All posts by Ater Imber

Ater Imber became interested in writing fan fiction in 2013 after being talked into giving the Deviant Art website a chance. Ater began posting to the delight of Supernatural fans and continues to write new fan and non-fan fiction stories with regularity for an eager personal following. Ater also currently has four novellas available for purchase. 'First Try' is Aters’ debut, non-fan fiction novella, and is the newest released. It’s a collection of short stories Ater wrote during school after getting serious about becoming a writer, book-ended by the two ‘long’ first stories Ater ever wrote, published November, 2018. Ater’s third fan fiction novella, 'Holiday Treats', is about the holidays, forbidden love, and what can go wrong when the two collide, published in December 2016. Ater’s debut fan fiction novella, 'Don’t Get Caught', is a collection of short stories centered around a love theme, published in February 2016. Last, but certainly not least, Ater’s second fanfiction novella, 'Melting Hearts, Sunburns and Tanlines' is a collection of short stories with a main theme surrounding going on vacation and love, published in August, 2016. All three of Ater's fanfiction novellas are based on the T.V. series Supernatural. If you’d like to check out Ater’s books, you can do so here: http://aterimber.com/writing/books/ Ater Imber lives in Toronto, Canada.

The Moment I Knew (Version 2)

Started: 17.11.14

Finished: 18.01.12

Words: 3,147

I actually completely forgot that I had written two versions and didn’t upload the second one. Sorry this is so late, but I hope you enjoy.

Based on the Taylor Swift song of the same name. (Listen to it here)

SF, Destiel, TW: Suicide (Mentioned)


“Cas?”

The mentioned turned away from the window, smiling as his eyes met emerald green.

“What’re you doing street watching?” the blonde flopped down on the couch and peeked through the blinds, “it’s just snowing.”

“I just needed a bit of quiet,” he couldn’t help the blush that crept up his neck.

“A bit of quiet?” Dean turned from the window to face him, “y’know it’s your party, right? You can tell them to shut up if you want.”

Cas chuckled and shook his head, “As long as they’re having fun and not breaking things, it doesn’t really matter.”

“Well then you definitely don’t want to miss this,” the taller man stood up with a smile, “Gabriel’s table surfing.”

“Table surfing? Where?”

“On the kitchen island,” Dean tucked his hands into his pockets as he leaned back to check it out, “aaand yep, just what I thought. He’s got your cake precariously placed between his legs.”

Cas shook his head and laughed again, “Remind me next year not to serve alcohol.”

The taller man chuckled, offering him a hand, “C’mon. Let’s get you back to your party.”

“Cas!”

The voice startled the black-haired man out of his thoughts. He blinked and looked around, boulder beginning to grow in his stomach at the lack-of-Dean. His eyes flicked up to see Gabriel sauntering over before turning back to the window. Where is he?

“Are you deaf? I’ve been calling your name for like an hour!”

Maybe he’s just late… his eyes scanned the empty street, hoping against all odds to see the blonde materialize on the sidewalk, he said he’d be here.

“Hello?” Cas blinked as Gabriel waved a hand at his face, “anybody home?”

He sighed and turned away from the window again, “What?”

The brunette waved a dismissive hand, “Man, stop wasting your time waiting for that dickhead. What did I tell you? He’s not showing.”

“You’re drunk,” the raven-haired man felt the hot sting of tears in his eyes at his brother’s words.

No-no-no-no, he’s wrong. He’ll be here. He has to. He failed to swallow the lump in his throat and willed the tears away.

“C’mon, you’ve got candles to blow out,” he slung an arm around his brothers’ shoulders before dragging him off in the direction of the kitchen.

“You mean my cake didn’t fall during your surfing stunt?”

Gabriel’s brow furrowed in confusion, “Surfing?”

“Yeah, on the-” he cut himself off and turned his gaze to the floor, oh.

The brunette’s eyes lit up with mischief, “Were you gonna say on the island? In the kitchen?”

“No…” wait, did he say I had to blow out candles?

Gabriel gave his brother a sideways glance, noting his saddening expression, “you okay?”

“Yeah, fine.” I can’t believe it’s already that late. He better get here soon.

“Don’t worry little bro, I’ve never defiled your kitchen counter by surfing on it. Fooling around on the other hand…”

Cas shook his head and tried to push the sinking feeling aside, “You’re definitely drunk.”

“Pfft, naw,” Gabriel tripped on the lip separating the living room from the kitchen, before turning a lopsided grin to his brother, “okay, maybe a little. But it’s a party!”

The shorter man gave a tight smile as he helped him up, before going through the swinging kitchen door.

“Okay, sit here,” the raven-haired man was pushed into the only chair at the end of the island, before Gabriel scurried back out.

Everyone else began gathering around the table, continuing their conversations in hushed voices. Cas felt sweat break out across his neck, he knew it was his birthday, but the way no one was talking to him, and the way they all kept eyeing him while whispering, well… he wasn’t that stupid. C’mon, Dean, where are you? His eyes swept over all their faces absently while he waited, subconsciously searching for those emerald green’s.

Gabriel came back through the door, pushing it open with his back while he held the lit cake, face splitting with a grin as he made his way to the island, “Happy birthday…”

The room exploded with off-key singing as the cake was placed down in front of him. Cas couldn’t help feeling like the wind had been punched out of him when the cake was put down – it was like it cemented the fact the one person he wanted to be there the most, wasn’t.

He said he’d be here, he felt tears prick back at the corner’s of his eyes, this time failing to blink them away. He closed them in the hopes of keeping them at bay and tried to swallow the lump in his throat, I can’t believe he didn’t-

“Don’t wish for too much, Cas.”

He opened his eyes to see Gabriel starring at him, nodding toward the still-lit cake. Taking a quick look around the room again, maybe I just missed his face, he realized everyone was starring at him. Some confused, others leaning over to whisper to their neighbour.

“I-I don’t-” I can’t do this, he got up, avoiding his brother’s questioning gaze and all but ran to the bathroom, locking the door behind him.

He sunk to the floor as he felt the tears begin to fall, he promised…

 

 

Winchester!”

 Dean slid out from under the car he was working on to see his boss, chest heaving, face red, stomping toward him.

“Where the hell is my daughter?”

“Probably still sore from last night,” he smirked before sliding back under.

He felt his boss’ boot catch the end of his creeper, yanking him back out. The blonde glared up at the other man, I don’t have time for this.

The vein in his head began throbbing as he narrowed his eyes, “You want to try that again?”

The blonde ran a hand through his hair, shrugging.

His boss stomped his foot, face almost purple, “You will show me some respect, Diana!”

Diana? You really want to go there? He sighed before standing up, towering over his boss, “Sir, if I knew where your daughter was, I wouldn’t be here.”

“Yeah, keep making those jokes. We’ll see how funny you find them tonight,” his lips curled into an evil smile.

“Tonight? I think you’re losing it man, I get off at six.”

His boss’ smile grew, face returning to a somewhat normal colour, “Is that so? Interesting,” he took a few steps away, mindlessly looking over his tools, “I could’ve sworn the schedule said you were covering for her tonight.”

“Covering for her? You mean taking the graveyard shift?” Deans’ hands balled at his sides, no chance in hell, pal.

“That’s the one,” he picked up a screwdriver, smiling at it, “such a gentleman, you are.”

The blonde grit his teeth and had to use all his willpower not to punch him, “How so?”

He put the tool down, out of place, before meeting his eyes, smiling sweetly, “Offering to cover her shift without pay, of course.”

“Listen, if you think-”

“No, you listen,” he was back in his face again, eyes sparkling dangerously, “The only reason I don’t fire you,” he dropped his voice, “is because I promised your father. But if you ever talk about her like that again you will be sleeping under the bridge off 33rd Street and fighting over a barrel fire. Do I make myself clear?”

Deans glared in response, knuckles turning white at his sides.

“Don’t forget who owns who.”

He backed off again, clapping his hands, “Okay, good talk,” he looked around the shop and spotted the other two mechanics watching, “What’re you looking at? Get back to work!”

They both jumped at being caught and rushed back over to their cars, keeping their eyes on their work. His boss pulled the lapels of this suit, straightening it before walking back across the shop to his office.

Dean waited until he saw the office door close before knocking his toolbox to the ground, “Fuck!”

Tony and Mike looked up from their cars again, both men only coming marginally closer. Dean tugged at his hair, grinding his teeth together, if he thinks I’m staying for the graveyard shift, he’s got another thing coming.

 

 

Shit, Dean glanced at his watch before checking the positioning of the creeper, this’ll have to do.

He locked his tool box before grabbing his jacket, sneaking over to his boss’ office. He peered into the window and saw he was sitting, facing his computer. The blonde quietly came around the other side of the office, pressing his ear to the door. He held his breath as he listened.

Just as I thought, he smiled, shrugging on his jacket as he heard soft snores. He strolled over to the door before taking one last look around the shop. Nodding to himself that everything was in order, he walked out the door.

“Damn!” he pulled his jacket tighter around his chest as the cold hit him.

Jogging to his car, he fumbled with his keys, fingers already freezing. Oh c’mon!

After what felt like forever he finally wretched the door open and climbed inside. He spent a minute rubbing his hands up and down his bare legs, making a mental note to start leaving an extra set of clothes in the car. Thank God I did laundry last night, he rubbed his thighs through his boxers.

He took his phone off the seat next to him, punching the speed dial before bringing it to his ear, please pick up… please pick up…

“Hello?”

“Cas, hey, buddy, I’m so sorry, my boss was being a dick and gave me the graveyard shift, but I’m leaving now. I should get there-”

“I-it’s fine, Dean. You don’t have to come.”

Dean blinked, next sentence of his explanation dying on his lips as he took in his shaky voice, something’s wrong, “Are you okay?”

He heard a sniff, “Y-yeah, I’m fine. You don’t have to come over.”

You don’t sound fine, “Don’t be stupid, it’s your birthday, of course I’m gonna be there. I might’ve missed your brother making a fool of himself, but you and I both know the party doesn’t really start until I get there.”

“Dean,” his voice was hard, but the taller man didn’t miss the shaky inhale on the other line, “you missed the party. Everybody left.”

The blonde failed to swallow the guilt he felt building in his throat, “Oh.”

“Yeah, so just… it’s fine, don’t come over.”

Dean nodded, starring at himself in the rear view mirror, I should’ve been there, I should’ve left earlier then I could’ve- he cut himself off as he listened, heart breaking a bit as he heard the soft gasps of the man on the other line. He could picture him sitting there, hand over his mouth trying to keep the blonde from hearing him cry.

He closed his eyes, licking his lips, keeping his voice soft, “Cas,” what can I say? How can I make it up to you? “I’d still like to see you.”

“No, I-” another shaky breath, “you can’t.”

Dean felt his heart quicken, “What do you mean I can’t?” he was already jamming the key in the ignition, “Are you sure you’re okay?”

Damn it, he threw the broken end of the key to the ground, eyes glancing skyward, you’re not gonna make this easy, are you? He looked around the lot, racking his brain for another idea, walk? No, it’s too cold for that. C’mon there has to be something I can-

He paused as he saw the old, broken down car in the corner of the parking lot, will it run in the cold? Time to find out, he climbed out of the car and all but ran to the other side of the lot, phone pressed tightly against his ear.

“Cas? You still there?”

“Yeah…”

“I’m on my way,” he tugged on the handle, not surprised to see it was unlocked.

“Dean-”

“I’ll be there soon, okay?” he dug through the glove box for the keys, “Don’t do anything… rash.”

A dry laugh filled the air, making his blood run cold.

His hand closed around the key, yanking it from the glove box, “Hey. Promise me you won’t do anything. Don’t even move-”

“Dean, I-”

“Promise me, Cas,” he jammed the key in the ignition, smiling as it roared to life.

“O-okay. I won’t move.”

“Good. Alright, I’ll be there in twenty,” he threw the phone down on the seat next to him before speeding out of the parking lot.

Hang on, Cas.

 

 

“No, no, no, no, c’mon baby!” he hit the steering wheel as the car began to slow down.

He was about halfway to Cas’ house, car running better then he’d hoped it would in the rain. Naturally, that was where his good luck ran out – now the car was dying as it tried to make it over the bridge. And it had started pouring. C’mon, I don’t have time for this, he turned the key again, swearing to himself as it didn’t start. He leaned his head back, eyes closed, scrubbing a hand down his face with a sigh, what the hell am I supposed to do now? He failed to ignore the feeling of dread that was settling into his stomach, he wouldn’t actually do anything stupid… would he? He spent all night with his brother drinking… something was definitely wrong when I called him earlier. Dean fumbled, hand searching the seat beside him for his phone, maybe I really am over-reacting, he hit speed-dial and brought the phone up to his ear, he’s probably fine, there’s no way he’d actually-

This is Cas. Leave me a message.

Shit. Dean ended the call before trying again, c’mon, Cas, don’t-

This is Cas. Leave me a message.

Shit, shit, shit, Dean was in the back seat, searching the car before his brain had registered he’d even moved, feeling of dread deepening. He double-checked the time on the dash, he shouldn’t be asleep yet, before he brought the phone to his ear, one more time.

He leaned his head against the window, struggling to see, “Why did it have to start raining?”

This is Cas,” He growled in frustration before snapping the phone shut and throwing it to the ground, I’ve got to get over there now.

How am I gonna get there? Stupid car, if only I could- he bit his lip, cutting himself off as his hands balled into fists at the realization, I’m gonna have to run it.

Fuck, the blonde ran his hands through his hair, eyes raising skyward, you’re really not making this easy, y’know that? I thought you were supposed to be the helpful one. He took a deep breath, picking the cell up off the floor, okay, alright, I got this. I can run it, sure it’s only ten blocks… in my boxers… in the rain… shit. No, okay, on the count of three.

One, he climbed back over into the driver seat, hand on the handle, two, he took in a deep breath and failed to banish the fact that the rain was coming down in sheets, three.

 

 

Fuck, fuck, shit, fuck! He wiped water out of his eyes, squinting to see the house numbers, 459… 459…c’mon, I know it’s- ah-ha! He ran up the driveway and pounded on the door, right hand tightening his grip on the cell.

“Cas!” He pounded on the door again, thankful for once that Cas had insisted on having a roofed porch.

“Cas! C’mon, man! Open the door!”

God damn it, he pounded once more on the door, before hoping off the porch, making his way around the side of the house to the window, you better be- he stopped when he saw the bathroom light was on, door ajar.

“Cas?” He tapped on the glass, wiping more water out of his eyes.

He failed to wipe the water from the screen, punching the raven-haired mans’ number, before bringing it to his ear, working his way to the other side of the house. He grit his teeth as he stepped through a bush, branches scraping against his bare legs. He peered into this window, thankful he had a better vantage point of the bathroom. He could see Cas’ legs stretched out in front of the door, not liking the boulder that was settling into his stomach. C’mon, Cas, pick up!

This is Cas. Leave me a message.

He pounded his free hand against the window, “Cas! Cas!”

Punching redial, he tried to calm his racing heart, he’s fine, I’m sure he’s just passed out from drinking. He always was a lightweight. And if he was alone with Gabriel-

“H-hello?”

His heart almost leapt out of his chest at the non-robotic voice, “Cas!”

“D’n?”

The boulder in his stomach grew, something’s not right, “Yeah, buddy. I told you I’d make it. Come open the door.”

Dean swallowed thickly, noting how laboured his breathing sounded, not liking how small his voice sounded, like he’s fading, “I-I’m outside, come let me in.”

He squinted into the house, willing his legs to move, twitch, anything. He waited a few beats, boulder growing with each shaky breath he heard come through the line.

“Cas? You okay? Come let me in, let’s-”

He heard a crash before seeing the phone fall to the bathroom floor. That’s it, he took a step back, checking out the window before kicking it. Glass shattered around him, mixing with the falling rain. It had barely exploded before Dean was already scrambling into the house, hands and knees getting cut on some of the pieces. He got himself back on his feet and all but ran to the bathroom, falling to his knees as he spotted Cas leaned against the bathtub, blood flowing from both arms.

“Cas,” his eyes welled up with tears, as he reached out to his neck, hoping to whoever was up there that he still had a pulse.

“God, Cas, what did you do?” He pressed his fingers into his neck harder, not liking the stillness he felt.

Dean peeled his shirt off in an instant, ripping it in half, “You’re gonna be okay,” he swiped at his eyes as he wrapped the shirt around his arms, “y-you have to be okay. Don’t worry, buddy. I’ll fix this,” his eyes scanned the room for something he could use to make him okay, I need you to be okay, “I’ll fix you. I can-”

He cut himself off and reached for the piece of paper that was on the sink, sliding it out from under the razor. He swiped at his eyes as he brought it down to his face,

Dean,

I’m sorry.

C

A strangled cry made it’s way past Dean’s lips as he pulled the limp body toward him, crushing it against his chest, “No, no, no, baby. Y-you? Y-you don’t-”

He buried his head into the shorter-mans’ hair, tears dampening the strands.

“I-I’m sorry, too.”


Need a less tear-inducing ending? Check out the original!

Want to read more? Check out other stories here!

Daiya Supreme Pizza Review




Ah, pizza. One of my favourite foods on the planet. It’s hard to go wrong when you’re giving me pizza. Perfectly acceptable to eat for every meal – it has all the food groups, y’know.

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Frozen pizza is good, but it’s more of what you settle for when you can’t get to the real thing. It usually does the job and fills/satisfies, but is nothing compared to it’s freshly prepared counterpart.

Or at least, that’s what I hear non-vegans describe it as. I don’t know if maybe it’s the novelty of being able to buy a frozen pizza instead of making my own at home (which I still do) or perhaps Daiya just has a stronger frozen pizza game, but I’ve never had that ‘this is gross’ feeling when eating a frozen pizza. All the frozen pizzas (which, to be fair isn’t that many) I’ve tried have been pretty good. This one is my favourite that Daiya makes.

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It was also the first way I tried Beyond Meat and I gotta say, even frozen and mixed with other toppings, I loved it. Since tasting it at A&W in burger form, I’m definitely a fan. While I don’t want to say the Beyond Sausage is the one reason it’s my favourite Daiya pizza, I’m not gonna lie – it definitely helped.

The pizza minus the Beyond Sausage is pretty uneventful – it’s Daiya cheese with veggies. If you like Daiya cheese and veggies, you’ll like it. Although, for some odd reason many vegans don’t like Daiya cheese, so I guess don’t buy their pizzas then?

I would personally like there to be more crust, but even still, it’s one of my favourite thin crust pizzas. It’s not so thin where it flops under the weight of the toppings and doesn’t even rip when you bite it (looking at you Pizza Nova), but it’s definitely not a thick crust.

Another thing I would say they could improve on, is that the toppings go all the way to the edges of the pizza – there’s no crust handle! How am I supposed to hold the thing? Underneath like a madman? No. Give us that edge to hold onto – it would definitely make dipping it in say, HotforFoods’ Ranch dip easier.

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(This picture isn’t the supreme pizza)

All in all, this pizza is pretty good, not overly floppy, has a decent amount of toppings and it’s a good size for being a ‘one person’ pizza. I usually cut it into 8 slices and eat half now and save half for later. (Or sometimes I just eat it all) It’s definitely my favourite out of the pizzas I’ve tried from Daiya. I would recommend you try it if you haven’t already.


Like this review? Check out more here!

So You Wanna Design Your Own Book Cover, Eh? (PHSH Tutorial Intro)




You’ve just finished writing this amazing novel, and are so pumped to get it out and into the world. All your dedication, time and energy has been poured into this baby of yours, and you want nothing more then to see it flourish.

Now there’s only one problem: It needs a cover.

But, you’re a writer, you don’t know how to design a book cover! You can barely crop an image in Photoshop – maybe you don’t even have Photoshop. And you definitely can’t shell out a bunch of money to hire somebody design it for you. (There’s a reason ‘starving artist’ is the phrase and not ‘stuffed artist’)

Well, today’s your lucky day – you’ve found the beginnings of an article-series I’m just starting to help people exactly in your shoes learn how to make a cover.

No, I didn’t take any marketing courses, nor do I have any formal training. I took a Media Arts class in gr. 10 and learned how to use Photoshop. However, I was requested by JD Stanley to help with their book covers. Before I helped, JD could barely erase a background. Oh, and I made all my own covers, too. (Not to mention the collages on this website)

Bottom line, I’m not professionally trained – but I know my way around enough to do things myself. It was actually JD who told me I could start this series! (Seriously, some of JD’s questions boggled my mind – what do you mean you don’t know how to zoom in?)

Fear not, I’ll be giving you the low-down throughout the next few months on how you too can not suck at using Photoshop.

Let’s start at the very beginning: Making a New Document.

Step 1: Do you have Photoshop? If not, you should go download it. (I use CS6, so if you have a newer/older version some details may differ) If you already have it, you’re part-way there!

Step 2: Open it.

Step 3: Go to File listed in the top menu and select New from the drop-down menu.

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Step 4: In the box that popped up, give your file a name. I just chose to keep it simple.

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Tip: PHSH = short form for Photoshop. From here on out, I’ll be referring to the program by the short form, because it’s faster to type.

You’ll also want to set the dimensions. My dimensions are set to 1920×1080 (pixels) by default because I was taking screen-shots of myself opening PHSH for this tutorial. You can make the dimensions however big/small you want. You also don’t have to use ‘pixels’ as the unit of measure. I typically use inches. I would suggest you make your dimensions 10x10in for simplicity.

Also, if your Resolution is set to 72px by default, you’ll most likely want to change it to 300px – this will make the image clearer.

Once you do this, click the Okay button.

Step 5: Now that this is done, you should see a white page that’s to your specified dimensions. This is your document size.

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If you can’t see the edges of your document, you might be zoomed in. Hold down CTRL and press the minus button (beside the 0 on the keyboard) to Zoom Out. Zoom Out until you can see the edges of the document. This will make working easier.

Congratulations, you just made your first PHSH file! That wasn’t so hard, was it?

Alright, now I’ll be going through the Tools on the Toolbar that are listed down the left-side of the program.

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This first one is the Pointer/Mouse function. It does exactly what you’d think – let’s you use your mouse as normal within the document. Allows you to click on different things, etc. You’ll be switching back to this a lot while you work, so it’s important you know what it does.

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Next you have the Selection Tool. This allows you to make a selection around a certain part of an image, cut/crop/copy and/or protect a section of a picture from being Erased.

Actually, wait, I’m not gonna go through all the tools right now – I forgot a step. To show you what some of these tools do, you’re gonna need a picture!

Okay, so to Insert a Picture into a document:

Step 1: First, I want you to right click on the image below, and select Save Image As… from the menu. Give it a name, and save it to your Desktop, for simplicity.

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Step 2: Now you have the image, go back up to File, and this time, instead of clicking ‘New’, click on Open.

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This should bring you to your Desktop. Click on the image I just had you save, and then hit ‘Open’. This will open the image in a new PHSH document.

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See those tabs? Anytime you have more then 1 PHSH file open, you’ll be able to switch between them by clicking on the tabs.

Step 3: Okay, now we have the image, and our blank document. You’re gonna want to move the picture to the new document.

To do this, you’ll want to click on the tab that’s the picture, and drag it off the line, a little to the left. Then let go – this makes the file open in a new PHSH window. (If you’ve ever accidentally opened a link in a new Window instead of Tab on your browser, it’s exactly the same as that, but in PHSH. If you haven’t done that, don’t worry.)

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Now, click on the image itself, not the tab, and drag the image into the blank document. Let go once it’s there, and you should see a New Layer with the image was created in your blank document (which should now have the picture)

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Now that we have the image in our document, you can Exit the image that’s still open in the window – we don’t need it anymore.

To center the image, click on Layer 1 (if it’s highlighted in Blue that layer is already selected) then, go back to your image, and drag it down into the document until it’s centered.

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And that’s how you move a picture into your PHSH file!

Okay, now that we’ve covered that, I’ll be going back to some of the Tools.

I’ll go back to showing you the Select Tool.

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Now that we have an image, I’m going to show you how to erase part of the image. (Especially because the PHSH pictures inside a PHSH picture is starting to confuse me, so we’re gonna fix that)

Okay, first: See the Rulers that are around the edges of the file? Click and drag down from the top Ruler – a turquoise/green line should now be on the document – this is called a Guideline. If you don’t have Rulers showing, go up to View and click on the Ruler option listed. (There should now be a check mark next to the option – this means it’s turned on)

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You’ll want to drag this Guideline to the edge of the image we centered. Then, go back up to the top, and drag another one to the bottom. Drag two more Guidelines out from the left-side Ruler, so now the image should be completely boxed in by the Guidelines.

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Now that you have your Guidelines in place, go over to the Toolbar, and click on the Select Tool.

Click and drag the outline box to the dimensions of the Guidelines. (It might ‘snap’ once you get close to the lines, that’s okay) Let go, and now you should see a dotted box along the Guidelines.

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Right-click in the Selected box/Guideline area, and select the Select Inverse option. You should notice that now there’s a bigger perforated box outlining the whole picture.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Erasing a Picture with Guidelines 4 - Photoshop

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Erasing a Picture with Guidelines 5 - Photoshop

Now comes the less confusing part. Go back to your Toolbar, and select the Eraser tool.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Erasing a Picture with Guidelines 6 - Photoshop




Now that you’ve got the Eraser selected, click and drag your mouse (exactly how you used to do it in Paint) around the image, and you’ll begin erasing the outer-part, without touching the part we selected before. Because we inverted the selection, the part we want to keep is safe, and you’ll only erase the outside of the image, regardless of if your mouse touches the part we want to keep.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Erasing a Picture with Guidelines 7 - Photoshop

(Your background colour is hopefully white instead of red, don’t mind that. It’s typically white)

Continue erasing until just the middle part remains.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Erasing a Picture with Guidelines 8 - Photoshop

Now, go back up to the Select tool, right-click again on the image, and this time click on Deselect. Now the selected box is gone, you’re left with only the image. To get rid of the Guidelines, you can just drag them back up into the Rulers and they’ll disappear. (Make sure you switch from the Select tool back to the Mouse tool)

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Erasing a Picture with Guidelines 9 - Photoshop

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Erasing a Picture with Guidelines 10 - Photoshop

Now that we’ve erased the background, we need to change the dimensions of the document, to get rid of all the white space.

To do this, (the easiest way) is to drag the picture to the top left corner, and then place two Guidelines at the bottom and to the right of the image, taking note of the dimensions.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Erasing a Picture with Guidelines 11 - Photoshop

Once you’ve made a note of the Guideline dimensions, go to the menu at the top and click on Image, then go down to Canvas Size.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Erasing a Picture with Guidelines 12 - Photoshop

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Erasing a Picture with Guidelines 13 (Canvas Size Dialogue Box) - Photoshop

In the Canvas Size box, you’ll be able to change the dimensions of your canvas. Type in the dimensions you got from the Guidelines (mine were 3.89cm x 7.21cm) and click Okay.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Erasing a Picture with Guidelines 14 - Photoshop

Don’t freak out – your picture is still here! The canvas size shrunk, so now it’s outside of the canvas size. Using your Mouse tool, drag the image to be centered on the canvas again, and this time, it should be a perfect fit, with no white background showing.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Erasing a Picture with Guidelines 15 - Photoshop

The last step always: SAVE.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Erasing a Picture with Guidelines 16 - Photoshop

We’ll be saving two versions of the file. The first being a .psd or Photoshop file. Saving your work this way allows you to keep all the layers separate. This is especially handy should you need to return to the image later to edit it further. I usually label these saved files as ‘Whatever Project I’m Working On UNFlattened’ so at a glance, it’s faster to know which file is which.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Erasing a Picture with Guidelines 17 - Photoshop

The second version you’ll be saving as, is either a .png or a .jpeg. These are picture files that condense all the layers to be 1 image. These are usually the images that end up on websites, as profile pictures, and, most importantly, the ones allowed to be uploaded for your book cover. Amazon may also require a PDF version, you do it in exactly the same way, except instead of selecting PNG or JPEG from the list, you select PDF.

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AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Erasing a Picture with Guidelines 19 - Photoshop

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Erasing a Picture with Guidelines 20 - Photoshop

And there you have it! You now know how to make a new file, crop images, and save in a few different formats. That’s the most basic aspect of PHSH skills you’ll need.

Lastly, I’ll go through a few of the tools you’ll probably use the most.

I’ve already shown you the Mouse, Select and Eraser tool.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Mouse, Select and Eraser Tools - Photoshop

Because I don’t want this tutorial to go on too much longer, I’ll just go through the rest of Tools in point form.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Eye Dropper Tool - Photoshop

Eye-Dropper – This allows you to ‘pick up’ a sample of colour from one part of the file, and use it elsewhere. You’ll notice when you use the Eye dropper, the colour you picked up is now in the Colour Swatches, allowing you to easily use the colour elsewhere in the document.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Eye Dropper Tool Explaination - Photoshop

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Paint Bucket Tool - Photoshop

Paint-Bucket – Exactly what it used to do in Paint. It fills the entire area with whatever colour you select. (If you have it within a closed shape, it will only fill in the closed shape, not the whole canvas)

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Blur, Sharpen, Smudge Tool - Photoshop

Blur/Sharpen/Smudge – Again, these do exactly as the name implies. They Blur, Sharpen and/or Smudge the picture. You can change the size of them similar to the Eraser tool. This is especially handy if say, you’re erasing a hair line, and need to not make the edges of hair so defined. (You would blur them slightly to make it look un-erased)

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Dodge, Burn, Sponge Tool - Photoshop

Dodge/Burn/Sponge – I’m not entirely sure what the Dodge or Sponge part of the this tool does (when I used the Dodge tool last, it made the picture turn a grey-er colour), but the Burn tool burns the picture like a lighter. Handy if you want to make the edges of an image appear burned, or if you want to blacken/darken the image as a whole.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Type Tool - Photoshop tutorial

Type – Allows you to add text to the picture. This is what I used to add the text on the images used in this tutorial.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Shape Tool - photoshop tutorial

Shape – Allows you to add different shapes to the canvas: Square, Rectangle, Line, etc.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Colour Swatches

Colour Squares – This is where it tells you what colours you’re currently using. The small arrow above the bigger boxes, will switch whatever colours you’re using currently to black and white.

Alight, I know that was a lot of info to take in, so take a breath – you made it all the way to end! Also, I’m sure that wasn’t nearly as daunting a task as you first thought it’d be. PHSH is funny like that, it’s such a big program, and there are a lot of different elements to it – at first glance it’s definitely intimidating. But it doesn’t need to be. All those different elements just mean you can make some kick-ass pictures with it!

I hope you enjoyed this intro to the world of PHSH, and feel free to practice and play around with the program a bit, that’s how I learned some of the stuff I know.

Next time, I’ll show you a very handy way to scale images without distorting them. You can look for that April 8th.


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Magic

Words: 218

Samifer (adjacent)


“Sammy…” the look of disbelief on the angels’ face made the brunette swell with pride, I can’t believe I actually got him.

In the next instant, the angel rushed forward, pinning the giant against the wall, eyes angry, “What’d you do?”

Whoa, “W-what do you mean?”

“Who was it? Hm?” The brunette swore he could see actual Hell fire in the blonde’s eyes, “Which one of them defied my direct orders?”

“What? What are you-?”

“Don’t even-” the angel cut himself off, turning his head slightly to the side, closing his eyes, “I’ve told you Sam, I can’t just let you out of deals. If word got out that the Devil himself was waiving contracts-”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” the giant ducked under his arm and effectively out of his grasp, before placing his hands on his hips, “You think I did what?” The brunette looked over the blonde before belting out a laugh.

Lucifer blinked in surprise.

“I-I didn’t…” Sam was gasping for breath and swiped at his eyes, “I-it’s a magic trick. You thought I…?” He doubled over with laughter, “It’s not real!”

“…Oh.” Lucifer picked one of the cards up off the table, “But if you didn’t make a deal…” he brought the card up to his face, inspecting it, “how did you do that?”


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Vegan Stop Online Grocer Review

Vegan Stop is a new online fully vegan grocer for Canada who had reached out ‘to some of Toronto’s vegan leaders’ via Instagram on Feb. 1st to let me know they had just opened their online store veganstop.ca.

I was very pleasantly surprised to find this message because a) they think I’m a vegan leader in Toronto? That’s so cool! And b) they actively sought me out and wanted me to check them out? Double cool!

I was also excited to try out a vegan grocer specific for Toronto ever since V Word Market closed. Vegan Supply is a bit too far for me to order from.

Needless to say, I did check them out, and I’m here to share my experience with you guys.

*Disclaimer: this post is in no way sponsored by Vegan Stop*

I checked out their website that same day, and found it very easy to navigate. They even have a Search by Brand option which is a very handy addition. That first day, I went for some ‘classic’ premade vegan food brands: Daiya, Tofurky, Gardein and Earth Balance. (I had just been searching for Earth Balances Cheese Square crackers the previous week and really wanted to find them)

As expected, since it was the first day they launched, they didn’t have very many products for each brand, and they didn’t have Tofurky products at all.

I asked them about it, and they told me that they were expected to get the Tofurky products in over the weekend. I decided to wait to place my order until after that. I also gave them a few suggestions for the website, and as a thank-you they gave me my own special discount code, for which I’m very grateful!

I checked out their FAQ’s, and was again pleasantly surprised to see that they said that they aimed to have mostt orders out same day, or within 24 hours. Again, this was a huge plus for me, as other vegan online places took anywhere from a few days to 1-2 weeks to deliver. I also loved that they are strictly Canadian (for now, at least).

About a week or so later, I went back to the site, and again used the Search by Brand option. (I really love being able to search a store this way) I immediately scrolled down and found Tofurky, eager to see which products they had. To my disappointment, they only had deli slices, no sausages. (Not hating, I just wanted the sausages)

I went over to Daiya and saw that while they didn’t have the Monterey Jack Block (my favourite block of Daiya, and hardly anyone has them anymore!) they did have the Alfredo sauce! I was sold as soon as I saw that and decided to get some stuff to make alfredo pasta. I headed over to Gardein and got some Beefless Tips, figuring I could probably use them in place of the Tofurky sausages for the pasta.

I also got Gardein 7 Grain Crispy Tenders and Amy’s Kitchen Alphabet Soup (another one of my fav products). I didn’t want to get too many things in the first order until I saw what the shipping would be, and how long the order would take.

I went to the Check Out page and again was happy to see they accepted Paypal. (You wouldn’t believe how many places I can’t order from because they don’t accept Paypal)

The Check Out process was very easy to navigate – on par with the rest of the site – and I was glad to see that shipping was only $9!

Their prices are cheaper then I’ve found at other places as well. For example, the Gardein Beefless Tips and 7 Grain Tenders are $4.49 each, compared to $5.99 at Vegan Supply.

The Alfredo Sauce is $8.49, compared to $9.49 at Vegan Supply as well.

And, perhaps the best price difference: Daiya pizzas are $8.99, which is a whole dollar off from other places I’ve seen them for $9.99, or even $10.99!

Altogether, using the discount code, my order was $20.51, which, is a much smaller bill then it would’ve been elsewhere. And, that was the total including the shipping price.

Buying the exact same items at Vegan Supply, the same bill came to $23.17, not including shipping. Their cheapest shipping option was $16.83. That would’ve made my grand total $39.80 for the same order, and Vegan Supply didn’t even have the Amy’s soup! They also require you to purchase cold packs for refrigerated/frozen items, which are $1.50 each.

That’s a $19.29 difference for the same food, and, it would’ve been slower delivery.

That’s crazy!

I strongly urge you to check Vegan Stop out. They’re still new, so there may still be a few bumps in the road, but for that price difference? It’s definitely worth it.

I am very happy to have this new online grocer, and am looking forward to becoming a regular customer.


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All Over The Place





Written: 19.02.01

Words: 767

Wee!Chesters


“I’m hungry.”

He sighed, hanging his head lower, grip on the counter tightening, “I know.”

There was a moment of silence as the gears in his head turned, he couldn’t keep doing this – selling drugs for money, it wasn’t right. Not only because of the obvious dangers both sketchy addicts and otherwise – but more so because it wasn’t fair to his brother.

He was supposed to be taking care of him, not going out every night after he got back from school, only to come back at 3am reeking of cigar smoke and alcohol. He knew his brother wasn’t stupid either – Sammy knew he was doing something to earn the money he had, he just prayed he wasn’t quite smart enough to figure out exactly what he was doing. He wasn’t sure he’d be able to take it if he found out.

“… De?”

The blondes’ head whipped up and he saw his brother, holding out the ugly neon pink piggy bank he’d bought him last Christmas. His brows furrowed, “What are you-”

“Take it.”

“Sammy, no, I can’t. It’s yours.”

The kid huffed out a breath, pushing it against his brothers’ chest hard, eyes shining with tears, “Take it!”

Dean blinked in surprise, eyeing his brother, “Sammy?”

His brothers’ bottom lip poked out and he hung his head, hair falling to cover his face, voice shaking, “Don’t… don’t go out tonight, De.”

Dean felt himself pale, oh, God, no. He sucked in a breath, “Sam, it’s okay. I’m-”

“No!” The five-year-old stomped his foot on the ground, lifting his eyes to his brother, tears streaming down his face, “You don’t need to anymore!” He shook the piggy bank, “Let me help!”

The blonde rubbed a hand at the back of his neck, debating about what to do for a moment, feeling a boulder of guilt settle into his stomach, “… Okay.”

Sammy sniffed loudly, eyeing his brother as he took the piggy bank, “You won’t go out tonight?”

Dean smiled softly, ruffling his brothers’ hair before he sat down at the table, doing his best to keep the wince off his face, “I won’t.” He uncorked the bank, coins spilling all over the table, face falling slightly as he mentally counted the coins.

Sammy jumped up into his lap and looked over the table, before turning to him, “How much is it?”

Dean hid his disappointment and chuckled, “It’s exactly what we need, Sammy. Thank-you.”

The brunette narrowed his eyes before turning back to the coins, “Are you sure?”

“Yep,” he scooped the coins off the table quickly, placing them back into the bank, “Now I can go shopping later.”

“Why don’t you go now?”

“Because,” Dean placed his brother on the ground, going to stand up, “you have to go to bed first.”

“Aw, Dean!” Sammy rolled his eyes, “I don’t wanna go to bed!”

“Uh-oh,” Dean hid a hand behind his back, face going serious, “He doesn’t like that.”

“Who?”

“Mr. Tickles!”

Sammy squealed as his brother lunged forward, tickling hand stretched out in front of him, “No! No, not Mr. Tickles!”

“You better hurry! I think he’s hungry!” Dean chased his brother up the stairs, feeling himself relax as his brother giggled.

Sammy stopped mid-way up the stairs, stopping to turn confused eyes to the blonde, “Hungry?”

Dean nodded, continuing up, “He eats five-year-olds. He tickles them to death, and then eats them.”

His brothers’ eyes went wide and he continued up the stairs, practically flinging himself onto the bed, pulling the blankets up over his head. Dean chased him in, jumping on the bed before tickling his brother over the covers, chuckling as he began laughing hysterically.

“No! Dean,” the brunette was gasping for air within minutes, “Stop!”

“Okay, okay,” he gradually stopped tickling and let his brother up from under the covers, face red from lack of oxygen. He waited a moment, relaxing as his face returned to a normal colour, before reaching for the duffle bag that was stashed under the bed, throwing some clothes at him, “Go shower.”

Sammy let out an exasperated sigh, “Do I have to?”

“Yes,” Dean nodded matter-of-factly, “Unless you want Mr. Tickles to come back…”

“No! No! Okay,” Sammy hopped off the bed and ran to the doorway, pausing, “You won’t go shopping until I’m back, right?”

Dean gave him his thousand-watt-smile, “And miss story time? What do you think I am, a monster?”

Sammy smiled before disappearing around the corner. Dean starred after him, stretching himself out on the bed as he picked up one of the books on the nightstand, thanks, Sammy.


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iChoc Classic Review




With Valentine’s Day being tomorrow, I thought what better food review then a chocolate bar?

Whether you’re celebrating V-Day with a special someone, hanging with your friends, or flying solo, there’s no reason why you can’t indulge yourself with one of the best vegan chocolate bars I’ve tried.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Product Review - iChoc Classic Chocolate Bar - vegan food, food review, chocolate, Valentines Day

One of the best/surprising things about this bar is that it’s made with rice milk. Why is that surprising? Well, usually, when something is made with rice milk, it has a certain taste about it, where you can tell it was made with rice milk. This bar, however, doesn’t have that taste much at all. Especially if you’re eating it by itself (instead of binging on a bunch of different vegan chocolates) you can hardly tell it has the ‘rice milk’ taste. It just tastes like… well, chocolate.

Another great thing about this bar is that it’s not bitter at all. Maybe it’s just me, but before discovering vegan chocolate, pretty much the only chocolate I could eat was the Lindt Excellence chocolates, and let me tell you, those are super dark chocolates. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s hard to enjoy more then one or two squares when something is that bitter.

Feeling like you need to chug water after eating chocolate is never a good thing. I’m just not a fan of extremely bitter chocolate. I’d prefer to leave that to my once-in-a-blue-moon coffee.

This bar also comes in a half decent size. I don’t know if you saw my Go Max Go Foods review, but let me tell you, as much as I love their Twilight bar, it’s so small! I know it’s the size of a regular non-vegan Mars/Snickers, etc. bar, but it’s so good, why can’t it be bigger? Maybe they do it on purpose so you buy more, or maybe they just don’t think someone would eat a bigger bar? (They’re wrong, I would totally eat a giant Twilight bar)




This bar is a half decent size, it’s about the size of the Lidnt Excellence bars. I also like that this bar is wider then it is thick – since this is their classic, there’s nothing fancy like caramel or nougat – it doesn’t need to be thick. As much as I love chocolate, biting into a solid thick piece of chocolate isn’t all that fun.

Since it’s the classic bar, I feel like there isn’t all that much I can review for it, other then it tastes pretty good, and doesn’t have any bells or whistles (like the aforementioned caramel or nougat), so if you’re someone who likes chocolate but not all that other stuff, this would be a good place to start. iChoc does make other bars with some ‘extra’ stuff in them (like their Choco Cookie bar has bits of cookie), but I’ll be reviewing those later.

The last thing about this bar I want to say is that it’s somewhat easier to find then the Go Max Go Foods bars. For Go Max, I had to go to a specifically vegan grocery store (like Good Rebel), but for the iChoc bars, I’ve seen them at Healthy Planet, and Foodland. It seems that stores that have a bigger vegan selection might have them (although I haven’t specifically checked Loblaws or Metro). That’s another bonus, I like being able to do my shopping all in one place, and unfortunately all the specialty vegan stores in Toronto are on the opposite side of the city I live in, so it’s a treat to find the vegan things I need in a non-vegan grocer (that’s not 50min away).

I’m not entirely sure if there’s Foodlands or Healthy Planets outside of Canada, but I would say, if you’re looking for the iChoc bars your best bet would be to go to either a specialty vegan store, or the grocer closest to you that has the biggest selection of vegan foods. And I think you could order them online, too.


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Surprising Vegan Chocolate




One thing I’ve learned since beginning this series is that there are a lot of websites that don’t list the ingredients in their products, and a lot of companies who aren’t willing to give out this information – even when you let them know you’re writing an article. (Apposed to trying to steal their recipe)

Many sites don’t even list allergens, which, I didn’t even know was allowed.

Anyway, that’s why on this Surprising Vegan list, there are companies listed that make labelled vegan chocolate.

I was also surprised to learn about just how many companies are making vegan friendly chocolate! I didn’t think I was going to discover so many!

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Surprising Vegan Chocolate

Starting in the bottom left corner going counter-clockwise:

  • Endangered Species Panther
  • Endangered Species Grizzly
  • Endangered Species Elephant
  • Endangered Species Owl
  • Endangered Species Chimp
  • Endangered Species Tiger
  • Endangered Species Tamarin
  • Endangered Species Bat
  • Endangered Species Puffin
  • Endangered Species Rainforest
  • Endangered Species Wolf
  • Endangered Species Turtle
  • Endangered Species Penguin
  • Endangered Species Ram
  • Pure Lovin’Denman Island Cocomilk Cherry Cashew
  • Pure Lovin’ OrganicFair Coco-Milk
  • Pure Lovin’ Roasted Nut Medley
  • Pure Lovin’ Almond and Wild Blueberry
  • Pure Lovin’ 71% Dark
  • Alter Eco Seal Salt
  • Alter Eco Salted Almonds
  • Alter Eco Quinoa Crunch
  • Alter Eco Crisp Mint
  • Alter Eco Blackout
  • Alter Eco Super Blackout
  • Lindt Excellence 70%
  • Lindt Excellence 85%
  • Lindt Excellence 90%
  • Lindt Excellence 99%
  • iChoc Classic
  • iChoc White Vanilla
  • iChoc White Nougat
  • iChoc Choco Cookie
  • iChoc Super Nut
  • iChoc Almond Orange
  • Pure Lovin’ Zazubean Sassy Pomegranate and Hazelnut
  • Pure Lovin’ Zimt Coconut Crisp Bar (Raw)
  • Pure Lovin’ Zimt Nib’d Bar – (Raw)
  • Pure Lovin’ OrganicFair Midnight

I was so pleased to learn how many vegan chocolates there are out there. Endangered Species makes a whole vegan-friendly line, and each purchase goes toward helping endangered species of animals (hence the name), Pure Lovin’ is a completely (Canadian!) vegan company, making much more then just bars (they also have vegan chocolate cremes, and chocolate solid dinosaurs!),and Alter Eco also has an entire vegan line of chocolate.

I discovered two other completely vegan chocolate companies: Pascha and Giddy Yo-Yo.

And, Guylian chocolates has some vegan chocolates as well.

I didn’t include Pascha and Giddy Yo-Yo in the list above because they’re 100% vegan companies, and these Surprising Vegan lists are supposed to be foods found from non-vegan retailers. I also didn’t include Guylian because their products aren’t available in Canada/US.

There you have it, my list of Surprising Vegan chocolates. If you have any surprising vegan chocolates I missed, or have an idea for another Surprising Vegan food list I can do, feel free to leave it in a comment below!


Like the Surprising Vegan articles? Check out more of the series here!

What We Get To Be




Happy New Year everybody!

Hope you all had an awesome holiday break, and are ready to get back into the swing of things.

Posting will continue on with it’s regular schedule. (TAFs every other Friday [next fic Feb. 22nd, etc.], articles every other Monday [Feb.11th, 25th, etc.] , and Product Reviews every 13th of the month)

This is this years’ Valentine’s Day fic. Hope you enjoy the Valentine’s holiday whether you’re with that special someone, a group of friends, or are rockin’ stag.

This fic was inspired by the song Rewrite The Stars from The Greatest Showman. Specifically the lyric: It’s up to you, and it’s up to me, no one can tell us what we get to be.

You can listen to the song here.

Written: 19.01.18

Words: 299

NFF


“Fuck!” She ended the call and slammed the counter.

“Uh, is everything okay?”

The voice from behind her made her jump, heart beating faster as she saw it was him, please, not today. He leaned down on the counter, a smidge too close for someone who was just a ‘friend’.

“I’m fine, I mean… I can handle it,” she shoved her phone back into her pocket and did her best not to squirm under his gaze.

“I know you better then that,” he brushed his hand against her arm, dropping his voice, “You need a place to stay, don’t you?”

She took a breath and slid her arm away, “You know I can’t let you do that.”

“Says who?”

“Pfft,” she gestured broadly to the rows of desks outside the small kitchenette, “Take your pick.”

“You think I care what they think?”

“You should, if it got out that you were even thinking about being with me, it’d-”

“Hey,” he moved himself closer again, this time placing his hands on her shoulders, “let me worry about the press. You just worry about getting yourself to my place.”

She let out an exasperated sigh, “I won’t be known as the one who wrecked your reputation!” she took a few steps back, turning her back to him as she felt her eyes fill with tears, “You’d never forgive me.”

He placed his hand on her shoulder, and she savoured the comfort it brought. After a moment, she took a deep breath and turned back around, “You know if you do this there’s no going back, right?”

“If being with you is gonna wreck my reputation,” he pulled her into his chest, kissing her forehead, ignoring the gasps that came from behind him, “then it’s a reputation I don’t want to have.”


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3 Year Veganversary





I can’t believe it’s already been another full year! It feels like just yesterday I was writing my 2nd Year Veganversary article – and now I’m already writing the next one? It’s crazy!

Again, it’s hard to know what to say in these posts – do I encourage you to go vegan with me? Do I talk about some of the hardships of going vegan?

Wait, I know. How about a quick food montage? Back before I was vegan, I basically ate the same three things over and over. But since I’ve been vegan? I’ve tried so many different kinds of foods, and even discovered some foods that I didn’t know existed before! (Like Nooch, seitan, oyster mushrooms and black salt)

I not only have expanded my taste buds by trying premade vegan products (like Daiya, Gardein and Tofurky), I also learned how to cook, and I’ve gotta say, I can make some pretty kick-ass things in the kitchen now, compared to the not knowing how to boil hot-dogs before.

Check out all the cool, new shit I learned how to make:

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - PETA SolFood Vegan's Spicy Fried Chicken Burger - seitan, vegan food, cooking adventures

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Seitan Bites - vegan food, cooking adventures

This is literally wheat gluten, water (or vegetable broth) and spices. It’s magic! And tastes awesome. I love getting to spice the food right from it’s conception – it gives it so much more flavour, instead of starting with a whole, plain slab of meat and then only putting the seasoning on the outside.

Also, you can turn this into any meat you want – the way you spice it gives it it’s flavour. And, because you’re hand shaping, you can also make it look like whatever you want.

Need some chick’n ‘breasts’? No problem.

AterImber.com - Seitan Chick'N Vegan Recipe

Sausages? Sure thing!

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Spicy Seitan Sausages - vegan food, cooking adventures

Need some wings? Got that too.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Buffalo Seitan Wings - vegan food, cooking adventures

What about burgers?

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - PETAs SolFood Vegans Spicy Fried Chicken - seitan, vegan food, cooking adventures

Yep! Still not a problem. These were actually the first time I made seitan, and was taken from PETA’s SolFood Vegan’s Spicy Fried Chicken recipe.

You could even just leave it together and make a roast out of it, if you really wanted.

The possibilities with seitan are damn near endless.

And it’s got 62g of protein/1C. So, y’know you don’t have to worry about dying from protein deficiency.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Meatball-less Sub w/ Taquitos - Vegan food, cooking adventures

Taquitos? I didn’t even know these were a thing before I discovered them at Good Rebel, and then learned how to make a homemade version.

Side note, if you live in Toronto, you should definitely check Good Rebel out. They’re small, but it’s like a vegan wonderland in there, they have so many products! Also, their egg and sausage breakfast sandwich is amazing.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - The Vegan Zombie Mozzeralla Cheese Sticks - vegan food, cooking adventures

Mozzarella sticks is something I never had before going vegan, let alone know how to make. This recipe I actually got from The Vegan Zombie.

There are a lot of different foods I never tried until I went vegan. Not even just ‘typical’ vegan foods – like seitan, or durian (which admittedly I still haven’t had) – but ‘normal’ foods, like garlic bread, poutine, milkshakes – pretty much anything that had milk in it, I never tried.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Cooking Adventures - Sushi - vegan food

Uhm, hand-rolling sushi with no fish? Oh yeah, I did that, too. It was fun! And apparently because of my small hands, I was naturally good at rolling them.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - HotforFood - HotforFood's Cookbook: 101 Recipes to Feed Your Face - Cauliflower Wings and Ranch dip - vegan food

These I made from my favourite vegan Youtubers, HotforFood. Lauren makes amazing vegan food videos, and makes a lot of ‘regular’ foods (ie burgers, wings, etc.) and not just salads. I highly, highly recommend you check out her channel, and that you buy her cookbook 101 Recipes to Feed Your Face. I was lucky enough to get her to sign it at this past years’ Vegandale festival and have made only a few things out of the book, (one of my favs is her Ranch dip) but am very excited to continue trying out more of her recipes.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmellows and Chocolate Drizzle - vegan food, vegan cupcakes, vegan desserts

I learned how to make chocolate cupcakes from scratch, and was pleasantly surprised that my vegan egg substitute of applesauce for eggs worked! The last time I had tried this switch, I was making brownies, and it didn’t exactly work out.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vanilla Cherry Pie Cupcakes - Vegan Food - vegan desserts

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Chocolate Cherry Pie Cupcakes - Vegan Food - vegan desserts

I also invented my own Cherry-Pie Cupcakes after learning how to make the cupcakes above. I’ve made these the past 2 years for my dads’ birthday and he absolutely loves them. (These pictures are a bit ‘foggy’ because I had icing on the camera)

It’s not even just the foods I’ve learned how to make, there’s also a whole world of restaurants and pre-made foods I never would’ve discovered had I not got into veganism!

Pochiche Poutine - AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2018

Poutine! It’s always a win. Look at that deliciousness!

Globally Local Crispy Chickn Burger - AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2018

Globally Local I’m a fan of – and they’re not even available in Toronto yet! I had the great fortune of trying them at the festival both years, and neither was disappointing. (With the exception that they aren’t in Toronto!)

AterImber - The Veg Life - Hogtown Vegan - Unchick'N Ceasar Wrap - Vegan food

Hogtown Vegan is in Toronto, and this thing is amazing, too. It’s giant, delicious, and was actually the first time I ever tried seitan – and that was even before I went vegan! It’s since become my ‘regular’ order when I go there. Some of my other favourites of theirs is their poutine, mac n cheese and chick’n burger. I highly recommend you check them out as well, if you’re ever in the neighbourhood.

These guys I only tried once, but again, was blown away. The sandwich was awesome, and it saddens me that they’re all the way in Texas. Also, those were oyster mushrooms? Whaaat?

Kellys Bakeshop Salted Caramel Cupcake - AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegandale Festival 2018

Salted Caramel cupcakes are a must! I loved these so much and was very upset I was only able to buy one.

I won’t give you the total play-by-play, I’ll leave my food adventures on my Instagram. Also, if you want to check out the reviews I did of the above restaurant foods, you can find them here.

With all the awesome vegan restaurants opening, and all the new products that are becoming available, it’s becoming so easy to go vegan.

Also, if the food wasn’t enough to convince you, maybe this will:

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - 3 Year Veganversary - Vegan Calculations: animals, water, and forest saved

Whether you’re thinking about going vegan for the animals, your health, or the environment, you can’t argue with numbers like these. 1,000+ animals saved in the 3 years I’ve been vegan by doing nothing else but changing my diet? Can I get a hell yeah?

Being vegan is one of the most passive ways to help save the planet and animals that I can think of. You don’t have to go out and protest, you don’t have to talk about it. You can be a quiet activist and vote with your dollar.

With so many great options available, and so many stats outlining the dangers of not going vegan, I’m truly baffled that some people haven’t gotten on board yet. I mean, I haven’t been vegan forever, but I don’t think I ever tried debating that animal agriculture was good for the environment, or that murdering innocent beings was right.

Seriously, how are there still people who think veganism isn’t the answer?


Want to check out how much YOU save by being vegan? Do so here!

Want to learn more about veganism? Check out more tips here!