In the final days of October, Giovanni and I squeezed in as much time together as we could before I go to Washington for the month. This is the longest time we’ve spent apart since working together, let alone dating. Besides snuggling and binge watching Scream, we took a spontaneous trip to Berkeley (known as the most vegan-friendly city in USA – is it true? I don’t know).
First we checked out Animal’s Place Vegan Republic, an awesome vegan store that has everything! Candy, apparel, cosmetics, grab ‘n go meals, books, anything! Except furniture. I stocked up on candy, and Giovanni got a bag of jalapeño chips (his favorite).
I’m so ready for a round 2 vegan sweets post, because I keep buying candy and telling myself I’m buying it for the blog, not candy cravings. So look out..!
For lunch we went to a sandwich shop named The Butcher’s Son. I went here with my new vegan friends after our video outreach in U.C. Berkley, but at the time I felt so ill that even a salad made me queasy. Now in good health, the dishes were mouth-watering and Giovanni was in awe with the menu.
I ordered a meat ball, fried mozzarella, sautéed veggies, and marinara sandwich, and Giovanni ordered a turkey and sautéed veggies sandwich with a sauce I forgot.
I rarely ate outside my comfort zone before dating Giovanni, but he brought out the adventurous side of me. Veganism has brought out the “It’s vegan? I want to eat it!” side of me. The fried mozzarella oozed out after each bite and was my favorite part of the sandwich.
I also ordered a Caesar salad for us to sort-of share and gave my side of potato and bacon pasta salad to Giovanni. We both took half of our sandwiches and Caesar salad to-go. On our walk back to the car, I gave the salad to a pregnant homeless woman asking for food money, and Giovanni gave her the last of his cash. 🙂
With 20 minutes on our parking meter and my burning sweet tooth, I begged Giovanni to go to Cinnaholic, a vegan cinnamon roll shop I learned about thanks to Instagram. I asked him several times earlier that day, and he made no arguments. The shop was a 10 or so minute walk from where we stood, so Giovanni said that we’d have to run all the way there. Despite distaste over the thought of running (actually running is pretty fun and always puts me in a good mood), we began our sprint across a few blocks, following an unreliable GPS, when…
WE FOUND IT!
I love cinnamon rolls, and since discovering the shop I’ve been dying to visit it. Giovanni isn’t keen on sweets, so he wandered in hesitantly and ordered a “nice and simple” marshmallow cinnamon roll. The moment my eyes spotted the word Twix, I knew my order without any need to glance at the others options. Since Giovanni bought lunch, I bought dessert. They were gorgeous!
My initial thought after running back to the car was that I’d want more frosting, but the serving completely quenched my sweet tooth. The only ingredient I didn’t fawn over was the cookie. It works in the candy bars but not so much on a pastry… still, if you like Twix, give it a try! 🙂 Giovanni loved his too!
Now it was time for us to head home, and our first Berkeley adventure came to a close.
I really miss my partner in crime – and cat in crime- but lucky for me, I’ve been busy with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).
Though it depends on where you live, today marks my Day 14!
16 more to go..! Eek.
In honor of the creative hurricane that is NaNoWriMo, I have decided to make my November goals centered around creativity. A bulk of my month is going towards crossing the 50k finish line (I’ve already tripped on the way and fallen behind… ~10k words behind), but after giving some other ideas thought, I’m finally ready to share my goals!
Watch anime. Giovanni and I used to watch anime together (he finally got me onto the Attack on Titan hype-train), but I think we stopped after getting ensnared by Netflix shows and, primarily, tougher school schedules.
Going to Japantown reminded me how much I love anime, and many of my creative influences come from it. When I publish a book, don’t be surprised to hear about characters with naturally blue, pink, or orange hair. That’s just how it is… nobody in anime asks questions! Usually.
I selected three anime to watch this month, and I’ll make another post revealing what I chose. For now, here’s a spoiler:
Decorate my bedroom. I want to set up a more personalized atmosphere in my bedroom at the Washington house. To start, I’ll hang up the posters I’ve acquired through the years of anime conventions.
Paint pottery. During the winters and summers of my elementary school days, my parents and I lived in Idaho. I took a week-long ceramics workshop two or three summers in a row, and for the most part I really enjoyed it. However, I couldn’t stand painting, and I remember one year I decided to paint my pieces one colour or not at all.
I remember going to a pottery studio at least once and not being crazy about it. Times have changed me, and after seeing Marzia’s and Felix’s creation, I haven’t been able to get pottery painting out of my mind. I’d love for my mom and I to hang out and get creative!
Experiment in the kitchen. Since time and space are limited at the trailer, I’ve stopped experimenting and spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Lately, my mom always asks me what I’m making for dinner, probably expecting an extravagant dish, and while I still have important work to do (my novel can’t write itself – I’ve tried that), I like to spoil the family with a fancy or new dish. I loved making ratatouille, and it ended up being faster than expected and very delicious! When I return to California, I’ll make some for Gio’s family. ❤
As I still have the pumpkin bread and pumpkin cinnamon rolls recipes, I’ll try making those. The USA’s Thanksgiving is also coming up, so I want to experiment before my first ever vegan Thanksgiving arrives! I really want to make stuffed mushrooms… any good recipes?
Write 50k words. I mean, this goal is pretty obligatory during the NaNo season. In all honestly, I’m not too confident in achieving this goal.
The other day I took time off of NaNo, because my eyes were hurting from staring at my laptop non-stop. But guilt was over-flooding me, “It’s NaNoWriMo! I have to write!”
I’ve really thought about it, and honestly NaNoWriMo is creating artificial stress. All these years I have relieved on NaNoWriMo to jumpstart me back into writing, but I’m doing a decent job on my own now. I’ll definitely pursue the 50k mark, but my most pressing goal for NaNoWriMo is to:
Finish G.D. I’ve written so much, yet so little, about this novel that I won’t get into anymore details.
Brief version: I decided to take a break from a novel, but after putting all this time, effort, and love into it, I’ve realized I can’t give up now. The ending is clear in sight, so I’m going to finish!
In April I made it a goal to finish G.D. in 2016, so if I don’t make it in November, December is it for sure!
Post on Wattpad. I have my account sitting sadly on Wattpad with only a single post. I have a couple of short stories I could post… or I’ll go through G.D. and pick a chapter/section I really like, clean it up, and post it. I’m thinking G.D.’s first chapter… we’ll see!
Write a post once a week. I’ve been really slow at blogging lately… I think I get distracted by the kitchen (eating and cleaning). I’m in desperate need of some frozen dinners.
Anyway, I have plenty of posts I’d like to share, so my goal is at least one post per week!
And those are my goals for November! I have a lot of work to do… and 16 days to get to it!
What are your plans for this month?