Brighton + Brinley

Meatless Mid-Month Check In

life happenings, food and beverageGrace SorianoComment

'Ello All! It is officially past one month of eating vegetarian for the month. How are we fairing? Not. Too. Shabby!

To be honest, I'm not sure we're eating very healthy even though we've cut out meat from our diet. I was traveling for an entire week so a lot of meals were eaten out which ended up being a lot of pasta and...

PIZZA! Okay, I'm not really complaining... but I do feel guilty!

But I swear it's not all pizza (just a lot of it). Lunches end up being my healthiest meals because I'm always planning them ahead. So far I've done a lot of smoothie bowls:

I picked up a giant jug of Acai and a giant bag of organic berries from Costco and blended everything together with some flax seeds. Then I picked up whatever fresh fruit is on sale at my local Giant to top it off. I also picked up some Bear Naked Cacao + Cashew Butter Soft Baked Granola to add some crunch. YUM! Pretty proud of this one!

We have made a few veggie dinners at home. The easiest being veggie sandwiches made out of MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burgers. These were actually super delicious. Still can't believe I've convinced my boyfriend to eat a veggie burger though...

Lastly, one of the more adventurous recipes we tried was A Pinch of Yum's General Tso's Chicken. This was a HIT! I wouldn't go as far as saying the cauliflower taste like chicken, but it definitely reminded us of it. We paired it with some rice and vegetable pot stickers and it definitely felt like we just ordered Chinese take-out.


I will say that this recipe was SUPER laborious. I ended up not even making all of the cauliflower because I just got tired of cooking. Haha, luckily it did last us 3 days of leftovers.

So that is a quick update of our Vegetarian Month. I'm definitely surprised at how easy it is to cut out meat, but ONLY when eating in. It's definitely difficult to go out to eat with friends and not have as many choices as they do.

As far as how I feel? Not too much different than before. I didn't weigh myself or anything when I started this so I don't think I can report any actual statistics. I do have a better conscience though!


We're going Vegetarian!

life happeningsGrace SorianoComment

... but just for this month! Happy National Vegetarian Month!

Okay, that's not the only reason my boyfriend and I have decided to go vegetarian for a month. The truth is, we have a big trip coming in November to Asia. With that in mind, we want to:

1. Save Money


2. Eat Healthier (before we have to be back in bathing suits and are ready to eat every pig in the Philippines and cow in Japan)

(Bonus reason: to help the environment!)

As the granddaughter of a livestock farmer, I am all about eating animals - it's something that I can't deny that I enjoy. But I also recognize that not eating meat (or even eating less meat), makes a big difference for one's health, one's bank account, and, of course, the environment. So, like everything in my life, I try to compromise.

I've tried to follow the ideas of a "reducitarian" (see the video below) and eat less meat on a daily basis. I'm not the best at it of course, but hopefully taking on this challenge to completely eliminate meat for a month will be a step in the right direction.

So we started our "Vegetarian Month" on the 1st of October, which was a Saturday... a BIG mistake. We ended up going to a BBQ at our friends house and they made SO much delicious BBQ - we were crying! But we brought our veggie burgers and buns and kept our will power strong. Unfortunately, my boyfriend has never made a veggie burger so he ended up keeping it on the grill for almost 30 minutes! As you can imagine they were pretty much cardboard at that point.

We salvaged the next day of eating vegetarian by going to Chipotle and having their Sofritas. We were definitely satisfied by that meal. For dinner, I made a vegetarian pot-pie... aka chicken pot pie but with no chicken or chicken stock. It wasn't too bad!

So I guess the past few days haven't really been THE healthiest of vegetarian meals, but we're easing into it. I think the next week is going to be an easy one since I'll be on a business trip for almost half of the week and eating out is always way easier than eating in, in my opinion. Let's be honest, salads are so much more delicious when someone else makes it for you.

Also, I definitely want to give big props to people who decide to eat vegetarian or vegan every day. After we told our friends we were doing this, we were faced with SO many comments about how stupid it was and how it doesn't make a difference. Sheesh! I would hate to have to face those comments every day. So good for you guys! *thumbs up*

So wish me luck and comment with any tips or vegetarian recipes you have! I'll let you know how everything goes next week....

Our First Time Renting an RV

travel, life happeningsGrace SorianoComment

Two weekends ago we road tripped down to Tennessee for the Battle at Bristol - "College Football's Biggest Ever" - to see my boyfriend's Alma Mater, Virginia Tech, take on the University of Tennessee. To make our lives easier, instead of booking a hotel, we decided to rent an RV and camp right outside of the "stadium" (aka Bristol Speedway). That way, we could easily enjoy the festivities without worrying about having a designated driver or dealing with traffic.

The game we RVed to was the largest attended college football game in history - over 150,000 attendees!

The game we RVed to was the largest attended college football game in history - over 150,000 attendees!

Including ourselves, there were 8 people who would be in the RV and not one of us had any experience in the rental process. We all arrived bright and early at Beckley's RV Rental in Fredrick, Maryland and the process was beyond easy from pick-up to drop-off.

Our RV lot was so close to the stadium. It really made things SO easy that weekend.

Our RV lot was so close to the stadium. It really made things SO easy that weekend.

Here are my tips for anyone renting an RV for the first time:

Book in Advance - Since we knew the event we were going to was going to be huge, we booked a year in advance. That might seem excessive, but it's better to be safe than sorry. We had mutual friends look for an RV 3 months before their trip and everything was booked. Of course there are busy seasons and not-so-busy seasons, but I wouldn't take any chances. As soon as you know you want to take the trip for sure, book!

Everyone Should Pay Attention to the RV Walk-Through (or have everyone read the manual): When you first pick up the RV, especially if you're a first-time renter, you'll be given a walk-through of the RV to make sure you know how to use everything. You'll also be given tips and tricks on how to make your trip seamless. Make sure everyone is paying attention! We only had about 4 people there for the walk-through, so those 4 other people were clueless when we hit the road. If they miss the walk-through, have them flip through the manual. It's way better for everyone to know what's going on than just a select few.

Do secure EVERYTHING, even inside the cabinets - We thought we did a great job securing everything in cabinets and on the tables, but as soon as we started driving - it seemed like everything was flying all over the place. Make sure you secure EVERYTHING. If you have items in cabinets that are standing up, lay them down because they are going to tip over anyway - especially if its glass. We found out the hard way when we put a box of beers on the floor that tipped over - glass and beer went everywhere! 

Bring Cleaning Supplies - We only brought a few paper towels, wet wipes and some dish soap, but by the end of the trip we had stopped at Walmart to buy a broom and three packs of Lysol wipes. Even though we spent most of our time outside, the RV got REALLY messy inside between food prep, late night shenanigans, and just the general dirt that seemed to sneak in.

Prepare to be Smelly - Any small enclosed space shared between 8 people is going to get a bit stuffy, but once you throw in being pretty inebriated all day and night, it's bound to get smelly inside. So, remember to keep the windows open every now and then to air out the space and bring some Febreeze! And as much as you probably don't want to, cleaning as you go always helps.

(Depending on your RV) There's More Room than You Think - I was pleasantly surprised at how much storage space we had in our RV. Between the outside compartments and the indoor organization, it was really a breeze to fit 8 people's food and personal items. I'm not saying to over pack, but just don't worry too much about the space, RV's are typically built to hold a lot. 

So overall, I would definitely recommend renting an RV at some point for either a big event like a music festival or just a quiet camping trip. I think we'll definitely be renting one again!