Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Do you know about Creation Cafe?

As Aaron and I have moved into the office, we've been checking out the surroundings to see what's nearby. One of our recent discoveries is a really cool restaurant located within walking distance (about 3 minutes) from our office off the canal. It's at the very end of the canal in a really neat looking building that is called Buggs Temple. As a historic building, this place has a lot of charm.

Walking in, we were greated by the happy, airy feel of the restaurant with funky decorations. Normally, as I sit down for a meal, I'm busy looking at the menu, but this place had hand-painted tables that were each unique. All of the decorations were original and fun. For example, there were parasols hanging from the celing, piece of silverware artwork on the wall, and old table used as the hostess station, and fun lammps.

As I browsed the menu, I was elated to see several vegetarian and vegan options. I ordered the Black bean burger with a ceasar salad, while Aaron ordered the Veg Head sandwich--neither disappointed. One thing I liked about the restaurant was that the menu changed as the seasons did. This tells me that ingredients are fresh, and options are always new. Prices ranged from about $7-$12 per person.

Curious about the rest of the facility, we looked around a bit more. There is a really neat seating area with comfy couches placed next to small end tables with funky lamps and a bookcase filled with books and board games. A bonus: I know that I've talked about how eclectic it is already, but there is even a massaging chair among the mix of furniture!

There is also outdoor seating for those who want a great view of the city and of the canal. Another bonus: dogs are allowed! There were at least 3 people with their pooches there with them, enjoying lunch as well. I'm guessing that furry friends have to sit on the patio, but I was still so pleased that canal walkers and others who wanted to bring their dogs could come and visit. I'm thinking I might take Bella with me there soon : )

Check it out if you're visiting downtown, and especially if you're walking around the canal hungry. The food and the atmosphere is unbeatable, and you can also enjoy a nice cup of coffee with your little furry friend.

Here's the contact information and a picture:
Buggs Temple
337 West 11th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone: 317-955-2389

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hapkido, learning poker, and Aaron is awesome

Greetings! I'm doing a bit better since my last post, so this will be a happier one.

Some of my older postings involved telling you about my new love for Hapkido, which is a Korean Martial (haha, almost wrote martian!) based largely on self-defense. I just took a beginning class, not expecting to like it, and loved it! This past weekend, those testing for their black belts from the hapkido club did so on Sunday. If you've never seen a black belt test, I highly recommend attending one because it is so powerful! These guys look like frickin ninjas and make it look easy! Another cool thing for me was knowing 5 out of the 8 people who tested. Congratulations guys (and girls)! Kudos to you for all of your hard work!

In a completely unrelated topic, I learned how to play poker this week! Albeit, I am not a huge card player, but it was for a good cause : ) The animal welfare club on IU's campus was hosting the tournament in order to raise money for a non-profit in Bloomington that rehabilitates wild animals who have been injured. I also learned to deal, just in case we had enough people. I was really scared to deal, but I wish that we had recruited so many people that we didn't even have enough dealers. Anyway, last night was the poker tournament, and I won fourth place! I would say this happened in part (ok, maybe largely) because Aaron was my "consultant," but it still felt good! And the best part of all, the organization was helped, if even by just a little bit. Go Wildcare! (check out the site, you'll see some seriously adorable baby deer!)

To conclude, I'd like to include a mini ode to Aaron. As I've become more interested in improving the lives of animals (always been an animal lover, but just recently discovered the severity of animal cruelty and ways that I can help), he's been there every step of the way. I mean, seriously, for the past month since I've made my own transition to vegetarianism, he's eaten tofu and other meat substitutes gladly, and he's willing to try anything that I cook.

Another reason that I am so grateful for his support is because he has participated in any kind of activity or fundraising event for which I asked his help. He was there when I learned poker, and he helped me along the way. He then came to the poker tournament with me.

In addition, he encouraged me to adopt Bella, he's supported me when I've spent time researching products and companies that don't test on animals, he's hung up the animal welfare flyers that I've created to educate others on topics that I'm passionate about, he's told others about what I'm doing with regards to specific projects, he's decided to avoid all leather, and we now go to Burger King, BW3's, and have changed other restaurants that we frequent to access vegetarian options.

In short, he's awesome because he really cares about animals too and because he suppports me in everything that I do. I love him so much, and I am wise enough to realize how lucky I am!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New office update, graduating soon, and a little bummed out

After working like mad every weekend since spring break (and during spring break), we are nearing the end of working on making our new office a new home for the company. We've done the following:
*moved in
*installed doors and trim (both a pain in the neck)
*hung up pictures and clocks
*wired a really cool street lamp in the office
*installed speakers and video cameras
*bought three new desks, two new desks chairs, two more stackable chairs
*organized, and more!

If I haven't mentioned it, we've relocated to the Stutz Business Center in downtown Indianapolis. I LOVE the building. It was a car manufacturing facility that was turned into an offices. There are concrete floors, hallways that are the width of a car, and exposed pipes in the ceiling. There is a car museum on our floor, it is home to about 30 artists, and the halls are decorated accordingly. As soon as the project concludes, I will post pictures!

In other news, I will graduating on May 9, and my first day of work is May 12th! Woohoo!

Lastly, I've been pretty bummed out lately. It's like I feel as though I'm carrying some heavy burden.

My grandfather has had problems with alcoholism for as long as I can remember, and although we were really hopeful after his last treatment, he's already relapsed. The last time he was in there, I wrote him a letter, and I spilled my guts to him regarding how I felt about his drinking and how much he meant to his family. He said that it really touched him, and naively, I thought I thought it effect would change

Another hard subject for me comes from my affection for animals. The woman from whom I adopted Bella emailed me recently to see if my parents would be interested in adopting a new dog that was at the rescue, and then I received another email from her about me adopting another dog. I know that I don't possess the power to save every animal, but the guilt that accompanies turning her and the dog down is so gut-wrenching for me.

Also I often lay (lie?) in bed at night thinking about the animals who are living in puppy mills, shelters, factory farms, fur and leather farms, constantly chained dogs with no affection consider and how lonely they must be. Just those thoughts bring tears almost instantly. I would give anything to just hold them all so they would know how much they are loved. I wish someone would make them feel worthwhile and loved. If you have a dog, cat, hamster, rabbit, or just live near an animal, please show them that you love them today. They long for your affection and will be more loyal than you can imagine.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Product review-some great cruelty-free products!

As you may have read, I am passionate about animal welfare. I love it! I've done a lot of homework regarding companies that do testing on animals, and I have found substitutes for nearly all of the products that I used previously. I thought I would pass some of this information along and provide a few reviews for some products for your use.

Just to introduce the idea of animal testing, this type of test is not required by the FDA prior to a product being launched. Rabbits and rats are force-fed products like hairspray or foundation. This is done to see what concentration of the product will kill the animal. These products are also rubbed into their eyes and of course, they cannot try to relieve the irriation. Their skin is burned, and the live in small cages for the duration of their painful lives. Interested in learning how you can help? Read on!

If you'd like to check out specific products or brands are tested on animals, check out Some of the main companies to look out for: Proctor and Gamble, Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive, Melaluca, Schering-Plough, and others. These companies market many products like covergirl, ivory soap, colgate, crest, and others.

Cruel Cosmetics: Covergirl, L'Oreal, Maybelline, and Rimmel
Alternatives: Revlon, Avon, Almay, Bonne Belle, NYC, Clinique, Jane, Wet n' Wild, Elizabeth Arden, and others.

Cruelty-free cosmetics that I have tried:

Mascaras: Revlon mascara: Revlon Fabulash--I've been using this mascara for a couple of days now, and I love it! I tried Almay's one-coat mascara, and I was NOT very pleased. Whenever I took the mascara off, I felt like my eyelashes were gummy. I used to use Covergirl mascaras, and I loved them, so I was a little nervous about finding a great alternative. The Revlon Fabulash mascara (I don't use waterproof) is great if you like to curl your eyelashes, and my lashes look so thick!

Foundation: I really like the Almay clear complexion foundation. It covers really well, stays on all-day, and it helps fight acne. I also use NYC (New York Color) which is sooo cheap, and I think it has better staying power than the Maybelline foundations that I have used. Jane (found at Walgreens) is also a great foundation. It has sunscreen, juniper, aloe, and some other great things for your skin.

Eyeshadows: Revlon's and Jane's have great staying power, but for a cheap thrill, try Wet n' Wild. I previously used Covergirl

Eyeliner: Although I haven't run out of my covergirl eyeliner yet, I'm planning to try Revlon or Wet n' Wild

For hygiene products like shampoo, hair styling products, deodorants, conditioners, fragrances, try Avon. It is really cheap, and if an Avon representative delivers the products to you (at your door!), you do not pay any shipping.

For cleaning products, try a brand called Bio-Kleen. It can be found at Kroger.

Just switching products can do so much to help improve animals' lives and is so easy.