Shorganics

Bath and Body Products Handcrafted with Organic and Vegan Ingredients

Family Vacation – The GRAND Canyon (part 1) July 22, 2014

Filed under: Environment,Information,Organic,Travel — Megan Vick @ 7:00 AM
Tags:

By Megan Vick

 

The Grand Canyon truly lives up to the word “Grand.” (Something tells me “The Huge Colossal Massive Canyon” would not go over well, although it may be a more appropriate description.) We spent 3 days in Tusayan, AZ – which by all accounts is barely a town, but it is only 6 miles from the park entrance. There is no internet and barely any phone service, so it’s truly a vacation. Completely disconnected from the world… it was lovely.

 

Food

It was much more difficult to find vegan food in Tusayan compared to Las Vegas. In a no-stoplight town, there was a Wendy’s, McDonald’s, a steakhouse, and a mexican restaurant. Luckily, I brought yummy snacks and we spent most days being active around the canyon. We hit up the Mexican restaurant one day for a late lunch and I got as close to vegan as I could by eating some yummy enchiladas without cheese and sour cream. We weren’t there for the food – that’s for sure. The truly breathtaking Grand Canyon took all my focus.

 

Grand Canyon

What can you say about The Grand Canyon that hasn’t already been said… We’ve been back for 2 months now and it’s still so fresh and incredible. Pictures simply don’t do the canyon justice, but here’s a good story:

 

While we were in the throws of booking our trip, someone highly recommended taking a mule ride to the canyon. After looking at some interesting tours, we decided that a 3-Day trip (1 day ride, 1 day in the bottom of the canyon, 1 day ride back) was a bit too much. I’ll be honest – our idea of camping is the Holiday Inn in Tusayan where there was no internet (True Story… no interwebs for 4 days…).  We agreed we would take a 3 hour mule ride along the canyon rim – sounds fun, right?

 

Leading up to the trip, Matt & I had a growing sense of unease about this mule ride. After doing a lot of research, we realized you can walk along the same trail for free (instead of the $120 per person mule ride). Then, we realized, you don’t actually ride a mule alongside the canyon, you ride for an hour and a half to the canyon, hitch the mule for 30 minutes, then ride an hour and a half back to the barn. Yeah… not for us. Plus, we were never really comfortable making a creature ride us along the rim of a canyon for pleasure. Seems a little cruel and unusual – but that’s just me…

 

I’m sure the trip is fantastic, but we cancelled anyway and hiked our way along the rim – which was beautiful. They also have buses for you to ride from lookout point to lookout point – and you can catch the same bus back to the parking lot if you don’t feel like hoofing back the way you came (which is what we did).  Here are some fun photos from the trip.

 

The whole family at the Canyon

The whole family at the Canyon

 

 

Megan & Matt on a ledge with nothing beneath us. Mom did not like taking this picture.

 

I really made Mom mad here. I told her to take a picture in case it's the last one... ever. She was not happy.

I really made Mom mad here. I told her to take a picture in case it’s the last one… ever. She was not happy.

 

 

I am cranky because I hit my head on that stupidly low tree branch. Mom said it was insta-karma for making her nervous.

I am cranky because I hit my head on that stupidly low tree branch. Mom said it was insta-karma for making her nervous.

 

 

There’s more on the Grand Canyon to come!

 

 

 

 

 

Outer Banks Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants July 13, 2014

Filed under: Holiday,News,North Carolina,Outer Banks,Vegan — Megan Vick @ 7:15 AM

By Megan Vick

 

It’s come to our attention that the restaurants we found up and down the Outer Banks not too long ago are not as vegetarian and vegan friendly today. We’ve taken down the original post until we can interview and fully vet another group of establishments.

 

It’s a shame such a popular tourist destination has a decreasing number of places for the increasing number of vegetarians and vegans in America. But make your voice known in a positive manner! Let your servers and management know when you visit a restaurant so they can work with you. In the meantime, stay strong – the OBX is a wonderful place to visit and you should not miss the opportunity should you have it.

 

Namaste.

 

Food Friday: Inspiralized Vegan Lemongrass Thai Green Curry Soup with Zucchini Noodles July 11, 2014

By Megan Vick

 

When I got this recipe in my feed the other day, I am fairly certain I actually drooled. At my desk.

 

I’ll be honest, I haven’t had a chance to make this yet because we’ve been getting some big orders and making soap like crazy (more on that later). But this looks seriously delicious and further cements my girl-crush on Miss Inspiralized (aka Ali). Check this amazing-ness out: Vegan Lemongrass Thai Green Curry Soup with Zucchini

 

Yummy!!!!

 

Photo respectfully borrowed from Inspiralized.com courtesy of Ali Maffucci

Photo respectfully borrowed from Inspiralized.com courtesy of Ali Maffucci

 

 

 

 

Family Vacation – Vegas Baby! The Food June 30, 2014

By Megan Vick

 

While none of us are big gamblers, we had a ball eating our way through Vegas (I gained 6 pounds!!) and watching enough Cirque du Soleil shows to last a lifetime. After arriving at our hotel, The Desert Rose Resort – just off the strip, around 1:00pm on May 10,  we went right out to find food and ended up at Rainforest Cafe at the MGM Grand. While the experience left a lot to be desired, there were several vegetarian and vegan options available (yay!). I was pretty stoked to know that I would be able to find some good vegan eats while on vacation. Thank you Las Vegas!

 

Las Vegas Vegan

 

Matt and I surprised our moms on Mother’s Day morning with a reservation at Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas. With its French setting and menu, we knew our foodie moms would love it. We had the amazing luck of being seated just next to the outdoor patio and had a full view of  the Bellagio and its legendary fountain. Mon Ami Gabi had a few vegetarian options, but I called ahead to make sure certain items were vegan (or could be made vegan) so I wouldn’t be stuck with a just a fruit cup. Even though I called ahead to alert the server of my veganism, I still ended up with the most beautiful bowl of fruit ever. Berries, melons, pineapples – oh my! I also got the thick cut oatmeal – just to try it. I have never liked oatmeal (it’s a weird texture!), but this was delicious.  So good, it was gone before I thought to take pictures.

 

Throughout our week in Vegas, we found tons of great restaurants and just about every one of them offered a vegetarian or vegan option. One of my favorites was Gordon Ramsay’s BurGR in Planet Hollywood. It’s exclusively a burger joint, but stepped up a notch because, you know, it’s Gordon Ramsay. I was genuinely impressed to see the Earth Burger on the menu. It had all the veggies on it and instead of meat or a veggie patty, I was able to enjoy one of the biggest, juiciest portobello mushrooms ever. It was absolutely stunning. Once again, it was gone before I thought to take pictures… I have to get better about that.

 

Next time you visit Vegas, you won’t be disappointed with the options for vegetarians and vegans. Since it’s a massive tourist destination, restaurateurs are catching on to the vegan and gluten-free lifestyles of customers. If you are considered, be sure to call ahead and ask questions. It’s Vegas after all – there’s not much that can’t be done in that city.

 

Family Vacation – Vegas Baby! Criss Angel’s BeLIEve June 23, 2014

Filed under: Information,News,Pop Culture,Travel — Megan Vick @ 7:05 AM
Tags: , , ,

By Megan Vick

 

BeLIEve is a magic show by the illusionist and escape artist, Criss Angel. He had a show, MindFreak, for many seasons and most recently, he has his show, BeLIEve. Matt, Robin (my mom-in-law), and I have been big Criss Angel fans for years. I even had the pleasure of seeing this show in 2009 when I came with a college trip. Since that ’09 show, I’ve truly believed in Criss Angel’s talents as both an illusionist and as a magician. Yes, magic is real (Hogwarts could be a real place, but us muggles just don’t know!). Robin’s had a crush on Criss for many a year now, so it only made sense that we sit front-row-center for the big show.

It was well worth it. Criss Angel touched our hands, and he even took a selfie with Robin. I’m pretty sure she can die a happy woman now. Whether you BeLIEve or not, Criss Angel is a wicked talented performer who is a genuinely good guy and understands he’d be nothing without his fans. I still believe I saw him disappear off the stage and slice a woman in 2 half. This dude is for realz (intentional use of ‘z’).

 

This had to be its own post for the pictures alone. Priceless.

At Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, Robin got a little frisky with Criss Angel just hours before the show.

 

Madame Tussauds Criss Angel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of the show, Criss let us take our phones out for some pictures. I managed to snap this terrible picture of myself.

Vegan Criss Angel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then this happened:

Criss Angel Selfie with Fan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s Robin, my awesome mother-in-law taking a selfie with Criss Angel. The only selfie he took with anyone that night. Best. Night. Ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food Friday: Inspiralized Miso Roasted Tomatoes & Carrot Noodles June 20, 2014

Filed under: Food Friday,Organic,Vegan — Megan Vick @ 10:56 AM
Tags: , , , ,

By Megan Vick

 

I had the honor of getting a spiralizer for my birthday from my mother-in-law. I’ve been really getting into cooking lately, but we’ve really worked hard to cut back on pastas. While we LOVE LOVE LOVE pasta, it’s getting too heavy for us in our old age (late 20s, that’s old – right?). Robin introduced me to zucchini noodles – zoodles – and I’ve been following a blog, Inspiralized, for a while.

 

Now, I don’t know Ali – the wickedly talented chica who is the end-all, be-all for Inspiralized, but I like to think she’s my homegirl. So many dishes of hers are either vegan already or can easily be veganized by either leaving out the meat or subbing something like Beyond Meat in its place. The meals are crazy fast to make and don’t get crazy with ingredients. Her posts are super-fun and the recipes are wonderful and healthy. Check out this Miso Roasted Tomatoes & Carrot Noodles.

 

 

Miso Roasted Tomatoes and Carrot Noodles

Prep Time: 10 minutes/Cook Time: 20 minutes/Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp light yellow miso
  • 1 tbsp peeled and minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp honey (I used agave to keep it vegan)
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 3 large carrots, peeled, Blade C, noodles trimmed
  • 4 scallion stalks, thinly sliced (I didn’t have these, so I didn’t use them – still turned out great!)
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the vegetable oil, vinegar, miso, ginger, seasame oil, honey, lime zest and lime juice until smooth. Season with salt.
  3. On a baking sheet, toss the tomatoes with 3 tablespoons of the miso dressing and season with salt. Roast for 20 minutes, stirring, until the tomatoes are charred in spots. Scrape into a large bowl.
  4. While the tomatoes are roasting, bring a medium saucepan with water to a boil. Once boiling, add in the carrot noodles and cook for 2-3 minutes or until al dente. Drain into a colander.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, add in the carrot noodles, tomatoes, scallions and the dressing and toss well. Divide into bowls and top with sesame seeds.

 

Now you have a delicious meal to share with your friends using your awesome new spiralizer. Thank you to Ali at Inspiralized.com for awesomeness every single day.

 

Family Vacation: Vegas Baby! Cirque du Soleil June 17, 2014

By Megan Vick

 

Las Vegas at Night

 

Las Vegas – there are no words. It has something (lots of things) for just about every person under the sun. When we are not on vacation, we spend a lot of time planning our next Cirque du Soleil show. (True story… Can you be a Cirque groupie? I want to be that when I grow up.) Since my mom and I are dancers by nature (with the training to back it up), we completely geek out over every show. For years, we’ve day dreamed about taking a trip to Vegas just to see Cirque shows. We figured, since we’re going to Vegas – better make it count!

Now, some of you may scoff at the idea of seeing so many Cirque shows due to ticket price – and I will admit that good seats don’t come cheap. However, I know you all know that person who lost $400 at blackjack in 10 minutes. When you consider that you could spend an hour and a half at a Cirque show with some friends for the same price – well… I’ll let you choose your priority.

 

Unfortunately, I don’t have many photos, because, well, they get REALLY mad at you if you take photos during the performance. So in fear of having my phone taken from me by the clowns of Cirque, I sacrificed having pictures.

 

The Cirque Shows:

  • KA – MGM Grand
  • Zumanity – New York, New York
  • O – Bellagio
  • Love – The Mirage

 

KA is an indescribably beautiful show with visuals that make it hard to believe it’s a live show. KA features a moving stage on which the performers dance, battle each other, and spend quite a bit of time flirting with the edge. The story is incredibly strong – the strongest story I’ve seen in a Cirque show – and very easy to follow and enjoy. With wonderful acrobatics, acting, and character development, everyone will love KA for sure.

 

Zumanity was my personal favorite, but I’ve been antsy to see it since it opened 10 years ago. Zumanity claims to be “The Sensual Side of Cirque du Soleil” and they do not disappoint. There are tons of laughs, tons of boobies, and performances for straights, gays, and some fetish people too. While this was my favorite, I don’t recommend for those uncomfortable with swearing, nudity, or anyone who errs on the conservative side. Zumanity was my favorite because at the end – nothing about you matters – it’s all about enjoying life and accepting those around you. A very good message regardless of personal beliefs.

 

O was a curious show for me. It was the most anticipated because it’s the original “water show.” There was a large pool with a floor that moved over it in different ways and patterns for a visual effect that is unparalleled.  The colors and costuming are incredible, but I found it lacked a solid story to keep my interest. If you go to this show, sit mid-way back and think of it as an array of acrobatic acts that are individual instead of thinking there will be a link throughout the performances.

 

Love is the show inspired by Beatles music. My parents being HUGE Beatles fans (Mom saw them in concert twice – that’s right… twice!), were giddy with excitement to see Love. While they thoroughly enjoyed it, they both agreed it was similar to O as it lacked a strong story line. The colors and effects were incredible – including an exploding VW Bug.

 

There is also an entire post dedicate to Criss Angel: BeLIEve. It’s totally worth your time.

 

 

Over all, the Cirque du Soleil shows were phenomenal. Mystere was on a one-week vacation for the exact week we visited, so I guess we’ll just have to go back to Vegas again. Oh shucks…

Fun Fact: Mystere is the show Paul Rudd & Seth Rogen see on psychedelic mushrooms in the move, Knocked Up.

 

Stay tuned for more fun-filled vacation posts, Food Fridays, and other Shorganics Shenanigans.

 

 

 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 202 other followers