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.

Tiny Houses vs Skoolies vs Van Life

This article was written 21.06.02. Please excuse any reference/joke about the pandemic that is longer applicable.


There are lots of different options to living small, which is great! But, if you’re a newb, how are you supposed to know which way is the best fit for you?

Not to worry, because today I’ll go through three of the biggest ways to live small, and explain the differences so that you can make a more informed decision.

Please note: this article isn’t the be-all, end-all of tiny living information. I always recommend you do your own research, and look at multiple articles, posts and even videos of people living these different lifestyles so you can hear from a wide range of sources.

Tiny Houses

AterImber.com - No. Mad. - Tiny Houses vs Skoolies vs Van Life - Tiny House without Wheels - vanife, skoolies, tiny living, buslife, blogger, lifestyle blogger, boondocking, travelling, traveller, lifestyle tips, wanderlust, wanderer, living the dream

You can technically call Skoolies and van conversions ‘tiny houses’ as well, but I’m going to use this term in this article to mean non-vehicle small houses.

‘Tiny house’ refers to homes that are (usually) 400 square feet or less, and are more stationary than a vehicle home. Tiny houses can be built either on a trailer (wheels), or right on the ground like a regular house. These homes are better suited for those who don’t want to travel very often, but who still want to reap the benefits of small living.

Most tiny homes I’ve seen consist of a kitchen, living room and bathroom on one floor, and then a bedroom and/or office/second bedroom built in a loft area. You don’t have to follow this formula however. It’s your house, so you can make it look however you want! Though, that does bring us to an important question: will you be building out the tiny yourself, or outsourcing to a company that specializes in building them?

AterImber.com - No. Mad. - Tiny Houses vs Skoolies vs Van Life - Tiny House on Wheels - vanife, skoolies, tiny living, buslife, blogger, lifestyle blogger, boondocking, travelling, traveller, lifestyle tips, wanderlust, wanderer, living the dream

Some companies have certain templates you must follow if you want to order a house from them. While DIY-ing your house gives you all the freedom and flexibility you may want, there’s a big risk involved if you don’t know what you’re doing. And sure, you could learn – there are many DIY-ers who built their own house – but building a house from literally nothing can be a huge project to undertake.

And, because this is a tiny house, there are even more logistic questions you’ll need to keep in mind, like:

– Will you build on a wheel base, or right on the ground?

– If building on a wheel base, are you able to conform your dream home to road safety standards so it can be transported?

– Will you make your house on or off-grid?

– Do you have a plot of land you can put/build the house on, or will you be renting a space?

– Are tiny houses even allowed in your city/country as the main living area?

I’d recommend checking out the laws wherever you are before getting your heart set on a tiny home. There’s nothing more crushing than getting excited for something, only to have the government say it’s not allowed.

 

Skoolies/Bus Life

‘Skoolies’ originally started out as a term to refer to converted school buses, but I’ve seen other bus lifers use this term to describe their non-school bus conversions, too.

AterImber.com - No. Mad. - Tiny Houses vs Skoolies vs Van Life - Skoolie 1 - vanife, skoolies, tiny living, buslife, blogger, lifestyle blogger, boondocking, travelling, traveller, lifestyle tips, wanderlust, wanderer, living the dream

Many people choose living in vehicles over building out a tiny home, because converting a vehicle gives them more freedom to travel. Since vehicles are already built to road standards, and you’re starting with a structure, some find converting a vehicle easier to do than starting from scratch.

Another benefit of converting a bus is the fact they come in many different sizes! Most buses range from 25 to 40 feet in length, which is a ton of space when compared to building out a van. Though, because the vehicles are pre-sized, one downside to bus conversions (and van conversions) compared to tiny houses, is the fact that they’re typically narrower than you may be used to. Most buses and vans are between 7-8.5 feet wide.

AterImber.com - No. Mad. - Tiny Houses vs Skoolies vs Van Life - Short Skoolie - vanife, skoolies, tiny living, buslife, blogger, lifestyle blogger, boondocking, travelling, traveller, lifestyle tips, wanderlust, wanderer, living the dream

AterImber.com - No. Mad. - Tiny Houses vs Skoolies vs Van Life - Skoolie 2 - vanife, skoolies, tiny living, buslife, blogger, lifestyle blogger, boondocking, travelling, traveller, lifestyle tips, wanderlust, wanderer, living the dream

You can also usually find school buses for pretty cheap, since most school boards operate on an ‘age out’ system. This means that while the buses are still in great condition (because the school board has to maintain them) and have a few good years left, due to their age, the district switches them out, regardless. A similar thing happens with city transit, shuttle and even tour buses! Which is awesome, because that means more options for you.

A lot of buses also come with pre-built storage compartments, and some (such as coach and tour buses) may already also have plumbing and even Wi-Fi installed. This is great because that can help you not only keep the cost of conversion down, but may also help you finish your conversion sooner.

So, which bus should you get? Well, that depends on you and your needs. The biggest complaint I’ve seen with school bus converters is the fact that yes, they were able to get the vehicle for cheap, but they had to spend more on the conversion, because school buses aren’t meant for long distance drives. A common complaint I’ve seen with shuttle buses is the fact that they are slightly wider than most other buses, which can make driving down certain narrow roads a challenge. And while transit buses are good for long drives, these typically sit pretty low to the ground which again, depending on what type of roads you plan on driving down can be a problem.

That said, buses are a great medium for those who want a bit more space than vans allow, but more freedom than a tiny home. Also, no matter which tiny you choose, they all are going to have a list of both pros and cons. You just have to find the one that you think would work best for you.

 

Van Life

AterImber.com - No. Mad. - Tiny Houses vs Skoolies vs Van Life - Van by Beach - vanife, skoolies, tiny living, blogger, lifestyle blogger, boondocking, travelling, traveller, lifestyle tips, wanderlust, wanderer, living the dream

Van conversions are arguably the most aesthetic of the three tiny home types, but just because they are flooding your Instagram feed doesn’t mean they’re the best choice for you.

Sure vans are more compact, which is great for driving and parking in regular spaces, but can you really live in 60 square feet? Think about how small that really is. A 10×10 foot bedroom is 100 square feet. Go ahead and look around (and possibly measure) your bedroom. Can you really fit everything you need in such a small space? A kitchen, bedroom, place to work and bathroom?

AterImber.com - No. Mad. - Tiny Houses vs Skoolies vs Van Life - Bathtub - vanife, skoolies, tiny living, blogger, lifestyle blogger, boondocking, travelling, traveller, lifestyle tips, wanderlust, wanderer, living the dream

(Can’t fit a tub in a van!)

Due to their compact sizes, many van lifers have to choose to live without certain amenities, such as a proper bathroom and/or shower. Pre-pandemic, this was less of a problem, since there were open gyms, cafes, etc. that had free public bathrooms. Now though, you may want to consider giving yourself your own bathroom. Even pandemic aside, public bathrooms are not always the cleanest, and are also not always around when you may need one.

Boondocking is all fun and games until you need to pee (or worse). If there’s no rest stop close by, do you really want to pack up and leave your gorgeous, private spot, to drive who-knows-how-many-miles back down the road to the closest public bathroom? Or, are you comfortable popping a squat where you are? Is it even legal to do so in that area? (Yes, there are laws about this)

AterImber.com - No. Mad. - Tiny Houses vs Skoolies vs Van Life - Desert Van - vanife, skoolies, tiny living, blogger, lifestyle blogger, boondocking, travelling, traveller, lifestyle tips, wanderlust, wanderer, living the dream

A lot of vans also don’t come with pre-installed storage, and again, because they’re smaller in size, you can’t fit as much in them. Sure there are some crazy conversions out there that have tons of storage, but there’s only so much you can do with a small body.

Another con to van life? Because of their increase in popularity, many people are catching on to the stealth camping techniques used by van lifers when staying in a city, and you may get fined (or towed!) if you’re parked somewhere you’re not supposed to be.

As said above, tiny living isn’t for everyone, and while you may love the aesthetic of the life, don’t get lost in the rose-coloured Instagram filtered pictures. You need to think out the logistics of living tiny if you want to have any hope of succeeding at it.

That said, if your heart is really in it, and you think you can seriously make it work, then go for it! Continue your research and plans for what you want your goal life to look like, and while I want you to be mindful of the realities of the lifestyles, don’t get discouraged just because it may be harder than you originally thought.

Everybody deserves to be happy.


Like this article? Check out more here!

Straight and Narrow (Preview)

This is fic #4 of the Unlearning Series.

Started: 21.05.17

Finished: 21.05.22

Words: 5,273

Sabriel, Destiel, Crobby (Implied)


Dean’s eyes swept over the guests, and he groaned as he spotted Bobby sitting with Crowley, oh, great.

“What is it?” Cas looked out in the direction he was starring at, “Oh,” he rolled his eyes, “They’re sitting on the opposite side of the church, don’t you dare start anything.”

Dean turned to his angel, offended, “I wouldn’t start anything.” He pursed his lips as his eyes slid back over to the pair, “I just… I didn’t expect him to be here, that’s all. He’s not exactly Sam and Gabriel’s biggest fan.”

Cas rolled his eyes again as the music started, and everyone stood, “He’s probably just here as Bobby’s plus one.”

“Yeah…” Dean let his voice trail off as he watched his brother and Gabriel start down the aisle. As they made their way toward the front, his eyes flicked back to the pew Bobby was in, and he instantly started scanning the church as Crowley was no longer standing beside him. Where did he…? He spotted the demon walking quickly down the side of the pews, headed toward the back of the church. Yeah, I don’t think so. Dean wiggled passed his daughter – to the end of the pew that wasn’t closest to the aisle his brother was walking down – only to be stopped by a questioning look from his angel, “Bathroom.”

Cas’ eyebrows shot up, “Now?”

He gave a half-shrug, “I’ll be back before they say ‘I do.’ Promise.”

Cas shook his head and let him pass, “You’re worse than the kids.”

Dean gave him an apologetic smile before practically running down the side of the church, eyes going back to the demon. Where is he going? He made it to the open doors at the back of the room, and ducked out, doing his best to not look suspicious as the doorman gave him a weird look. He scanned the small foyer for the demon, pit dropping into his stomach as he watched him round a corner with someone who definitely wasn’t working the wedding, that can’t be good.


Like the preview? Check out the FULL story (and the rest of the series) here!

Ben and Jerry’s Netflix and Chill’d Non-Dairy Ice Cream Review

I was so happy and excited the first time I tried this flavour, that I thought it tasted similar to a marshmallow. While that actually isn’t the case, this is still one of my favourite flavours from Ben and Jerry’s. I’m so glad that they’ve continued to release new non-dairy flavours! (And, if you guys are taking suggestions, a Rocky Road pint would be awesome!)

*picture of pint*

This Netflix and Chill’d flavour has peanut butter ice cream, with sweet and salty pretzel swirls and fudge brownies. And honestly, with a description like that, how could anybody not like this flavour?

The base peanut butter ice cream is pretty good. It tastes like what I imagine Reece ice cream does. I will say though, that because there are so many other flavours going on with this ice cream, the peanut butter taste can get lost. For example, if you’re eating it and watching TV, it’s easy to forget/not taste that the peanut butter ice cream is peanut butter. At one point I had to re-read the pint because for a moment I thought it was vanilla, or some other ‘basic’ flavour.

The fudge brownie pieces are very good as well. They’re chocolate-y and cake-y, which is never not a plus when we’re talking about ice cream. Whoever was the first person to think ‘hey, y’know what would taste good in ice cream? Brownie pieces’ was a genius.

The only thing that I would say disappointed me about this flavour (other than the fact that the pint is still super small!), is the fact that the pretzel ‘swirls’ are like, little tiny pieces of pretzel – like the dust/crumbs at the end of a bag – and not actual pieces of pretzels. I think this flavour would be a better experience if there were actual chunks/pieces of pretzel in it. Need a little salty crunch to balance out all the other soft sweetness.

All in all, this is one of my favourite ice cream flavours, and I highly recommend you try it for yourself. Just make sure not to eat the whole pint at once (even though you’ll want to).


Like this review? Check out more here!

I post NEW product reviews on the 13th of every month!

8 Simple Summer Recipes

Who doesn’t love summer? The long, cold winter is finally over, plants are in full bloom, and you generally just feel better all around now that you can actually go outside and see the sun.

But, there is one downside to summer: it gets hot.

I know, I know, when you’re coming out of a winter that got down to -40, hot weather is something of a salvation. But! When it’s hot out, you won’t want to turn on the oven and make your place even hotter. And, let’s be honest, there’s only so many days in a row you can BBQ before you get sick of it. (Especially the clean up)

So, in a bid to save your electric bill and your BBQ, here is a list of 8 simple, no-cook summer recipes to get you through the days when you just cannot eat a burger.

 

1 Nice-Cream

While technically nice-cream isn’t a ‘meal’, it is no-cook, also, who’s gonna complain about a new way to make ice cream?

This nice-cream is super simple to make. All you really need is some frozen bananas, some Silk (or other non-dairy milk), and a blender. If you don’t want it to taste like bananas, you can throw other stuff in the blender as well. (I’ve tried frozen cherries, and cocoa powder with chocolate Silk, but really pretty much any frozen berry you’d want would probably work)

Once you have all your ingredients, toss them all into the blender at the same time, and blend until its maybe Slushy consistency. Don’t worry if you over-blend it. If it gets too runny, then just call it a smoothies.

And boom! That’s it.

Told you these were simple!

 

2 Chickpea Salad Sandwich

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegna Tips - 8 Simple No-Cook Summer Recipes - Chickpea Salad Sandwich - vegan, vegan food, what vegans eat, food blogger, vegan blogger, food reviewer, recipes, simple recipes

I know I might be late to the game with this, but I recently discovered that chickpea salad sandwiches are actually pretty good – and this is coming from someone who doesn’t really like chickpeas! (Unless they’re in roasted red pepper hummus form)

I also learned that chickpeas in a can don’t have to be cooked before eating (but you should still rinse them), which is great in the summer because then you won’t even have to turn the stove on!

Another nice thing with not only this recipe, but with a lot of summer recipes, is that since they’re all meant to be eaten cold, you can make a lot on one day, and then just eat them directly out of the fridge for a few days after. No-cook weeks are awesome not only because they won’t heat your house when it’s already hot, but they also save you a lot of time!

Most meal prep takes about an hour, but if you don’t have to cook every single day, that’s an extra hour you’re gaining back to do one of the other millions of things I’m sure you’re ‘getting around to’.

Okay, so to make chickpea salad, you can actually do pretty much whatever you like (again, it’s food, which means it’s based on your tastes), but this is the way I like it:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp of Paprika (about)
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Dill
  • 1 Tbsp vegan mayo (optional)

Once you have all the ingredients, then all you have to do is smash the chickpeas with whatever masher you’d like – you can use an actual potato masher, or a fork, or a hammer, whatever way you like smashing your chickpeas – and smash them up so there are a lot of bits and halves, but also be sure to leave in some whole ones. This gives it a better texture.

Once all the chickpeas are somewhat smashed, add all the other ingredients to the bowl and mix until it’s all pretty much evenly distributed. You can then either eat it right away, or (depending on how long it took you to smash the chickpeas), throw it in the fridge until it gets cold again, then you can put it on a sandwich.

You can also add other things like lettuce or spinach to the sandwich to make it a little more filling. Or you could over-fill the sandwich so there’s a lot of chickpeas in it. When I make them, I use about 2-3 Tbsp of the chickpea mix per sandwich.

Or, you could go even simpler and just eat the chickpea mix right out of a bowl and skip the sandwich making all together.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegna Tips - 8 Simple No-Cook Summer Recipes - Chickpea Salad - vegan, vegan food, what vegans eat, food blogger, vegan blogger, food reviewer, recipes, simple recipes

 

  1. Cucumber Noodles

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegna Tips - 8 Simple No-Cook Summer Recipes - Cucumber Noodles Spiralized - vegan, vegan food, what vegans eat, food blogger, vegan blogger, food reviewer, recipes, simple recipes

I know cucumber noodles are pretty big in the raw vegan community, and they have all kinds of inventive dressings, sauces and ways you can dress up these bad boys, but I like mine kept simple, with just a little salt and pepper.

You could try one of the thousands of sauces that are out there, but sometimes you just need something simple to hit the spot. I mostly make cucumber noodles when I want to eat cucumber slices, but want to make them ‘fancy’.

You can achieve the ‘noodle’ like strands with the cucumbers by either running it through a Spiralizer, hand-cutting them thinly, or I believe a mandolin would work, as well.

The first time I tried cucumber noodles, I actually hand-cut them. They didn’t look nearly as appetizing as the above noodles, though they still tasted good! It was still just cucumber after all.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegna Tips - 8 Simple No-Cook Summer Recipes - Cucumber Noodles Handcut - vegan, vegan food, what vegans eat, food blogger, vegan blogger, food reviewer, recipes, simple recipes

See? Not the prettiest, but taste was on point! (Minus the pesto)

 

  1. Salad

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegna Tips - 8 Simple No-Cook Summer Recipes - Lettuce Salad - vegan, vegan food, what vegans eat, food blogger, vegan blogger, food reviewer, recipes, simple recipes

You know, for as bad of a wrap salads get (no pun intended), they are actually quite a handy meal. You can basically throw together anything in a bowl and call it a salad. Fruits, vegetables, beans, pasta – there are like a million different ‘salad’ recipes possible.

Which is great, because many of them only require you to chop up a few things and mix them in a bowl. You can’t get much simpler than that! And, what’s more, is once you have the salad done, you can use it in other meals, too. For example, instead of just eating a salad in a bowl, if you throw it in a tortilla, now you’ve got yourself a salad wrap!

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegna Tips - 8 Simple No-Cook Summer Recipes - Caesar Salad Wrap Homemade - vegan, vegan food, what vegans eat, food blogger, vegan blogger, food reviewer, recipes, simple recipes

This will of course depend on what kind of salad you’re gonna make. While I’m not trying to limit your salad creations, I just don’t think a fruit salad wrap would work. But you do you.

For a lettuce salad, I always start with the same basics

  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Bell Pepper
  • Hemp Hearts
  • Nooch/Cheese Shreds

Then from here, you can dress it up however you want! Sometimes I’ll add black salt to give it an ‘egg-y’ taste, or you can add bacon bits (No Name Bacon Bits are vegan!), dill, vegan mayo, and lemon juice to make a ranch/Caesar style dressing.

Or if it’s not astronomically hot, and you don’t mind turning on a burner, you could cook up some chick’n nuggets/strips and add those to your salad to turn it into a chick’n salad.

Or, you could make pasta salad, instead. For pasta salad, I usually add peas, bell pepper and celery to the noodles (either macaroni or Scoobi-Doo shapes are the best for pasta salad), and then for the dressing, I add: white vinegar, yellow/French’s mustard (optional), salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion (either powder or very small cubes), nooch (optional), and vegan mayo (also optional). Then you mix it together and let it cool in the fridge, or you could be one of those freaks who eat it when it’s still a little bit warm.

I love making pasta salad in the summer, not only because it’s super easy, but because it takes just as much effort to make a little bit of it as it does to make a lot. So I can usually make a big ‘batch’ of it, and then throw it in the fridge and eat it all week!

Also, same as lettuce salad, you could get a little creative and make a pasta salad wrap, or use leftovers in a warm pasta dish (I’ve turned left over pasta salad into mac n cheese) if you make it at the tail-end of summer. And, assuming it would last long enough you need to turn it into something else.

 

  1. Avocado Toast

I’ll be honest, I haven’t actually made avocado toast all that much, since I’m not that big of a fan of how avocados taste. I don’t know what it is, but it’s just not really my bag.

That said, I have been trying to force myself to eat them more often (which isn’t hard when you’re starting at ‘never’), because I know they’re super good for you. So, with that in mind, I’ve only made avocado toast twice, but both times I didn’t feel the need to immediately vomit, so I’m taking that as a good sign.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Product Review - Avocado Toast - VeganEgg - Vegan Food

This is the first way I tried it. I made some VeganEgg scrambled eggs, and then put some avocado slices on top of toast with a little bit of salt and pepper on top.

This… it tasted good, but as my first time trying avocado toast, with the giant pile of egg, it was too much of a not-that-great-texture in my mouth at once. I didn’t spit it out, but it was waaay too mushy for my liking. I did however finish it.

Some time after this, I had discovered I could eat at this place called Chipotle, so I went on a bit of a Chipotle kick, and decided to always get guac ‘on the side’, so I could continue to test the avocado waters. I wouldn’t eat the whole container of the guac (partly because Chipotle is super filling, and partly because I still wasn’t too into the taste), but my friend was more than happy to help me out. (This was pre-COVID, when sharing was still a thing we were allowed to do)

After that week of basically eating Chipotle straight, I didn’t eat avocado again until this year (2021), when I tried my hand at avocado toast again.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegna Tips - 8 Simple No-Cook Summer Recipes - Avocado Toast Smushed - vegan, vegan food, what vegans eat, food blogger, vegan blogger, food reviewer, recipes, simple recipes

This time around, I figured since I liked chickpea salad, if I made it ‘taste like summer’, I’d probably enjoy it more. Which, I don’t know if that’s why I liked it, or if my body had just gotten more used to eating avocados, but this time when I ate it, it wasn’t that bad. (Which was good, because I had another avocado in the fridge)

For this avo toast, I put salt, pepper, black salt (for the ‘egg-y’ tasty), a slice of PC Vegan Swiss Slices (side note: PC has come out with a whole line of new vegan products in Canada, which is awesome!), and smushed half an avocado on top, to which I mixed in some lemon juice, garlic powder, a smidge of paprika and dill.

Again, I don’t know if I liked this one more because I’m more used to eating avocados, or if it’s because I used less of it, but the second one I definitely wouldn’t mind eating more often. (… Which I realize isn’t that great of a selling point on a recipe, but hey, you’re here for honest opinions anyway, right? If you want awesome vegan recipes, go check out HotforFood)

 

  1. Cheese and Tomato Sandwich

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - 8 Simple No Cook Summer Recipes - Cheese and Tomato Sandwich - vegan, vegan food, what vegans eat, summer recipes, recipes, food, food blogger

This one is probably the easiest recipe in this post. You literally take a slice of cheese, and a slice of tomato (or two) and add them to bread. Boom, done.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add some vegan mayo, and/or salt and pepper.

 

  1. Snack Plates

Like salads, snack plates are awesome, because you can basically make them whatever you want to eat.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegna Tips - 8 Simple No-Cook Summer Recipes - Snack Plate - vegan, vegan food, what vegans eat, food blogger, vegan blogger, food reviewer, recipes, simple recipes

In summer especially, snack plates are great, because you can cut up a bunch of fruit and/or veggies, and then just mix and match them onto 1 plate, whip up a quick dip, and boom lunch is done.

I eat snack plates all the time and love them. Mine usually consist of: cucumber, green pepper, broccoli (or cauliflower), carrots and dip. But you can add whatever you want to them, really. It all depends on what you like to eat, and what you have. Sometimes, I’ll swap out one of the veggies for crackers and cheese, or some frozen nuggets or something. Or you could do a fruit mix with watermelon, strawberries, grapes, golden berries, etc.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegna Tips - 8 Simple No-Cook Summer Recipes - Snack Plate 2 - vegan, vegan food, what vegans eat, food blogger, vegan blogger, food reviewer, recipes, simple recipes

Or, you could do little lunch meat + cheese sliders and cut up veggies. Or meatballs, mozzarella sticks, and crackers, or… pretty much you want to center your snack plate around whatever your dip is. As long as all the foods you choose pair well with the dip, they can go on the same plate.

The possibilities are literally endless!

And there you have it! Hopefully this small list of summer recipes has inspired you to create your own no-cook recipes. It’s really not that hard! Most veggies are great to eat cold, and all it takes is (usually) a little bit of creative thinking, and usually a tortilla to make a kick-ass, cold meal.

Do you have any favourite no-cook summer meals? Are you going to try any from this list? Let me know in the comments!


Like this post? Check out more here!

Romantic Dreaming

Written: 19.09.13
Words: 366
Sam x Jess

“I don’t like this.”

“Of course you don’t,” Jess smirked down at the giant before swinging her leg over the top of the fence, beginning to climb down the opposite side.

Sam shifted his weight nervously from one foot to the other, starring up at her from the ground, “I just don’t understand why we can’t go somewhere else.” His eyes drifted to the No Trespassing sign that was hanging a few feet away, “Somewhere a little less… trespass-y.”

Jess rolled her eyes, “Will you quit being such a wuss and start climbing?”

“I’m not being a wuss!”

She gave him a pointed look, “If you hurried up, there’d be less of a chance of us getting caught, y’know.”

Sam crossed his arms over his chest, taking a look around the deserted road, “I just don’t want us to get in trouble.” He lunged forward as her hand slipped and she slid down the fence a few feet, “Or hurt.”

“I’m fine.” She waved a dismissive hand at him and continued to climb down the fence, more slowly than before. “Come on Sam,” she paused as she was more or less eye-level with the giant, wiggling her eyebrows at him from between the chain links, “Come be bad with me.”

Sam rubbed a hand at the back of his neck, letting out a sigh, “Jess-”

“Fine,” She jumped the remaining distance, landing easily on the ground, wiping her hands across her jeans, “You wait here then. I’ll be back in an hour.”

“Wha…? Jess, come on.”

“No, you come on.” She took a step closer to the fence, anger clouding her expression, “I didn’t come all the way out here just to let a fence stop me.” She turned on her heal, beginning to walk away.

“Jess!” He watched as she walked away, nearly disappearing into the sunset, fuck.

He starred up at the fence for a moment, before shaking his head, she can’t go alone. Taking in a deep breath, he started up the fence, hoping to whoever was up there that this airport didn’t have any hidden security cameras. If you get us arrested on the night I’m gonna propose, I swear to God…


Like this fic? Check out more FULL stories here!

I post NEW short stories EVERY 2 weeks!

Vegan Fast Food: Subway Edition

Some people don’t include Subway as a fast food place, because what they serve is more healthy then usual, but I say it’s called ‘fast food’, not ‘unhealthy food’.

Also, as vegans, we don’t really have the luxury of leaving places off our lists of acceptable places to eat.

Luckily though, Subway is pretty much a vegans’ dream because they have a lot of vegetables, and it’s pretty reasonably priced.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Vegan Fast Food - Subway Sandwich Edition - vegan food, fast food, Subway Canada, sandwiches, vegan tips, vegan food, what vegans eat, food blogger

In order, starting in the top left corner:

  • Ciabatta
  • Italian White Bread
  • Tortilla Wrap
  • Banana Peppers
  • Cucumber
  • Green (Bell) Pepper
  • Jalapeno Pepper
  • Pickles
  • Lettuce
  • Green Olives
  • Black Olives
  • Red Onion
  • Tomato
  • Falafel
  • Veggie Patty*
  • Beyond Meat Meatball
  • Avocado Puree
  • Guacamole
  • Black Bean Soup
  • Lays Classic
  • Lays Oven Baked Classic
  • AquaFina Water
  • Pepsi
  • Brisk Lemon Iced Tea
  • Pure Leaf Lemon Iced Tea
  • G2 Fruit Punch (Contains Red 40)
  • Tropicana Orange Juice
  • Subway Coffee

There were also some vegan options I wasn’t able to find pictures for. The not-picture vegan options are:

  • Hearty Italian Bread
  • Roasted Garlic Bread
  • Grilled Onions and Peppers
  • House Sandwich Sauce (Zesty Italian)
  • Mustard (Deli Brown)
  • Mustard (Yellow)
  • Sweet Onion Sauce
  • Mediterranean Soup

*Some restaurants have a veggie patty that contains egg and/or milk. Please ask before ordering.

I was surprised to learn that Subway offered coffee, and that so many of their sauces are vegan! Every time I’ve gone previously, I never got any sauce, unless they had ketchup. I thought I’d be cursed with eating dry sandwiches forever, but now I’m excited to try some sauces!

I also recommend asking the store what they have, as not every location always has every option available.


Check out the rest of the Vegan Fast Food series here!

Liking the site? Consider signing up for my Patreon, so I can continue bringing you the content you love!

Buttercup The Squirrel (Preview)

Written: 14.02.09

Rewritten: 21.01.24

Words: 671

NFF, Funny


On her upcoming birthday, she wished she’d be able to sail around the world. Her owners were old however, and they rarely left the dock nowadays. So, Buttercup decided to take matters into her own hands. She figured, if she could get the Smelly Liquid to fuel the boat, her owners would be more likely to reconsider.

Resolved with her decision to help, Buttercup undoes the latch on her cage and jumps out the window, narrowly missing the dock and landing in the water. She scurries quickly down the old wooden boards, knowing she has to be careful now – outside her boat, she looks no different than any other squirrel. She scurries through the park, getting only momentarily distracted by a nearby acorn.

She shakes her head before pushing onward, unsure of where she could find the Smelly Liquid. She stops running as she reaches the edge of the park, and looks up and down the street in front of her, unsure of which way to go. She thinks for moment, overcome with joy as she sees a sign on a nearby building. Perfect!


Like the preview? Check out the FULL story here!

I post NEW short stories EVERY two weeks!

Yves Spicy Italian Veggie Sausage Review

First things first: they call these ‘sausages’ but they’re actually closer to not-dogs than sausages. I don’t know why they don’t just call them spicy not-dogs, but don’t get confused. If you want sausages do not reach for these! If you want spicy not-dogs however, feel free to stock up.

I first tried this product at the 2018 Vegandale Festival, it was the very last thing I ate before leaving, it came in a little cup on a toothpick. It was… well it tasted pretty much how I remember hot dogs tasting, but had a bit of a kick to it. (I assume that’s why they call it ‘spicy’) It was also big. They don’t call them ‘jumbo’, but these were pretty thick. Not overtly, but they’re definitely thicker than their regular not-dogs.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Product Reviews - Yves Spicy Italian Sausage Review - Yves, vegan, vegan food, food review, food reviewer, vegan food reviewer, vegan meat, food blog, food blogger

Only 4 come in a pack, which again, is one of the downsides to buying these premade vegan foods – though their regular sized not-dogs come in a pack of 5, so I suppose it makes sense that these thicker ones have less. They’re also $5.99 at Loblaws, which isn’t that expensive when talking about vegan substitutes.

One thing I like about both these spicy not-dogs and their non-spicy ones, are that you can eat them cold or cooked, and their taste doesn’t change all that much. Also, again, like the non-spicy not-dogs, you can freeze these ones as well without a noticeable texture/flavour change. This is a great option, because that means you can buy them on sale, and then keep a few ‘extra’ packs in your freezer. Their FAQ even says their products can last 1-3 months in the freezer!

Another good thing about these? They have a recyclable packaging program! This is something I actually didn’t know about, but am so glad I found! The cardboard sleeve can be regular recycled, but then they also have a TerraCycle program for the plastic part.

Unfortunately, the link provided on their website to TerraCycle brought me to a 404 Error page, but once I hear back from the company, I’ll be sure to update this post with the specifics of the recycling program.

All in all, these spicy not-dogs are just that: spicy not-dogs. They’re nothing fancy, but you should definitely make space for them in your summer recipes!


Like this review? Check out more here! I post NEW product reviews on the 13th of every month!

Liking the site? Consider signing up for my Patreon, so I can continue bringing you the content you love – for as little as $1!

Capsule Wardrobes and How To Downsize Your Closet

One of the things everyone has too many of, is clothes. I don’t know what it is, but practically everyone I know has overflowing dressers and closest. And, perhaps the worst part, is that their dressers and closest are overflowing with clothing they won’t even wear!

Seriously, how messed up is that? Why would you keep hundreds of items of clothes if you never wear them? That’s just wasting your money, wasting space for things you actually like/want to wear and is not doing your self-image any favours.

While I can’t tell you to stop buying yourself clothes (just because we’re in lockdown doesn’t mean you won’t ever have to go outside again), I can help you start the process of whittling down your wardrobe.

The first step to downsizing your wardrobe? Get rid of everything that doesn’t fit (yes, even that goal weight item you’re keeping for ‘inspiration’), and anything you haven’t worn in over a year. Chances are, if you haven’t worn it again, it’s probably because you don’t actually like it. By ‘get rid of’, I do not mean throw in the garbage! Unless it’s actually super holey and can’t be worn, donate them! There are tons of second hand stores that are always looking for clothing donations. (I know with COVID this may make it harder, but just be sure to do your research on the new donating guidelines!)

If the clothes are too worn/holey/stained to be donated, see if you can cut them up and turn them into something else. There are tons of tutorials online of creative ways to upcycle old clothing. I personally have made a few fabric bracelets, a hair tie, and reusable pads out of old clothes. (There will be a dedicated reusable pad/zero waste period post coming soon!)

Also, if you have an insane amount of the exact same item of clothing, get rid of it! There are only 7 days in a week, and unless you don’t have a washing machine, or get covered in mud every single day, you don’t need 7+ of the same t-shirt, or pairs of the exact same leggings. Honestly, no one will care if you repeat an outfit, and if they do, well… let’s just say there are more important issues to be worrying about.

Okay, now that you have a few tips to help you downsize, let’s get on to the items you’ll be keeping. Adopting a capsule wardrobe can be a huge help in not only maintaining your style, but also in keeping you from buying too many clothing items. The concept of a capsule wardrobe is simple: you just make sure that each new piece of clothing you buy (or each item you’re keeping) will match with something you already own. It’s basically turning your wardrobe into a giant mix and match set.

So, now that you know what a capsule wardrobe is, let’s get into the how-to.

 

Step 1. Choose a Base Colour.

This can be any colour you want! Yellow, green, pink, pastel, even tie-dyed! It all depends on your style, and what you want your wardrobe to say. This colour will be the bottom building block for the rest of your wardrobe (i.e. the colour you have the most of), so make sure it’s one that you love to wear!

I personally try to dress ‘gothic country’ (which I’m pretty sure is a style I invented), so that made choosing my base colour really easy: Black. It goes with everything, and I had the added bonus of having a lot of pieces that were already this colour. (Instead of having to rush out and buy more to my already-over-flowing closet)

 

Step 2. Select Neutral Essentials

Keep these items a solid colour that is different then your base colour. These items are these that you wear with most, if not every outfit combo you make. You can have multiple colours for your neutral essentials, as long as they go with your base colour. For me, these colours include white, grey and denim.

 

Step 3. Choose An Accent Colour (Optional)

This has to match the other colours, but this one can be a vibrant colour, or, (if your other colours are vibrant), can be a darker colour. This is to add some contrast/’pop’ to your outfits.

 

Step 4: Shoes, Jackets and Accessories

For shoes and jackets, it’s best to keep them as your base colours. However, accessories can be a vibrant accent colour. Just, be sure not to wear too many bright accessories. If your whole outfit is black, wearing ten red/blue/some-other-bright-colour accessories would just look out of place.

 

Again though, these tips are for general practices and will change wildly depending on your own personal style. You could make your base ‘colour’ polka dots if you really wanted – it all depends on what you want your style to be.

The main point of building a capsule wardrobe is to be able to wear most of your clothing with each other, so you’re not constantly buying new clothes/outfits. It doesn’t matter if you execute a ‘perfect’ capsule wardrobe, what matters is you being able to get rid of all the unnecessary clothes you own, in a sustainable way/a way that you can actually keep up with.


Like this article? Check out more here!

Hard to Love (Preview)

This is Fic #3 of the Unlearning Series

Started: 21.04.12

Finished: 21.04.22

Words: 3,361

Sabriel, Destiel


“Are you, Dean Winchester seriously trying to tell me that you’re not going to be there for your brother?”

“Cas, he doesn’t-”

“And since when has that ever stopped you?” Cas took a few steps closer to his love, giving him a pointed look, “You’ve spent 99% of your life doing what was good for your brother – whether he liked it or not – but now you’re just gonna roll over and do what he wants?” He shrugged, backing off a few steps, “I never thought I’d live to see the day Dean Winchester abandoned his brother.”

“Whoa, hey,” Dean took a few steps closer, voice hard, “I’m not abandoning him. I’m doing what he wants.”

Cas rolled his eyes, “He wants you at the wedding!”

“But he said-”

“Right, yeah. Because you’ve never said something you didn’t mean when you were angry, right?” He placed his hands on the hunter’s arms, holding his gaze, “You not being there will only make things worse.”

Dean opened his mouth to reply, but closed it silently a moment later. He searched the angel’s face before sighing, “You’re right.”

Cas blinked at him in surprise, “I-I’m sorry, could you repeat that?”

The corner of the blonde’s mouth turned up into a smile, “You’re right, okay? I know I should be there, and I want to be there, but I just…” he ran a hand through his hair, “I don’t know how to-”

“Listen,” Cas shook him slightly, “No one is saying you need to unlearn all your internalized hatred overnight. He’s only asking that you try. Do you think you can do that?”

Dean nodded before wrapping his angel up in his arms, “Thank-you.”

“Wow,” Cas backed out of the hug after a minute, cheeky smile on his face, “I was right and got a thank-you?” He bumped the hunter’s arm, “See? You’re getting better already.”


Liking the preview? Check out the FULL story here!