LINKS to LOVE: Also, Lehigh Valley Yoga Festival with NEW T-SHIRTS!

This week I saw Neutral Milk Hotel live with some of those dearest to me and it was a magical extended moment. Last weekend, I went to a lake with chickpea salad sandwiches and champagne and a stack of books. The water was so welcoming and warm. I bobbed around and noticed the odd sensation of being eye level with a moving canoe. I’ve met with friends and visionaries about collaborations, crafting a career from many small parts, and how darn good it feels to have someone to talk to about it.

summer collage

Saturday is a big day for the health + wellness community as Lehigh Valley Yoga Festival is finally here! Save the Kales! is a partner along with Natural Awakenings Magazine. It’ll be a full day of many forms of yoga, live music, vendors, and more yoga. Chef Wendy of Shankara will be there selling organic vegan food, and proceeds from the event to our pals at Pratyush Sinha Foundation, which you can learn more about by watching this.

And I’ll be there selling NEW SAVE THE KALES! T-SHIRTS, design unveiled at the festival! Follow along on social media to get a first look at the new shirt, then come here next week to order one.

instagram | twitter | facebook 

LINKS to LOVE savethekales

Artist recreates his childhood drawings 20 years later. The snail!

There is nothing pretentious about being a vegan. from Vice (*sarcasm and real talk!) “I’m not sure why my nutrition is such a big concern for people I don’t know. With the exception of vegans, Live Aid, or those people who eat couches on My Strange Addiction, I don’t remember ever seeing someone show concern for another person’s nourishment.”

Having one’s corn ground in the 1800’s was probably more fun than you think.

Ashlee being a babe and talking ethical FALL FASHION, GLORY BE!, come on September!

What are you reading? Subway Book Review is a blog based on stopping to ask strangers on the subway to review, on the spot, whatever book they are reading in that moment. This speaks to the book-snoop portion of my soul.

Thank you for being a friend. A breakdown of Blanche Devereaux’s best outfits.

Trans, but not like you think.  “Gender is part of everyone’s life, we’re all negotiating the line between what we’re expected to be and who we are.”

Who wants to take a day trip to Storybook Forest?

Bethlehem Vegfest 2014, Aug 23rd

… And Bethlehem Vegfest 2014 is less than a month away! We’ve got some great speakers, retail booths, and the food this year? Oh, you guys. Let me just say there MAY OR MAY NOT *ahem* be a vegan ice cream truck. Save the Kales! TV will also be there taping a live cooking show and chatting with Fest-goers, so come say hello! Final schedule updates will be on the website very soon.

Happy weekend! xo

Camps of All Kinds

I spent the first half of the week camping and yesterday at Lehigh Valley Girls Rock! Camp (MIND-BLOWING, oh my gosh!) and am playing catch-up, but if you are in the Lehigh Valley area and free tomorrow night, get yourself a ticket to support the awesome Girls Rock bands at their concert tomorrow night!

Back soon. xo

july camping

 

“It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.”

 — Madeleine Albright

LINKS to LOVE: 4 July 2014

You may notice things are lookin’ a little different around here. I’ve wanted a redesign forever and in the name of DIY, personal empowerment, and a teeny tiny budget (and, um, all my designer friends are very busy) I am slowly redesigning things myself. It’s pretty liberating!

I’m also ready to bring back the ol’ Links to Love series, because one of my great joys in life is finding a blog from a writer who just “gets it”, and then being able to plop down on a Sunday morning with a coffee and click on every link they share because holy wow, they have impeccable taste in internet reads, you know? There are SO MANY talented, thought-provoking voices online and we’re better off for spending some time with them. And I believe in cooperation over competition, so I hope you’ll stay on some of these sites and look around.

LINKS to LOVE savethekales

Melanie so sincerely describes the feelings of being a silly, optimistic, girly + feminine woman who is growing older. “Will my loud outfits and glittery makeup seem desperate, pathetic even, as I age? Will be my light-hearded child-like enthusiasm be read as unintelligent and sad as I advance? “

The always-eloquent and achingly brilliant Lacy shares how learning to love her body changed her relationship. “The relationship I wanted to have with my partner gave me the courage to grab the relationship I wanted to have with my body. Deciding to have a better relationship with my body gave me the relationship I got with my partner.”

Art is so weird and wonderful. A Man Takes His Cabbage for a Walk  (video)

walking a cabbage

 

The most adorable weather forecast

Finally, a film about a young woman who has an abortion and she’s portrayed as a normal person.  Get to a theater and see Obvious Child (and if you’re in the Lehigh Valley, it’s playing at Steelstacks)

Buzzfeed nails it with this one, and shines some light on the exceptionality that sometimes comes from a community that touts the idea that everyone should be free to love whoever they want: 30 Bisexual Women Discuss Their Long-Term Relationships With Men

YES, THIS: Why You Shouldn’t Take People’s Facebook Lives Seriously (video)

Here is What You Do When You Are Grieving. “You remind yourself how breathing works, how sleeping works, how going to work works. You teach yourself basic lessons as if you were a child: It is time to clean up after yourself, time to take a shower, time to behave, time to leave the house today. ” (thanks Meridith)

… And to end on a positive note, next week starts Lehigh Valley Girls Rock! Camp which is going to empower young women to feel supported, creative and make music! I’ll be teaching a class on Positive Body Image and all week the girls will learn about healthy minds, bodies and self-expression. The week ends with a live rock show called Shine Like Diamonds and you can buy tickets for $10!  They are also selling the cutest merch, including these tote bags for $10. You can order online:

lvgirlsrocktotebag

 

I hope your weekend is beautiful! America!

xo Jaime K

 

 

AVOCADO AND COCONUT ICE CREAM: With Cilantro and Jalapeño

Avocados and coconut are proof that maybe that little blonde boy knows his stuff and Heaven IS for real.

In this recipe, I blend them with fresh cilantro and just a touch of jalapeno pepper for a sweet and savory vegan ice cream! No ice cream machine is needed – just a blender, a shallow dish, and a freezer.

Let’s do this.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado (just the flesh/green creamy part)
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream (the thick creamy stuff at the top of the can)
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 TBSP packed fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed (add more or less to taste)
  • zest of one lime (optional)

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Scoop ice cream base into a shallow dish and spread out evenly. Put in the freezer for at least 1-2 hours.

If ice cream is too hard to scoop when you take it out of the freezer, let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften. Garnish with lime zest.

avocadoicecream.jpg

- Watch more episodes of Save the Kales! right here -

xo

 

Desperately Seeking Beauty in Everything

“Even posi people get sad”, a friend once said when I expressed that sadness feels like failure when your default mode is optimistic.

I don’t often use the internet to complain or express when things get hard, despite my strive to always be authentic. I am aware that, by deliberate omission, I am a part of the “everyone seems like they are doing better than they really are” illusion. I don’t find comfort in public commiseration, and most of the time, would rather shift my focus to something good than to rehash a problem every time I get a Facebook notification.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t have them. And lately I feel a sticky lump of guilt lodge itself in my throat every time someone mentions how happy I am all the time. Listening to a recent podcast interview (we recorded over two months ago), I hear myself sound like a self-help book I need to read.

Last week, after months of deliberation and despite that it’s existed for over two years, I made my instagram account public. I had listened to enough podcasts and read enough articles to know that for creative work, networking and gaining business, it’s smart to have one. I never used instagram for it’s intended purpose (to share!) because I don’t like the “life is perfect inside this tiny flat square” false reality. I don’t want to be a part of that, and I don’t want to be affected by that.

instagram:  @SavetheKales

instagram: @SavetheKales

And yet, I spent hours deleting, editing, and curating my account. I got rid of 500 hundred pictures (shifted them to a new private account), some of which are my proudest moments of the last two years, because I don’t want to “brag”. I don’t want to be perceived as having things figured out more than I do. Is that a pathetic downplay of my accomplishments and most wonderful moments? If everyone else is using the internet to make themselves and their work sound AMAZING all the time, shouldn’t I? Is the rejection of that a noble attempt to bring some normalcy and honesty to the LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME culture that surrounds us all. the. time.? (Does it even matter?)

The truth is, anxiety and depression have been part of my everyday life once again, especially since the concussion. Emotional and mental health aside, my injury means I physically can’t do everything every time I want to do it. I need to rest, I need quiet, I can’t be on the phone too long without a migraine so intense that it makes me sick, sometimes I can’t stay awake past 9:30pm. People get frustrated and angry and call my involvement and enthusiasm into question. Then I feel worse.

The injury and lack of work (and money) from that has been stressful. There is the jumble of things it’s not my place to talk about publicly. And everyone is dying.

My immediate family has had five deaths in the last several months. When I called people to reschedule meetings, request extensions or explain I’d be out of town this week, I realized the phrase “I have to cancel, there has been a death in my family” has become commonplace in my correspondence. (More on this soon.)

A hard year. All around, a very hard year.

I think our capacity for loving is infinite, but our hearts and minds have a limit for pain and I have had enough for now.

In December, I wrote pages and pages of plans, projects and new ideas. “This will be my YEAR!” I triumphantly told myself, as I crafted a timeline of creative dreams and professional goals. This would be the year I got out of my own way and finally fucking made things happen. I thought so many more of them would be checked off by now. I’m disappointed in myself and frustrated by circumstances. Every time I get my footing there is another tragedy that  knocks me out emotionally and/or physically and, while I don’t like to sink into feelings of “why me?” and victimhood, my god it’s hard not to think that way.

 

wordoftheyear2014

And all this time to myself has been a balance of anxiety – knowing I can’t do things as well as I want to and living with the shame and embarrassment of that – and distracting myself so I don’t have to think so much. For this I have books and walks in the park. Trying to help my friends through their stuff.  Venturing in public for a few hours to be present and experience actual life. Season 2 of Orange is the New Black.

While organizing my book collection I rediscovered a copy of The Writer’s Market from 2008, gifted to me by someone who believed in me more than I believed in myself. Now it’s years old, but the symbolism of that is too powerful and I can’t bring myself to add it to the “donate” pile. Maybe this is part of healing, getting past the blinding hurt so you can get to a place of sincere and simple thankfulness.

A lesson learned too late is still a lesson learned.

And I thought about the expectations we set up for ourselves, what we should have done by now, and the pressure we create where there was none.

Writer Cheryl Strayed said her whole life she had a book inside of her that she never got quite right. She was 32 when her mother died and with her grief grew “a second beating heart”, a book, that she could finally purge out of herself. It was published when she was 35.

I have to believe through intense life experiences (not always tragic, but often enough they are) can come our own second heartbeats. They force us to face ourselves and maybe maybe maybe, when we start to breathe again, we can finally create what has been there all along.

View of the Market St. Bridge in Wilkes-Barre

A few nights ago, my mother and I were having coffee in her backyard, and I admitted its very hard to see the point in anything right now. She said, “I think there is a point, and I guess we’re just supposed to keep going until we figure it out.”

Keep going. Keep going. Keep going.

 

Cloudy with a Chance of Introspection

Something about a June morning with just enough rain to bring in a chill, to make the car tires hiss when they stop for red lights. Sweaters and puddles and a new bag of coffee, ground in, of all things, a Vitamix.

I’m meeting my editor today for the first time since I hit my head. Healing has been just as much an internal process. Some nights I lose sleep imagining my made-up alternate life, the one I’d have if different choices were made. And some mornings the world seems so simple and I remember that no matter what we choose, there will always be rain, and mornings, and coffee.

rain coffee and feet

There are a hundred things she has tried to chase away the things she won’t remember and that she can’t even let herself think about because that’s when the birds scream and the worms crawl and somewhere in her mind it’s always raining a slow and endless drizzle.

You will hear that she has left the country, that there was a gift she wanted you to have, but it is lost before it reaches you. Late one night the telephone will sign, and a voice that might be hers will say something that you cannot interpret before the connection crackles and is broken.

Several years later, from a taxi, you will see someone in a doorway who looks like her, but she will be gone by the time you persuade the driver to stop. You will never see her again.

Whenever it rains you will think of her. ” — Neil Gaiman

“WE DON’T NEED TO ASK PERMISSION”: Jaime K on the Tranquility du Jour Podcast

“Anybody who’s doing any sort of work they’re passionate about can relate to this – when you start something, you really have no idea where it can go or what it can be, but something in you just feels compelled to do it.” - Jaime K

Click HERE to listen to the podcast

It was a joy and an honor to have been interviewed for Kimberly Wilson’s Tranquility du Jour podcast, a podcast I discovered two years ago and have enjoyed as a listener. I met Kimberly unexpectedly (hear the story!) last year, and was enchanted with her. She exudes a compassionate confidence while looking like an eccentrically feminine yogini meets a vintage french film star.

She's just yarn-bombing, as one does.

She’s just yarn-bombing, as one does.

Her work includes a weekly podcast, an adorable and always-updated blog, several books and journals, a line of feminine eco-friendly clothing, and hosting retreats across the world. She is livin’ the dream. And she has a pug who is, thankfully, photographed often.

Le Pug. Look at that face. Can you even? No. You can't.

Le Pug. Look at that face. Can you even? No. You can’t.

Some things I talked about in the podcast:

You can also subscribe to Tranquility du Jour on iTunes. I’m on episode #316, which means there are 315 other wonderfully inspiring interviews to catch up on. Get started.

Hugs + lipsticked kisses to Kimberly for the lovely chat.

xo, Jaime K