The Quarantined Vegan

In mid-March of this year, the powers that be in NYC began the process of closing down the entire city. Although this wasn’t the first pandemic to occur in New York (I counted and I think this is the third one I’ve lived through), it was the first to occur on such a large magnitude that it forced the closures of schools, businesses, restaurants and more.

Like millions of other people in the city, I thought about so many different things when this first happened. Safety, security and the unimaginable things to come. I was blessed to be working in a job that allowed me to work from home. I wasn’t sick and I could take care of myself. But the whole idea– or reality, of a global pandemic really did take me– and this country, by storm.

Watching mom’s cat stare longingly out the window. Yeah, we all wanna go outside too.

Being vegan in the middle of a pandemic can certainly have its challenges. However, those challenges are largely dependent on where you’re located. As many vegans (and non-vegans) have seen, prices have unfairly skyrocketed due to the massive and unprecedented shift in supply and demand when it comes to meat and dairy products. That’s one side of things. On the other hand, vegan goods have remained steady in their pricing, if not cheaper. Again, supply and demand. Although a global health crisis is the last thing I would want to occur in order to bring attention to veganism and vegan food, that’s sort of the way it happened.

Made lots of veggies during quarantine. And upped my bread-baking game by like 1,000.

Personally, I did face a few challenges, but they weren’t bad enough that I haven’t been able to keep up with my vegan lifestyle. Yes, I live in NYC, a recognized mecca of vegan food. However, New York City is a big place– well, geographically it’s not that big, but you know what I mean. I don’t live in Manhattan or any of the areas of the city in which I would be able to easily access highly sought-after vegan products. I could travel to some places not too far away, but in my attempt to truly quarantine myself, I decided not to go that route. Luckily for me, I’d already been eating more of a whole foods diet. This not only became the prominent way in which I’d find myself eating for the past couple of months (well, that, and pasta), it also made me realize the reality of the foods we consume and the disillusion involved in the American diet– yet again.

I had to really stop and think about why it seemed so drastic to eat the foods that so many people thrive on, day after day, year after year. The foods that I hail as being the earth’s way of giving us all the nutrients we could ever need. The foods that so many Black and Brown and Latinx and Asian and Indigenous people have survived and thrived on for literally centuries. I thought about the perils that I have written about before– that even when you’re vegan, it doesn’t automatically mean you’re healthy. Now, I understand that this is a loaded and highly debated sentence.

I get it. I understand. Please don’t “@” me.

There are no vegan foods that contain cholesterol. Most vegan food is way healthier when compared to its non-vegan counterparts, even if its cooked in butter, or oil, or fried. But it’s something to really think about. We should never stop fighting for veganism for all the reasons we do. Animals, the planet, our health, and more. I’m simply saying we have to have the same foresight about a vegan diet that we should have for anything else.

Tried some amazing vegan noms from The Stoop in Ridgewood, Queens.

A whole foods, plant-based diet is one of the only diets that can truly survive a pandemic. And this time, it’s not just a weird vegan saying this– we’re currently living through the proof of it.

There was never a shortage of canned goods. Beans, rice, pasta, veggies and fruits were all killing it in the supermarkets. Baking your own bread became the biggest trending thing on Vegan IG and probably all of foodie IG. Not only that, but these are the foods that we need to eat to strengthen our immune systems and make them the savage, virus-fighting things we know they’re capable of being.

Being on lock down kind of forced me to rethink the way I eat– and this is already something that I think about often as I continue try to navigate my love of comfort, soul and junk food, all of the vegan variety. Even more so– it’s kinda hard not to want to revel in comfort food goodness when the world seems to be falling apart around you.

But there was even more to it than that. Trying to walk the fine line of enjoying life and understanding that what we eat is not the center of that life, but also that life can be enjoyed to the fullest when we are healthy and truly happy is an interesting thing.

Exploring the beauty of one of my favorite parks in the city, and social distancing like a boss.

So basically, I spent most of quarantine baking a lot of bread, finally being able to try new vegan noms after what felt like forever, doing home work outs, and even going to one of my favorite parks– once.

But I actually did recognize one thing to be true: the less I consciously thought about that fine line I just mentioned, the more I naturally walked it with perfect balance. Positivity breeds positivity. Effort breeds effort. Consciousness breeds more consciousness.

I worked from home, I talked with and met new and interesting fellow vegan folks, I Zoomed with vegans all around the world. I got to watch a virtual screening of vegan short films and meet with the organizer of the International Vegan Film Festival. I lived life to the extent I was able to, living in the most bustling city in the world that was, for one of the first times in history, no longer bustling.

Lessons are to be learned from everything that happens in life. So here are the lessons I learned living as a quarantined vegan:

  • Stay vegan. And if you’re not vegan, go vegan– like now.
  • Fruits and veggies have continued to hold the championship belt when it comes to winning in the arena of food.
  • Live life and enjoy every moment as much as possible.
  • Don’t take anything or anyone for granted– and really, how many opportunities do we all get to recognize this one, and still don’t?
  • Virtual meet ups are kinda my jam.
  • All hail carbs– still.

I hope everyone has remained safe and healthy during this crazy time in history, whether you have been directly or indirectly affected. I hope that everyone remains faithful that things will get better, and I hope that everyone takes this time to rethink what it means to live a happy, healthy and thriving life.

Globe with mask image courtesy of Anna Shvets via

Peace Out Plastic!

Beginning March 1, 2020, the Bag Waste Reduction law went into affect in NYC. Although I’d been following the law as it went through it’s early stages in the legislation process, so much had been going on in the past couple of weeks that it completely slipped my mind when March 1st actually rolled around.

But once all the craziness was subdued, it took actually seeing this legislation in action in two stores for me to realize the amazingness that had finally taken place:


This new law doesn’t only affect those in the five boroughs, it applies to any retailer that collects New York State taxes.

And so, W O W.

I’m so exited and happy to be living during a time where veganism is bursting through the seams of major corporations and where taking care of our ecosystem is becoming part of the law.

However, this thought was also accompanied by the horrific realization that the massive amount of destruction we’ve done to our home has also taken place in my lifetime, and we are now in the early stages of damage control.

But I won’t linger on the bad news…

If we’re not careful with all the plastic, this sort of scene may very well be in the near future.

This is a truly gratifying time to be alive and I can’t wait to see the stats that will undoubtedly pop-up after this new law has been in place for awhile, regarding how much less plastic waste is in our city. No more gross bags hanging high in tree branches, or floating in our natural waterways or in the parks. So much less waste in landfills. And realistically, I think a lot of people may simply not purchase as much as they were before because they don’t have the ease of plastic bags.

However, that last one could be a blessing and a curse— without as many purchases, there could be something in store to try to lure people into opening up their wallets as much as they previously did. But let’s look on the bright side— maybe another stimulus package is on the way? 🙂

Another benefit that is admittedly quite personal, but still great nonetheless, will be not feeling slightly weird when bringing all my reusables to the grocery store. Although it didn’t bother that much, I would feel slightly weird and as if all eyes were on me when I’d take extra time packing my own groceries into bags instead of letting the store staff pack the stuff for me quickly and swiftly into plastic bags. Not anymore!

And finally, another eco friendly tip for all the folks out there, but especially my fellow NYC dwellers— while you’re stocking up on reusable bags, purchase some reusable produce bags as well! I’ve had my produce bags for some time now, and have barely used them (eeek!), but now? It’s gonna be a fruit and veggie bonanza in here!

Reusable produce bags are yet another way to help rid the earth of waste.

Not only are reusable produce bags another great way to reduce plastic, they also help solve a problem that hasn’t yet found a solution in all groceries and markets because in-store (plastic!) produce bags are still-a-go. Additionally, there are many types of plastic bags that are exempt from the new law. Boo. But baby steps are better than no steps.

While briefly discussing the new “no plastic” policy with my mom, she mentioned that using good old paper bags is how they used to carry groceries “back in the day”. I excitedly exclaimed “I know!” A bit later, it truly sank in— although there are many things I wouldn’t want to bring back from past decades, the simpler, cleaner ways that some tasks were carried out are certainly welcome back.

I can’t wait to see what other eco friendly things the city will come up with!

Please visit the Department of Environmental Conservation for more information and for outreach resources regarding the Bag Waste Reduction law.


Plastic bag garbage image courtesy of Juan Pablo via

Plastic wasteland image courtesy of Stijn Dijkstra via

Easy, Four-Ingredient, Crispy Fried Chickpeas

Vegans are lacking protein. How many times have you heard that? By now, it’s a distant echo that somehow still seems to taunt all the cruelty-free eaters in the vegan-verse. But the thing is, we know it’s not true. Vegans get plenty of protein. In fact, for all the omnis out there– your meat gets its protein from plants. That’s right– you heard it here first. Well I don’t know if you actually heard it here first, but if you did, that’s freaking awesome and you’re welcome.

Some of the greatest sources of protein in the vegan world come from lentils, beans (legumes) and other foods like tofu and seitan. Not to mention the loads of seeds and nuts that are also protein-rich. As I continue to force myself to eat– I mean, journey down the road of embracing a completely whole foods diet (similar to my early vegan days when I didn’t know what to eat and had no idea that Champ’s Diner existed), I will continue to load up on more protein-rich goodies, and beans have always been one of my favorites. Mix them with rice and you’ve got a source of complete protein, meaning that all nine essential amino acids are set in that protein to help your body do all the amazing things it’s capable of doing, besides going to and from work and laying to watch Netflix (calm down, I’m pointing a finger at myself).

Chickpeas are pretty high on that bean list– also known as garbanzo beans, they are not only yummy, but really versatile in the kitchen– after all, they can turn into falafels. If that ain’t a miraculous transformation, I dunno what is. But, when you’re tired of eating them in their natural form, and don’t feel like making falafels, try out this recipe. It’s basically breaded and fried chickpeas, but the great part is, it shouldn’t take you too long to make because you don’t need anything more that a few ingredients, and a few simple steps– in less that 20 minutes, you’re in fried bean heaven.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 15.5 oz. can of chickpeas, not drained
  • 3/4-1 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs (plain or panko breadcrumbs can also be used— whichever you choose, be sure that your breadcrumbs are vegan! Many brands contain dairy and/or eggs)
  • 1/8-1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt

What to Do:

  1. Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat with olive oil in it.
  2. While the oil is heating, mix the breadcrumbs and salt together in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Open the can of chickpeas, but do not drain them of the water in the can.
  4. Test that the olive oil is fully heated with a very small drop of water (do not stand over the oil because it will splatter when hot!)
  5. Using a metal spoon, transfer the wet chickpeas to the breadcrumb mixture, draining each spoonful of water but leaving the chickpeas wet (the water from the can acts as the “binding agent” and helps the breadcrumbs stick to the chickpeas fully, so you want them to remain wet!).
  6. Transfer about half the can, mixing the beans into the breadcrumbs quickly, then transferring them to the oil slowly and carefully so the oil does not splatter.
  7. Shake the pan to spread the chickpeas across evenly.
  8. Let the chickpeas fry over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, then, turn the chickpeas and continue to fry for an additional 3-4 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
  9. Drain the fried chickpeas on a dish that has been lined with a dry cloth or paper towels.
  10. Repeat these steps with the remaining half-can of chickpeas.

Date Posted on Instagram: 2/18/2020

*Product Review*: Vegan Toona!

Tuna — a saltwater fish that is part of the mackerel family. The size of the fish can range, depending on the specific type. Are those quick, fun facts what come to your mind when you hear the word “tuna”? Yeah, me either. When we hear that word, most of us think of the minced flesh that comes in a can. But even that description may be off-putting to some– well, by some, I mean non-vegans. Because, like any sentient being, that minced mush in a can is indeed flesh.

Before going vegan, like a lot of non-vegans, I tried to eat more tuna and seafood on my initial route to health. Sea creatures do not usually contain large amounts of fat and most people view eating them as healthy– in fact, many people go pescatarian before going full-vegan. Or, they just stop there.

I was a big fan of canned tuna in my pre-vegan days. But thinking back on it now, filling a sandwich with tuna that is loaded with mayo isn’t necessarily #healthgoals. Either way, I hadn’t had tuna in about two years– that is, I hadn’t had any form of a vegan variation since going vegan. Until recently 🙂

Vegan tuna in all it’s canned glory.

First, a bit of the back story; when I was still in my exploratory vegan days (although those days don’t ever truly end, do they?) I happened to find some mock vegan tuna as part of a vegan “starter kit” online. I bought the kit (this was over a year ago), and I tossed the tuna in the cabinet because– well, that’s me. I was excited to try it, but wanted to “wait” to showcase it for whatever weird reason. I recently cleaned out the cabinets and saw that lonely lil’ can in the back, still unused. First, I thought about why I was so weird to wait to use this canned baby for so long (yes, really), then, I made a tuna sandwich!

The canned tuna I had was made by a brand called Sophie’s Kitchen. They make plant-based seafood which is amazing, because I love seeing plant-based seafood all over Vegan IG. I hope to try a lot more of their products in the future, but for now, I’m also trying to calm down on the processed goods, so it’ll have to wait. But check them out and see what they have to offer!

Now, for the nitty gritty– how did it taste? What was the flavor like? The texture?

Before I get to all those deets, I have to preface this with saying that anything that is vegan (with the exception of the amazing things they’re doing with the Impossible and Beyond Burgers as well as some seitan-based chick’n sandwiches) is usually never going to be an exact replica of what you were used to eating on an omni diet. You have to learn to adapt your palate a bit, as well as relish in the fact that something that is reallly close to what you used to eat (especially if you prepare it the same way) is still really delicious, and now, cruelty-free.

That being said, visually, I was pleasantly surprised. It actually looked like canned tuna. Not a carbon copy, but it could fool an omni, for sure. It was packed in olive oil, which was refreshing because actual tuna packed in oil is usually packed in vegetable oil, and I always thought that was weird because veggie oil seems more appropriate for cooking and not packing. It fell apart in chunks, and just looking at, I was a happy camper.

That black shadow in the back– Trey thought he was getting some toona too. Yeah, right.

Texture-wise, I was also happy. It felt like what I was used to eating when I ate a tuna fish sandwich! But then, is it truly that hard to replicate a minced meat texture? Something to think about! It was a little bit heavier, but not overly so.

The flavor was kinda scary. I know about some products, like kelp granules, that help to mimic that seafood flavor. And although this didn’t taste exactly like tuna fish, that seafood-y flavor was definitely there. It mixed well when I added other ingredients and mayo to it, and once all that was mixed together, it legit looked like meaty tuna.

All the flavor, none of the cruelty.

As I just mentioned, when eaten on it’s own (I took a few bites before adding anything else), it was a bit heavier in my mouth–not like a fully light seafood feel. That could have been because of the pea protein and/or potato starch bases I’m assuming, because that is what this mock delicious-ness is mostly made of.

So, at the end of it all, I’d definitely give this canned delight a 8/10 and I would hands down purchase it again. I think for transitioning vegans, it might take a bit before they feel comfty mixing it plain into a salad or eating it out of the can. For me, two years in, I’d gobble the can down plain– eh, I might add a little salt and pepper.

But for transitioning vegans looking for that comfort food feel of a delicious “tuna” fish sandwich slathered in mayo on bread– just imagine, you could be eating this, completely cruelty-free:

My Second Veganniversary!

Well, this is it. It’s certainly been another whirlwind year, filled with delicious vegan noms and chill vegan spots, but more importantly— actually, most importantly, have been the vegan realizations I’ve gone through. Indeed, this year could be coined the year of vegan realism.

You know how art has gone through different eras over time? Well, my veganism is pretty much doing the same thing. Last year, my first year being vegan, was my romanticism era. I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to dive into veganism in all it’s glory. This new challenge of going vegan gave me something to strive for. Something to champion and hold onto. I wandered through this new world, eager to discover all the junkfood, mock meats and restaurants that made up this seemingly giant but actually very tight-knit community of veganism.

Noms from Rip’s Malt Shop, a delicious vegan eatery in Brooklyn.

I reveled in the wonders of my imagination, letting my mind and heart roam wild as I played chef, coming up with imaginative and beautifully plated meals that I still believe could rival some of the best influencers out there. I tried my hardest to break away from the societal norms of the standard American diet— a way of eating that I knew was making me sick, keeping me overweight and contributing to my subpar physical health. 

Seitan’s Helper’s chick’n cheeze steak sammie at their pop-up earlier this year.

And at that time, it was an easy thing to do. I had support from a pal who had been vegan for some time. My mom was totally fine with me going vegan, and I didn’t have to hear any drawn out speeches about health or not being able to accommodate my new « weird » diet. And time. I had so much time. When I first went vegan, I was working in the hospitality industry and I was a student. Both things that call for a lot of time and attention, but not at the peak levels that would soon come. So, in my free time, I decided to take on this new lifestyle full-speed. I turned my already existing foodie IG into a vegan page. I started a blog (fun fact: I’ve always been passionate about writing and blogging, and this is actually my second blog). And I decided I would not only utilize going vegan as a way to help myself, but also as a way to help others— animals, the planet, marginalized groups. Everything and everyone.

So that was it. My romantic, dreamy introduction to veganism.

And this year. Things got real.

Amazingly delicious early grey and *lavender* cake from Pisces Rising Vegan.

I’m still a student. In fact, I’ve been a student for the past five years straight, with no end on the near horizon. But this summer is when the realism era really kicked in. It was a whirlwind of school and training for one of the greatest occurrences in my life. The start of my career as a teacher. So, it’s been non-stop work. From sun up til’ sun down. Filled with times where I’ve been ecstatic, but also filled with times where I’ve doubted my abilities to complete anything. But I have been completing everything. And I continue to push myself. In addition to all the hard work, a lot more has happened in a year. As usual, here’s a quick recap of the year of vegan realism, and what I think the future of my vegan life will hold.

I Tried a lot More Vegan Food

This year was still filled with me trying a bunch of food from amazing places. I tried the delicious food at Rip’s Malt Shop, co-opened by a great entrepreneur, Eric, who okayed the making of an off-the-menu, “vegan girl nyc special”, featuring their bomb chopped cheeze, an NYC staple. I tried amazing noms from the fully women-run and owned Seitan’s Helper, I finally got to try amazing dessert noms from Pisces Rising Vegan, another women-owned opération that is absolutely splendid. And speaking of awesome women in power, I got to try some great food from Chef Chloe herself at her Supernatural pop-up earlier in the year. I was also able to try amazingly delicious food from a brand new restaurant, Spicy Moon— which is now one of my favorite new places to eat! I had an entirely vegan personal pie from a not entirely vegan pizzeria in my heart town of Queens, and I got to try even more delicious food at this year’s Vegandale festival, attending for my second year in a row. And that was just to name a few of the happenings stateside.

Beet Mac ‘n’ Cheeze from the brilliant mind of Chef Chloe Coscarelli— pink mac? I mean, c’mon!
Kung Pao tofu from Spicy Moon. Yes, yes and YES.

Oh yes, ya girl went international this year, leaving the country for the first time and traveling overseas to checkout the beautiful cities of London and Paris and alllll the vegan noms both cities had to offer! I’ve written all about my foodie travel in LDN, and my foodie adventures from Paris will be up bientôt. How it Got Real: as the summer drew near and once my first year of teaching began, my budget was as tight as ever. Dining out slowed down a lot. Luckily, I’d already gone through my blogger existential crisis of wondering if people would still like my page if I wasn’t showcasing bomb vegan noms from restaurants galore. Therefore, I no longer cared if people followed me for superficial reasons. I also had a handful of caring folks I’ve met along my life journey who took my very broke self out to eat and for that, I’ll be forever grateful.

Just one of the yummy dishes I tried at this year’s Vegandale festival.

I Kinda, Sorta Dated Someone for Like, ten Seconds

Romance (quickly) came and went this year. Just one of the many very real things that happened in my second year of vegan living.

Once I went back to school, I made a pact with myself that I wouldn’t date anyone because I didn’t want to be distracted from school. Once I graduated, I got into grad school. I made yet another pact that after working so hard to get into an amazing school, I wouldn’t screw it up with distractions of ANY kind. So dating was put on the back burner, again. Then, I graduated from grad school. What was next? More grad school. And teacher training. By this point, I was so happy and grateful for everything happening in my life, but I also thought “dang, can ya girl get a date or two?” Well, eventually I did. I met someone, and they weren’t vegan and I was 100% okay with that because if you follow my IG page, I’ve said plenty of times that dating a vegan isn’t necessarily a priority of mine. Things were fun and it was nice to be close to someone amidst the constant grind. How it Got Real: Things ended pretty quickly and it was both good and bad. I may have been in a relationship with someone who didn’t wanna be in a relationship. Or maybe they just didn’t wanna be in a relationship with me. I can only speculate, but I try not to because I enjoy my sanity. The point is, during our short-lived romance, instead of being straightforward, they took me on a roller coaster of weirdness that had more of an effect on my emotional and mental health than I liked, and that was a big no-no. Perhaps their propensity for being a big meanie had something to do with them not being vegan? Who knows, but either way, I’m super single, again.

I Started a Career

Teaching is amazing. I love it. It allows me to be creative and fits with my love of a delicate balance of being busy with so much on my plate set alongside the time to recoup and get back to my center. Some of my students in my first year love me. Some don’t care for me too much. But I love them all and it feels amazing to be able to watch them grow, academically and as humans. How it Got Real: Trying to be an amazing teacher while still being a student is absolutely possible but it’s hard work. Especially when you’re a new teacher. Before I started teaching, I’d heard it all from current and former teachers along the way. Some had principals leave in the middle of year. Some began their teaching careers mid-year with no prior teaching experience. Some worked in schools that ended up closing. This was all real and it taught them great lessons and helped mold them into great teachers. Luckily, I haven’t experienced any of those challenges, but I’ve been pulling on all that I can to be great because now, I don’t just have to be great for myself, but I have to be great for my students.

I Celebrated the Holidays as a Vegan… Again!

This is my second year of holiday celebrations as a vegan, and it’s actually okay. There are so many options for vegans that I don’t feel isolated at the thought of the end of the year and all the food to come. This one is actually not that bad— yet. How it’s Gonna Get Real: Traversing the holidays as a vegan hasn’t been too bad yet because I’ve still been celebrating small-scale. Outside of my immediate family is what I’m a bit nervous of. Will the holidays get bigger in the years to come? Will I have to gather around tons of family and/or friends at non-vegan gatherings? If so, I’ll probably be better prepared because I’ll be a veteran vegan at that point. If anything, the annoying part won’t be the food prep, it’ll be talking about being vegan. Answering questions about my life as a vegan and why I’ve chosen to eat and live this way.

Year deux of vegan holidays wasn’t too shabby.

So, you may ask how have all these year two events related to my being vegan? Well, I’ve had the wake-up call of settling into veganism as being my real-life. It’s not just vegan restaurants and festivals. It’s quick tofu scrams before class and work. It’s late night sandwiches thrown together because I’m hungry after getting out of class at 9:30pm. And yes, as a vegan I can make deli meat and cheeze sandwiches, complete with mayo 🙂 This hectic grind with food thrown in the mix because I have to eat is a familiar feeling for everyone, not just vegans. Life has been filled with moments of literally spending several minutes eyeballing a vending machine at school to find something that is both vegan and moderately healthy because I forgot (more like procrastinated) to meal prep because that’s life, and I have a three-hour class coming up that I can not possibly sit through in its entirety without being hungry.

Happy me in a chocolate shop in Paris!

I also still deal with stress eating. And although that hasn’t completely vanished, I’ve learned (and am still learning) how to turn to other things than eating to deal with stressful or hurtful or unpredictable occurrences, and also how to be present and choose healthier options whenever I do turn to food for comfort. My relationship with veganism has started to balance out and is now less about the “idea” of me being vegan and more about my regular relationship with food as I go through the complicated and exhilarating ride known as L I F E. It’s just that my food happens to be cruelty-free.

As I embark on year three of being vegan, I am really excited for what’s to come. I have no idea of what lies ahead, and that’s scary but also exciting. I still want to create recipes, and I have more than enough notes and scribbles for ideas to keep me busy whenever I find the time to do so. I’ve become less concerned with maintaining a perfect IG page aesthetic. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still about a good-looking page, but if I manage to make a great meal and I get some pics of it, it’s going on the page whether or not it’s plated cute or on a fancy plate. And at the end of the day, I’m finding that to be more inspiring in many ways. I can plan for eternity, but deep down, I’m aware that I have to learn to enjoy the ride because life, even in the form of blogging, is gonna have its own plans for me— and if I can adapt to all that my crazy life has in-store for me, then I can certainly adapt to the roller coaster that is #bloggerlife.

~*I Can’t wait for year three!!!*~

Heart ballons image courtesy of Kristina Paukshtite via

Cranberry and pine cone image courtesy of Jessica Lewis via