The Cottage Life


Sketchie says hello….and also, GO AWAY, please. ;)


Sketchie rocks the stink eye!

The three, crazy cats are very sleepy today because they had a party in our room all night!


We got trampled and walked on and meowed at from dusk til dawn. ;) They now need their beauty rest.


Don’t they look alike? They are brothers. :) Finnegan is the grey and white and Clancy is the black and white.



This morning, after an unrestful sleep, this was needed…


Then it was time to hit the road to a local greasy spoon.

Do you ever wonder how a vegan eats at a local greasy eggs & bacon breakfast joint?

I find it is best to approach these types of restaurants with an easy going manner and not get all worked up about it. I have found through trial and error the best way to find an option for myself is to work with the server and to be creative. Just because something is not on the menu doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to order something else!

More green tea was consumed. :)


If you can believe it, the ONLY option for me on the menu was toast! I had to get creative, so I ordered a side of lettuce, tomato, balsamic vinegar and fruit and threw together a sandwich! It was the best I could do, but I think it worked out quite well. It was a nice little breakfast.


This and this…


Turned into this…


I drizzled the tomato with balsamic vinegar and sprinkled lots of pepper on it. The only thing the sandwich was missing was a protein, but they didn’t have any options to offer me.


There was no fruit to speak of on the menu, so I just asked if fruit would be possible and they brought me the most delicious strawberries!


Eric surprised me yet again with a new diet modification. He now orders poached eggs instead of fried! Who is this guy? ;)


When we got back I had a high protein chocolate shake made with some new Vega Chocolate Powder I got from my HLS swag bag.


I have not had success with Vega products in the past (they upset my stomach), but this one is REALLY good. I just mixed it with water and it still tasted like chocolate milk.



Organic pea protein…who knew?! I also love that it has a dairy-free digestive enzyme in it. Great for those of us who have sensitive stomachs. Also, check out that iron!


Shortly after, my mother-in-law took me on a wonderful tour of her garden. She is the gardening QUEEN! :) She spends hours and hours out here all summer long.






I love this shot of Eric and Margaret.


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Her awesome herb garden!!! Her basil is struggling this year too!





Love the bark on this tree. This tree has to be over 150 years old.

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Blogging station!!! We have about 4 laptops set up and we are all sitting around the table chatting as I type this. Good thing I am good at multi-tasking! ;)


Well, it is almost time for a late lunch. Today is also a major rest day after yesterday’s 10.5 mile run. My legs feel like bricks!

Tonight Eric and I offered to make dinner so we have to come up with a meal plan and go buy groceries! :) Have a great day.

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{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Beth @ Will Run for Books August 21, 2010

My cat gives me the stink eye like that all the time!

Also, I need gardening tips from your MIL – wow!


2 holly @ couchpotatoathlete August 21, 2010

Your photographs are beautiful! What a lovely garden — maybe she can come and do my house sometime :)

Hey, a BLT without bacon looks like a pretty good sandwich!


3 Christine August 21, 2010

Stinks about the diner, but you have a great attitude about it–I am not sure I could.

I think I need to get my hands on that Vega powder!


4 Courtney (Delightful Devours) August 21, 2010

I agree with Christine, it really is all in the attitude! If you have a great attitude about the diner thing, really, what could go wrong? (The garden is amazing BTW! Don’t you just want to curl up in it with a cup of tea and a good book? I know I sure do!)


5 Marisa @ Loser for Life August 21, 2010

I like your relaxed attitude about finding vegan eats!


6 Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter August 21, 2010

Wow, that is such a beautiful garden! I


7 J-bird August 21, 2010

Awesome photos, as always, the garden is so beautiful. And I really dig the Ghostbusters glass you enjoyed your protein shake in!


8 Ricki August 21, 2010

Sketchie looks very commanding in that photo! ;) Glad you were able to find something to eat. . . I know what you mean about having to get creative. And did you say that is a “cottage”?? Holy jeepers! Looks more like a B&B! Stunning.


9 Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) August 21, 2010

What beautiful photos of the cats and gardens – looks like a wonderful and relaxing place!


10 Sana August 21, 2010

Wow!!! Your In-laws live in paradiceee!


11 Kristin August 21, 2010

Ha ha, love the Ghostbusters cup! If you need basil you can come to my garden in Detroit… I can’t make pesto as fast as it’s growing.


12 Candice @ ChiaSeedMe August 21, 2010

Looks beautiful!

I’ve been a bit scared to try the Vega with just water, but I guess I’ll have to now:)


13 Freya (Brit Chick Runs) August 21, 2010

Aall your cats are SO beautiful! Love them :)
Good call on the greasy spoon – I never would’ve thought to do that!
Lovely flower pictures too :)


14 Maria @ Oh Healthy Day August 21, 2010

What a beautiful little haven. How sad is that they didn’t even have fresh fruit on the menu? Very creative meal though – I don’t follow a vegan diet, but one of my favorite breakfast’s is a tomato with toast sandwich!


15 Tina August 21, 2010

You just prove that you can always make things work. All about getting creative. I would never have thought to ask for things to make my own sandwich. I probably would have been eating toast and fruit. LOL


16 sui August 21, 2010

I totally know what you mean about the question of, what does a vegan eat at a greasy breakfast diner? It’s such a difficult question! Oftentimes the only thing available is an overpriced fruit bowl. :S You do definitely have a great attitude about it though :)


17 Camille August 21, 2010

So many beautiful photos today!
And some adorable kitties :)


18 Alexa @ Sohdalex August 21, 2010

What creativity! I will have to keep the balsamic sandwich idea in mind on future back road car trips from now on ;) And the flower shots are lovely, looks like fun!


19 Leanne @ Radiant, Balanced & Fit August 21, 2010

I love the flower pictures… beautiful!


20 Stacey@ August 21, 2010

That’s sad about the breakfast. :( But the flower pictures are so pretty.


21 Jessica@tastyandtrim August 21, 2010

Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous! What a beautiful garden :)


22 Neen @ Broad Bean to Runner Bean August 21, 2010

Lovely pictures, Sketchie looks has such great expressions!


23 Chelsey August 21, 2010

Man… sketchie means business! watch out!

::crosses fingers:: I only hope that one day my husband will start to make diet modifications!!!!


24 christina cadden August 21, 2010

Love the creativity on the breakfast. I need to get better about that at restaurants. All those pictures make me want to move!


25 Nicole @ yuppie yogini August 21, 2010

I think sketchie needs his own blog. ;)


26 Satori August 21, 2010

I love that you find ways to order a healthy breakfast even at a greasy spoon joint! I had no idea that could even be an option!


27 Jessica @ How Sweet It Is August 21, 2010

Wow – beautiful shot of that tree – I love it.


28 MarathonVal August 21, 2010

That’s a tough spot to be in….. I try to avoid greasy spoon places whenever possible haha. I would have done the same thing but would also have asked for some olives so that I would have some healthy, satiating fats…. since most breakfast places have olives for their omelettes. Avocado would be ideal but now that’s probably asking too much ;)


29 Melissa August 21, 2010

Living in Memphis, TN, there are no 100% vegan or vegetarian restaurants, so it always seems to be a problem to go out to eat. When the occasion calls however, all it takes is a little creativity and you did just that!

Your MIL’s garden is magnificent and you captured it beautifully!


30 Michal August 21, 2010

I love the first angel shot! And a bunch of the others ;-)
I have spent hours and hours all my life dreaming up my someday-garden. Your mom’s garden looks gorgeous! And to be by the water…. what more could you ask for?
Hope the cats are calm tonight!


31 Annie@stronghealthyfit August 21, 2010

Wow, looks like a really nice house and garden! Way to go being easygoing about the menu options at that restaurant. :-)


32 Heather August 21, 2010

i love this post…it’s gorgeous! you are such a talented photographer :)


33 Dani @ Body By Nature August 21, 2010

Sketchie is such a cutie! What a stunning garden, so peaceful looking.


34 jessica August 21, 2010

Hi Angela! Beautiful pictures of your mother in law’s garden. I was just wondering, how do you make sure the bread you order is vegan? Do you ask the server or just order it anyway? Thanks!


35 Laura (spokesnoats) August 21, 2010

I love how you’ve captured both beauty and imperfection in your photos.


36 Callie August 21, 2010

Sketchie is so adorable. :)
You’re a great photographer, the pictures were gorgeous!


37 Samantha Cernock August 21, 2010

Those are beautiful pictures.


38 Megan (Braise The Roof) August 21, 2010

Gorgeous photos! Looks like a very relaxing day- I hope you made something with your mother in law’s herbs for dinner. :)


39 Jessie (Bites and Pieces) August 21, 2010

I love all of the gorgeous photos in this post, especially the cats! I still find it hard to believe that certain restaurants don’t have a vegan option aside from bread and lettuce. It makes me sad!


40 Lisa August 21, 2010

What a beautiful garden! It looks like a nice place to visit.


41 Nancy August 21, 2010

Are all three cats yours? I thought you just had the one – sketchie :)


42 Wei-Wei August 21, 2010

Lovely garden photos! I love that shot of Eric and your mother in law. I also very much admire your ability to be so relaxed and survive as a vegan! You’re amazing. And cunning. :D


43 Erika @ Health and Happiness in LA August 21, 2010

Beautiful pictures!


44 Kate August 21, 2010

Love all your pictures. I have two black and white kitties just like Clancy! They’re ladies, however. Cats can be so silly. They’re always making me laugh with their expressions and mannerisms.


45 Jess @ MTL Veggie August 21, 2010

I LOVE Sketchie’s expressions- your cat has got quite the personality :)
Your pictures of the gardens look beautiful as well!


46 Gypsy August 21, 2010

you have 3 cats? We’ve only ever seen Sketch! cute cute :)

I have the same problem every time I visit my family in Michigan (very limited “dining” options I’ll just say) – I’ve learned to do the same as Eric – order poached eggs and dry toast!


47 eatmovelove August 21, 2010

Ummm…can I have Sketchy?? So adorable.

Photos are stunning. Breakfast looks good – you made do with what you had I guess! Was there PB to smear all over that sandwich?

Good luck with dinner plans.


48 Dee August 21, 2010

OMG! i just had to comment on that ghostbuster glass! soo cute!


49 Alycia [Fit n Fresh] August 21, 2010

Wow your mother-in-law’s house is GORGEOUS! I love that it’s right next to water. So so so super pretty. And all of your photos are fantastic as well :)


50 Paige @ Running Around Normal August 21, 2010

AWww – the three cats!! Love them:)
Such pretty flowers! Great shots, Angela.


51 Wendy @ Seriously Sassy August 21, 2010

Oh me, oh my. LOVE the kitties, LOVE the makeshift greasy spoon lunch, and LOVE the photos of your mother-in-law’s garden! Best blog post ever! What camera do you have, if you don’t mind my asking??


52 Heather McClees August 21, 2010

Oh my gosh! I use this Vega powder everyday in my smoothies! I just used two new products I wrote about I’d love for you to check out!:) Don’t you just love the Vega powder? I ordered the large Whole Health Optimizer too in Vanilla Chai. I definitely recommend it! It’s great!

PS- your blog is beautiful but your story is even more beautiful, much like my own. Great post:)


53 Amber K August 21, 2010

When I add protein powder to smoothies or oatmeal I use an organic pea protein! I love that the only ingredient is 100% Non-GMO Organic Pea Protein. I REALLY love the fact that it doesn’t cause me any gastrointestinal distress!


54 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 22, 2010

Wow, it looks like it’s a major pain to eat at breakfast joints! You’d think they would at least have oatmeal or at least a better fruit selection. It’s a good thing you’re creative enough to come up with a sandwich like that! :D


55 Lena @ Blissfulbellas August 22, 2010

when i began reading this post and saw u were going to a diner i was intrigued by what u got!! everytime i have to go to a diner with family its nearly impossible to get anything since everything is cooked and grilled on butter! i usually just roll w/ toast w/jam and a side of fruit! The ppl at the diners are pretty helpful from my experiences but i think ur right, as long as u go in with a good attitude, everyone is USUALLY more than caring to help! definitely gonna try the lettuce and tomatoes on the side w/ bv next time tho!

Gorgeous picsss by the way! i love ur photography!


56 Samantha August 22, 2010

Your cats are so cute, I just want to snuggle them!


57 Sara August 22, 2010

Aww Eric looks just like his mom, how cute :)


58 Jennifer@ knackfornutrition August 22, 2010

Your photography is stunning!


59 Jessica @ Black Cat Kitchen August 22, 2010

awww, Sketchie is adorable! My cats are always attatched to my like glue when I come home after a few days. I secretly love it :) All your photos are so beautiful!


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