Saturday Six: Always on Vacation

Each weekend, I’ll share six cool finds. These posts are not sponsored, but some links may be referral/curator links. Links on where to purchase are always included in the captions!

I just got back from a week in the Smoky Mountains with my family, and I have to admit that I’m a bit bummed to be home. I was happy to see our cats, but I’m definitely missing waking up to the mountains every morning and seeing my family every day (especially my baby niece!).

To keep the vacation vibes going, I’ve collected some travel-related items for this week’s Saturday Six. It might be Labor Day weekend, but we’ve still officially got 3 more weeks of summer–let’s try to fit in one more big hurrah!

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First things first: if you’re going on a trip, you need something to put your stuff in. If you’re a reasonable packer (so, not like me), this cute duffel bag by ban.do should do the trick! Buy it here (plus, everything is 25% off this weekend!).

 

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If you’re going on a road trip, you’re going to need the essentials: coffee. Fill up and head out with this cute mug from ban.do, available here!

 

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Hello fellow children of the ’80s/’90s–remember Caboodles!? They’re back! Looks like the perfect way to pack all of your toiletries. Available from ModCloth!

 

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Having trouble adjusting to reality? (*Raises hand*) Keep the vacation vibes going with the “Permanent Vacation” tee from ban.do. Available here!

 

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Real talk: I love fanny packs. I have three and they are great for trips and other events where you don’t want to lug a bag around. I encourage you to check out your local thrift shop, but if you’re looking to buy new, I like this pink pack from Herschel. Available from ASOS; they also have a cheaper plain black pack here.

 

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I love this travel amenity kit from Herschel! Feel at home with a travel pillow, sleep mask, ear plugs, and slippers, all in my favorite cozy color (gray!). Such a good idea, and affordable at $30! Available from Urban Outfitters.

 

Tell me: Do you have any travel plans coming up? What are your travel essentials?

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Monday Meal Plan (Week of August 27)

I love reading recipe blogs and perusing Pinterest for meal ideas–but the act of meal planning? Not so much. I know it can be hard to come up with (and stick to!) a menu for the week, so I wanted to share my weekly menus. My meal plans run Monday-Sunday.

Woohoo! I’m on vacation this week and am hopefully not doing much cooking. That said, I wanted to share a roundup of things I saved that would be good for a group trip, potluck, or other event.

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From last week: we went to a vegan Taco Bell pop-up hosted by Street Beet at PJ’s Lager House in Detroit. I had a Cheesy Gordita Crunch (always my go-to order) and a Doritos Locos Taco. It took about 2.5 hours because it was so crowded, but it was SO GOOD!

I’m thinking about making tofu scramble for breakfast, and this Loaded “Bacony” Tofu Scramble by Vegan Travel Eats looks awesome.

Pancakes are another good breakfast option for a group! These Vegan Peaches and Cream Pancakes by Rabbits and Wolves look divine!

I do hope to make this Vegan Dorito Taco Salad with Catalina Dressing by Living Vegan. My father-in-law makes a bomb taco salad, but I haven’t had it in so long. This veganized version looks like it will be a great swap!

I also wouldn’t mind trying this Mexican Street Corn Salad with Chipotle Dressing by Vegan Heaven.

Beans are a go-to side dish for a BBQ. I’d love to try these Root Beer Baked Beans by Joy the Baker (easily veganized).

I’m pretty sure we all packed more booze for this trip than anything else. This Homemade Watermelon Shandy by How Sweet Eats seems like a great way to say goodbye to summer!

Tell me: What are you making this week?

Saturday Six: Six Albums I’m Listening To

Each weekend, I’ll share six cool finds. These posts are not sponsored, but some links may be referral/curator links. Links on where to purchase are always included in the captions!

Hi! I’m currently on the road for a week of vacation! I’m so excited to spend a week in the mountains and hopefully relax a bit. Posting might be sporadic this week, as I’ll be enjoying vacation and not worrying about a meal plan or my other usual posts!

Before I go, I thought I’d share some of the albums I’m listening to lately. I’ll be in the car a lot on this trip, so music is essential. Some are new and some are old favorites. I’d love to hear what you’re listening to right now, too! I’m always on the lookout for music recommendations.

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Murder by Death’s new album, The Other Shore, came out yesterday!! I received the album early as part of my Kickstarter package and it has quickly become one of my favorites. My top tracks are “True Dark,” “Only Time,” “Space,” and “Bloom” (but they’re all great!). Listen on Spotify HERE!
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Have you heard the new Death Cab for Cutie album, Thank You for Today? I’m really enjoying it! Their songs are mellow, but I feel like this album is more upbeat (for them). It’s nice to listen to when I’m unwinding at the end of the day. Listen on Spotify here!
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I’ve been listening to Fidlar a lot lately. Both of their albums are really good! My favorite songs are probably “No Wave” and “West Coast.” They just put me in a good mood. I’m hoping to see them when they play Detroit in a couple weeks (anyone want to go!?). Listen on Spotify here!
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I have to credit my husband for introducing me to The Devil Makes Three. Their album Do Wrong Right is a favorite for us when we’re on the road or camping. Listen on Spotify here! (They also have a new album out!)
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Any Mac Miller fans? I loved The Divine Feminine, and I’m loving Swimming. It’s good listening when you’re chilling out with your friends. Listen on Spotify here!
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It’s a classic, sure, but Sublime’s 40 Oz. to Freedom is a staple in the summer. This will definitely get listened to at least once (if not more) on our drive! Listen on Spotify here!

I’m not sponsored by Spotify, I just love it! Ha.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Tell me: What are you listening to right now? What are your road trip picks?

That time we saw Murder by Death play in a cave 333′ below ground…

Did you miss part 1? Catch up here!

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Awesome concert poster as part of our Kickstarter reward package.

A couple weeks back, we trekked to Tennessee to see Murder by Death play Cumberland Caverns. This was a reward for supporting the Kickstarter campaign for their new album (which comes out Friday!!). For those going to the show, they were also offering a camping weekend, which we happily took advantage of. I can’t think of anything better than camping to see my favorite band!

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Let the fun begin!

After our stay in a yurt in Kentucky, we woke up on Saturday and continued the drive down. We stopped in Lexington to get lunch. After we struck out at our first choice (they had no power), I was super happy to come across a place with vegan options! It was meant to be.

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The “Lucy” at Minton’s at 760

We ate at Minton’s at 760, and I enjoyed the “Lucy”: a sausage topped with vegan sriracha mac and cheese! It was AWESOME. I also had a kale salad on the side because life is all about balance, right?

After lunch, we continued on down to McMinnville, Tennessee. Once we arrived at the caverns, they directed us to the camping spot. Cumberland Caverns doesn’t traditionally do outdoor camping, so there were no formal sites. This was actually the first time they hosted a group for camping, which was cool. We were set up in a big field with porta potties and a group fire spot at night. To get to the field, we had to drive down an insane narrow and winding road. We have a 4WD vehicle, but we were wondering how people with smaller cars made it back there–my ‘lil Chevy Aveo would not have handled it well!

We were one of the last few to arrive on Saturday, so we set up camp toward the middle of the field (the treeline was full). It was all good though!

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Camp set up (we forgot to snap an earlier pic…this was from packing up on Monday morning).

MBD was playing two shows, but we were only going on Sunday night. Most of the people at the camp were attending the Saturday show, so we hung out and made dinner. We cooked veggie burgers, which was a big deal for us, haha! We are typically “hot dogs in the fire” people, so this was really stepping our game up.

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Camp food!

Once everyone got back from the show, there was a big group fire, so we hung out and chatted a bit. Somehow, all the people from Michigan found each other, ha ha. There was a creek right by the camp, so some people went swimming. It was fun! We accidentally drank all of our beers and went to bed.

On Sunday, we wanted to explore. It was supposed to rain, but we decided to take our chances. I’m so glad we did! The weather worked out once again, and aside from some brief sprinkles, it was a nice day. We headed over to Rock Island State Park for some hiking.

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Rock Island State Park

We started with a ~3 mile nature loop. It’s so nice being out in the quiet of the trees. After, we wanted to try and find some of the waterfalls at the park. We ended up at an area where a bunch of people were hiking down to a swimming hole. We had come prepared with our suits, so we changed and started to head down.

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See that group of people down there? That’s where we hiked down to swim.
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Partway through the hike.

I have to laugh at myself. The hike was across slippery rocks, and there was no clear path. We had to double back a few times. I get nervous hiking on rocks like this, so I was moving so slowly and gripping my husband’s hand tightly at some points. I almost slipped several times. But dang, if everyone else could do it, I could, too.

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Views from the park.
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It was overcast but perfect weather!

After what seemed like forever, we made it down to the swimming hole!

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We made it!

The water felt so nice after hiking down. It was a deep water area, so once you went beyond the ridge, the water dropped off.

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I’m actually a ghost.

People were doing flips off rocks into the water, but I stuck to sitting on my rock.

After swimming/sitting for a bit, we hiked back. We were laughing because the hike back up probably took less than 15 minutes. It felt like it took us forever to get down! Rock Island was beautiful, though, and it was a fun way to spend the day. We never did get to the falls–we’ll have to go back! One nice thing about Tennessee State Parks is that they are free to the public! We only explored one section of the park–there were a lot more trails and a number of waterfalls.

Whew! OK–you guys are here to hear about a concert, right?

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The entrance to the cave.

Once we made it back to camp, we got ready for the show!! We walked through the cave a bit to the stage set up.

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Concert area.

The cave stays a constant 56 degrees F, which was super comfortable for a concert setting! It was large enough to hold a few hundred people (I’m not sure of the max capacity), but it felt intimate. We got there when doors opened to grab a seat. We also had to pick up our Kickstarter merch, including the signed poster. After about an hour, the show kicked off!

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Murder by Death!

The sound in the cave was amazing! MBD played a bunch of songs from their new album, but a bunch of older songs, too. They played for close to 2 hours, which was awesome. Their dog, Robocop, even made an appearance!

It was such a fun night and a fantastic show. The whole weekend was awesome. It was fun to spend time with a dedicated group of people who love the band as much as you do. Everyone was friendly and respectful to the space–the venue was super impressed because the campers left behind zero trash.

I love MBD’s music–all the way from when I first saw them open for My Chemical Romance back in 2003–but they also do so much cool shit for the fans. You might remember that we saw them play the Stanley Hotel back at the start of the year. We also saw them play in a lagering cavern in Kentucky a few years back as part of another Kickstarter campaign. It’s been fun to see their music evolve and change over the years, but they never disappoint. Make sure to check out the new album, titled The Other Shore, on Friday–I love it.

WOW. Are you guys still here? If you hung through this entire post, thank you!

Tell me: Have you ever traveled to see a band play? Do you like hiking?

 

 

 

Monday Meal Plan (Week of August 20)

I love reading recipe blogs and perusing Pinterest for meal ideas–but the act of meal planning? Not so much. I know it can be hard to come up with (and stick to!) a menu for the week, so I wanted to share my weekly menus. My meal plans run Monday-Sunday.

Hi everyone! How was your weekend? Mine was pretty good. Somewhat busy but also had time to relax at home.

My husband scared the crap out of me last night… I was reading upstairs in bed and fell asleep. He came in to wake me up to brush my teeth but didn’t realize how asleep I actually was. I woke up to find a face just starting down at me and screamed, ha! I was not expecting it.

Onto the meals!

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From last week: sweet potatoes, quinoa, and asparagus with spicy Thai peanut sauce

Monday:  I have some leftovers of the Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce from Cookie and Kate from last week (shown above!). I plan to serve with tofu, quinoa, and roasted broccoli.

Tuesday: We’re going out–a local vegan pop-up restaurant is hosting a Taco Bell night! I missed it the first time around, so I’m not going to miss this time. I mean, check out this menu!

Wednesday: This Tofu Feta, Tomato, and Cucumber salad from Veggies Save the Day looks light and refreshing.

Thursday: These Spicy Cauliflower and White Bean Tacos from Thyme and Love sound easy and tasty!

Friday: Leftovers

Starting Saturday, I’m on vacation for 10 days!! (WOO!) I’m going to still try to post next week, but I won’t have a formal meal plan.

Tell me: What are you making this week?