12 Vegan Sweet & Savory Pies #EasyAsPie

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Foodie.com All opinions are my own.

I love pies. Pizza pie, sweet pies, savory pies, tarts, hand pies…I think you get the picture. As I put this collection together I had to stop myself from going out to buy all of the ingredients to make each one. Since making all of them at once would be irresponsible I guess I’ll have to make each of these over the next few months. I have to say I am especially looking forward to the raw banana cream pie – how insane does that look?

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You can check out my entire collection here:

What’s your favorite type of pie?

Budget // Groceries // Conventional v. Organic

One of our family goals for the new year is to get ourselves on a solid budget. We have tried budgeting for years but half way through the month we seem to fall off our budget and then wonder where did all that money go? Now that we have second baby on the way and a pretty big (currently the location is a secret) trip coming up we are feeling a lot of pressure from ourselves to really stick to a budget. Over on Naturally Family we are discussing our budgeting process in more detail but I thought that I would share how we grocery budget here.

Throwback Photo: May 2013 Shopping at PSU Farmers Market

Throwback Photo: May 2013 Shopping at PSU Farmers Market

Grocery budgeting has really become a trial and error process for us. One of the big things for us is that we are still getting to know our new home and trying to find the best grocery stores. Up until now we have tended to only shop at Whole Foods, New Seasons (local store similar to Whole Foods), Trader Joe’s and a local co-op.  We shop at farmer’s markets in the spring, summer and fall as well.

The problem with shopping primarily at Whole Foods and New Seasons is that they can be expensive at times. Trader Joe’s while often less expensive is really hit or miss for me when it comes to produce and I know I’m not the only one who gets distracted by all the flashy items that they have for sale and end up walking out with more than I had planned. Our local co-op is nice however limited in the items they carry. That all being said we have yet to venture to the more conventional grocery stores or discount grocery stores, but over the next month or so that is going to change as we check out our other options and compare prices and quality of produce. ProduceRow

Currently 90% of what we buy is organic and while I prefer organic it’s not always the most budget friendly so we are choosing to make compromises when it comes to buying organic versus conventional produce. We are planning to avoid any produce that lands on the Dirty Dozen Plus list as these items contain the highest level of pesticides. We are comfortable with buying off the Clean Fifteen and as for anything else that kind of falls in the grey area/doesn’t make the list we will buy organic when possible.

Dirty Dozen Plus* 

(I say plus here because depending on what source you find the items can vary so anything that lands on a dirty dozen list is on our organics list)

1. Apples
2. Berries (Strawberries, raspberries, marion berries, blueberries)
3. Grapes
4. Celery
5. Peaches
6. Tomatoes
7. Cucumber
8. Nectarines
9. Bell Peppers and hot peppers
10. Greens (Kale, Collard, Chard, Spinach, Lettuce)
11. Summer Squash
12. Cherries
13. Potatoes
14. Fresh Sweet Peas

Clean Fifteen*

1. Asparagus
2. Avocado
3. Cabbage
4. Melon
5. Sweet Corn
6. Eggplant
7. Grapefruit
8. Kiwi
9. Mango
10. Mushrooms
11. Onions
12. Papaya
13. Pineapple
14. Frozen Sweet Peas
15. Sweet Potatoes

*Source

Luckily some of the items that are staples in our house (avocado, mushrooms, and onions) are on the Clean Fifteen list so we can start saving a bit by purchasing conventional. Now the next step in this process is a bit scary to me but we need to branch out and really evaluate our options. That next step is visiting some new grocery stores to really see what they have to offer. I decided to check reviews of stores online (taken with a grain of salt) to see which ones tend to get rated the best in hopes of setting us up for success. Then it’s time to see how prices and produce really stack up. Our first adventure will be this weekend and fingers crossed it will go well.

Where do you do most of your grocery shopping? Do you shop around or do you stick to the same store? Do you buy organic or conventional or both?

I realize now that the topic of Grocery Budgeting needs to be broken up into multiple parts because there is just so much to write about. Rather than write a lengthy post that you won’t read all of (and thank you to those of you who have read this far) I am going to continue our budgeting discussion another day.

Erin Hamlin and USA Luge Slider Search

This post was created in partnership with Citi®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I honestly didn’t think I would get so into watching the Olympics. I think the last time I watched the Winter Olympics was back in 2002 and that was probably mostly because I still lived with my parents and it was always on TV. So this year I surprised myself when I turned the TV on most nights to watch the Olympics (side note NBC is one of the four channels we get via rabbit ears) instead of a show on Netflix.

One sport I really got wrapped up in was the luge. I mean seriously how insane is the luge? Oh and don’t get me started on skeleton. I found myself stuck to the TV watching Erin Hamlin and her fellow lugers speed down the track. I honestly am semi petrified of sledding after an icy crash when I was 10 or 11 so I can’t even imagine going 80+ mph down an ice track on a thin board; maybe that’s why I got so into it?

Well as you all probably know by now Erin Hamlin won the bronze medal in the Luge Women’s Single competition and became the first American female luger to win a medal at any Winter Olympics and the first American to win an Olympic medal in singles luge of either gender. Pretty amazing right?


Erin Hamlin actually started her luge journey by reluctantly attending a USA Luge Slider Search event back in 1999. Although at first the luge didn’t come naturally to Erin with hard work and dedication she mastered the sport. Now she is a U.S. Olympian and is taking the time to give back and inspire kids around the country. Erin is teaming up with USA Luge Slider Search to introduce kids around the country to luge and find candidates who have what it takes to become the best in the country.

So wants to become an Olympic luger? Or maybe you know a kid who would be interested in learning to luge or another Olympic sport? You can help support their dream by heading on over to the Citi® Every Step of the Way® site and clicking on the Award $5 of Citi’s Donation (it’s FREE to do this!) to USA Slider Search or any other program that interests you pick the one that speaks to you! Don’t forget to come back and let me know which one you picked! To learn more about how you can help check out this short Citi® Every Step of the Way® Welcome Video 

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