Frugality


For me, frugality is about becoming more aware of my spending habits, and prioritizing where and how I want to spend my money. If I’ve bought something expensive, I still might consider it being frugal. What I mean is this: I bought something worthy of the cost, and even though it might be considered expensive, it was worth every penny. I know it’s not what most people think of when they hear the word frugal, but it works for me.

The great thing about being frugal (in the normal sense of the word) is that you (obviously!) save a lot of moolah. If you take all the money saved and use it to support small businesses, you can effectively put your money where your mouth is (or where your feet are!). I’m always on the hunt for great independently run stores with great inventory.
Enter Cow Jones Industrials.
Upstate NY’s very own vegan boutique! The owner Donna is one of the sweetest ladies I’ve ever met, and her store is fabulous! My mother and I had the pleasure of stopping by a few months ago and we got some great stuff!

I got these awesome Cri de Coeur booties:

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I didn’t think they’d be too comfortable after being worn for a few hours, but they are actually super duper comfortable. I am in love with them!

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When I saw these beauties I knew I had to get them to wear swing dancing. They aren’t as comfortable as the Cri de Coeur ones, but I still love them.

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If you know me, you know I never wear makeup, but I’ve been obsessed for a long time with the idea of bright red lips, so I scooped up some Zuzu luxe lip gloss in Caliente.

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I can’t stop having mini photo shoots with myself!

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When I was home for the holidays, my sister Rachel told me I had no self control because I couldn’t stop myself from singing. She’d ask me to stop, and I’d find myself unconsciously singing again five minutes later.
But really, SHE was just projecting, because she has no self control when SHE watches football. Cries of excitement, agony, happiness, sorrow, I’ve heard it all.
Hi, my name is Veronica, and I’m the sister of a football addict.
I hate football, and she hates all the movies I love, so I guess we’re about equal.

But before I continue, I have a back story to tell about a scarf.
About two months ago, I was shopping at my local Salvation Army and saw a black and yellow striped scarf. Cool, I thought to myself, it’s sorta like a bumblebee! There was some writing on the scarf, and I couldn’t figure out what it said, but I figured it wasn’t too important, and I wore it for a few weeks before I went home.

So anyway, when I got home and my sister saw the scarf, she was like, “Um, why are you wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers scarf? I thought you hated football.”
(Oh, this was after she told me I looked like Harry Potter.)
At first, I was really confused, and then she asked, “Didn’t you see the Steelers written on it?” Oh, right! That’s what those letters are! Whoops.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, if the Steelers lose the Super Bowl tomorrow and you see me on the street afterward wearing my scarf, please don’t heckle me, because I just wanted to be a bumblebee.

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And, yes, for the record, I now see clearly that it says Steelers.
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I’m at my parents house and their computer is dying a slow and tortured death. Yesterday night I was planning on typing this post up (hence the title), but then their computer started making weird noises and so off it went to rest for a while.

Yesterday the weather here was miserable. I mean, that’s what everyone told me. It was snowing and sleeting and shitty, but I didn’t have to leave the house, and it was glorious to stay inside all day and drink warm apple cider and read and not have to worry about slipping on ice.
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What better day than a snow day to have breakfast for dinner?

Pancakes + Maple Syrup + Soysage = One hell of a dinner
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Okay, I have to put a disclaimer: I hate fake meat products. I mean, I’ll eat them if my sister brings home expired fakety fakeness from her job at a health food store, but I never, ever go out of my way to buy them. Except for Soysage.  I love soysage. My mouth salivates when I think of it. But I hardly ever buy it, because A) the ingredients are wack and B) it’s expensive. But I noticed it was buy one get one free at the local Price Chopper this week, and sometimes ya just gotta. Ya know what I mean?
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Placemats I bought at a flea market last year. Somewhere along the way, I picked up a nickname of looney veroony (I… don’t… know? I’m not looney!) so I guess these are only fitting.
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Really, I’m not. Yet every time I’m at a second-hand store I always check the boys’ and girls’ clothing. I can’t help myself, there’s just always something to be found.

Once, while I was looking at the girls’ clothing at my local Salvation Army, I overheard two ladies bonding over finding ticks on their children, needing to buy winter coats for said children, and Florida. A bit random, but it was very cute and I like to imagine that both families now get together for play dates while wearing their thrifted coats.

Anyway, last time I was shopping, I found an awesome pair of pajamas (for 3.99) in the boys’ section.

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One thing I want to know is why do they have heart buttons?
It intrigues me every night as I’m getting ready for bed.

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Not that I want to be a pilgrim (or even associated with one), but for some reason I have weird pilgrim-ish clothing in my closet, so I figured why not take a picture for my Thanksgiving food post?

I got the dress at a Salvation Army for $4 a few months ago. It’s awesome in a colonial sort of way. The cute itty bitty chicks on my shoulder aren’t attached to the dress, I anchored them on for the picture.

Every year when Thanksgiving comes around I always think of King Missile, specifically their song “The Indians.”  (What’s that, you say you don’t know of King Missile? You should check them out! They’re only, oh I don’t know, the funniest band EVER!)

For your entertainment, here are the lyrics to “The Indians.”

The Indians lived all over this land before we came and killed them.
That was very bad of us.
We thought we needed the land,
But for the most part,
We just ruined it anyway,
And now, nobody can use it.
That’s the way we are.
We’re pigs.
One of my favorite foods to eat is called corn.
The Indians call it, “maize.”
We call the Indians, “Indians.”
This is because Columbus thought he was in India
When he first came to this land.
Some people say we should call the Indians, “Native Americans,”
‘Cause they were here in America before us,
But before us,
This land wasn’t called, “America.”
It was named “America” by a mapmaker who never even came here.
He just lived in Europe
And made maps and when he found out about this land,
He just made a map of it,
And just put his name on it,
‘Cause he could.
That’s the way we are.
We’re pigs.

As I was writing this,
A cockroach fell from the sky and onto the table.
I killed it,
‘Cause I did.
That’s the way I am.
This doesn’t really have very much to do with the Indians, though.
I guess I got kind of sidetracked.
Anyway, I hope you see my point.

I was originally thinking about making a posole and pumpkin stew for Un-turkey day, but I decided to make calzones instead, hoping to go as far away from tradition as possible. I think it worked….

We started off with a salad of romaine lettuce, purple cabbage, roasted sweet potato wedges and pomegranate seeds with an apple cider vinaigrette. My sister Susan apparently doesn’t like  pomegranate seeds, but that’s her problem (aka more for me).

I think my mom was a little scared when I told her I was making broccoli raab calzones, but everybody really loved them. I made a chickpea and sage puree to go on the side, along with tomato sauce and tangelo roasted carrots. The calzones had caramelized onions (deglazed with vermouth), garlic, pine nuts, broccoli raab, oil-cured black olives, and a couple of other things I’m forgetting.

The chickpea and sage puree had chickpeas, roasted garlic, fresh sage, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt + pepper. When I moved out I took my food processor with me, so I had to use a blender, but it turned out okay.

The tangelo roasted carrots were really good! I made a mixture of sesame oil, shoyu, tangelo zest + juice, and maple syrup and poured it over the carrots before they went in the oven.

Last but not least, for dessert we had individual gingerbread cakes with sauteed apples + cinnamon coconut whipped cream. Oh yeah, there was also a blackberry brandy reduction on the plate for a little sweetness and color.
The apples were a little mealy, and everyone agreed that they took away from the rest of the dessert. I bet warm applesauce would go better, maybe I’ll try that next time. Susan thought the gingerbread was a bit strong, but she has WASPy taste buds, so we can’t go by her.

Maybe it’s because I find all of my shoes either at second-hand stores or kicking around my parents house (um, don’t ask), but lately my shoes have been dropping like flies, and I don’t like it one bit. Take these so-horrible-they’re-awesome granny shoes that totally broke when I wore them to my ex-job at a cafe (in retrospect I realize this was a bad idea, but I was excited about them and wanted to show them off, can you blame me?):

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They were only three dollars, and they lasted like, three days. Bummer. They even had cute little hearts on the back. I actually saw the same exact pair at the Salvation Army in New Paltz, but alas, they were size 9 and I’m just a 7 1/2. Anyway, the granny shoes broke during the middle (read: busiest part) of the day, and I had no choice but to tape them up and carry on to the best of my ability. It was a blow to my fashion sense, but I kept trudging along….

Then I found these suckers for $1 in Saugerties.
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I loved them so much, but sadly, they also went kaput.

After the gold rush:
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And then, after I made peace with the temporary death (temporary until I glue them together again or something) of the golden gals, I found the Keds.
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It was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it?

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If you can’t read between the lines, it actually says, “Keds, they feel good – until you wear them in the rain and notice your right foot is starting to become soaking wet.”

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Aaah……you kinda suck.

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Guess it’s back to my trusted Merrell walking shoes until they die or I find some more new used shoes, whatever comes first.

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Oh, while we are on the subject of shoes, I just found out about a vegan boutique in Chatham called Cow Jones Industrials (hmm, what’s with their name if it’s a vegan place?). I haven’t been there yet but how rad is it to have a vegan shoe store in upstate NY? Check it here.

My sister Rachel is mad because in her words, “You never post food pictures on your blog anymore, waah.”
Okay, I might have added that waah in for emphasis, but her point is well taken, I admit my food ‘foto shortcomings. I dedicate this post of uber backlogged pics to her, and to all others lacking in pretty pictures of edible things.

Carb loading.
bread

Eggplant parmesan made without scary fake cheese and instead using cashew mozzarella sauce and sesame seed parmesan.
eggplant parmesan

Fava bean wat over teff cakes with carrot chutney and cabbage thoran.
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Berry, coconut, and chocolate individual bread puddings.
coconut, berry, + chocolate chip bread pudding

Boring, but whatever. The classic PB + J.
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Caramelized chive mashed ‘taters with miso and a splash of coconut milk, just because. So good.
chive mashed potatoes

Picada (bread, almonds, garlic) – I kind of ate most of this plain. Thank god for tea tree tooth pics, as the garlic is a bit pungent…
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Chermoula (Moroccan Green Sauce).
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Harissa.
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Swiss chard with onions and garlic, yo..
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All together now with chickpeas (in chermoula) and Israeli couscous (leftover from previous tenant in my house, it might be poisoned but hey, it was free) mixed with harissa and picada.
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Roasted butternut squash, brussels sprouts, and fennel.
roasted vegetables

Millet mashed with cauliflower, chickpeas, beer gravy, and sauteed kale.
gravy

I’m a pomegranate killer, and I leave a pool of blood.
pomegranate killer

Bite me.
grateful pomegranate

Last but certainly not least, sweet potato coffeecake.
sweet potato coffeecake

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