Fondness Friday: Cozy Vegan Winter Essentials

fondness friday: my vegan cozy winter essentials

Fondness Friday | December 1, 2016 | By

vegan cozy winter essentials post

Photo by Tim Stief

Today I wanted to try something different from my usual recipe post!

I’m constantly asked:
“What are your favorite vegan products”!?

Well, that’s a huge question! The easiest way to go about sharing the never-ending answer would be breaking it down into current obsession posts


I’m using the term “vegan” to cover a wide variety of products.. Are you planning on eating “vegan” socks? I hope not!

The word vegan has become somewhat synonymous with green-living.. so that’s the word I went with.

In this series, I’ll be focusing on eco-friendly, vegan, and even plain feel-good products that I’m loving lately.

bed set from west elm cozy vegan winter essential1. Organic Down-Alternative Duvet + Cover from West Elm – $170 ea.

First on my list is our amazing bedding set from West Elm. I can’t talk about vegan winter essentials without mentioning it first!

I’m honestly scared to even suggest it because of how hard it’s made getting out of bed in the morning!

If you haven’t been, West Elm provides amazing urban-esque inspired decor that I adore. Even better, 90% of their designs are made in-house! This allows them to offer a huge selection of:

  • Organic,
  • Handcrafted,
  • Sustainably-sourced, and
  • Fair-trade goods!


(Now you’ve got my attention!)

nick sitting on bedMy boyfriend, Cameron, was actually the one that splurged on the bedding set. He finally convinced me to upgrade saying “we spend 1/3 of our lives in this bed! Why skimp on comfort!?”
The duvet is a down-alternative (vegan friendly!), and the cover happened to be organic!
I was skeptical on how big of a difference bedding could make, but let me tell you: It’s heavenly.  The down-alternative isn’t too warm in the summer (even in Arizona!), but perfectly cozy all winter.

If you don’t have a store in the area, they have a huge online store! 🙂

 2. Organic Cotton Socks from PACT Apparel – $19.99

Now here’s some help for when you finally do pry yourself from the bundles of warmth in the morning! Tile floors are borderline torture, so I rely on these ridiculously soft organic socks from Pact.

I am a huge fan of the company! Aside from being organic, they also refuse to use:

  • Toxic Dyes
  • Toxic Pesticides
  • Sweatshops
  • Child Labor

Great for the planet and your body!

3. Handmade Napkins from Beautiful Ingredient – $25-$50

Here’s a confession:
I have an addiction to food props

This comes in part from being a food blogger, part from wanting my table to always be magazine-ready.

(To be honest, food blogging was just an excuse to start buying more props 😉  )

napkin from beautiful ingredientKari over at sent me one in exchange for a review, and I fell in love! I have the Heathered Gray Napkin with Midnight Blue Trim, it is STUNNING!

More things that draw me to her (amazing) products:

  • Handmade in the USA
  • Made with Organic Cotton & Recycled Hemp!

If you look closely, each napkin an incredible amount of personality. There are little color variations due to the recycled nature of the product, I love it! Her entire store reminds me so much of West Elm (can you tell I’m obsessed!?)

See the napkin “in action” here!

Check out Kari’s online store here, and use coupon code HOLIDAYVB1012 for 15% off any orders over $25!

athena looking sassy in her american apparel dog hoodie

Athena looking sassy

4. Dog Hoodies from American Apparel – $28

If you didn’t know yet; I live in Arizona.

People make fun of our 60º winters, but us desert-dwellers are freezing!

It’s not just the humans, either! My fur-baby Athena is too big of a princess to deal with being cold. Despite her fur, she would rather pee inside than athena puppy in american apparel hoodie“freeze” outside (WTF!?).

Last year was the first winter we had her, and we couldn’t figure out why she’d started going in the house. Especially after a near-perfect house-training record. Turns out, it was the cold!

We bought her one of these (sickeningly) adorable hoodies from American Apparel and voilà!

American Apparel is proud to be made in the USA and free from using any sweatshop labor.

5. Coconut Oil from Dr. Bronner’s


dr bronners coconut oil

I love Dr. Bronner’s soap, but coconut oil!?

They must’ve had an overstock on the oil, so they decided to sell it by the jar? Who knows!?

What I do know is it’s awesome! This brand is;

  • Inexpensive
  • In a glass jar
  • Certified Organic!


I try to avoid plastic when possible, coconut oil is no different! This huge jar only comes in glass (and is always organic). After it’s all gone, the jar is the perfect size for miscellaneous bulk items (nuts, seeds, (chocolate chips!?))! 🙂

With baking season in full swing, I urge you to try swapping butter for coconut oil! I can’t even taste it in most recipes, and have yet to notice a difference in the baking process or texture.

Even better, this giant jar was on sale for $10 at my local grocery store. Cha-CHING!

Bonus: Joanne from Lady Gaga

Lastly this is one of those “just-plain-feel-good-products” I was talking about..

A bit of backstory:

This past month, my grandfather passed away at the age of 93. Despite his age, he was full of energy and vitality, so it came as a shock to the family when he suddenly passed. Unfortunately, I live an entire state away from that part of my family. I was stuck here feeling terribly alone and depressed from the situation

Cue: Lady Gaga.

This crazy woman has had a special place in my heart from the beginning of her career. From fighting for LGBTQ rights to spreading messages of love and acceptance, I have always been drawn to her electric energy.

Her most recent album, Joanne, is unlike anything you’ve heard from her. Forget all your predispositions!
(Listen to: Joanne, Million Reasons, Hey Girl, and Angel Down for a taste!)

Gaga started with dance-pop sound that captured me as a teenager. Then, she stole my heart with a traditional jazz album with Tony Bennet. Now she finally released her latest album, a country-inspired-ballad album celebrating life.

The name Joanne, Gaga’s middle name, belonged to her aunt who died from Lupus at 19. The album is a beautiful way to immortalize her aunt’s memory.

I see it as a celebration of coming together as a community.. spreading unconditional love. With many different sounds, the album definitely takes on a Beatles/Elton John-esque vibe. This is fitting as she is singing some of her deepest (and most touching) lyrics to date.

And I’ll still love you, even if I can’t see you anymore – can’t wait to see you soar.

In short, this album came out during a pivotal moment in my life. It is beautiful to see such a raw and unfiltered side of such a mysterious person.  I am eternally grateful for artists like her, using their status as a platform to spread creativity.

What vegan winter essentials help you through the season!? Let me know in the comment section, I always have my eyes out for new products to try!

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