and things I really love, it's opened my life up to so many new people who share the same thoughts and passions as me, and I'm thankful for each and every one of you being in my life today.
  • My veganism. I was a vegan for a long time but relapsed for a while. I decided to go back to being vegan for New Years of 2010. I'm so glad that I did. It's more or less my identity, and little did I know it always was. Being vegan makes me feel better that I'm not contributing to so many injustices in this world, and it has also opened opportunities for me to meet so many great vegans who have convinced me to help fight the fight (hence my recent protesting). This year being Jim and my first "Thanksliving" makes me so happy I could burst.
  • My job. In this down economy I'm so thankful to not only have a job I really enjoy in an industry I'm passionate about, but one that pays really well. This is not something I ever plan on taking for granted, and every single day on my drive to and from work I think about it.
  • My neighborhood. Jim and I have called Williamsburg, Brooklyn home for over 7 years now. I can't believe it's been that long. Through the years, it's grown to become a haven for artistic, professional folks like us. I also love that our specific corner of Billyburg has a large Italian population, which reminds me a lot of my childhood growing up on Long Island. I can't imagine living anywhere else.
  • This blog.
  • I never in a million years would have thought something as simple as a personal, online journal would make such an impact in my life. Between giving me more confidence, allowing me to see and grow my own personal style, and to meeting new people from around the world, my blog has opened many doors for me. I'm also thankful for each and every one of you who take interest in my life, what I'm doing, and what I have to say and actually tune in every day to read about it. It's been great getting to know you all and I look forward to meeting more blogging friends as we go along. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! XOXO

    Bark Park

    Bark Park 11 This past Sunday both Jim and I had giant to-do lists of stuff to take care of prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. So we woke up early, got our caffeine fix, and got to work. By around 2 pm, it was so nice out it was a shame to spend all our time inside, so we decided to take a break and take Portia for a quick trip to the bark park (i.e. dog run). Portia got to run her miniature heart out in the dog  run playing fetch with Jim, and I had fun attempting to photograph her mid-air. She's fast! Bark Park 8 Bark Park 9 Bark Park 7 Bark Park 10 Bark Park 6

    Bark Park 5

    {Trench: Calvin Klein; Chambray Shirt; Old Navy; Jeggings: No name brand; Loafers: Delia's}
    Once Portia was bored with the dog run, we took a walk around the park, letting Portia play in the leaves.  The piles of leaves were so big she had a hard time maneuvering in them and it was adorable watching her hop around.  You could tell she was having the best time. She was exhausted when we got home, which worked out great for us since we were able to get everything else done on our to-do list without her bugging us with her cuteness. Bark Park 3 Bark Park 2 Bark Park 4 Bark Park 1 These photos remind me of how much I love fall. I don't want it to end. While I'm super excited for Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday), it bums me out once December rolls around, so does the snow. Yuck.

    Weekend Activism

    Me at the protest {Faux Fur Vest: Betsey Johnson via Century 21; Faux Leather Jacket: Target; Faux Silk Tunic: H&M (thrifted); Pants: H&M (thrifted); Boots: MIA via After6; Sunglasses: stoop sale find; Camera Bag: THEIT}
    This past Saturday I attended my first ever protest.  I must say it felt pretty damn good.  As I mentioned in my previous post, putting an end to the use of fur in clothing and accessories is very near and dear to me, so it felt really great to get out in public to get the message out there as to just how unnecessary and cruel it is. The protest location was in front of the Intermix location in Soho, which had a TON of foot traffic.  At first, I was a bit apprehensive protesting in NYC assuming New Yorkers would be pretty aggressive and angry about it.  It was actually quite the opposite.  Most people passing by thanked us for being out there and doing what we were doing.  I also found it funny most women walking by wearing anything looking like fur were quick to point out that it was "faux". Since it was a protest for a high end fashion boutique, I knew how important it was to dress to impress in efforts to show the women who shop at Intermix that there are fashionable alternatives to both fur and leather.  While out there, I had quite a few requests from tourists and locals to pose for pictures, which I gladly did as long as I could hold my sign.  I figured the more people who see the message, the better. Thanks to all the other protesters for coming out that day as well as for sharing their photos.  I had actually brought my DSLR to document the day and realized after I got there that I left my camera battery at home.  Doh! The protest organizers are planning another protest in front of the same Intermix on December 3rd from 12-2pm.  I'm planning on being there so if you can make it, come on out it would be great to have your support. Intermix Anti-Fur Protest 11/19/11 Tell # Intermix to stop selling fur!!! #intermix Anti Fur Protest, @sweetsereniteee Intermix Anti-Fur Protest 11/19/11 Intermix Anti-Fur Protest 11/19/11 #Intermix Anti Fur Protest Protesters at #intermix  anti fur protest Intermix Anti-Fur Protest 11/19/11 Intermix Anti-Fur Protest 11/19/11

    Intermix Fur Protest

    One of my very first clothing memories from my childhood is when I received a fur coat for Christmas.  I must have been 5 years old.  I remember loving how soft and cuddly it was.  While wearing it out to our holiday dinner, I remember my mother mentioning to someone "What do you think of Corrie's rabbit coat?" and I was horrified.  It was a rabbit?!  But I love rabbits!  Every since that day, I can't even touch real fur without wanting to vomit.

    I really try not to preach on my blog about my veganism, so I'm going to spare everyone the lecture.  If you're truly interested in knowing how where your fur comes from, click this link.  It's the most grotesque and cruel thing imaginable.  What really grinds my gears when it comes to fur is it's 100% not necessary.  The most disturbing part of this is most fur is mis-labled as to it's original source.  So you could be wearing dog and not even know it (not that there should be a difference between dog and another animal, but that's another discussion).  There are so many fashionable choices out there that have the same look and feel without the cruelty.  Not to mention many well known fashion designers now recognize this and no longer design using the real thing.

    Intermix is one of the most well regarded fashion chains in the country, and they still sell real fur.  There's currently a nationwide campaign going to convince Intermix not to carry fur, which could potentially help diminish demand and save hundreds of thousands of animals pain and suffering.  Intermix is a trend setter in the fashion world, so by taking this step it could make a huge impact, so folks are working hard trying to make this happen.

    Tomorrow afternoon between 12 and 2 pm, a group of activists including myself will be protesting outside of Intermix's Soho, NYC store in an attempt to let their management know faux is fashionable and there is no need to sell real fur.  If you agree fur is antiquated and are available to help, please join us!  If you live in other parts of the country, follow the nationwide campaign's Facebook page for updates on when protests in your area will happen, or sign the petition.

    I vow not to purchase anything at Intermix until they stop carrying fur.  Will you vow not to too?

    We All Start Somewhere

    I love discovering new blogs. I actually found a few new ones to add to my Google Reader this week. One of my favorite things to do when I find a new blog I really, really like and that is very well done is to look at their very first post. It's always a positive reminder to me that all bloggers have to start somewhere, and that many of the bloggers we follow and for lack of a better word, idolize, all got their start the exact same way the rest of us did. It's funny how many of them had tiny site images, somewhat forgettable outfit posts, and posted more re-posted content than original content. Here are some screenshots (and links to the posts) of some of my favorite bloggers.  For example purposes, these are bloggers who's sites I know get a ton of traffic.  I follow bloggers of all sorts so these are just a sampling of who I know are some of the most popular ones for the fashion/personal style circuit.

    Kendi Everyday- on Nov 15th 2011

    Kendi Everyday's first post

    The Glamourai- on November 15th 2011

    The Glamourai's first post

    What I Wore- on November 16th, 2011

    What I Wore's first post

    Cupcakes and Cashmere- on 11.14.11

    Cupcakes and Cashmere's first post

    Gala Darling- on November 16th, 2011

    Gala Darling's first post

    Refinery29 also did a great feature on some other well known fashion blogger's first posts. You can find them here.

    Rest and Recharge

    My home this weekend... my couch in my nice dark living room watching movies. I spent the entire past two days this weekend resting.  Like straight up, did not get off my couch, watching movies vegging.  It was pretty epic.  I haven't had a weekend like that in months. I often times forget that in the event I'm going to have a super busy week, that I actually plan and schedule some down time to balance myself out.  The past few weeks I've neglected that, and I've been trying to catch up ever since.  Lesson learned.  I feel somewhat better energy wise coming into this week which is a good thing. How was everyone else's weekend?

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