Welcome to Lifestyles of the Poor and Vegan!  

My name is Kristi.

I am: A constant work in progress, a wife, a dog-mom, a lover of adventure, and an aspiring writer.

This is my adventure log, recipe book, photo album, and more. 

I hope this blog inspires you to explore new places, try new foods, and experience new things.

Feel free to leave a comment or follow me on social media!

To Heaven in a Handbag

To Heaven in a Handbag

Let me first just start by saying this: I love my mom! Seriously! She is one of the kindest and most thoughtful people I know. She is such a wonderful and caring woman, and I am so lucky to call her my mom! 

The other day, she and I were out at the mall, getting our 'retail therapy' on. We love walking around and chatting, grabbing lunch, and hunting for bargains. It's a nice way to spend some quality time together, and we always end up finding some pretty cool stuff.

While checking out the very large selection of handbags at Lord & Taylor, I mentioned that I'd like to find a small, vegan bag to carry when I go to music festivals and concerts. The stuff we were looking at was all very beautiful, but I couldn't help but notice that the majority of things, if not all of them, were leather. If the whole bag wasn't leather, it had leather handles, or a leather bottom. To be honest, it was pretty frustrating. 

We ended up leaving the store handbag-less, and went to have a delicious vegan lunch. After that, we went home. 

The next day, I was out running errands when I received a text message from Mom. It had a picture attached and it said, "What do you think?" I responded with, "I love it! But it's leather! :(" Not long after that, I got another text that said, "I bought it for you. Come pick it up tomorrow?" It was a very nice gesture, and so I agreed to go pick it up. I just wasn't sure how I felt about the fact that it was, most likely, leather. 

When I got to Mom's place, she handed me the purse and exclaimed, "It's vegan!" Sure enough, when I peeked at the tags, it was clearly stated: "Certified Vegan."  Score one for my mom! ( I love you, Mama!)

I am so excited about this little purse. It's just so cute! I ended up using it as my primary bag while at Hangout Fest back in May. Not only did it work perfectly, with just enough room for my phone, keys, ID, and some cash, but I also received loads of compliments on it! It was small enough that it wasn't a hindrance while trudging back and forth between stages, and it was understated enough that Josh didn't mind holding it while I used the restroom! Haha! :D

This bag stood up to being dropped in the sand, tossed around while dancing, having my giant phone shoved into it, and more. It handled all of this without a hitch. 

I love that it has a slightly vintage vibe to it, with the little turnlock closure and the quilted design. The small details are so pretty. I especially like the chain wrapped around the strap. It just gives the bag that extra "pop" and I think it accents the rest of the bag very well.

The "leather" is very soft and smooth. It's bags like this that make me wonder why on earth people would choose to harm animals when you can get something this nice cruelty-free!

This lovely vegan purse is made by Urban Expressions. I googled them to see if they had any other bags that I might like, and lo and behold! There is an entire website chock full of gorgeous handbags, and they are all animal friendly! They even sell wallets, jewelry, and tablet sleeves! While I haven't been able to find this exact purse on the website (it's probably "so last season" or something) I was able to find one very similar, right here. 

While all of the bags are gorgeous, and I want each and every one of them, the thing that impresses me most is the attitude of the founders of the company. Farbod Shakouri and Kyle Vojdan, high-school friends, and graduates from rival colleges in California, are dedicated to protecting animals and the environment. On the Urban Expressions "About Us" page, they suggest that their customers "Join the awareness trend. (We did)!" I find it truly admirable that they are standing up for what they believe in and encouraging others to join them along the way.

The products sold by Urban Expressions are free of both animal cruelty and harmful plastics. Add that to the fact that their products are gorgeous and affordable, and you've got the recipe for one very awesome handbag and accessory company.

Once again, I have to give it up for my mom. If it weren't for her, I wouldn't have found out about this very cool vegan business. So thanks, Mom! Now, everyone go ahead and check out Urban Expressions! 

*Please note that this is not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions included in this post are mine and mine alone - I think it's nice to share vegan resources in order to make it easier for people to make educated decisions. Thanks for reading, friends.*

Thoughts? Feelings? Random story about that weird thing your cat likes to do? Leave a comment and share! I'd love to hear from you! 


A Very Vegan Thanksgiving

Oven Baked S'mores

Oven Baked S'mores