The siblings in my family voted to wait until after the New Year to get together. They also voted on somewhere warm and sunny, so we all met last week in Phoenix. The 70 degree days were a welcome change from our highs in the teens and twenties at home. So, last week we jet set across the US and enjoyed family time, desert sunrises and sunsets, and lots and lots of sunshine! While in the Valley of the Sun I went to a few of my favorite spots, as well as discovered a couple of new ones. Most of our vacations end up being composed of running, vegan eats, and (hopefully) resting! Since we stayed close to my parents old neighborhood, naturally we ran the route around my parents old neighborhood. In addition, I also added the Phoenix Canal Trail to my repertoire. The crushed gravel path wound through the Biltmore area was a great route if you’re ever in the Valley. My favorite vegan restaurant in the city also opened a location in Phoenix (the original is in Tempe), so Brian and I checked out Green and it’s sister dessert bar, Nami. Two words…well three – soy. ice cream. Yum! I can’t tell you the last time I had soft serve. Needless to say, dining out was a treat! We also frequented Luci’s Healthy Marketplace for their yummy breakfasts and coffee. All three of those places are worth trying. Mmmmm. Seeing all my siblings, their husbands, and the nephew was a treat. The trip was a great break from real life! We flew back in earlier this week to a balmy 7 degrees. Nothing like going from 76 to 7! I do like the seasons, yes, even the cold! And am so thankful to be back home in Fayetteville. Another fun event of the week was getting a new tattoo. I’ve had an appointment for the last few months and on Friday I got my first color tattoo. Yes, color. Me, the person that said ‘I’ll never get a color piece’, got a color piece. And I have to say that I love it. The kale is my ode to Veganism. Most of my tattoos are hobby tattoos, and I guess in a way this one is too. It fits right in with the baking and sewing pieces! It wasn’t too much fun sitting a few hours for it, but totally worth it when it was over. Now it just needs to finish healing up! And on the topic, well sort of, of food (kale, cooking…you see where I made the connection?!). I’ve done my yearly switch back to majority raw diet for the start of the new year. I tend to sway between 100% raw vegan and mostly raw vegan. All that to say, I’ll be working up some new recipes each week I’m not on the road for work and posting them. In fact, I’ve got the irish moss gel in the works right now, so as soon as it’s finished I’m going to make some sort of delicious pie concoction and will put that out on the interwebs as soon as I create it! I’m thinking raw banana wafer dessert, or something along those lines. Basically raw banana pudding. A good Southern treat. Now, I need to figure out the wafer part of it….I think it will involve my left over almond pulp from this weeks batch of mylk, spices, and the dehydrator…. Stay posted!