Hello there! I’m Melissa, a Vegan Tennessean. I am a graduate student in Environmental Engineering living in a small college town called Cookeville. I have a passion for finding fun ways to have a healthy lifestyle, live as ecofriendly as possible, and to treat others with kindness and respect. For the past few years, I have been fostering a balance between hard work, helping others, and self-care in my life which has helped me steadily grow from a depressed and grumpy teenager, into a genuinely happy adult that loves life! I created this blog because I would love to inspire you along your journey to take care of yourself, others, and the planet on which we live.
I gained skills in the kitchen by helping my mom cook as a child. When I went to college, I realized that I could cook and make up recipes pretty well on my own. I became a vegan in late 2015 and through educating myself on the subject, have become very passionate about the lifestyle. Now that I’m vegan, I love finding creative ways to make classic dishes vegan-friendly (especially those southern staples), or just throw together whatever I have on hand in a tasty way! You can read my full vegan story here.
When I’m not working on my studies, I spend time pursuing my other passions. I have been a ballet dancer for 11 years and have been teaching people of all ages for the past three years at a local dance studio. I love the students, teachers, and the atmosphere there, and I plan to continue teaching and taking classes for as long as I live in Cookeville. This past year, I was given the opportunity to perform in the Nutcracker as the Sugar Plum Fairy, which turned out to be the hardest, but most rewarding role I’ve ever danced.
I prefer being outdoors, even if that means just eating lunch on my front porch. I love hiking, camping, rock climbing, and swimming. I also love experiencing new places and cultures. I have been fortunate enough to travel to several countries including Germany, Luxembourg, China, Peru, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Wales, England, and Italy. I plan on traveling much more and documenting my vegan adventures in those places. 🙂
Besides all that, I also love music and singing. I’ve been in the choir at my university for three years. I enjoy reading novels, self-improvement books, and recipe books or blogs. I’ve practiced yoga for a few years, but I have recently started practicing very regularly, and am interested in getting certified to teach.
I have a wonderful family that is very supportive of everything that I do. I love spending time with my friends, who are all beautiful in their own unique way. Most of my time is spent with my best/boy friend, Cass. He’s supportive and kind, and he inspires me everyday to be my best self.
Cass and I love our sweet doggies. First, I have to tell you about Violet. She passed away in September of 2016. She was in my life for almost 14 years, and my relationship with her was a huge influencing factor of why I decided to become vegan. She is the reason that I know without a shadow of a doubt that animals can feel pain, love, joy, and heartbreak, just like us. When Cass came into my life, he treated her as his own doggy. We still feel that she is part of our lives, and we miss her very much.
We adopted Forrest in October of 2016. He is a big mess of puppy fun. We get to know him more and more everyday, and we love him so much. We would like to adopt another doggy friend for Forrest soon.
Thanks for visiting my site! I hope you enjoy it.