Vegan Chocolate Pudding*




This is going to sound strange, but I never expected chocolate pudding to be this easy to make. I always just buy them whenever I feel like having some, but it turns out that all you need to make chocolate pudding is probably already in your kitchen.

I was sent an e-cookbook to review, and I figured I might as well try out some of the recipes to see if they work. I'm not the best in the kitchen when it comes to dessert, so it would give me the perfect opportunity to test how foolproof the recipes are.


Sam Kuma created this cookbook because he believes that veganism shouldn't stand in the way of enjoying chocolate. The book is divided into ten sections: Breakfast; Bakes and Cakes; Cookies; Candies; Fruits and Chocolate; Handy Snacks; Ice-Cream; Shakes and Smoothies; Sauces, Syrups and Frostings; and No Bake Desserts. With my horrendous dessert making skills, of course I opted to go with something in the No Bake Desserts section. Here's the recipe of the vegan chocolate pudding I tried:


The next line was pushed onto the next page, but all it says is "it cools...Enjoy!" It's followed by brief nutritional information.

Love Notes

What I like best about 101 Chocolate Vegan Recipes is the sheer amount of recipes. from Chocolate Mug Cake to Chickpea Blondies and from Dark Chocolate Truffles to White Hot Chocolate. All of the recipes also come with nutritional information, which is great if you track your calorie consumption!

Sad Faces

My biggest gripe with this e-cookbook is the style and formatting. From just this recipe, you can see that there are issues with formatting. The headings don't actually head the content, and text floods onto the next page in a way that doesn't make sense.

Apart from that, the "procedure" is incomplete, I think. It reads like it should've gone through another round of edits before publication. Using this recipe as an example, nowhere in the recipe does it say the mixture in the sauce pan needs to be heated, but the sixth step mentions letting it cool, so I crossed my fingers and hoped it meant I had to heat the mixture and went ahead and did it.

Final Verdict

Overall, though, it's a decent e-cookbook for vegan chocolate recipes. I'm not vegan, but I appreciate that there are options out there for people who are. These recipes, at least the one I tried, are simple enough to follow and easy to make. To order your own copy of 101 Chocolate Vegan Recipes by Sam Kuma, click here.

What are your favorite sweet treats?

This complimentary product was provided for review consideration.

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Weekly Reading | June 26, 2016


Blogging

Following on the heels of last week's blogging posts, here are more tips and tricks to help us on our blogging journeys.

"How to Generate Blog Post Ideas" via Melyssa Griffin
"How to Create Catchy Headlines" via Elle and Company

Fashion

Now that summer is officially here, and we can't do anything about the heat, let's just get comfortable.

"Spring to Summer" via Night Chayde
"Comfortable Summer Fabrics" via Style by Jules

Food

I'm always up for trying new food, or at least live eat vicariously through others.

"The Easy Green Juice" via Bonjour Luce
"7 Incredible Veggie Burger Recipes" via Natasha Alexandrou on Bloglovin
"A Taste of Turkish Street Food" via A Pair of Ones

For more blogging posts as well as beauty and college posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
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Summer Style Ideas by Bloggers


The summer solstice, marking the first day of summer, was yesterday, which means that the season is officially here. At the onset of every season, new fashion trends make an appearance, and different women interpret these trends differently and showcase them through their individual styles, so if you're looking for fashion inspiration from real women, look no further than these lovely blogs run by even lovelier bloggers.


Mikayla is the blogger behind A Seersucker State of Mind, a fashion and Christian blog that includes style posts and devotions. Mikayla is a high school student from a small town in North Carolina. Not only does she love to blog, but she also spends her time on the sports field, on scrolling through yards of pins on Pinterest, modeling, photography, handlettering, and anything that requires creating and painting. Through A Seersucker State of Mind, she hopes to inspire her readers to wear what they feel best in!

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Laurel is a Toronto-based blogger who started Laurel Musical five years ago to express her creativity. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in voice performance and can always be caught singing. Laurel Musical is a place where she shares music, beauty, fashion, and advice to help others feel their best!

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Pastel N Pink is a Charlotte-based fashion blog showing that looking good doesn't have to break the bank. Pastel N Pink started as a creative outlet where Amy can express her interest in fashion and give and gain inspiration to and from others. Her blog features posts such as her everyday personal style and trends she loves, with parts of her personal life sprinkled in.

Click here to view the featured outfit post.


Tatum is a brand-new PR gal living in NYC. She is obsessed with style, health and fitness, and exploring her new city. The Pace is where she keeps up with the world while setting her own stride.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Ashliegh is the fashion and travel blogger behind The Darling Daily (soon to be The Darling Nomadess). She started her blog in college, focusing on personal style but quickly evolving to include an array of content. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, dreaming up her next destination, reading non-fiction and classic literature, and cultivating a professional wardrobe.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Sophia is a 21-year-old college student who is just trying to understand herself a little bit more. In a world full of chaos, Sofieyah gives her a sense of place and direction. She believes that beauty and fashion should not be discriminatory and hopes to become proof that you don't have to be thin and tall to look good in clothes. While beauty and fashion is central to her blog, it isn't central to her life. She also believes in personal growth and doesn't want her blog to just advertise outer beauty but to also be a mecca for one's inner beauty to shine.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Stephanie is a 22-year-old who currently resides in Richmond, VA, but the wanderlust is very strong in her veins, so she makes frequent trips to South Florida to visit her long-distance boyfriend. Her passions include eating her weight in French macarons and gelato, drinking boba milk tea, watching superhero movies, making friends via social media, and, of course, shopping. Drunk on Vogue is her style spirit encapsulated in a blog. Along with fashion, beauty, and lifestyle inspiration, her goal is to reach other women and remind them of their immense worth.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Sadie is a 21-year-old southern belle studying fashion merchandising and marketing at MSU and is a member of the Chi Omega sorority. She loves meeting new people, traveling to new places, and finding new fashion styles. She created Hey Sadie Lee to share her take on comfortable southern fashion and to inspire others. There, you will find a lot of clothes, some lifestyle posts, and plenty of smiles! Her motto is, "Remember to love the life you live!"

Click here to read the featured outfit post.

For more fashion inspiration, check out the Style Ideas by Bloggers posts from past seasons.

Note: Features were edited for clarity and length.

Where do you go to for style inspiration?
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Weekly Reading | June 19, 2016


Blogging

Some of you may know about the year-long hiatus from blogging that I took involuntarily when other aspects of my life consumed me. In that timeframe, I lost 80% of my readers and have since then been trying to build my blog and my readership back up (from the ground, basically). It's slow going, and it's tedious, and I sometimes wonder why I still do it, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. We all love our blogs. Sometimes, we just need someone to give us a little push. Well, here are three someones.

"My 5 Blogging Mistakes" via A Little Dose of Makeup
"How to Get Featured by Bloglovin" via The Private Life of a Girl

Beauty

As the summer peeks over the horizon, we are slowly phasing out our layers of face products in favor of lighter (or even fewer) products. That's why it's increasingly important to turn to other ways of keeping your face in tip-top condition.

"3 Ways to Clean Your Brushes" via Charlotte Christmas
"What to Eat and Drink for Better Skin" via Because I'm Addicted

College

I would first like to point out that this smorgasbord of articles from one source was not planned. It just turned out that, since it's the end of the academic year, a lot of college-related posts are being published, and Society 19 is one of those websites that have a college focus. Nevertheless, these articles might come in handy for those of you who are incoming college freshmen.


For lifestyle, food, and home posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
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June Drugstore.com and Walmart Haul (and an Online Shopping Experiment)


In my last Drugstore.com haul, while researching other websites where you can purchase those products, Walgreens came up a lot, and the prices were lower than those at Drugstore.com. Walgreens also offers free shipping on purchases exceeding $35, which was one of the reasons I cited for regularly purchasing from Drugstore.com, so this month, I decided to try an experiment of sorts.

Let me preface this by saying that I keep a shopping list of essentials that I add to throughout the month, which I then use to shop on Drugstore.com. What I did this time was shop normally on Drugstore.com, and once I have all of the products added to my cart, I went over to Walgreens and did the exact same thing.

Findings reveal (Yikes, the researcher side of me is showing) that my total on Drugstore.com was cheaper by a small margin, and I was able to add an extra product to my cart and still have the total be not too much more expensive than that at Walgreens. Basically, Drugstore.com is still the better option. With that being said, here is what I purchased this month:

1. Final Net Unscented All Day Hold Hairspray, $3.99 (12 fl oz) at Walgreens.com

I have actually never heard of Final Net before this, but it had a lot of favorable reviews on Drugstore.com, so I decided to give it a shot.

2. Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner, $7.22 (8.5 fl oz) at Ulta.com

I am a chronic repurchasor of this product. The last time I used a different toner is back in December when I repurchased a Boots Expert toner in my December Drugstore.com haul. Then, in my March Macy's and Drugstore.com mini haul, I explained the reason behind my preference for this Neutrogena toner over the Boots Expert one.

3. Nivea Creme, $5.89 (6.8 fl oz) at Walmart.com

Apparently, this is a cult product, and I didn't even know it. I saw it while hunting for a new night cream, and the packaging misled me into thinking that this is a night cream. It's not, guys. It's body lotion, haha. I should've paid more attention to the product description. Either way, it doesn't matter. I apparently bought the travel size too, so I'll just throw it into my makeup bag and use it as a hand cream.

4. Zapzyt Maximum Strength 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Gel, $5.29 (1 fl oz) at Drugstore.com

This is also a repurchase. I bought the first one back in December too, and I still have quite a bit of product left over; I just don't want to run the risk of running out of it before my next haul in July. It's a spot treatment that works really well, even on sensitive skin such as mine. I'm using it in my fight against adult acne and scars from acne past (It's a fight that I seem to be winning, btw), and it's clearing up my face because when I feel a zit forming, I just slap some Zapzyt on there before bed, and in the morning, it'll either be completely gone, or it'll be tame enough where I don't have the urge to pop or pick at it.


I also picked up a couple of things from Walmart. I didn't actually go to Walmart for the express purpose of buying these. I was actually there for an eye appointment and had some time to kill afterwards while waiting for the bus. Here is what they are:

1. Garnier Micellar Water, $8.99 (13.5 fl oz) at Ulta.com

It's probably about time for me to try out micellar water for myself. This particular one is biphasic, which seems like it would work really well on my heavy eye makeup, so I'm excited to give it a try!

2. Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream, $5.99 (1.7 fl oz) at Garnier

This is one of the first moisturizers that I fell in love with. The gel consistency is lightweight, soothing, and cooling, which makes it perfect for the summer! It also hydrates my skin without making it greasy.

Have you tried any of these products?
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Weekly Reading | June 12, 2016


Lifestyle

Last week, I found some special interest articles that are very interesting reads.

"The Single Life" via Adriana Renee
"Why Do We Romanticize Stress" via The Everygirl

Food

These articles will transition you from learning how to make eclectic food to actually making your own.

"Bali Cooking Class" via Living in Another Language
"Rice Cooker Curry Risotto" via Fairyburger

Home

Adulting is now easier than ever!

"The Top 20 Fashion Items You Need in Your 20s" via Color U Bold
"7 Office Plants You Won't Kill" via Real Simple
"10 Rules of Easy Entertaining" via A Cup of Jo

For more lifestyle posts as well as career and beauty posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
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6 Substitutes for Beauty Products


There are two reasons I can think of for us to want to substitute our beauty products for something else: first, we want to remove as many unnecessary chemicals as possible from our beauty routines; second, we ran out of something and forgot to grab more. There are definitely other reasons, but whatever that reason is, it's good to know that it is possible to rummage through your medicine cabinet or pantry for something to stand in place of your everyday beauty items.

Petroleum jelly for mascara
Dip a Q-tip in petroleum jelly and apply it like you would mascara. It works just like eyelash gel!

Coconut oil for makeup remover
Makeup removers, especially biphasic ones, contain oils that lift the makeup from your skin. Coconut oil can work the same way and is less harsh than regular makeup removers.

Apple cider vinegar for toner
The natural acids and enzymes that come from fermenting apples have antibacterial properties that work like the astringent in alcohol-based toners, but apple cider vinegar is definitely less harsh, which is great for sensitive skin. Just don't forget to dilute it with four parts water to every one part apple cider vinegar!

Yogurt for face mask
This makes sense, considering that there are already face masks out there that are yogurt-based. Of course, use plain unsweetened probiotic yogurt for this. The extra sugars and flavorings in other types of yogurt would defeat the purpose.

Essential oil for deodorant
Deodorants make you smell good, but don't you think that essential oils smell much better than any conventional deodorant? They even come with added benefits. For example, lavender oil reduces stress hormones and soothes irritated skin, and peppermint oil increases mental alertness. To turn your deodorant into an antiperspirant, mix ten to 20 drops of your chosen essential oil into a jar with 1/4 cup baking soda.

Olive oil for cuticle treatment
Cuticle treatments essentially work by hydrating and nourishing your cuticles. Olive oil can do the same thing for a fraction of the price!

Have you tried any of these substitutes?
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Weekly Reading | June 5, 2016


Lifestyle

Last week, I found some articles about changing things up in life.


Career

These articles can help the career women who work at or away from home.


Beauty

You can never have too many tips and tricks in your beauty repertoire!

"How to Fake a Thicker Lash Line" via The Small Things Blog

For blogging, health, and travel posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
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6 Midi Skirts to Transition from Spring to Summer


You probably know by now that I am not a fan of the summer or of high temperatures in general, but what I am a fan of is gorgeous springtime skirts that transition perfectly from spring to summer. Midi skirts are long enough to prevent wardrobe malfunctions during these windy months but short enough to still take advantage of the cooling breeze. I picked these six in particular because they are versatile and can be worn for any occasion.

Which is your favorite, and how would you style it?
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Weekly Reading | May 29, 2016


Blogging

Last week, I read up on some blogging articles in preparation to dust off and clean up my blog.

"The Anatomy of a Killer About Page" via Create and Cultivate

Health

These articles can help you foster good mental health.


Travel

Here are some articles to guide you through the stages of planning your summer vacation.

"How to Nail Airport Style" via Fashion Mask

For more health posts as well as beauty and fashion posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
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