This past weekend has been in my planner since the very beginning of my semester abroad…my trip to Paris! The capital of France has many names and a great deal of significance…”La Ville Lumière” (the city of light), a major fashion capital of the world, and home to some of the world’s most famous art and sweetest treats. I found all of these things to be true about this incredible city, but Paris become something even more to me during my short stay there. For me, my weekend in Paris was a weekend of gratitude and appreciation.

This weekend, in addition to many other sights, I saw the Mona Lisa and the Eiffel Tower. These are things I have seen photos of and heard about for as long as I can remember. But never did I imagine that I would someday have the opportunity to see them for myself. In these moments, I was struck by gratitude and appreciation for this experience and the family who made it all possible.

Without my parents sacrifices and support and my grandparents generosity and encouragement, I would not have been able to see these world treasures first hand. I would not have been able to spend a weekend in Paris indulging my sweet tooth with macaroons from the famous Ladurée and Pierre Hermé and the best hot chocolate I have ever had at Angelina’s. I wouldn’t have been able to visit the Louvre (one of the world’s largest museums), the Notre Dame, the Palais Garnier (the opera house where the Phantom of the Opera was filmed), or the Arc de Triomphe.

This trip was by no means perfect. I spent seven hours in Rome Fiumicino Airport thanks to a very inconvenient flight delay and then was a bit nervous navigating the Paris metro and city’s streets after midnight in search of my hotel. But I am not thankful for this weekend because it was flawless; I am thankful because it happened. Not everyone gets to visit Paris. Not everyone gets to travel to Europe. Not everyone gets to spend an entire semester abroad. I know I am so blessed to be where I am, and I know my family is the only reason I am here.

Paris may have the unfortunate stereotype of being filled with rude and extremely wealthy people, but that’s not what I got from it. I got a big serving of thankfulness alongside my order of escargot…which I decided pescetarians are allowed to eat…or at least this one is 😉

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 And to continue with this post’s theme of gratitude…thank you for reading!

Baci, baci (kisses, kisses),


Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Vegan Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and I couldn’t be more excited. Thanksgiving definitely ties with Christmas as my favorite holiday. There’s something so great about waking up, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in my PJs, and then spending the day in the kitchen with my mom cooking up a storm. The end of a holiday usually makes me sad, but when Thanksgiving is over, it just means its time to start celebrating Christmas! Did I mention I love the holidays?? 🙂

Last Thanksgiving, my family had its first all vegan Thanksgiving meal, and it was amazing—definitely one of my favorite meals ever. Of course I snapped a picture of my plate for Instagram. #veganMy 2013 Thanksgiving meal

My mom and I have already started planning for this year’s Thanksgiving menu. In the process of searching Pinterest for the best vegan recipes, I came across some incredible dishes, so I thought I would share them on The Pace! These recipes are for everyone, so die-hard vegans, get ready to ooh and aah at these recipes, and traditional turkey lovers, think about incorporating one of them into your Thanksgiving meal this year! You will find all of Thanksgiving’s staples below (yes, including vegan gravy and vegan pumpkin pie!). Enjoy!


Main Dishes

Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf from Oh She Glows


Thanksgiving Meatless Loaf from Fat Free Vegan

Meatless Loaf

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash from Vegan Yack Attack!




The Best Damn Vegan Mashed Potatoes from The Minimalist Baker


Southwestern Roasted Butternut Squash from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice


Maple Roasted Carrots with Fennel Seeds from Food to Glow


Mustard-Maple Brussels Sprouts with Candied Pepitas and Pomegranate Seeds from Cara’s Cravings


Sugarless Cranberry Sauce from Wellness Mama


Wild Mushroom Gravy from Oh My Veggies




Four-Ingredient Vegan Pumpkin Pie from Lunch Box Bunch


Deep Dish Apple Crumble Pie from Minimalist Baker



Enjoy these recipes and follow me on Instagram at @tatumerinmurray to see what my vegan Thanksgiving meal will look like! I hope you all have a joyous, healthy, and safe Thanksgiving!


Liebster Award: Sharing Time!

Today’s post is all about sharing…sharing things about myself and sharing the love to others! I am honored to be nominated for a Liebster Award by Lady from Hey Lady! (check out her blog! It’s awesome!!) The Liebster Award was created to help bloggers spread the love, encouraging a supportive blogging community.


So here’s the deal…I have been given 11 questions to answer, have nominated 11 bloggers (see the list below) who I admire, and have given them 11 new questions to answer.

The Rules:

  • You have to link back to the person that nominated you.
  • You must answer all 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you.
  • After completing these questions you must nominate 11 bloggers with under 200 followers and give them 11 questions of your choice.
  • You must not nominate the person who nominated you.
  • You must let your nominees know that they have been nominated and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it.

Sharing time! Learn a little about me…

1. What are the 3 places you’d like to visit next?

My family’s house in Pittsburgh. We just moved and I have only spent a few days in our new house. Plus, I would really just love to spend some quality time with the fam.

Vegas to see the goddess herself…Britney Spears…perform. I have a crazy obsession with Britney Spears.

Europe! Destination TBA. I plan to study abroad in Europe this Spring and am beyond excited to experience a different culture and explore a new place for a few months.

2. Which Instagram accounts are you obsessed with?

Ah, too many to name! I love @littleblondebook. Taylor Morgan is the cutest and most stylish human ever. I’m also obsessed with @thebalancedblonde because her food pics are heavenly and she provides a lot of great inspiration to live a healthy, balanced life. My favorite instagrammer is probably my cousin, Nichole Ciotti (@nicholeciotti). She is a superstar blogger with insanely awesome instas to match.

3. If you could wear one type of footwear for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Converse. I have a pair in almost every color, and they make me feel so comfortable and happy 🙂

4. What wouldn’t you want to be caught dead wearing?

Honestly, I don’t know. These days, there are so many different styles and ways to dress, and I am open to trying many of them! I’m not sure if I can say for certain there is one thing I will never ever wear.

5. What is your favorite city in the world and why?

I promise this is the last of my vague answers! But the truth is, I haven’t traveled enough and experienced enough cities to be able to choose a favorite. One of my goals of my twenties is to travel, so hopefully in a few years, I will be able to come up with an answer to this question. Hopefully after studying abroad in the spring, I will have a better idea of which cities in the world are my favorite!

6. What’s the last book you read and what did you like about it?

I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin this summer. I love how the author looks at happiness as a choice which is an attitude I am really trying to take on myself. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to bring more happiness in his/her life (who doesn’t?)

7. What’s your perfect weekend outfit?

As the seasons transition, a perfect weekend outfit would be a cute pair of shorts with a pretty floral top and a light sweater. I am smiling just thinking about it!

8. If you could buy any watch in the world, what would it be?

Actually, I’m obsessed with the watch I currently have. It’s a Michael Kors watch with a tortoise shell band and rose gold accents. It was my gift to myself last summer after spending the season working, and I’m still in love with it

9. What did you want to be when you were younger and what do you do now? Do they match?

I have always wanted to be a singer. Currently, I am a full-time student, but I have an album on iTunes, am always writing new music, and playing gigs in my local area! Check out my Facebook page for more info on my music career(shameless plug, hehe 🙂 )

10. What’s your favorite kind of flower?

I really love Marigolds because not only are they beautiful, but they are also a natural pesticide which means they help the other things around them grow and be beautiful and healthy. I also am a big fan of Peonies because they are easily one of the prettiest things to look at (as you can see from this post, peonies are the wallpaper of my Mac!)

11. What’s your most favorite item of clothing in your closet? It could be an accessory too!

The denim vest I wore in this post. I would literally wear it every single day of my life if I could.


My Nominees:

Now it’s time to share the love! Here are 11 blogs that I really love and think deserve some recognition!

1. Miss Winnie and a Mini Skirt

2. Searching for a Brighter Future

3. Thrifty Shopper Fashion

4. Joy and Serenity

5. Past, Present, Perfect Day

6. The Traveling Yoyo

7. Too Grunge for Glamour

8. Curious Giraffe

9. Inner Beauty Outshines

10. Starring Sue

11. A Writer’s Mind


Here are your questions to answer!

1. If you could be a member of any TV sitcom family, which one would it be?

2. What is your favorite song to sing in the shower?

3. Who was your role model as a child?

4. If you could be the personal assistant to anyone in the world, who would it be?

5. How do you get your news/current events?

6. What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned in the past week?

7. What is your favorite “guilty pleasure” show or movie?

8. Who is someone you find inspiring?

9. What is a “little thing” that makes you happy?

10. If you could eat only one food for an entire year, what would it be?

11. You are told right now that tomorrow you have the freedom and ability to go anywhere or do anything for the entire day. What does that day look like?

Have fun answering these questions! I am looking forward to reading your responses!