Happy Mail ! “I’m just lucky, I guess.”

While were not big on television here at the Fish household, we are movie fans, and we recently acquired the film “George of the Jungle” with “want to spread him on a cracker and eat him cute” Brenden Fraser playing George. Pardon my sexist aside, but yummy.

Guppy loves this movie, and while I’m not going to lend deep socio-cultural significance to a (BLEK!) Disney movie (shudder), I love the zen nature of George and his very Buddhist take on life. Despite spills, loss, separation and other tragedy, George remains true to his Buddha nature. He is cheerful, acknowledges that yes, sometimes the negative does happen, but then something good always happens, too. “George just lucky I guess.” is his refrain, his mantra if you will. While I’m obviously not watching this film in the same way as 3 and 1/2 year old Guppy, I so appreciate his underlining the lucky side of things, though it would be just as easy to highlight all the negative. I also thoroughly enjoy the fact that the protagonist thrives without the infectious encumbrances of Capitalist consummation, and once he and Ursla are finally united, they chose family and freedom in the Jungle rather than Nintendos, MP3 players, cheaply made, inferior quality clothing and all other bounty the free-market economy provides… I do hope they brought some aspirin and penicillin with them, though. You know, because they’re in the jungle and stuff.

Go George.

I’ve been pretty lucky of late as well. No, Monsieur Fish hasn’t taken to weight lifting and parading around in a loin cloth (sigh). I believe the following goodies delivered to my mailbox will illustrate my côté chanceux :

nom

These cute little kitty cats arrived from the sweet Krispycheks, proprietor of the most excellent nom! nom! nom! blog. These little cuties are decorating my sewing area, and I just love them!

vegemite

My dearest Jumblefriend of Jumbleberry Jam fame has been doing a stellar job de-cluttering her home, and she decided to share some of her many tubes of Vegemite with the blogosphere, i.e.: She had a little giveaway and I won! So excited was I. Monsieur Fish was amused by the Vegemite that traveled from Australia to the United States to France, and the beautiful paper her hand-written note had also traveled an amazing amount : from Tibet to Ireland to the U.S. to France. Wanderlust runs through my veins, now literally!

I’m hooked on this stuff! It is indeed an acquired taste – reminds me a bit of blue cheese in my Omni days. First time I’d tasted it I shuttered, but, oddly found myself wanting more. It’s the same thing here people, but unlike blue cheese it’s cruelty-free and really good for you! I’m not sure if this is a blessing or a curse, because I needed another favourite something to slather all over a fresh baguette like a hole in the head. My new favourite thing to do with the Vegemite? It is amazing for boosting an anemic gravy – and the B-vitamin goodness… love it!

books

cards

Here is my ultimate loot from the book exchange Carmen organized. I felt so spoilt, because Carmen included handmade cards along with these great books! She is so talented, and if I lived near her I would be hanging out at her house until she shared all her great handmade card tips with me! They are just beautiful, and it’s not going to be easy to send them off to new homes because I want them for me! Oops, selfish moment there. Ok, all better.

Thank you ladies for the wonderful mail! I’m off to go make myself a little Vegemite tartine with some faux E.B. and baguette. Yum!

Celine’s Chocolate Breakfast Cake & Happy Mail

chocolate-breakfast-cake

I love chocolate. I love cake. I love Celine.

I am a huge fan of any holiday, festival, day off, etc., but one of my favourite things about the Winter holidays is the relaxed, lazy mornings sipping coffee and hanging out in pajamas, munching on brunchy food and of course the goodies.

We were at my brother-in-law’s for les fêtes de fin d’année, and my in-laws once again gave me free reign of their kitchen. Love them! One of my breakfast contributions was Celine’s lovely Chocolate Breakfast Cake. Holy deliciousness, Batman!

breakfastcake-closeupMelty chocolate fantasticalness!

I love baking for omnis and hearing the ooohhs and awes as they feast on the cruelty-free goodness. This isn’t even as sinful as it looks, which is always good around the holidays! The chocolate flavour is dense, satisfying and it’s just sweet enough to feel like a treat, but the sweetness isn’t too much or an A.M. treat.

Speaking of sweet, check this out :

magnets

Like a million years ago I won these adorable magnets from the very talented Melanie of Creating Nunde. They arrived just before we left for the holidays, and I didn’t have a chance to snap a photo before leaving, so there they are! They look good enough to eat, don’t they? Thank you, Melaine!

And hey, speaking of giveaways (notice a theme here?) head over to Maggie’s Blog – she’s celebrating her blogaversary with a very sweet giveaway!

Memes, An Award & Some Lovely Giveaways

Check out these beautiful giveaways!

ihanna

The marvelously talented Hanna is giving away a Collage Pack, filled with beautiful vintage pages from Sweden. Hanna’s blog is so inspiring, I can hardly keep myself from stopping everything and art journaling  (or I guess I should say beginning an art journal) whenever I read what she and her crafty mum have been up to! Visit her Etsy shoppe if you want some fantastic gift ideas (I love everything!). All you have to do is head over there and leave her a comment! Easy Peasy!

modish

Modish is having a gihugic (totally a word) giveaway, too! Same thing kids, just go over and leave a comment! How easy is that? I am drooling over this stuff!

3quilts3

And you can try your luck over at Old Red Barn where you could win yourself one of three gorgeous quilts! Just what we need to keep us warm and to throw over the un-made bed to hide the mess!

Look what the lovely Miss Marie gave me :

brillante

This is my second Brilliante Award, so does this mean I’m extra-brillante? (I think they make cremes for that…).

I’ve recently been tagged for two fun memes by Allularpunk and HoneyB. I am here to say that I will not flake on these memes – and you my dear readers will hold me accountable! I will get to them pronto!

And yes, I have again changed my blog’s look. I’m having a bit of an identity crisis I think. I wish I was all HTML savvy and could just create my own look! Can’t I just embroider one? Tee hee.

Vegan MoFo Day 3 – We Have Our Winners! We Have Cookies!

VeganMoFo is rocking the blogosphere, people! I can see it’s going to be hard to keep up with all this MoFo love… but hey, that’s a good thing, right? We need to take over the Web with our Vegan Loving Kindness the way that an Evil Imperialst Empire would take over and occupy another country…but, you know, we come bearing cupcakes, cookies and seitan, not bombs, guns and god.

So first, the cookies :

I’m thrilled to be a test baker for the ever-classy Ricki of Diet, Dessert and Dogs, who is publishing a delicious cook book Sweet Freedom. These cookies were amazing! They smelled so good I hardly was able to get a picture of them! Why? Remember me mentioning my in-laws being chez nous for a visit last week? After I took these beauties out of the oven, my adorable brother-in-law was standing on one side of the table with the serving platter, and M. Fish on the other side, and they were both snatching cookies to bring out to the living room to serve – making a photo-op nearly impossible!

The CMCC Cookies were deep, decadent, rich, and GONE after our goûter – I’d hoped to freeze some for later, but there was nothing left but some lonely little crumbs. My brother & sister-in-law are generally not big on sweets, but they asked me to make another batch before they left! I of course obliged (twist my arm). They also loved the lasagne I made from VCON. Let’s not forget, these people gave me carte blanche in their kitchen when we stayed with them near Toulouse last Spring – they weren’t really sure how to cook for a vegan, so they let me run the cuisine. They are très cool.

And now, for the winners of the cute felty-love pouches…

I wrote down everyone’s first name and put them in a hat – M. Fish pulled out the following 3 lucky winners (I know I initially said only 2, but I’m such a softie) :

Liz aka Veggie Girl and Mihl from Seitan Is My Motor and the aforementioned Ricki! (The fact that he loved your cookies had no sway. He didn’t know your name or anything like that!). I’m so excited for you! I wish I had more time (and more of a fabric stash) to make more gifts for everyone. I’m so glad M. Fish accepted to help me, because I’m so lame when it comes to choosing “winners” (and grading, too…). I’ll be doing another gift-away before the holidays because it just makes me feel all warm & fuzzy inside – and because I wuv you all so much!

So ladies email me your addresses post haste…well, you can take your time. I’m in bed, slammed with another evil sinus infection, so, I won’t be getting these off to you for a few days… and if you have any suggestions for dealing with the sinus infections, please please share! I don’t eat dairy for pete’s sake, this shouldn’t be happening! I never, ever had sinus infections, then last fall I had about three or four (or just the same one) from September till late December. Any help/suggestions would be appreciated!

My 100th Post & A Thank You Giveaway…

I can’t believe this is my 100th post! But here I am, still sharing bits of my vegan life à la française. Almost a year ago I began feeling rather lonely in veganland. I’d never been an avid blog-reader or anything like that, but when a dear friend asked me to prepare one of her favorite dishes for my *Fête de la Saint Kévin dinner party (also called Anti-Colonialist day or Thanksgiving) I realized I needed some input from the vegan world. After googling “vegan green bean casserole” I found Susan V’s awesome blog, and was just thrilled by not only all the amazing recipes, but by all the comments! I had this incredible Hellen Keller – Anne Sullivan moment where I suddenly understood what was happening all around me…all these other vegans out there, on the web, and only an Internet-connection away…

Like many of you kids, my blog began simply as a way to spread the word – the net is a very big and scary place wrought with corporate giants and capitalist greed. For me, opening up my own advertisement-free little piece of vegan real estate was an important way to spread the vegan gospel, and to share my vegan joy with everyone out there. However, in time I found that my blog had grown into something of its own, it became a new voice for me, and a new place where I could meet and greet other vegans, this from a small French town where it is rather difficult to reach out to other like-minded or “palletted” people.

I have grown in many different ways thanks to this blog and also thanks to your blogs! Visiting different blogs from all over the world has helped me continue to expand my perspective, test my limits – artistically and intellectually, in ways I’d never dreamed. Initially I was on the lookout for other vegan athlete & yoga types, and was thrilled to find Jen the Veg Tri-Athlete’s Fuled By Plants with so many great vegan meals to refuel with. I also began regularly reading the vegan food blogs which I now can’t live without! They were the inspiration I needed to begin baking (something I’d never really done before)…now I bake my bread for pete’s sake! I love the inspiration and support, the food p*rn and the, ahem, cookie recipes

After being inspired by blogs like Hannah’s Bittersweet, Vania’s A Crafty Vegan, and vegan knitting blogs like Vegan Knitting…and then some I started wondering why the hell I didn’t know how to knit and crochet! I’d spent my entire life (so far) dancing, writing and being involved with music (and musicians…but that is SO another story), but I’d never used my hands to create. From there I became interested in sewing, and I can’t stop! I’m also now obsessed with leaves – looking at them, drawing them (trying to), hand printing them, and more recently, embrodering them…crazy! And so, to honor this momentous occasion (really, it’s just an excuse for a little party, and I am all about parties!), I have two bobbles of love to give away…

I’m offering up to my blogpals two small lined felt coin purses. Please don’t laugh – I am in no way a professional, but it’s just my way of sending you a little hand-made vegan love (the felt is made from recycled plastic bottles! how freaking amazing is that?!?). I’m trying to make quite a few of these, because maybe someday I’ll get the skillz to open my own Etsy shoppe, but for now, these are my training crafts.

Ideally I would also send some cookies or baked-vegan-love, but since most of you cats are not in France, they would be icky or, well, illegal. :( I do hope to include a little extra love of some kind, though…

All you have to do is leave me a comment on this post before next Wednesday, October 1st. That’s all – just make sure your email address is the right one so I can contact you for your shipping address! I’ll have M. Fish draw two random numbers for a hat and that’s as scientific as we’ll get.

And the timing couldn’t be more parfait, Martha, (how amazing it must be to be internationally known just by your first name) wants to hear a little about your blog! She’ll be featuring a bouquet of fresh-picked blogs on her blog, so head over there and write yourself silly!

* When my good friend Katy was in the U.S. on a teaching exchange at my University (which is how we met), she telephoned her mother to tell her it was Thanksgiving. This holiday obviously doesn’t exist here in France, where it just so happens that St. Martin de Tours managed to catholicize all holidays, and the majority of them are called Saint Days. Her mother, upon hearing the word “Thanksgiving” tried to decipher it and replied, “Quoi, qu’est-ce que tu dis? C’est la Saint Kévin? Mais il n’y a pas de Saint Kévin!’”. (Translation : What, what did you say? It’s the feast of Saint Kevin? But there is no Saint Kevin!).