Two more weeks left of 2022, can you believe it?! How are you feeling? I’ve been extra reflective amidst the busyness, thinking about the things I’ve learned over the last 12 months. If I can be truthful with you, I’m relieved to leave 2022 behind for the most part. It was tough from a mental health perspective, and at times I questioned what I was doing in this space, if I should continue on with blogging, and the transitory/seemingly fruitless nature of Instagram and social media in general. I stopped dreaming about future projects and things that had lit me up in the past. I couldn’t quite let go of it all, but I also lost any idea of conceivable future goals.
A lot of this energy culminated in a period of time where I barely slept. I’m still not sleeping 100% optimally, but I am getting at least 5 hours a night at this point, which is an improvement! Over the past few months, the confidence in my work here has returned and I feel driven by my “why” once again. Having the new site finally up really helped with all of that :). All of this is to say: thanks for sticking with me through the ebbs and flows!
This will be the last Saturday Sun of the year! I’m posting one more recipe next week, and then won’t be back until the new year. Take care of yourselves and be well!
5 Things I’m Reading:
- Isaac Mizrahi Wants to Make a Smarter Cooking Show (he is one of my favourite people to follow on Instagram–the content is so great)
- The Hit Podcast Hosts Still Cleaning Houses or Waiting Tables
- Oldest cooked leftovers ever found suggest Neanderthals were foodies
- Our Tote Bags, Ourselves
- These Indigenous Women Are Fighting Big Oil–And Winning
5 Things I’m Enjoying:
- This Time Traveller feature of Merriam-Webster’s site is fun.
- I swear by my humidifier this time of year–it’s not a fancy one, just a big forced air contraption from Home Depot, but it makes a huge difference with dry skin.
- Not a thing I can link to, but lately around 11 or so in the morning, I make a big cup/borderline bowl of decaf café au lait (usually coconut or cashew “lait”) and it is the best. It’s just 1 cup of coffee with 1 cup of warmed milk of your choice (doesn’t have to be foamed/frothed!), and I had a few drops of vanilla stevia. It’s heaven and I look forward to it so much.
- Laying in Supported Shavasana before going to sleep.
- I am a huge fan of Dr. Will Bulsiewicz, and loved listening to him on Wellness Unpacked.
- Goals for The First Mess for the new year?
I want to introduce some more basic/component style recipes and how-to’s on the site–things like my go-to nut milk, how to press tofu with a variety of methods, my vegan sour cream recipe, how to make vegan “parmesan” and a bunch of others. We’re working on getting more videos of the recipes and more seasonal ingredient-focused roundups as well. I’m going to have my version of a vegan pantry guide available for my email subscribers in the new year. One of my big goals (that honestly feels a bit too big/daunting) is to bring in some help for social media and filming, and to seek out a studio space. There’s some other things I’m working on that I don’t want to speak about openly yet :)
- How are you managing your social media use these days?
Honestly I could be doing this a bit better! I’m spending more time than I’d like to on Instagram and TikTok lately. But I’ve also been posting on these platforms more frequently, and this is typically rewarded with engagement. It’s a tricky thing to balance. If I didn’t have the blog, I don’t think I would have social media. One of my goals in the new year is to implement systems that can help me to be on these platforms less, and to therefore avoid some of the mindless scrolling that I get into haha.
- Must make holiday treat?
It’s sort of boring and traditional, but rice crispy treats! They’re easy to veganize and I just can’t let the holidays go by without them.
- What’s your favourite non-stick pan?
I get this question a lot! The thing to remember about most of them is that they’re not designed to last forever–I think I read somewhere that you’re lucky to get 5 years out of one with the nonstick coating intact. They also generally don’t like to be brought over medium heat or used with metal utensils. My personal preference for this type of cookware is enamelled cast iron pans (these will last way longer than 5 years! They’re not as slippy as teflon or other nonstick surfaces, but I feel more comfortable using them) or old school Green Pans are also great!
- Dream vegan Christmas dinner?
Either my Hearty Mushroom & Beet Bolognese or this Mushroom Bourguignon Pot Pie. I’d serve both with a simple shaved fennel and arugula salad :)