The stage of my life that I’m in right now.

Rather than forcing myself to spit out post week after week, I decided to go on a little break. Unannounced.

I had to focus on some things. Mostly on bettering myself and managing my first half of my senior year.. Which has not been as stressful as people have told me it would be.

But let me tell you: college applications are horrible. The anxiety while writing those essays nearly killed me. I’m surprised I made it through the process.

I’ve been accepted into my top choice school, as well, which is American University! And I’ve finalized, in my head, what I’ll be studying in the upcoming years: Journalism and Political Science.

I haven’t forgotten about you all, though. I will always hold my readers, all twelve of you–just kidding, more like seventy three, ya know–near and dear to my heart. Even in my long absences.

I hope that 2015 brings me happiness and lots of scholarships, because that 55k price tag is already giving me gray hairs, guys.

Next time,


Social Media

Instagram: lovelyvegansteph


Twitter: lovelyvegsteph


Bucket List: Food Edition + Update on me.

So, it’s been almost a year and a half since I went vegan! Super cool, super exciting. I have tried so many foods that I never had before and in so many different combinations.

It’s great. I love it. I love to eat. Of course, veganism is so much more than just a dietary choice, but the diet plays a huge role.

Since I find that publishing things on this blog helps me keep myself motivated, I wanted to write a list of foods I absolutely must try before 2014 ends.

I tried homemade vegan mac and cheese for the first time today. Super ultra yum yum. It was great. I loved it.

On to the list thing.

  1. Homemade candied yams
  2. Caramel apples
  3. A full blown banana split with chocolate, caramel, and strawberry sauce
  4. Baked butternut squash with stuffing (looking forward to this for Thanksgiving dinner!)
  5. Baked onion rings
  6. Fried ice cream
  7. Donuts. I have yet to try a vegan donut. Very disappointing.
  8. Cheesecake
  9. Tofurky Turkey. These are always so expensive!
  10. Homemade dried fruit/fruit leather
  11. Chocolate chip cookies. I buy chocolate chips often, and make cookies often, so why haven’t I made chocolate chip cookies?
  12. Pulled barbecue jackfruit. I hear it tastes amazing.
  13. “Chicken” alfredo noodles. I’ve made an alfredo sauce out of coconut milk, but I want to try it with some vegan chicken.
  14. A good black bean burger. I’ve tried to make these before, but they always end up dry or crumbly.
  15. Peach/apple cobbler

Is this list all-inclusive? No way. These were just the foods from the top of my head. Hopefully, as I make these I remember to cross them off.

For anyone who has been wondering about me, I’m doing great! I can’t wait until graduation. I’ve been busy, so I haven’t been watching as many TV shows or movies, but I’ve managed to somehow keep up with Degrassi. Score.

Also, I got my nose pierced. I don’t know if I said that in another post before. But yes, I’ve had it pierced for a few months now! Cool.

Hopefully all is well with my readers.

follow me on twitter! @stephshantai

follow me on tumblr! @lovelyvegansteph (vegan blog, if you don’t like veganism then don’t even click) and @what-steph-said

Week One of Senior Year.

Things I like

  • My teachers. They’re all really cool, which is rare.
  • My classes, especially government.
    • In speaking of government, I never liked any kind of history-type classes. Mostly because I’ve always had bad teachers, but this one is very different. I actually look forward to it.
  • I still have first lunch.
  • As of now, I have all A’s (which is actually a big deal, because this senioritis has hit me hard and we’ve jumped straight into things: tests, lots of homework, etc)
  • Waking up at 5:20 hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be.


Things I dislike

  • My AP Lit teacher is kind of crazy. Overall, she seems like a nice lady, though…
  • Anxiety about little things. Seriously, I am beginning to stress a little about homecoming. And that isn’t until next month.


So far, so good. I don’t have any real issues with anything as of yet. Hopefully I keep this attitude for the rest of the year.

Nothing too exciting, just an update for everyone in case anyone actually cares.

Hopefully, everything has been alright for my dear readers.

How my life has changed.

I feel like one of the healthiest things one can do for oneself is critical evaluation.

So, it’s my senior year. The last year that I’ll be going to school without paying for it, the last year I’ll be living with my parents full time, the last year that I’ll have to wake up five days a week at 5:45 to get ready!

And I don’t know how I feel. The pressure to get straight A’s this first semester is strong. I understand that is mostly comes from me, but still, it doesn’t really make it easier to deal with. I just really, really need a 4.0 to make the cumulative GPA that I’m sending to colleges a 3.8. That, and a 30 on my ACT. I got a 27 the first time, and I would really like at least a 29.

See what I mean about pressure? Luckily for me, I work moderately well under it. But I feel like this is all my last chance.

But enough about grades. I’m really looking forward to taking PE, since I moved the summer I was supposed to be taking it and couldn’t take it last year without it interfering with my schedule. Now, I get to be probably the only senior in a class otherwise full of freshmen, joy. Hopefully I can just use that class as a study session or something.

I’m just ready for high school to end. Maybe I’ll miss it later on, maybe I’ll recall these years as “the best I’ve ever lived,” but how unfortunate would that be? My life would have to be really bad for these to be the best years.

We’ll just have to see, won’t we? Maybe senior year will be my “Degrassi year.”

Hail to Bisquick

I swear, I use it all the freaking time. I make waffles -> bisquick. I make cinnamon rolls-> bisquick. I make pancakes-> bisquick.

It’s just a lovely box to have around, you know? I appreciate it for making my cooking/baking/general life oh-so-simple.

I made garlic breadsticks with the stuff. Breadsticks! The food of champions.

Seriously. Bisquick + almond milk + flax seeds (because Ener-G egg replacer is just uncoral) and you can do no wrong!

I nominate Bisquick as the top food secret of 2014. And life.

The Big List of Books I Started Reading and Never Finished.

Alright, guys, this is a problem.

Mostly, this applies to books I buy, not ones I check out. But it’s still a bad problem.

I own around thirtyish books (not counting the HP series, and that’s only because I don’t keep those on my personal bookshelf), and check out the rest of the books I buy. I basically only buy books on sale, or those bargain books you see in department stores.

Looking through my collection, I have noticed that a) majority of the books I bought I have not read, and b) the books I’ve started, I haven’t finished them!

This is like a reader’s sin. I know, I know, so bad.

The only way I can get over my problem is by admitting it exists, right? So that’s what I’m doing here. Just putting out all of my business.

Ahh. Okay.

Here it is, The Big List of Books I Started Reading and Never Finished, featuring Books I Bought and Haven’t Read Yet.

  1. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. Now, if you all go back in my blog archive, I bought this book sometime last year. I’m actually a nice portion of the way done with this book. I definitely think I will finish it this week. There will be a review! Done! There will be a review soon.
  2. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW!!! I cannot tell you the number of times I have started this book, gotten over halfway through, and abandoned it for months! It’s ridiculous. Ahhh. I am so sorry.
  3. Above His Proper Station by Arnel Murau. This is the book I carried around all the time as a sort of “in between classes” type of book, but I never finished it!
  4. Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita. I read, like, ten pages of this? And basically forgot about it. I mean, it may be a good book, but it seems like such a seventh-grade-me type of book.
  5. Altar of Eden by James Rollins. This is actually a really good book, another one that I would carry as an “in between classes” type of thing. I really, really want to finish this one.
  6. The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks. To be honest, I don’t even know why I bought this book. I am not a fan of cheesy romances, and I feel like this one definitely is.


Finally accepting that this is goodbye…

… To Carrie Bradshaw.

So, with all the silence and the removal of TCD from OnDemand listings, I’ve known that worst truly had come. The Carrie Diaries is actually over, guys. I am done living in a world of denial.

I heard it was cancelled, but I figured if I didn’t speak of it it would come back. But my efforts were futile, sadly.

I just… Ahh. I loved that show. I loved everything about it almost. I’m so saddened at its ending, which, although predicted, I never though I would be this disappointed about it. I knew its time would come, but so soon! Only two seasons. Come on, CW, you couldn’t have given one more?

This is like when ABC Family cancelled 10 Things I Hate About You. DEVASTATED (although, I have been watching the show again and the acting/storyline is not that great, hahaha).

My entire blog started because of The Carrie Diaries! reg2ibn2kjrec;dwnj4g. See that key mashing? That’s a symptom of Saddness.

At least, you know, Degrassi is still going strong. Nothing will ever replace my love for that show. There is a special place in my heart reserved for Degrassi, even though the sophomores are extremely disappointing if you ask me. And who are the freshmen characters this season other than Frankie???

Same with Awkward, although that show almost lost me as a viewer, I admit. Season 3 completely threw away eighty percent of my love for Jenna and the rest of her crew. But, Season 4 was so much better, I don’t know if they got new writers or what, but whatever happened was great. Ten out of ten would recommend.

Honestly, all I’ve really been watching is Orange is the New Black lately. And tumblr-ing about Samira Wiley, of course. She’s a total babe.

What’s your favorite TV show? What’s your favorite TV show that got cancelled? I want to know.

We can grieve together.

Book Review: Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy #1) by Chinua Achebe

Goodreads SummaryTHINGS FALL APART tells two overlapping, intertwining stories, both of which center around Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first of these stories traces Okonkwo’s fall from grace with the tribal world in which he lives, and in its classical purity of line and economical beauty it provides us with a powerful fable about the immemorial conflict between the individual and society.

The second story, which is as modern as the first is ancient, and which elevates the book to a tragic plane, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo’s world through the arrival of aggressive, proselytizing European missionaries. These twin dramas are perfectly harmonized, and they are modulated by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul. THINGS FALL APART is the most illuminating and permanent monument we have to the modern African experience as seen from within.

Genre: Young Adult

Year of Publication: 1958

How I Came Across It: So, in my never ending quest to find good literature, I realized that I had never read a book about Africa… From the POV of an African. Google brought me straight to the book around half a year ago, during the busiest time of my life, and I held off checking out the book until I had more free time to actually read it.

A week ago, I got my hands on it. And read the entire book in a day.

Impression of FTP: Admittedly, okay. It’s not like I disliked the first ten pages, but I felt like I was waiting for the relevancy, you know? But, once I got to the important part of the story, I appreciated the FTP.

The Good: Very unique story, the first that I had read from this POV and about the topic of colonialism. I’m not a big historical fiction reader, but this one might change my mind.

The Bad: The first half of the book seems to just sort of drag along. At least, it seems that way. Upon reaching the climax of the novel, I realized that everything that was in the first one hundred pages was crucial to the story. With that said, my words of advice to those who are tempted to put the book down, please don’t. The story does tie everything together, I promise.

The Ugly: Mostly just a rehash of “The Bad”: the story did seem a little slow at times.

How’s the Ending?: Woah, the ending was so intense. That’s all I can say without spoiling anything.

Overall Grade: B+. Great novel, great story, I just wish I wasn’t tempted to put it down at one point. With that said, I will definitely be picking up the rest of the books in the trilogy.

Resolution 4: Not Procrastinating.


Like all high school students (or at least the majority), I have a problem getting things done in a timely manner. I don’t know why, but I just do.

Don’t judge.

I figured now would be the perfect time to work on my procrastination, with it being summer and all, and with me having lots of summer assignments to do!

I have to:

  • read two books for AP Lit
  • write essays on both of them
  • do ninety AP Chem questions
  • finish two other books
  • complete a 4 day residency journalism workshop
  • write articles for that new magazine I was talking about
  • finish my CommonApp application essay
  • babysit

So, hopefully I get all of this completed in a timely manner. I’ve already divided my tasks by the week, and I’ll be working really hard to stick to it. Who knows.

Wish me luck. I’ll definitely need it.